AP United States Government and Politics

Sign in to My AP to access free support in AP Classroom, including AP Daily videos.

About the Exam

Important Update

2021 AP U.S. Government and Politics Exams will be offered on paper in early May and as a digital exam in late May and early June.

The paper and the digital versions of the AP U.S. Government and Politics Exams will be full length, containing the typical multiple-choice and free-response sections and covering the full scope of course content, giving you the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP U.S. Government and Politics only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

The AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam will test your understanding of the political concepts covered in the course units, including your ability to analyze the foundational documents and to apply Supreme Court decisions you studied in the course to real-life scenarios.

Exam Duration
3hrs

Exam Dates

  • Mon, May 3, 2021,
    8 AM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam

    This is the Administration 1 date for the AP United States Government and Politics Exam.

  • Thu, May 20, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam

    This is the Administration 2 date for the AP United States Government and Politics Exam.

  • Thu, Jun 3, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam

    This is the Administration 3 date for the AP United States Government and Politics Exam.

Exam Components

Note on 2021 Exams 

Both the paper and digital versions of the AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam will be full length, containing the typical multiple-choice and free-response sections and covering the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP U.S. Government and Politics only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

55 questions 1hr 20mins 50% of Score

The multiple-choice section includes individual, single questions as well as sets of questions. You’ll be asked to:

  • Describe, explain, and compare political concepts and processes
  • Apply Supreme Court decisions in real-life scenarios
  • Analyze data in graphs, charts, tables, maps, or infographics
  • Read and analyze foundational documents and other text-based and visual sources

4 questions 1hr 40mins 50% of Score

In the free-response section, you’ll respond to four questions with written answers. The section includes:

  • 1 concept application question: You’ll describe and explain the effects of a political institution, behavior, or process, and apply concepts in a new situation.
  • 1 quantitative analysis question: You’ll analyze data in the form of a table, graph, map, or infographic to find patterns and trends and reach a conclusion.
  • 1 SCOTUS comparison question: You’ll compare a nonrequired Supreme Court case with a required one, explaining how information from the required case is relevant to the nonrequired one.
  • 1 argument essay: You’ll write an evidence-based essay supporting a claim or thesis.

 

Exam Preparation

Search AP Credit Policies

Find colleges that grant credit and/or placement for AP Exam scores in this and other AP courses.

Not a student?

Go to AP Central for resources for educators