Not sure how to tackle the AP® US Government free response section? This post reviews a 5-step guide to get started and 25 actionable tips to help you prepare.
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Doing well on the AP® US Government & Politics exam is difficult. The AP® US Government exam is one of the toughest AP® exams out there. For some perspective: on the 2014 exam, only 11.9% of students scored a 5, with 12.4% scoring a 4, 26.5% scoring a 3, 24.6% scoring a 2 and another 24.6% scoring a 1. That means that almost half of all students taking the AP® US Government & Politics exam got a 1 or a 2.
Almost every AP® student wants to know how hard the exams will be. So, you are not alone if you are asking yourself, “Is AP® US Government Hard?” It can be difficult to find a direct answer to this question, however. We’ve created this AP® US Government review to demystify the whole AP® Gov course and exam.
In 2015, 280,000 students took the AP® US Government Exam. How did they do? While the encouraging news is that 48.1% of students passed with a 3 or higher, only 23.4% passed with a 4 or 5. The lack of success at the four and five level is somewhat remarkable since many consider the AP® US Government Exam to be one of the easier exams! One of the best AP® US Government tips is simple- you need to understand that the exam is broken down into two major sections (what to expect) and how to answer the questions in the Free Response Section (what to do).
The AP® US Government & Politics exam has four FRQs, or free-response questions. You must answer all four of the FRQs, and you have 100 minutes to do so. The essays test your ability to think critically, analyze the topics studied in the course and demonstrate an understanding of the connections between the various parts of government.
It is arguably the most revered document in the world. Countless countries, after revolution or liberation, have looked to it to guide their own nation-building processes. The Constitution, written in the wake of the failed Articles of Confederation and ratified by the states in 1789, outlines the structure and function of our government and also, through the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments, guarantees our civil rights and liberties.
A substantial portion of the AP® US Government & Politics exam will test your knowledge of the three branches of government—executive, legislative and judicial—and how they interact, or ‘check’, each other’s powers. So let’s take a look at the Executive Branch—commonly thought of as the presidency.
The system of checks and balances is one that the United States has been founded as a method of decreasing corruption. This standard has been employed in other countries as well, with varying degrees of success as to that implementation. The AP® US Government exam will likely consider your understanding of what checks and balances are and how they relate to the entire system of government within the United States.