Learning Recommendations: Designed for students willing to challenge themselves, and for those with strong reading, writing and abstract thinking skills. Previous experience in AP courses is not required, but may be helpful.  

General Description:  AP Government is a year-long, college-level introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will read and analyze U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions between political institutions and behavior. One main goal is to support students’ growth as productive members of a democratic society. They will read and interpret data, develop evidence-based arguments, and engage in an applied civics or politics research-based project.

This course prepares students to complete the College Board AP test for United States Government and Politics, which is administered in May. Successful passage of the test may make students eligible to receive college credit or advanced standing. Students taking the AP test are responsible for the exam fee.


  • Big Idea 1: Constitutional Democracy
  • Big Idea 2: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties
  • Big Idea 3: American Political Culture & Beliefs
  • Big Idea 4: Political Participation
  • Big Idea 5: Interaction Among Branches & Institutions of Gov't

Strategies:  The approaches taken in this course should include but not be limited to collaborative and/or cooperative learning groups, inquiry-based instruction, project-based learning experiences, primary source analysis and lectures, film and readings.

Homework:  In order to offer a rigorous AP course, outside reading and analysis is required. Students should expect between 2-3 hours a week of outside reading and work. This reading prepares them for the AP exam as well as is required for meeting the expectations of a college level course.

AP courses at IHS challenge students with rigorous college-level work. By succeeding in college-level work while still in high school, students in AP courses develop confidence in their own abilities and learn essential time management and study skills needed for college and career success.

AP courses provide the opportunity for students to earn college credits. In order to earn college credit, students must register for the AP exam for this course. AP exam fees vary each year. Scholarships are available for students who qualify. AP exam registration takes place in September and October. College credit can be earned with a passing score on the AP exam, but what the score qualification and amount of credit earned varies by college.

Note: This course meets the Civics Graduation Requirement