Saturday, April 6, 2013

Studying for the AP US Government Exam

May 14th is a big  day in my classes as my AP Government students are taking their AP exam and my AP Comparative students are taking both exams (thankfully in 2014 the exams will be on different days).

  • To prepare them for the exam we have already given them a ton of previously released AP exam questions.  I actually encourage the students to talk about the questions with each other (could I really stop them from not doing so).  Every year I find that most kids do about the same as they do on my tests (percentage wise), but some of the kids who really work hard improve and some of the lazy ones go down. 
  • Then I give them Rebecca Small's 100 questions. I don't ask them to do the court cases since they will have just taken a test on them.  
  •  Since my AP Comparative students have already (back in January) completed the questions, they will have to complete a lot of this lengthy review. I also give a "final test" before the actual AP consisting of 60 multiple choice and two free response questions.   After years of teaching I know seniors are more likely to care about the test than the AP exam so know this will get them to study for both.  
  • Finally we will go over my tips for the AP exam itself.   I have been teaching AP Government for I believe 13 years and grading them for 11 or 12 so I think my tips are fairly useful.  I haven't yet developed them for the AP Comparative exam, but it is fairly similar except for the free response portion which I will add to in a few days. 

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