Essays

There are four types of essay questions on the AP Exam.  We will be writing all four types during the semester to prepare you for the exam in May.

Free-response question 1: Concept Application
presents students with an authentic scenario. This question assesses student ability to describe and explain the effects of a political institution, behavior, or process. Additionally, this question assesses student ability to transfer understanding of course concepts and apply them in a new situation or scenario.

Free-response question 2: Quantitative Analysis
presents students with quantitative data in the form of a table, graph, map, or infographic. This question assesses students’ ability to perform the following:

§  Describe the data presented

§  Describe a pattern, trend, similarity, or difference in the data presented

§  Draw a conclusion based on the data

§  Explain how the data demonstrate a political principle, institution, process, policy, or behavior

Free-response question 3: SCOTUS Comparison
presents students with a description of a non-required Supreme Court Case and its holding. This question assesses students’ ability to do the following:

§ Identify a similarity or difference between the non-required Supreme Court case and a specified Supreme Court case required in the course

§ Describe the details, reasoning, or holding of the required Supreme Court case specified in the question

§ Explain a similarity or difference in the reasoning or holding of the two Supreme Court cases

§ Explain how the reasoning or holding in the non-required Supreme Court case demonstrates a political principle, institution, process, policy,
or behavior

Free-response question 4: Argument Essay
assesses students’ ability to do the following:

§ Articulate a defensible claim or thesis that responds to the question and establishes a line of reasoning

§ Provide evidence from one of the foundational documents listed in the question to support the claim

§ Provide evidence from a second foundational document or from knowledge of course concepts to support the claim

§ Use reasoning to explain why the evidence supports the claim

§ Respond to an opposing or alternate perspective using refutation, concession, or rebuttal

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