10 FACTS ABOUT THE AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS TEST
1.The AP Program Offers High School Students an Opportunity to Receive College Credit for Courses They Take in High School.
The AP program is a collaborative effort of secondary schools, colleges and universities, and the College Board. More than 1 million students like you who are enrolled in AP or honors courses in any one or more of thirty-eight subject areas may receive credit or advanced placement for college-level work completed in high school. While the College Board makes recommendations about course content, it does not prescribe content. The annual testing program ensures a degree of comparability among high school courses in the same subject.
2.Thousands of Colleges and Universities in the United States and in 30 Other Countries Participate.Neither the College Board nor your high school awards AP credit. You will need to find out from the colleges to which you are planning to apply whether they grant credit and/or use AP scores for placement. It is important that you
obtain each school’s policy in writing so that when you actually choose one college and register, you will have proof of what you were told.
3.The AP U.S. Government & Politics Test Measures Factual Knowledge and a Range of Skills.
According to the course description for the AP U.S. Government & Politics Test, the test measures a variety of skills and abilities. Among them are:
• Factual knowledge: facts, concepts, and theories of U.S. government
• Comprehension of the typical patterns of political processes and behaviors and their effects
• Analysis and interpretation of governmental and political data and of relationships in government and politics
• The ability to analyze and interpret a variety of stimuli as the basis for essays that draw conclusions and relate information to general concepts
• The ability to craft well-organized and specific essays
4.The AP U.S. Government & Politics Test Has Two Sections: MultipleChoice and a Four-Part Essay Section.
The total test is 2 hours and 25 minutes. Section I: Multiple Choice has 60 questions and counts for 50 percent of your total score. You will have 45 minutes to complete it.In Section II, you are given four essay topics to write about. Unlike the old government test or some of the other AP tests, you have no choice about which four essays you respond to. This part of the test is 100 minutes (1 hour and 40 minutes) and counts for 50 percent of your total score.
5.The AP U.S. Government & Politics Test Covers Six Areas of American Government and Politics.In its course description for the AP U.S. Government & Politics Test, the College Board lists six broad areas of study and twenty-three categories that are further broken down. The basic course outline looks like the following:
• Constitutional Basis of the Government
• Influences on the Framers of the Constitution
• Separation of powers and checks and balances
• Concept of federalism
• Theories of democratic government
• Political Beliefs and Behaviors of Individuals
• Basic political beliefs that individuals hold
• Ways people acquire political knowledge and attitudes
• Public opinion
• Methods of political participation, including voting
• Factors that influence how and why people develop different political beliefs and behaviors
• Political Behavior of Groups: Functions, Activities, Sources of Power, Influences
• Political parties
• Interest groups, including PACs
• The mass media
• National Government: Organization, Functions, Activities, Interrelationships
• Federal judiciary
• Federal bureaucracy
• Role of voters, nongovernmental groups, and public opinion
• Linkages between government institutions and voters, public opinion,interest groups, political parties, mass media, and subnational governments
• Public Policy
• How policy is made and by whom
• How policy is implemented: the role of the bureaucracy and the courts
• Influences: political parties, interest groups, voters, and public opinion
• Linkages between public policy and political parties, interest groups,voters, and public opinion
• Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
• Constitutional guarantees
• Role of judicial interpretation
• Impact of the Fourteenth Amendment