AP US Government Introduction

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CollegeBoard AP Course
Description
The AP U.S. Government & Politics course
provides an analytical perspective on
government and politics in the U.S. This
course involves both the study of general
concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and
the analysis of specific case studies. It also
requires familiarity with the various
institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that
constitute U.S. political reality.
AP Course General Outline

The multiple-choice portion of the exam is devoted to
each content area in the approximate percentages
indicated. The FRQs will test students in some
combination of the 6 major categories below:
I.
II.
III.
IV.
Constitutional Underpinnings of U.S. Government (5-15%)
Political Beliefs & Behaviors (10-20%)
Political Parties, Interest Groups, & Mass Media (10-20%)
Institutions of National Government: Congress, Presidency,
Bureaucracy, & Federal Courts (35-45%)
Public Policy (5-15%)
Civil Rights & Civil Liberties (5-15%)
V.
VI.
The AP Test
Section I: Multiple-Choice
• There are 60 questions. You’ll have 45 minutes to
complete this section of the test.
• This section makes up 50% of your score.
Section II: Free-Response Question (FRQ)
• You'll have 100 minutes to answer the 4 free-response
questions. Each question is weighted equally toward
your final score.
• For the most part, the questions require you to integrate
knowledge from different content areas. You may have to
discuss examples, elucidate or evaluate general
principles of U.S. government and politics, and/or
analyze U.S. political relationships or events.
• This section makes up the other 50% of your score.
Spring Time-table


First Day of Class –
January 5th
AP Exam –
May 3rd (in the morning);
this is the first AP Exam of
the year
Real Class Time
 # of weeks before AP Exam =
17 (not including Spring Break)
 # of days =
85 minus ~5 days for holidays
and school functions …
Actual Days before
AP Exam = ~80
(Don’t freak out – this is plenty of
time to cover all the material)
Tips for Answering MC Questions
 Remember, you have 45 minutes to answer all 60

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questions so don’t rush through them at ludicrous speed
(you’ll go plaid)
If you can eliminate 2 answer choices (or more), you
should definitely guess
If you can only eliminate 1 answer choice, you should
probably still guess, or you can skip it and come back to
it if you have time
If you cannot eliminate an answer choice, you should
skip the question and move on; however, you should not
skip more than ~15% of the MC questions (no more than
9 questions)
Skipped questions count neither for nor against you on
the AP Exam
Each incorrectly answered question loses you ¼ point
from your score
Tips for answering FRQs
 Remember, you have 100 minutes to answer all 4





questions!
Spend about 25 minutes on each question
Be sure to answer EACH part of the question
Its OK to spend more time on questions you know really
well than on questions you have less knowledge about,
but write something down for all 4 questions.
Write legibly and clearly label each part of the question
you are answering
Details and facts are great to have…as long as they are
accurate!
Our Class Structure

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Discussion-centered and student-focused
Reading 3-4 times a week
Readings will vary between 5-15 pages
1 or 2 quizzes per Unit; Units typically last 712 days
Quizzes come from the Readings and are
usually 10-20 questions long
Our Class Structure (continued)…



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Unit Tests cover all new and old material
60 multiple choice questions on each Test
(just like the real AP Exam)
Tests are comprised of old AP Questions
(and some new questions I create)
Unit Tests also include 1-2 FRQs
Class Blog
• The Class Blog will be an indispensible tool
for you during the semester
• It will include, along with our daily class
activities, helpful links, useful power-points,
and other material designed to aid your
study of US Government and Politics
• Our Class Blog can be found in the Teacher
Blogs link under my name at
http://chattcougar.com
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