AP.bmp AP Government and Politics Course Info

Introduction to AP American Government and Politics

Welcome to AP American Government and Politics, a course which will allow you to receive an elective credit here at NHS and possibly three credits at a future college of your choice! In case this is your first AP class, here is the run down:
  • This class is an accelerated course taught at the college level. The whole purpose of this course is to introduce you to the college academic experience in high school while also providing the opportunity for you to start college with course credit.
  • This course is usually taught as a semester class at the college level. At the University of Delaware this course is POSC150 and meets three times a week for 50 minutes from September thru December (a total of about 35 classes). In this course we will have nearly four times that period (33 weeks, 165 days) to spend on the subject matter, allowing you to get acclimated and prepared for the national exam.
  • All AP (or Advanced Placement) classes are run by The College Board (the same lovely people behind the SATs). Each spring, all AP classes across the globe take the same standardized test for their respective class, receiving a grade for their performance. The grading scale runs from one (the lowest) to five (the highest). Generally, for most colleges, a three or four on an AP test will merit the admissions department to award you with three credits for the corresponding course upon admission. A five, at some institutions (like the University of Delaware), will merit additional credits. For more information about what your “first choice” college accepts, check out their admissions website(s) on your own.

The AP American Government & Politics Exam is two hours and 25 minutes long and split into two different sections:
  • Section 1 (60 Multiple Choice Questions) - 50% (45 minutes)
  • Section 2 (4 Short Answer Essays) - 50% (100 minutes)

The AP American Government & Politics Exam for the 2010-2011 school year will be held on Tuesday, May 10th at 8 a.m.

This class will be divided into seven distinct units. From now until the beginning of May we will be involved in “learning” the material in each of the six units, with exams, assignments, readings, and projects. Those units are outlined on the attached sheet from the AP “Acorn” Book on AP Government and Politics. The full course information is available online at www.apcentral.com). Following the exam, our final unit will be on Economics in order to meet the state and district graduation requirements for Social Studies.

Course Requirements:

This is not to scare you, but this will be a very demanding course requiring a concentrated effort for the entire school year. This is NOT a class where waiting to the last minute to read, finish assignments or write papers is a viable option due to the amount of work involved. Being a standardized exam, you must be prepared for anything to appear on it. This is the reason why the READINGS are so important. Doing well on my assignments and my exams may not translate to the actual exam unless you know the information inside and out. No matter the amount of time we spend in class on content, chances are certain exam questions will cover information only found in your textbook.
  • All students taking this class are REQUIRED to take the AP Exam on May 2nd. Failure to take this exam will result in a “no credit” (Z) for the class.
  • You will be provided with a textbook to use (and read) by the School District. Failure to turn in the textbook prior to the end of the school year will constitute an unmet (and could prevent you from walking at graduation).
  • Failure to turn any work in on time without a valid excuse will result in points deducted from your assignment grade for each day it is late (generally a letter grade).
  • Students are to experience 10 hours of “government-in-action” internships by the end of March. Suggestions include getting involved with any elections, political parties, working at polling places, attending board meetings, attending town council meetings, and/or interning for politicians (city, county, state). In addition to keeping a time sheet, students are to keep a “log” detailing what they did. This will represent one-half of your final exam grade.
  • Additional help will be provided at the request of the student. I have planning periods first period on both block days, and I am available after-school until about 4:30 each day.

Course Materials:

Will Be Provided
  • A copy of American Government (2004) – known as the “Wilson”

Materials You Need to Succeed
  • A two subject notebook with college ruled paper for class notes and book notes
  • A spiral bound binder to put handouts into

Highly Recommended for Test Preparation (not required)


Return to the Home Page