AP US Government and Politics


AP US Government & Politics Introduction

AP US Government is a course that analyzes various aspects of government and politics in America. Studies involve the formation of government and current laws, landmark case studies, political groups and the ideologies that shape American government and laws.

Course Goals

AP US Gov. and Pol. teaches students how to analyze and survey the current and past state of government in America, starting from the formation of the United States Constitution. Students will be able to define how various challenges to the law and specific case studies helped to define the structure of modern law.

There are also specific focuses on the balance of power between the three branches of government, the role of the government and the people in the democratic process, political parties, interest groups, and civil rights and liberties that affect businesses and individuals.

Some specific areas of study covered in past exams were:

  •      The United States Constitution
  •      Political Beliefs and Ideologies
  •      Political Parties and Interest Groups
  •      The 3 Branches of Government
  •      Public Policy and Civil Rights

AP US Government & Politics Exam

Students should be aware that there are two AP tests relating to government: US Government & Politics and Comparative Government and politics. For the moment, students are free to take either or both of the exams. It is up to the discretion of each high school to determine how to structure the course material in the way they feel will best prepare students for the exams. This AP unit guide focuses on the first test, and more exam details are below.

The exam is split into two sections, 60 multiple choice questions and 4 free response questions.


The AP US Government & Politics exam consists of two sections totaling 2 hours and 25 minutes:

      I.) Section I: 60 multiple choice questions (45 minutes)

      II.) Section II: 4 free response questions (100 minutes)

Each section is worth 60 points, worth a total of 120 points for both sections combined.

AP US Government and Politics Notes, Concept and Themes

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