AP Comparative Government and Politics

Learn all about the course and exam.

About the Course

Examine the political institutions and processes of six different countries—China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United Kingdom—and compare the ways they address problems. You’ll analyze data and readings to draw conclusions about political systems.

Skills You'll Learn

  • Connecting political concepts to real-life situations

  • Comparing different political systems, institutions, processes, policies, and behaviors

  • Analyzing data to find patterns and trends and draw conclusions

  • Reading and analyzing text sources

  • Developing a claim or thesis and explaining and supporting it in an essay

Equivalency and Prerequisites

College Course Equivalent

A one-semester introductory college course in comparative government and politics

Recommended Prerequisites

None

Exam Dates

About the Units

The course content outlined below is organized into commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. Your teacher may choose to organize the course content differently based on local priorities and preferences.

Course Content

You’ll learn about the skills and concepts that political scientists use in their work and apply them as you analyze data related to the six course countries.

Topics may include:

  • How political scientists collect and use data and information
  • Types of political systems: regimes, states, nations, and governments
  • Democracy and authoritarianism
  • The ways governments and regimes get, keep, and lose power
  • Factors that can either help or undermine the stability of a government

On The Exam

18%–27% of multiple-choice score

You’ll look at the political structure and the branches of government of each of the six course countries.

Topics may include:

  • Parliamentary, presidential, and semi-presidential government systems
  • Executive institutions (for example, presidents, prime ministers, cabinets)
  • Legislative systems (for example, congressional or parliamentary)
  • Judicial systems (judges and courts)

On The Exam

22%–33% of multiple-choice score

You’ll study the ways in which the citizens of a country interact with, influence, and are affected by their government, using the six course countries as examples.

Topics may include:

  • Where the political attitudes and beliefs of citizens come from
  • Political ideologies such as individualism, communism, and fascism
  • Political participation by citizens and its effects
  • Civil rights and civil liberties
  • Social divisions within a country and their effects

On The Exam

11%–18% of multiple-choice score

In the context of the political structures, events, and issues associated with the six course countries, you’ll learn how individuals, parties, and citizen organizations work to gain influence and power.

Topics may include:

  • Types of electoral systems and election rules
  • Types of political party systems
  • How social movements and interest groups cause political change

On The Exam

13%–18% of multiple-choice score

You’ll explore how the political systems and power structures of the six course countries play out in an interconnected global context.

Topics may include:

  • Political responses to global market forces
  • The effects of economic liberalization policies
  • How governments adapt social policies to address political, cultural, and economic changes
  • Rapid industrialization and its impacts
  • The causes and effects of demographic changes

On The Exam

16%–24% of multiple-choice score

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See Where AP Can Take You

AP Comparative Government and Politics can lead to a wide range of careers and college majors

Career Areas 68
Majors 20

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