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Important Updates

AP U.S. Government and Politics Redesign
New resources for the 2018-19 course and exam, including the course and exam description (CED), are now available.​


  • Event
    • Thu, May 10, 2018

    AP United States Government and Politics Exam Day 2018

    • 8 a.m. | 2 hrs 25 mins

Exam Overview

The AP United States Government and Politics Exam asks students to explain and apply key and supporting concepts outlined in the course description. The exam measures students' understanding of American political culture and the interactions of governing and linkage institutions. Questions are based on the six major topics in the course, and students must be able to define, compare, explain, and interpret political concepts, policies, processes, perspectives, and behaviors that characterize the U.S. political system.

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

Exam Format

Section I

Multiple Choice — 60 Questions | 45 minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Demonstrate understanding of major course concepts, policies, and institutions
  • Apply skills of comparison and interpretation in addition to factual recall

Section II

Free Response — 4 Questions | 1 Hour, 40 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Define concepts and explain or interpret content across all course topics
  • Analyze political relationships and evaluate policy changes using examples from the course to support the argument or response

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.

You can also watch the 2017 Chief Reader Report Module. In this presentation, the Chief Reader of the 2017 exam, David G. Miller of Mississippi College, gives a brief and helpful walkthrough of the highlights of his 2017 Chief Reader Report.

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

Free-Response Questions


Exam Resources