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Important Updates

Support for Students and Schools Impacted by Coronavirus
In response to school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re providing free, live AP online classes and review lessons. We’ll also offer at-home testing for 2020 AP Exams. Note that any related adjustments to 2020 AP Exams, such as length or content covered, may not be reflected on all AP Central pages. Visit Taking the Exams for the latest exam information.

AP Comparative Government and Politics Updates and New Resources for 2019-20
To help more students prepare for—and succeed on—the AP Comparative Government and Politics Exam, we’ve clarified the course’s focus starting with the 2019-20 school year and are introducing new resources for your classroom. We’ve also moved exam registration to the fall, a best practice that improves students’ chances of earning college credit and placement.

Download the new course and exam description (CED) and the errata sheet.

New AP Resources
AP Classroom is now available. Designed with AP educators, it helps you provide students daily practice and personalized feedback throughout the year. Sign in to access AP unit guides with aligned resources, topic questions, personal progress checks, the progress dashboard, and your question bank.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Course Overview

AP Comparative Government and Politics is an introductory college-level course in comparative government and politics.The course uses a comparative approach to examine the political structures; policies; and political, economic, and social challenges of six selected countries: China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Students cultivate their understanding of comparative government and politics through analysis of data and text-based sources as they explore topics like power and authority, legitimacy and stability, democratization, internal and external forces, and methods of political analysis.

Course Content

Based on the Understanding by Design® (Wiggins and McTighe) model, this course framework provides a description of the course requirements necessary for student success. The framework specifies what students should know and be able to do to, with a focus on big ideas that encompass core principles, theories, and processes of the discipline. The framework also encourages instruction that prepares students for advanced comparative political science coursework and to be active and informed about politics abroad.

The AP Comparative Government and Politics framework is organized into five commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

 Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)
 Unit 1: Political Systems, Regimes, and Governments  18%–27%
 Unit 2: Political Institutions  22%–33%
 Unit 3: Political Culture and Participation  11%–18%
 Unit 4: Party and Electoral Systems and Citizen Organizations  13%–18%
 Unit 5: Political and Economic Changes and Development  16%–24%

Disciplinary Practices

The updated AP Comparative Government and Politics framework included in the course and exam description outlines distinct skills, called disciplinary practices, that students should practice throughout the year—practices that will help them learn to think and act like comparative political scientists.

 1. Concept Application  Apply political concepts and processes in authentic contexts.
 2. Country Comparison  Compare political concepts and processes among the course countries (China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United Kingdom).
 3. Data Analysis  Analyze and interpret quantitative data represented in tables, charts, graphs, maps, and infographics.
 4. Source Analysis  Read, analyze, and interpret text-based sources.
 5. Argumentation  Develop an argument in essay format.

AP and Higher Education

Higher education professionals play a key role developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education site features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.

This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy Search.

Meet the Development Committee for AP Comparative Government and Politics.