About the AP US Government & Politics and the AP Exam
AP Comparative Government and Politics is a college level political science semester class that provides students a concrete understanding on important political concepts, the qualitative and quantitative tools of data analysis and a genuine understanding of different communities around the globe through specific analysis of six different countries: (1) the United Kingdom, (2) Russia, (3) China, (4) Iran, (5) Mexico and (6) Nigeria. The instructor will refer to the United States of America and/or Japan as familiar references when introducing certain concepts. I may dedicate the last few weeks to Japanese politics if students show interest in learning about modern Japanese politics. However, students should be aware that AP Comparative Government will test students only on the above six countries. The coursework will be more demanding than regular high school courses.
The AP Comparative Government & Politics course is divided into five different units:
Political Systems, Regimes, and Governments
Political Culture and Participation
Party and Electoral Systems and Citizen Organizations
Political and Economic Changes and Developments
Weight on the AP Exam per unit as of 2020:
Weight on AP Exam: 18-27%
Weight on AP Exam: 22-33%
Weight on AP Exam: 11-18%
Weight on AP Exam: 13-18%
Weight on AP Exam: 16-24%
This course is designed to be taught in one semester. The course will be taught in the following order: Unit 1, Unit 4, Unit 2, Unit 5 and Unit 3.
In addition to course content, it is my desire that students learn the importance of studying other countries and their political systems and understand the importance and responsibility of living as a citizen in a democratic country. It is also my desire that all of us can discuss and learn what it means to honor and love God and to love our neighbors in the realm of politics; (Matthew 22.37, 39, etc.); to pray for our leaders (Timothy 2.1-2, etc.); and to act responsibly in our communities (Philippians 2.1-11, etc.).
Syllabus located on homepage.
Q. How can I keep up with current affairs?
A. Some of the news outlets are free to read, e.g. Al Jazeera, Guardian and Reuters. Some will only allow 10 free articles a month (e.g. Bloomberg and The New York Times). Please keep in mind that there are satirical news outlets, e.g. The New Yorker and The Rising Wasabi. Political satire is fun to read if you understand the context! YouTube can also be a platform to gather information (TLDR News does a fantastic job on covering Brexit-related UK politics). As with any article or video, please check whether it is reliable.
As AP Students, you will be required to be familiar with current events/affairs in the 6 AP countries. Students will be provided with readings from BBC, Reuters, The Guardian, The Economist, CNN, The New York Times, Al Jazeera, Pravda, Russia Today, Xinhua News Agency, South China Morning Post, etc. These news sources are also great places to become familiar with current affairs. However, please keep in mind that all news outlets have a bias. State-owned media can be used as propaganda, e.g. Xinhua News Agency and Pravda. When reading the news, it is always important to look for multiple opinions. If something seems fishy or fake, try looking up the same event in different news sources!
At the end of each unit or key concepts, Personal Progress Checks will be provided in class or as homework assignments in AP Classroom. These will be graded for completion, so students are encouraged to treat these questions as if they were taking the real test. Honest answers will help me understand how I can assist students who struggle with certain concepts or countries-based information.