Close this search box.

AP Gov Practice Test

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are a great way for students to not only challenge themselves but also prepare for college. If you are someone who is in AP government and the end of the year is rapidly approaching, you may need an AP gov practice test to help study.

Your AP gov teacher may give you practice tests and study guides for your AP gov exam, but you may be the kind of student who wants more to study. This article will discuss the topics on the exam and give you resources to best prepare for the AP government exam.

Summary: Use the AP gov exam practice listed below to prepare for your exam.

AP Gov Exam Practice

When studying for the AP gov exam, you want to make sure your study resources are from credible sources to ensure that you are getting the most accurate and pertinent information for the exam.

Below are some credible study sources we found to help you study for the AP gov exam.

AP Gov Practice TestNumber of Questions
The College Board Practice Test55 multiple-choice, 4 free-response
My Max Score Practice Test60 multiple-choice
Marco Practice Test55 multiple-choice, 4 free-response
AP Government Practice Exam I60 multiple-choice
Princeton Review Practice Test38 multiple-choice, 3 free-response
2009 AP Government Exam60 multiple-choice, 4 free-response
2002 AP Government Exam60 multiple-choice

What is the AP Government Exam?

The AP gov exam is the test that you take at the end of your AP government course to see if you have learned enough to get college credit for the course. It tests you over the government principles that were covered in your AP gov class, including Supreme Court cases and foundational documents.

Ap Gov Exam Description

There are five units covered throughout the AP government class. Those are the same five units that make an appearance on the AP gov exam. They are as follows:

  • Unit One: Foundations of American Democracy – learn how the founding fathers and the other men who created the Constitution structured the United States government to withstand time and what they left unresolved and how those questions are still debated today (15-22%)
  • Unit Two: Interactions Among Branches of the Government – take a deep look at how policies pass through the United States government, how they get administered to the public, and all the complexities in this process (25-36%)
  • Unit Three: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights – connect the founding principles of the U. S. government to the debates on how to best keep freedom and order balanced in the United States (13-18%)
  • Unit Four: American Political Ideologies and Beliefs – analyze the beliefs of the people of the United States, how they are developed, and what effect these beliefs have on the policies the people support (10-15%)
  • Unit Five: Political Participation – discover the ways that United States citizens can influence how the government makes decisions and what decisions they make (20-27%)

You will not only need to understand these five units but also be able to apply them to real-life scenarios. The AP gov exam may also ask you to analyze data, graphs, or articles to find patterns and trends within government information.

To pass this test, you also should be able to explain the implications and impact of Supreme Court rulings (possibly by applying them to real-world scenarios) as well as develop and support a claim or thesis to answer free-response questions.

These units may be broken up differently in your AP class based on how your teacher wishes to organize the topics, but these are the five areas that will be covered both in class and on the exam.

About AP Government Test Questions

The AP government exam consists of fifty-nine total questions. Fifty-five of those questions will be multiple-choice questions, and you will be given an hour and twenty minutes to complete this portion of the exam.

The remaining four questions are free-response questions. You will have an hour and forty minutes to answer these questions as you will be asked to craft detailed responses.

Both sections of the test are worth fifty percent of your final score, so both sections need to be taken seriously even though there are only four questions in the second section.

Each section will ask you to complete different tasks and give various data to you. Here is what you can expect from each section of the test:

  Answer Style % of Score Time Given Questions Question Types
Section 1 Multiple-Choice 50% 1 hr 20 min 55
  • Individual
  • Set-Based
    • Quantitative Analysis
    • Qualitative Analysis
    • Visual Analysis
Section 2 Free-Response 50% 1 hr 40 min 4
  • Concept Application
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • SCOTUS Comparison
  • Argument Essay

As you can see, there are four questions for four question types in the second section of this test. That means you are guaranteed to have to answer one question for each of the topics.

How to Use an AP Gov Practice Test

Just like studying for any other test, an AP gov exam practice test can be extremely useful. There are several reasons why utilizing practice tests is the best way to study for an exam.

Many AP gov practice tests will use questions that have been seen on other tests. Even if all you can get your hands on is an AP gov practice MC test, you will still have an idea of what the multiple-choice questions look like and how they are posed or phrased.

Since this is a timed exam, knowing what the questions look like ahead of time can help cut down on the amount of time it takes you to complete the exam. You likely won’t have to sit there and figure out what the question is asking as the same formats are often used to ask different questions.

You can also learn how much of each area you should study to prepare for the exam by taking a practice AP gov test. Above, you can see how much each unit is used to create the questions on the test. By taking a practice test, this makes those numbers easier to understand.

Since the multiple-choice question section also has sets of questions asking for various information, an AP gov practice MC test can help you understand how the multiple-choice section functions, so you can feel more comfortable going into the exam.

The most important thing is to look for AP gov practice tests that have answer keys that come with them. All of the ones listed above at least have the majority of answers included on the test.

This is a vital part of taking practice tests as you can’t learn and grow if you don’t have access to the correct information. The best practice tests are ones that give extended explanations to help you fully understand why the answer is correct.

How Do I Prepare for AP Gov Exam?

All AP tests are graded on a scale of one to five with one being the lowest possible score and five being the highest possible score. If you get a three or higher most colleges will give you credit for the AP course, but you may want to give your college a call to see their score requirements.

The best way to prepare for the AP gov exam is to take a practice test or an AP gov practice MC test. Familiarizing yourself with the structure of the test and its questions is the best way to set yourself up for success. You can find free practice tests linked at the top of this article.

Another great way to study Is flashcards. You can virtually put them together or find them on sites like Quizlet. You could also handwrite the flashcards and use them on the go or study together with a friend in the same AP course.

Most times, teachers may put together some form of a study group or review for you to utilize before the exam as well. If you are stumped on what to do, your teacher is a great resource that can help you immensely before taking the test.

Remember to get a good night’s sleep, eat a hearty breakfast, and take a deep breath before starting your exam. You likely won’t know the answer to all the questions, but it doesn’t hurt if you get one wrong. Feel free to guess if need be.

AP Government Exam FAQs

In 2020, only 53% of the 326,000 who took the exam passed. Though you only have to get a three, that number seems somewhat unattainable from the outside. Eleven hours are recommended for study to feel most comfortable coming into the exam.

On the AP government exam, you have to get at least 77% to score a 5 overall on the test. This means you need to answer 46 of the 59 questions right.

You get a five by scoring 77% or above on all the questions on the test. You can increase your chances of scoring well by doing the appropriate amount of studying.

The multiple-choice section of the AP gov exam is 55 questions long and takes one hour and twenty minutes to complete.

Dave Evangelisti
Dave is our founder and CEO. He has 20+ years of experience in the testing and test prep industry.