beginning of content:

Course Updates

AP Comparative Government and Politics has been updated for the 2019-20 school year to make things clearer for you and your students, reduce scope, and better align with college-level expectations.

Course and exam information is now clearly presented in a course and exam description (CED).

The CED organizes the course into five commonly taught units.

  • This series of units represents a sequence that is found in widely adopted college textbooks and that many AP Comparative Government and Politics teachers have told us they follow:
    1. Political Systems, Regimes, and Governments
    2. Political Institutions
    3. Political Culture and Participation
    4. Party and Electoral Systems and Citizen Organizations
    5. Political and Economic Changes and Developments
  • By organizing the course content and skills into units, we’re able to give you and your students free formative assessments—personal progress checks—that you can assign throughout the year to measure student progress.
  • We want to respect your time and expertise by providing a road map you can modify and adapt to your local priorities and preferences. You can choose to follow this suggestion for how content can be sequenced and paced. As always, you’ll have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

The CED defines specific learning objectives and skills for students.

  • Specific learning objectives are included in the course framework so that it’s clear for you and your students exactly what they should be able to do.
  • Each learning objective is clearly connected to specific course content in the form of essential knowledge statements. With this kind of specificity, you and your students will know how that content will be assessed on the AP Exam.
  • The framework outlines the specific disciplinary practices that AP Comparative Government and Politics students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think and act like political scientists. For example, students will read and interpret data and develop evidence-based arguments.
  • Throughout the CED, you’ll find thoughtful suggestions for pairing course content with these skills.

Exam Updates

Starting in the 2019-20 school year:

  • The AP Comparative Government and Politics Exam will have question types, point values, and rubrics that stay consistent every year so that you and your students know what to expect on exam day.
  • There will be less focus on knowledge about the individual countries and more on concepts and on comparisons between different concepts and different countries. The six countries addressed in AP Comparative Government and Politics will remain the same:  China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
  • The exam will also focus more on quantitative analysis.
Exam Updates
2019 Exam Starting with the 2020 Exam

Section I: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 45 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Each question has five options.

Section I: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 60 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Each question will have options.
  • There will be 2 text-based sources, each one accompanied by 2-3 questions.
  • There will be 3 quantitative sources, each one accompanied by 2-3 questions.

Section II: Free Response

8 Questions | 1 Hour, 40 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • 5 short answer questions
  • 1 conceptual analysis question
  • 2 country-specific questions

Section II: Free Response

4 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • 1 conceptual analysis question
  • 1 quantitative analysis question
  • 1 comparative analysis question
  • 1 argument essay—a new question type requiring students to write an argument-based essay

Key Dates for AP Comparative Government and Politics Teachers

  • 2019 AP Summer Institutes begin. Updated AP Comparative Government and Politics workshop materials will be available to provide context on the CED, unit guides, and other new resources.
  • 2019 CED binders are available. You can preorder your free copy now using the 2019-20 AP Course and Exam Description Preorder Form.
  • August 1: The AP Classroom system resources—including unit guides, personal progress checks, progress dashboard, and question bank—become available, along with interactive tutorials on how to make the most of these resources with your students.
    • Completing a simple digital activation process will give you immediate access to the system and ensure your students can register for the exams by the new fall deadlines.*
  • Mid-August: 1-day workshops begin.
  • Your school’s AP coordinator will set up your class sections in the system. If your coordinator chooses not to create class sections, you can create your own.
  • Familiarize yourself with the system and start exploring the resources.
  • As you create your sequencing and pacing calendars, use the Course at a Glance and unit guides in the CED to inform your decisions. These can also help you determine how to fit the personal progress checks into your instruction so you and your students can receive timely instructional feedback.
  • Access the AP question bank to see what questions are available for you to assign to your students for instructional and assessment purposes throughout the year. 
  • Before classes start, log in to the system to get join codes for each of your class sections.*
  • Post the join code for your class section on the board or distribute it to your students. Tell students to log in and join you class section before the next class.*
  • October 4: Preferred deadline for your AP coordinator to order 2020 AP Exams.
  • November 15: Deadline for your AP coordinator to order 2020 AP Exams.
  • Use your progress dashboard to see where students are demonstrating strength and where they have opportunities for further growth.
  • January 31, 2020: Deadline to submit your AP Comparative Government and Politics Course Audit form and have it approved by your administrator for 2019-20 AP Course Audit authorization.*
  • Before March: If your course started after November 15, 2019, make sure that all your students have joined your AP Classroom section and are following your AP coordinator’s directions about registering for AP Exams.*
  • March 13, 2020: Deadline for your AP coordinator to place exam orders for students in courses that started after November 15, 2019.*
  • Use the AP question bank and feedback on the progress dashboard to help students prepare for their AP Exams.
  • May 2020: AP Exam administration.

* = required action