AP Subject Free Response Questions (FRQ) – Past Prompts
We’ve compiled a sortable list of all the AP Comparative Government past prompts! The AP Comparative Government Free Response Questions are 50% of the exam including short answer questions (SAQ), conceptual analysis questions, country-specific questions, quantitative analysis questions, and the new for 2020: argument essay. It’s important that you understand the rubrics and question styles going into the exam. Use this list to practice!
By practicing with previously released free response questions (FRQs), you’ll build critical-thinking and analytical skills that will prepare you for the exam. These past prompts have been designed to help you connect concepts and ideas to each other while applying your knowledge to real-life scenarios.
👉 If you need more support with AP CompGov, join us live for reviews, concept explanations, practice FRQs, and more!
Since the AP CompGov exam changed in 2019, there are no released exams with the new argument essay questions. All exams up to 2019 use some of the current free response question types, but not all. The chart includes the last 5 years’ worth of questions. Special Note: Question 4 on the 2016 exam was re-scored according to the new rubric for the argument essay and the scoring guides/commentaries for that prompt can be found here.
Notes for the 2020 New AP CompGov Exam Format
For this year only, due to COVID-19 and widespread school cancellations, there will be a major update to how the AP Exams will work this year. While this post was originally designed for the regular, full-length version of the exam, we’ve included a list of updates to keep track of for the 2020 exam.
The AP CompGov exam will take place on May 22nd @ 12pm EST. Find the 2020 exam schedule, learn tips & tricks, and get your frequently asked questions answered on Fiveable’s Guide to the 2020 AP Exam Updates.
What units will be covered on the AP CompGov exam?
The exam will only cover the following topics:
- 🗺Unit 1: Thinking Geographically
- 🚶♀️Unit 2: Population and Migration
- 🎎Unit 3: Culture
Note: While the exam won’t be testing on Units 4 and 5, we strongly recommend that you study the course in full as the content is especially relevant today.
How will the new AP CompGov exam be formatted?
There will be 2 free response questions to answer within 45 minutes.
- 25 minutes for Q1 = Argument Essay
- 55% of your score
- 5 minutes to upload Q1
- 15 minutes for Q2 = Quantitative Analysis
- 45% of your score
- 5 minutes to upload Q2
|Exam Year||Question Number||Type||Skill||Unit||Topic||Mean Score||Link|
|Set 1: 2019||1||short answer||descriptive & explanatory||Unit 2||power of the British prime minister, parliamentary systems||1.52||Question PDF|
|2019||2||short answer||descriptive explanatory||Unit 3||political socialization||1.5||Question PDF|
|2019||3||short answer||descriptive explanatory||Unit 3||civil society, democracy||.95||Question PDF|
|2019||4||short answer||descriptive explanatory||Unit 2||executive systems, Iran's Supreme Leader||1.33||Question PDF|
|2019||5||short answer||descriptive explanatory||Unit 3||Government criticism, authoritarian states||1.34||Question PDF|
|2019||6||conceptual analysis||descriptive explanatory||Unit 4||Party Systems||2.36||Question PDF|
|2019||7||country specific||descriptive explanatory||Unit 1 & Unit 4||elections in authoritarian states||3.49||Question PDF|
|2019||8||country specific||descriptive and explanatory||age structure||2.83||Question PDF|
|Set 2: 2019||1||short answer||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 1||regime change, government change||1.57||Question PDF|
|2019||2||short answer||identification and explanatory||Unit 3||income inequality||1.49||Question PDF|
|2019||3||short answer||descriptive explanatory||Unit 5||sustainable development||1.61||Question PDF|
|2019||4||short answer||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 3||coercion||1.22||Question PDF|
|2019||5||short answer||conceptual and analytical||Unit 2 & Unit 3||Chinese Communist Party||1.35||Question PDF|
|2019||6||conceptual analysis||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 1 & Unit 2||bureaucracy, legitimacy||2.66||Question PDF|
|2019||7||country specific||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 4||selection processes, fusion/separation of powers in Mexico and Great Britain||2.87||Question PDF|
|2019||8||country specific||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 3||restriction of civil society in Russia||2.99||Question PDF|
|2018||1||short answer||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 4||proportional representation||1.53||Question PDF|
|2018||2||short answer||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 1||gender discrimination||1.8||Question PDF|
|2018||3||short answer||descriptive||Unit 1||democracy||1.48||Question PDF|
|2018||4||short answer||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 4||electoral systems||1.5||Question PDF|
|2018||5||short answer||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 1||coercion||.59||Question PDF|
|2018||6||conceptual analysis||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 3||social and economic cleavages||2.46||Question PDF|
|2018||7||country specific||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 1||federal systems in Russia and Nigeria||1.68||Question PDF|
|2018||8||country specific||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 5||environmental development, public policy||3.8||Question PDF|
|2017||1||short answer||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 1||regime change||1.1||Question PDF|
|2017||2||short answer||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 4||electoral systems||1.69||Question PDF|
|2017||3||short answer||descriptive||Unit 1||foreign investment||1.65||Question PDF|
|2017||4||short answer||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 3 & Unit 5||religious minorities in government||1.73||Question PDF|
|2017||5||short answer||conceptual and analytical||Unit 1||rule of law||1.01||Question PDF|
|2017||6||conceptual analysis||conceptual, descriptive, and explanatory||Unit 2||cabinets||2.76||Question PDF|
|2017||7||country specific||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 5||economic development in Nigeria and Russia||2.52||Question PDF|
|2017||8||country specific||identification, explanatory, and descriptive||Unit 1||media control in China and Mexico||2.81||Question PDF|
|2016||1||short answer||descriptive||Unit 3||referendum||1.19||Question PDF|
|2016||2||short answer||descriptive and analytical||Unit 1 and Unit 4||protest||.8||Question PDF|
|2016||3||short answer||descriptive and analytical||Unit 1||correlation & causation||1.96||Question PDF|
|2016||4||short answer||descriptive||Unit 5||China's one child policy||.72||Question PDF|
|2016||5||short answer||descriptive and analytical||Unit 2||executive term limits||1.64||Question PDF|
|2016||6||conceptual analysis||conceptual and analytical||Unit 3||political participation||4.37||Question PDF|
|2016||7||country specific||conceptual, descriptive, and explanatory||Unit 2 and Unit 4||legislatures and formal constraint in Iran and Mexico||2.84||Question PDF|
|2016||8||country specific||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 1||corruption, political freedom, and civil liberties in China vs Great Britain||3.49||Question PDF|
|2015||1||short answer||descriptive and analytical||Unit 1||minority groups||1.28||Question PDF|
|2015||2||short answer||descriptive and explanatory||Unit 5||austerity measures||.36||Question PDF|
|2015||3||short answer||descriptive||Unit 2||Guardian Council||1.33||Question PDF|
|2015||4||short answer||descriptive and explantory||Unit 2||judiciaries||1.72||Question PDF|
|2015||5||short answer||conceptual and analytical||Unit 1||empirical and normative statements||1.57||Question PDF|
|2015||6||conceptual analysis||conceptual and descriptive||Unit 1||sovereignty||2.15||Question PDF|
|2015||7||country specific||descriptive, explanatory, and conceptual||Unit 4||political party systems in Mexico and Russia||2.55||Question PDF|
|2015||8||country specific||descriptive and analytical||Unit 3||domestic terrorism in Great Britain and Nigeria||2.76||Question PDF|