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Online prep and review


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If all you know about the United States government is that there exist three things called the "legislative branch," the "executive branch," and the "judicial branch," you're already halfway there. Go the distance with Shmoop's online guide to all things (American) government.

Test-Taking Tips

Specifically designed for mastering the AP US Government & Politics exam. Learn why you should focus your studying on the three branches of government and whether it is possible to write four whole essays—in a row—without passing out in the middle of the test. (Short answer: yup.)

Three Full-Length Practice Exams

You know that dream where you show up to your exam naked? The AP equivalent of that is showing up without knowing your exam format. The first rule of exam prep is: do not talk about exam prep...wait, no....we mean, you should not be surprised by anything you see on exam day. We have three full-length exams to make sure you know the exam like the back of your hand.

Practice Drills

Let's see…60 questions. 45 minutes. We know that this isn't a math test, but bear with us. That yields ¾ minute per question, or 45 seconds per question. So yeah, you need to be kinda fast when it comes to multiple-choice, and if you find yourself falling behind the pace, you're in trouble. Good thing we have tons of drills to get you up to speed.

Extreme Topic Review

Did you know that, in the event of an Electoral College tie, the presidential election is to be settled by an Octagon Cage Match in the House of Representatives? We hope you do not know this, because this is not true. But we do know that by the time you've made it through this Shmoop exam prep, you will have an outstanding handle on the way our government actually works.

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Okay, we admit that this is a lot of material right, but we're here to help you. Take the Diagnostic Exam and see what you're already good at, and what needs some work.

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  • Constitutional Foundations

  • Theories of Democratic Government

  • Formulation and Adoption of the Constitution

  • Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances

  • Federalism

  • The Bill of Rights

  • Political Beliefs and Behaviors

  • Ideology

  • Political Socialization and Demographics

  • Public Opinion and Political Participation

  • Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media

  • The Democratic Party

  • The Republican Party

  • Presidential Elections

  • Institutions of National Government

  • The Federal Bureaucracy

  • Public, Domestic and Foreign Policy

  • Civil Rights and Liberties

  • The First Amendment

  • And a lot more!

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