Directions for the 2021 Digital AP United States Government and Politics Exam

Exam and section directions will appear in the testing application

Unlike on paper and pencil exams, students taking digital exams will receive directions primarily from the digital testing application, not from a proctor, whether they take the digital exam at school or at home.

On the digital exam, directions will be shown on a pop-up in the digital exam application when the clock starts at the beginning of each section. Students will have a chance to read them before starting to answer questions, and can view them at any time by clicking the Directions link in the upper left corner of the application.  

Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear at the beginning of each section. While students should read the directions, they should be aware that the timer will be running while they do so, both at the beginning of each section and while they’re working during the exam.

General Exam Directions will appear in the left column of the directions pop-up, and will be the same for all sections of that exam. Section Directions will appear in the right column, and will be specific to each section of the exam.

When you answer digital practice questions in the digital testing application, these same directions will appear along with a note when practice has a different number of questions than the actual exam.

The following is the full text of the directions that will appear on the digital AP United States Government and Politics Exam.

Exam Directions

The AP United States Government and Politics Exam is 3 hours long. Section I lasts 1 hour, 20 minutes and consists of 55 multiple-choice questions. Section II lasts 1 hour, 40 minutes and consists of 4 free-response questions.

Please note that you are responsible for pacing yourself. The clock will turn red when 5 minutes remain, but the proctor or app will not give you any other time updates. 

Do not spend too much time on any one question, but remember that you cannot go back to a question once you’ve moved on to the next question.

You may use scratch paper for notes and planning, but credit will only be given for responses entered in this application.

The inclusion of source material in this exam is not intended as an endorsement by College Board or ETS of the content, ideas, or values expressed in the material. The material has been selected by the government and politics faculty who serve on the AP United States Government and Politics Development Committee. In their judgment, the material printed here reflects various aspects of the course of study on which this exam is based and is therefore appropriate to use to measure the skills and knowledge of this course.

Section Directions–Section I

Section I: 1 hour and 20 minutes, 55 multiple-choice questions.

Each of the questions or incomplete statements in this section is followed by four suggested answers or completions. Select the best answer to each question.

Section Directions–Section II

Section II: 1 hour and 40 minutes, 4 free-response questions.

It is suggested that you spend:

  • Questions 1–3: approximately 20 minutes each
  • Question 4: approximately 40 minutes

For each question, it is recommended that you take a few minutes to plan your answer. Respond to all parts of each question. In your responses, use specific examples where appropriate.

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