AP Government and Politics Exam Practice Test 2023 [UPDATED]

Advanced Placement program U.S. Government and Politics Exam Practice Test 2023: You can try our free Unit 1 to Unit 5 Practice Test. In, addition you can also download AP Gov exam review questions and answers in printable PDF.

If you’re reading this article, it means you’re preparing to take the Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. Government and Politics Exam. Kudos to you for taking on this academic challenge! This exam can earn you college credit, enhance your transcript, and help you stand out during the college application. But before you start imagining yourself acing the test, let’s get you prepared with some practical tips and guidance.

AP Government and Politics Exam Practice Test 2023

Since the AP exam is timed, it’s vital to practice under similar conditions. Set a timer for each practice test to simulate the pressure of the actual exam. This will help you gauge your pacing and develop time management skills.

Unit-wise Practice Tests

Full-length Practice Tests

After completing a practice test, review your answers and understand why you got questions right or wrong. Pay close attention to the questions you struggled with and learn from your mistakes. This iterative process will help you improve your performance over time.

As you review your practice test results, identify areas where you need improvement. Spend extra time studying those topics and practicing related questions. Don’t forget to revisit your strong areas, but make sure to allocate enough time to address your weaknesses.

Section I: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 1 Hour 20 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Individual questions (no stimulus): ~30
  • Set-based questions
    • Quantitative Analysis: Analysis and application of quantitative-based source material
    • Qualitative Analysis: Analysis and application of text-based (primary and secondary) sources
    • Visual Analysis: Analysis and application of qualitative visual information

Section II: Free Response

4 Questions | 1 Hour 40 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

FRQs can be challenging, but they offer a great opportunity to showcase your analytical and writing skills. Practice writing well-structured and coherent responses that address all parts of the question. Be concise, precise, and use relevant evidence from the course content to support your arguments.

  1. Concept application question—You must write an essay to respond to a political situation presented in the question, explaining how it relates to some key concept, which could be a political principle, an institution, a political process, a policy, or a behavior.
  2. Quantitative analysis question—You will be presented with a graph or chart that presents quantitative data. You will need to write an essay identifying a trend or pattern and explaining how the data relates to political processes, institutions, policies, or behavior.
  3. SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) comparison question —A (nonrequired) Supreme Court case will be presented and you will need to write an essay comparing it to a required Supreme Court case (see below).
  4. Argument essay—You will need to take a position and write an argument (in the form of an essay) supporting your position. You will need to back up your argument with evidence, including evidence from at least one of the required foundational documents

Overview of the AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam:

The AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam is designed to evaluate your understanding of key concepts, theories, and facts related to the U.S. government and political system. The exam consists of two sections: multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and free-response questions (FRQs).

The MCQ section has 55 questions, and you’ll have 80 minutes to complete them. The FRQ section includes four questions, and you’ll have 100 minutes to tackle them. The overall score ranges from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest.




Unit 1 Foundations of American Democracy 8 – 12 Questions
Unit 2 Interaction Amon Branches of Government 14 – 20 Questions
Unit 3 Civil Liberties and Civil Rights 7 – 10 Questions
Unit 4 American Political Ideologies and Beliefs 5 – 8 Questions
Unit 5 Political Participation 11 – 15 Questions


The Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. Government and Politics Exam is open to high school students who have completed the corresponding AP course or have acquired the necessary knowledge through other means, such as self-study or supplementary coursework. There are no specific eligibility requirements set by the College Board, the organization that oversees the AP program, for students to take an AP exam.


The Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. Government and Politics Exam, like other AP exams, is scored on a scale of 1 to 5. The scoring process involves two main components: the multiple-choice section and the free-response section. Here’s a breakdown of how the scoring works:

Multiple-Choice Section:

  • The multiple-choice section consists of 55 questions and accounts for 50% of your total exam score. Each correctly answered question earns you one point, while unanswered or incorrect questions do not affect your score. The total number of correct answers is your raw multiple-choice score.

Free-Response Section:

  • The free-response section includes four questions and makes up the other 50% of your total exam score. Each free-response question is scored on a specific rubric, with varying point values depending on the complexity of the question. The points you earn for each question are combined to create your raw free-response score.

Converting Raw Scores to Scaled Scores:

Your raw scores from the multiple-choice and free-response sections are combined and converted to a scaled score, ranging from 1 to 5. The College Board uses a process called “equating” to account for differences in exam difficulty from year to year, ensuring that your score is consistent and fair regardless of when you take the exam.

AP Score Scale:

  • 5: Extremely well qualified
  • 4: Well qualified
  • 3: Qualified
  • 2: Possibly qualified
  • 1: No recommendation

These scores provide a general recommendation for colleges and universities to determine if a student should receive college credit or advanced placement for the corresponding course. It’s essential to note that each institution sets its own policies regarding AP credit, so a score that might grant credit at one institution may not necessarily do so at another.

AP GOV Exam Study Guide

The College Board provides official practice materials that closely resemble the actual exam. These materials include released exams, sample questions, and scoring guidelines. It’s crucial to use these resources to get a feel for the type of questions you’ll encounter on test day.