top of page

Click here for AP Government test information

Exam Details

Exam Date:  Monday, May 6, 2024

The exam is 3 hours long and has two sections — multiple choice and free-response.

The exam measures your understanding of required content. You’ll need to define, compare, explain, and interpret political concepts, policies, processes, perspectives, and behaviors that characterize the U.S. political system.

Section I: Multiple Choice | 55 Questions | 1 Hour and 20 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

​This section requires:

  • Quantitative Analysis: Analysis and application of quantitative-based source material

  • Qualitative Analysis: Analysis and application of text-based (primary and secondary) sources

  • Visual Analysis: Analysis and application of qualitative visual information

  • Concept Application: Explanation of the application of political concepts in context

  • Comparison: Explanation of the similarities and differences of political concepts

  • Knowledge: Identification and definition of political principles, institutions, processes, policies, and behaviors

Section II: Free-Response | 4 Questions | 1 Hour and 40 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

In this section:

  • Concept Application: You’ll respond to a political scenario, explaining how it relates to a political principle, institution, process, policy, or behavior

  • Quantitative Analysis: You’ll analyze quantitative data, identify a trend or pattern, draw a conclusion for the visual representation, and explain how it relates to a political principle, institution, process, policy, or behavior

  • SCOTUS Comparison: You’ll compare a nonrequired Supreme Court case with a required Supreme Court case, explaining how information from the required case is relevant to that in the nonrequired one

  • Argument Essay: You’ll develop an argument in the form of an essay, using evidence from one or more required foundational document

The questions on the test will cover topics from the whole course. However, in the multiple-choice section, you’ll find that certain subjects come up more often:

Subject                                                                                                                                           Percentage of the Test  

Government Institutions                                                                                                                          35 to 40%

(Congress, presidency, courts, bureaucracy)                                                                  

Political Behavior of Individuals                                                                                                           10 to 20%

(political culture, public opinion, voting)                                                                      

Political Behavior of Groups                                                                                                                   10 to 20%

(political parties, elections, interest groups, PACs, and mass media)                       

Constitutional Foundations                                                                                                                    5 to 15%

(federalism, checks & balances, separation of powers, theories of democracy)                                                                    

Civil Liberties and Civil Rights                                                                                                              5 to 15%


There are 15 Required Supreme Court Cases:

Marbury v. Madison

McCulloch v. Maryland

Schenck v. US

Brown v. Board of Ed (1954)

Baker v. Carr

Engel v. Vitale

Gideon v. Wainright

Tinker v. DesMoines

NY Times Co. v. US

Wisconsin v. Yoder

Roe v. Wade

Shaw v. Reno

US. v. Lopez

McDonald v. Chicago

Citizens United v. FEC



Required Documents:


The Declaration of Independence

The Articles of Confederation

The Constitution of the United States

Federalist #10

Brutus #1

Federalist #51

Federalist #70

Federalist # 78

Letter from a Birmingham Jail     

file art.png
court cases.jpg
bottom of page