The AP United States Government and Politics Exam is approximately 2 hour and 25 minutes long and has two parts — multiple choice questions and free response questions. Each section is worth 50% of the final exam grade.

The multiple choice section contains 60 questions and is 45 minutes long.

The free response section contains 4 questions and is 1 hour and 40 minutes long. When responding to free response questions, it is suggested that you take a few minutes to plan and outline each answer. Read the question carefully and answer clearly and completely. You are expected to follow the question directions and to provide the same number of examples, explanations, or selections (i.e., tasks) that the question requests. In addition, pay close attention to the task verbs in the question, for each directs you to complete a specific type of response. Use substantive examples where appropriate. Use complete sentences.

Task Verbs:

  • Identify: provide a specific answer, which does not require causal explanation
  • Define: provide a specific meaning for a word or concept
  • Describe: show understanding 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

You can use the free response questions and scoring guidelines below as you prepare for the AP Exam.

Multiple Choice Questions

For sample multiple-choice questions, please refer to the AP United States Government and Politics Course Description, which can be found in the blue, Exam Resources inlay to the right.

Free Response Questions and Scoring Guidelines

Free Response Questions and Scoring Guidelines: login

The following resources contain the remaining available Free Response Questions and Scoring Guidelines for the AP United States Government and Politics Exam. To access the files below, you need to log into your College Board account. If you do not have a College Board account, you can create one by selecting ‘Sign In’ in the header and following the prompts to Sign-Up.