AP Comparative Government Free Response Questions (FRQ)- Past Prompts

Published on Apr 27, 2020

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 YearQuestion NumberTypeSkillUnitTopicMean ScoreLink
Set 1: 20191short answerdescriptive & explanatoryUnit 2power of the British prime minister, parliamentary systems1.52Question PDF
20192short answerdescriptive explanatoryUnit 3political socialization1.5Question PDF
20193short answerdescriptive explanatoryUnit 3civil society, democracy.95Question PDF
20194short answerdescriptive explanatoryUnit 2executive systems, Iran's Supreme Leader1.33Question PDF
20195short answerdescriptive explanatoryUnit 3Government criticism, authoritarian states1.34Question PDF
20196conceptual analysisdescriptive explanatoryUnit 4Party Systems2.36Question PDF
20197country specificdescriptive explanatoryUnit 1 & Unit 4elections in authoritarian states3.49Question PDF
20198country specificdescriptive and explanatoryage structure2.83Question PDF
Set 2: 20191short answerdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 1regime change, government change1.57Question PDF
20192short answeridentification and explanatoryUnit 3income inequality1.49Question PDF
20193short answerdescriptive explanatoryUnit 5sustainable development1.61Question PDF
20194short answerdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 3coercion1.22Question PDF
20195short answerconceptual and analyticalUnit 2 & Unit 3Chinese Communist Party1.35Question PDF
20196conceptual analysisdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 1 & Unit 2bureaucracy, legitimacy2.66Question PDF
20197country specificdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 4selection processes, fusion/separation of powers in Mexico and Great Britain2.87Question PDF
20198country specificdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 3restriction of civil society in Russia2.99Question PDF
20181short answerdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 4proportional representation1.53Question PDF
20182short answerdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 1gender discrimination1.8Question PDF
20183short answer descriptive Unit 1democracy1.48Question PDF
20184short answerdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 4electoral systems 1.5Question PDF
20185short answerdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 1coercion.59Question PDF
20186conceptual analysisdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 3social and economic cleavages2.46Question PDF
20187country specificdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 1federal systems in Russia and Nigeria1.68Question PDF
20188country specificdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 5environmental development, public policy3.8Question PDF
20171short answerdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 1regime change1.1Question PDF
20172short answer descriptive and explanatoryUnit 4electoral systems1.69Question PDF
20173short answerdescriptiveUnit 1foreign investment1.65Question PDF
20174short answerdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 3 & Unit 5religious minorities in government1.73Question PDF
20175short answerconceptual and analyticalUnit 1rule of law1.01Question PDF
20176conceptual analysisconceptual, descriptive, and explanatoryUnit 2cabinets2.76Question PDF
20177country specificdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 5economic development in Nigeria and Russia2.52Question PDF
20178country specificidentification, explanatory, and descriptiveUnit 1media control in China and Mexico2.81Question PDF
20161short answerdescriptiveUnit 3referendum1.19Question PDF
20162short answerdescriptive and analyticalUnit 1 and Unit 4protest.8Question PDF
20163short answerdescriptive and analytical Unit 1correlation & causation1.96Question PDF
20164short answerdescriptiveUnit 5China's one child policy.72Question PDF
20165short answerdescriptive and analyticalUnit 2executive term limits1.64Question PDF
20166conceptual analysisconceptual and analyticalUnit 3political participation4.37Question PDF
20167country specificconceptual, descriptive, and explanatoryUnit 2 and Unit 4legislatures and formal constraint in Iran and Mexico2.84Question PDF
20168country specificdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 1corruption, political freedom, and civil liberties in China vs Great Britain3.49Question PDF
20151short answerdescriptive and analyticalUnit 1minority groups1.28Question PDF
20152short answerdescriptive and explanatoryUnit 5austerity measures.36Question PDF
20153short answerdescriptiveUnit 2Guardian Council1.33Question PDF
20154short answerdescriptive and explantoryUnit 2judiciaries1.72Question PDF
20155short answerconceptual and analyticalUnit 1empirical and normative statements1.57Question PDF
20156conceptual analysisconceptual and descriptiveUnit 1sovereignty2.15Question PDF
20157country specificdescriptive, explanatory, and conceptualUnit 4political party systems in Mexico and Russia2.55Question PDF
20158country specificdescriptive and analyticalUnit 3domestic terrorism in Great Britain and Nigeria2.76Question PDF

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