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The AP United States Government and Politics Exam

AP U.S. Government and Politics is currently undergoing review for possible future course improvements that, if implemented, would launch in 2017-18 or later. Learn more.

Exam Overview

AP UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS EXAM: 2 HOURS 25 MINUTES

The AP United States Government and Politics Exam asks students to explain and apply key and supporting concepts. 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.

Format of Assessment

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 | 100 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

Multiple-Choice Questions

For sample multiple-choice questions, refer to the Course Description.

Free-Response Questions

Free-Response Questions 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 1999-2003


2015: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines


2014: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Score Distributions


2013: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Score Distributions


2012: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
All Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Score Distributions


2011: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
All Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Score Distributions


2010: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
All Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Score Distributions


2009: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
All Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Grade Distributions


2008: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
All Questions Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Grade Distributions


2007: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
All Questions Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Grade Distributions


2006: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
All Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Grade Distributions


2005: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions
All Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Grade Distributions


2004: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions
All Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Response Q1
Sample Response Q2
Sample Response Q3
Sample Response Q4
Grade Distributions


2003: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions
All Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Scoring Statistics
Sample Response Q1
Sample Response Q2
Sample Response Q3
Sample Response Q4
Grade Distributions


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