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Important Updates

Secure Exam for Classroom Use
A secure 2015 AP Comparative Government and Politics Exam is available on the AP Course Audit website. To access, sign in to your AP Course Audit account, and click on the Secure Documents link in the Resources section of your Course Status page.

  • Event
    • Thu, May 17, 2018

    AP Comparative Government and Politics Exam Day 2018

    • 8 a.m. | 2 hrs 25 mins

Exam Overview

The exam measures students' knowledge of the course's six core countries (China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia) and their ability to compare and contrast political regimes; electoral systems; federal structures; civil rights; and state responses to economic, social, and religious challenges over time.

Encourage your students to visit the AP Comparative Government and Politics student page for exam information and exam practice.

Exam Format

Section I

Multiple Choice — 55 Questions | 45 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

Questions will focus on the core countries of the course: China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia. The portion of multiple-choice questions covering each topic area is:

  • Introduction to Comparative Politics (5%)
  • Sovereignty, Authority, and Power (20%)
  • Political Institutions (35%)
  • Citizens, Society, and the State (15%)
  • Political and Economic Change (15%)
  • Public Policy (10%)

This outline is a guide—it is not a complete list of topics or a preferred order of topics.

Section II

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

The free-response section contains three types of questions:

  • Type I: Short Answer; 5 questions
    • These questions ask students to define concepts from the course topic outline and provide supporting information from the core countries of the course.

  • Type II: Conceptual; 1 question
    • This question requires analysis and is about a major concept from the course topic outline.

  • Type III: Country Specific; 2 questions
    • These questions ask students to provide specific information and analysis of the core countries from the course.

While there is no time limit for each type of question, we recommend that students spend 25 minutes total on the five Type I questions, 25 minutes on the Type II question, and 50 minutes total on the two country-specific questions.

Students are expected to follow the question directions and to provide the same number of examples, explanations, or selections (i.e. tasks) that the question requests. If a student provides more than the required number of responses for the prompt and any one of the examples provided is incorrect, then the student will at most earn partial credit.

Rationale: Readers are trained to read the complete free response before assigning points. If extra examples are provided and one or more are incorrect, the student will at most get partial credit. There is no advantage to students in providing more examples, explanations, or selections than are requested.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions from prior exams, along with scoring information, check out the tables below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the Chief Reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the reading leadership to describe how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

2018: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Exam Resources