AP Comparative Government and Politics

AP Social Sciences AP Comparative Government and Politics

Compare economic/political challenges, trends and upheavals, and institutional characteristics across six nation states: China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia.

Use the comparative method to analyze and assess the diversity of political life, institutional alternatives, differences in processes and policy outcomes, and the impact of global political and economic changes.

Download AP Comparative Government and Politics Course Overview

About the Exam

The exam is approximately two hours and 25 minutes long and has two parts — multiple choice and free response. Each section is worth 50% of the final exam grade.

The exam will test the following skills, abilities, and knowledge:
  • Knowledge of facts, concepts, and generalizations pertaining to the governments and politics of China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia
  • Explanation of typical patterns of political processes and behavior and their consequences
  • Analysis and interpretation of basic data that are relevant to comparative government and politics
  • Written analysis and interpretation of subject matter
  • Ability to compare and contrast political institutions and processes across countries and to derive generalizations
Section I: Multiple Choice — 55 Questions; 45 minutes

Questions will focus on China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia. The portion of multiple choice questions covering each course 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%)
It is important to remember that this outline is meant to be guide only and should not be considered a complete list of topics or a preferred order of topics.

Total scores on the multiple-choice section are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers and no points are awarded for unanswered questions.

Section II: Free Response — 8 Questions; 1 hour and 40 minutes

The free response section contains three types of questions:
  • Type I: Short Answer; 5 questions
    • These questions will ask you to define concepts from the course topic outline and provide supporting information from the core countries of the course, including China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia.
  • Type II: Conceptual; 1 question
    • This question will require analysis and will be about a major concept from the course topic outline.
  • Type III: Country Specific; 2 questions
    • These questions will ask you to provide specific information and analysis of the core countries from the course, including China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia.
While there is no time limit for each type of question, it is recommended that you 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.

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