AP United States Government and Politics

AP Social Sciences AP United States Government and Politics

Study constitutional underpinnings, civil liberties and civil rights, political culture and socialization, citizen participation and influence, political institutions and policy making that are the foundation of modern U.S. government and politics.

Interpret classic and contemporary political writings and apply pertinent Supreme Court rulings to enduring social and political issues in this country.

AP US Government and Politics Course Overview (PDF)

About the Exam

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

Section I: Multiple Choice — 60 questions; 45 minutes

The portion of multiple choice questions covering each course topic area is:
  • Constitutional Underpinnings of United States Government (5%–15%)
  • Political Beliefs and Behaviors (10%–20%)
  • Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media (10%–20%)
  • Institutions of National Government: The Congress, the Presidency, the Bureaucracy, and the Federal Courts (35%–45%)
  • Public Policy (5%–15%)
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (5%–15%)
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 — 4 questions; 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • These questions require you to integrate knowledge from different content areas. You may have to discuss examples, elucidate or evaluate general principles of U.S. government and politics, and/or analyze U.S. political relationships or events.
  • Each essay should demonstrate your ability to organize a coherent answer about the specific question; interpret and analyze tables, charts, and/or graphs, and draw logical conclusions from the data in relation to general political concepts or relationships; and stay on task.
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