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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