AP United States Government and Politics

Exam timing

On exam day, you'll click on the link in your e-ticket 30 minutes before the start time for your exam and fill in some information.

A timer will show how much time remains until the start of the exam.

Once the exam starts, the first exam question will automatically appear, and another timer will start counting down.

Your timer will show 30 minutes. You should take 25 minutes to read the question and work on your response, and 5 minutes to submit it. When the timer gets to 5 minutes, an alert will show. Stop working at that time and begin to submit your response. Once your response to Question 1 has been submitted, you can’t go back to it.

When your submission for Question 1 is complete, the second exam question will appear and the timer will show 20 minutes. You should take 15 minutes to read the question and work on your response and 5 minutes to submit it. Again, the timer will give you an alert when 5 minutes remain. Stop working at that time and begin to submit your response.

What to have ready on exam day

Required

  • e-ticket email (you’ll receive this two days before your exam)
  • Completed Exam Day Checklist, including AP ID
  • Device: laptop, tablet, smartphone, desktop computer
  • Browser: Chrome (recommended), Firefox, Safari, or Edge
  • Internet or cellular connection
  • Assistive technology and devices (if applicable, for students approved to test with accommodations)

Recommended for students typing responses

Permitted

  • Your class notes or study guides
  • Textbooks and other classroom resources
  • Previous assignments or assessments

Questions

Question 1 (25 mins.)

% of exam weight (rounded)

60%

Question name

Argument Essay

Question description

Question 1 assesses students’ ability to do the following:

  • Articulate a defensible claim or thesis that responds to the question and establishes a line of reasoning
  • Provide evidence from 1 of the foundational documents listed in the question to support the claim
  • Provide evidence from a second foundational document, or from knowledge of course concepts, to support the claim
  • Use reasoning to explain why both pieces of evidence support the claim

Corresponding free-response question (FRQ) type in the course and exam description binder

FRQ 4. Follows the question type and scoring for FRQ 4, with the following modifications to the scoring rubric:

  • Additional point added to Row B for a second piece of evidence.
  • Additional point added to Row C to assess reasoning separately for each piece of evidence.
  • Row D (Alternative Perspective) is eliminated from this year’s scoring.

Question 2 (15 mins.)

% of exam weight (rounded)

40%

Question name

Concept Application

Question description

Question 2 presents students with an authentic scenario, and assesses students’ ability to do the following:

  • Explain the effects of a political institution, behavior, or process
  • Transfer understanding of course concepts and apply them in a new situation or scenario

Corresponding free-response question (FRQ) type in the course and exam description binder

FRQ 1

  • 2020 Question 2 follows the general structure of FRQ 1 (Concept Application), modified to fit the time allotted for this question.
  • 2020 Question 2 will ask students to describe and explain how course concepts interrelate and apply to the prompt, rather than simply to describe or explain concepts.

What’s covered

Units eligible for 2020 exam: Units 1–3

Units not included in 2020 exam: Units 4–5

Sample Questions for the 2020 exam

Download example questions (.pdf/511 KB) similar to what you'll see on the 2020 AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam.

2020 primary exam date and times

The May AP Exams are complete. For reference, here is the past primary exam date and time for this course.

Date: May 11

Hawaii Time: 10 a.m.
Alaska Time: 12 p.m.
Pacific Time: 1 p.m.
Mountain Time: 2 p.m.
Central Time: 3 p.m.
Eastern Time: 4 p.m.

See more time zones

Makeup test date and times

The early-June AP makeup exams are complete. For reference, here is the past makeup exam date and time for this course.

Date: June 1

Hawaii Time: 6 a.m.
Alaska Time: 8 a.m.
Pacific Time: 9 a.m.
Mountain Time: 10 a.m.
Central Time: 11 a.m.
Eastern Time: 12 p.m.
See more time zones

Exception testing date and times

The late-June AP exception testing exams are complete. For reference, here is the past exception testing exam date and time for this course.

Date: June 22

Hawaii Time: 8 a.m.
Alaska Time: 10 a.m.
Pacific Time: 11 a.m.
Mountain Time: 12 p.m.
Central Time: 1 p.m.
Eastern Time: 2 p.m.
See more time zones

Resources