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Important Updates

Preparing Students for the Exam

Starting August 1, students and teachers will have new resources and a daily support tool called AP Classroom to use throughout the year. Designed and tested in collaboration with AP teachers, these resources include unit guides that cover the content and skills assessed on the exam, progress checks and a dashboard to highlight strengths and opportunities for growth, and a question bank of real AP questions.

Learn more about the new resources 

Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information on exam weighting, download the AP U.S. Government and Politics Course and Exam Description (CED). Scoring guidelines for each of the sample free-response questions in the CED are also available, along with scoring rubrics that apply to the free-response questions, regardless of specific question prompts.

  • Event
    • Mon, May 4, 2020

    AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam Day

    • 8 a.m. | 3 hrs

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

Exam Format

The AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam will continue to have consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day. The overall format of the exam—including the weighting, timing, types of questions, and types of stimulus materials—won’t change.

 Section 1: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 1 Hour 20 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Individual questions (no stimulus): ~30
  • Set-based questions
    • Quantitative Analysis: Analysis and application of quantitative-based source material
    • Qualitative Analysis: Analysis and application of text-based (primary and secondary) sources
    • Visual Analysis: Analysis and application of qualitative visual information

Section 2: Free Response

4 Questions | 1 Hour 40 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Concept Application: Respond to a political scenario, describe and explain the effects of a political institution, behavior, or process
  • Quantitative Analysis: Analyze quantitative data, identify a trend or pattern, or draw a conclusion from a visual representation and explain how it relates to a political principle, institution, process, policy, or behavior
  • SCOTUS Comparison: Compare a nonrequired Supreme Court case with a required Supreme Court case, explaining how information from the required case is relevant to the nonrequired one
  • Argument Essay: Develop an argument in the form of an essay, using evidence from required foundational documents and course concepts

 

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table 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 AP Reading leadership to explain 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.

New Exam Resources

Beginning in August 2019, you’ll have access to the full range of questions from past exams in AP Classroom. You’ll have access to:

  • an online library of AP questions relevant to your course
  • personal progress checks with new formative questions
  • a dashboard to display results from progress checks and provide real-time insights

 

2019: Free-Response Questions

2019: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Coming Soon