Is Ap Gov Harder Than Apush

Learn about the AP U.S. Government and Politics course materials and exam as well as how this AP course could impact your college applications. Jump to:

AP U.S. Government and Politics is a popular AP high school course. With all AP classes, students can earn college credit after taking the relevant AP exam. In 2020, more than 326,000 students took the AP U.S. Government and Politics exam.

In this guide, well look at what AP U.S. Government and Politics covers and how to prepare for the exam. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Is AP® US Gov Worth It?

Taking the AP® US Government and Politics course and exam is totally worth it. AP® Gov actually offers you some unique benefits that other AP® exams cannot. Students will develop key skills and experiences that will become hugely beneficial during their college years.

First, AP® Gov encourages students to work on their essay-writing and critical-thinking skills. In order to successfully pass the AP® Gov exams, students will have to get their writing and thinking skills up to the college level. Fortunately, working on these scholarly attributes will pay off in nearly every class you will ever take in the future. Whether you are taking Biology or Anthropology, you will be expected to think critically about the information presented to you. You will also most likely have to write about this information as well. AP® Gov will better prepare you for these scenarios.

Also, by studying past and present forms of political debate, you inevitably will come across pieces of American history during your AP® Gov review process. Taking AP® US History alongside AP® Gov is an excellent option since the two complement each other exceptionally well. If you opt not to go down this road, learning about the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc. will serve you well in any history class that you will be taking in the future.

Simply put, taking AP® Gov can save you money in the long run as well. As you are probably aware of at this point in your academic career, college is crazy expensive. And it’s not getting any cheaper. Earning a passing score on the AP® US Government exam will help you shave off your college expenses by completing the coursework early.

Last, but not least, AP® Gov will make you become a more informed citizen. One that you will definitely learn in this course is that policy and law are the cornerstones of politics, but these are often the most confusing and difficult to understand aspects of our current political system. By taking the AP® US Government and Politics course, you will better understand how laws are made and the political process it takes for an initiative to become law.

Having a deeper understanding of these political dynamics means that you will become a more conscientious voter and political participant. True, there are many reasons to take any AP® course offered by the College Board, but how many can make a claim like this?


Politics is messy. If you haven’t already heard this kind of a statement, you will by time you finish up with just about any AP® Gov study guide. Our point is that the US government is a complicated thing, full of contradictions, frustrations, successes, and failures. All of this leaves a little bit of a mess when it comes to content.

Unlike AP® European History, for example, there is no real start and end date when it comes down to the content for the course. So, where does AP® Gov begin and end? Well, it can vary from classroom to classroom and from teacher to teacher.

The College Board does provide a backbone of expectations for everyone taking the course. This includes

  • Constitutional Underpinnings of United States Government (Federalism, Separation of Powers, etc.)
  • Political Beliefs and Behaviors (How Citizens Vote, Public Opinion, etc.)
  • Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media (Elections, Political Action Committees, Impact of the Media on Politics, etc.,)
  • Institutions of National Government: the Congress, the Presidency, the Bureaucracy, and the Federal Courts (the President’s Cabinet, House vs. Senate, etc.)
  • Public Policy (Lawmaking, the Supreme Court, Policy Agendas)
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (the Fourteenth Amendment, Judicial Interpretation, ACLU, etc.)
  • It goes without saying that students have a lot to cover in the AP® Gov review process. Everything from how judges make decisions on any given case, the reason the US is primarily a two-party system, and even how newspapers can and have changed voter outcomes are all going to be covered in the AP® Gov test.

    To make matters worse, the US government is chalk-full of contradiction and debate. Clear and easy to interpret answers are difficult to come by in this class. Much of what you learn will center on debate and interpretation. But that’s just the nature of American democracy.

    It takes a student with an iron will and stalwart drive to navigate the maze that is American politics. This is a major reason that AP® Gov scores are comparatively low. There is just so much information and quite a bit of it can be confusing and intentionally contradictory.

    Can you get a 0 on AP exam?

    AP tests are scored on a scale of 0-5, with 5 being the highest score you could get. Most schools will give credit for scores of 4 or 5, and some even accept the occasional 3. … This is also when results get sent out by the College Board to schools you’ve indicated you wanted scores sent to, along with your high school.


    Is AP Gov hard?

    When it comes down to the numbers, the AP® United States Government and Politics exam proves to be one of the most difficult exams offered by the College Board. It has one of the lowest percentages of test-takers that received either a 5 or a 4 on the exam and also has one of the lowest mean scores across the board.

    What grade should you take AP Gov?

    While some schools may allow students to take this course in 9th or 10th grade, many students wait until they complete a high school-level U.S. history class to provide them with the foundational knowledge and context for AP Government. Students can take AP Government and other AP classes at the same time.

    Which is harder AP or APUSH?

    American Gov is harder than US History 1. But try a practice test for each, and that can help guide you. Consider what you score, and what questions you’re more comfortable with.

    Is US history or US government harder?

    American Gov is harder than US History 1. But try a practice test for each, and that can help guide you. Consider what you score, and what questions you’re more comfortable with.

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