The ‘AP Art Portfolio’ TikTok trend consists of young art students sharing their submissions for the AP Art and Design exam. TikTokers display their artworks as “Slow Dancing in the Dark” by Joji plays in the background.
This video within the trend was posted by TikTok user @caamileon and amassed over 3.2 million likes. The theme of @caamileon’s AP portfolio was “personal experiences with the [COVID-19] pandemic” — showcasing haunting paintings that depict her coming of age during the 2020 lockdown.
“AP Art? As in you’re in high school??? Oh my god, this was insanely masterful BEFORE I knew how old you were — color me impressed,” a TikToker wrote.
“This better be in the pandemic museum,” another said.
In a follow-up video, Camila (@caamileon) explains the meanings behind her portfolio pieces.
What is AP Art and Design?
U.S. high school students spend all year preparing for the spring’s Advanced Placement (AP) exams to earn college credit. For young art students, their challenge from the College Board is to pass the AP Art and Design course, which requires submitting a digital art portfolio. Each AP Art Portfolio must have an overarching theme or “concentration” that students must build upon for the school year.
However, AP students must wait months after their exam submission to determine if they will qualify for college credits. According to PrepScholar, AP scores come out every July despite the exams occurring at the beginning of May.
What is the ‘AP Art Portfolio’ TikTok trend?
For AP Art and Design students, waiting for their scores doesn’t stop them from sharing their hard work online. The ‘AP Art Portfolio’ TikTok trend seems to have started after May 2021’s exam season and similarly resurfaced this year.
This TikTok posted last year by @chrisdrawsss is one of many that gained traction from 2021’s exams. Chris’s (@chrisdrawsss) theme was “the effects of social media and screen addiction through self-portraits.”
This year’s exam season consisted of many more portfolios highlighting cultural diversity and authentic teenage experiences.
This AP Art portfolio posted by TikToker @mintyhoang concentrates on “Telling Vietnamese stories, both folktales and the Asian experience.”
“Wow. This is my family history to a tee. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing,” a TikToker commented.
“You’re getting a 5 for sure,” another said. The College Board scores AP exams on a 1-5 scale — scores above 4 are in the A-B range on the American U.S. college grading scale.
This video posted by TikTok user @saruh.png shows a portfolio on young students’ “relationships with academia and burnout.”
“THIS IS SO POWERFUL,” a TikToker said.
“I just wanna say this drove me to tears. This is hauntingly beautiful and such an expression I wish I had the ability to express as eloquently as you,” another wrote.
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