The exam is 2 hours and 25 minutes long and has two sections — multiple choice and free-response.

Section I: Multiple Choice | ~60 Questions | 45 minutes | 50% of Exam Score

You’ll be asked to:

  • 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 and 40 minutes | 50% of Exam Score

You’ll be asked to:

  • 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

The following task verbs are commonly used in the Free-Response Questions:

  • Identify: provide a specific answer, which does not require causal explanation
  • Define: provide a specific meaning for a word or concept
  • Describe: provide the essential details or characteristics of a particular concept or political phenomenon
  • Explain: demonstrate understanding of how or why a relationship exists by clearly articulating the logical connection or causal pattern between or among various political phenomena
  • Compare: provide an explicit statement which connects two or more concepts

Links to More AP Pages