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The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint


AP Government & Politics: A Course Review

Advice from Students and Teachers
Olivia Ruotolo

AP Government and Politics is a course for junior students at Morgan. According to the Morgan School Program of Studies, “This course is a rigorous, college level class that is designed to introduce students to the major structures and processes of the American political system.” All students that are enrolled in it must take the AP exam. When sophomores choose courses for next year, they may choose between this demanding course and Level 1 Civics. Students must take either Civics or AP Government to fulfill the graduation requirement by the state of Connecticut. It’s important for these students to know information about the course before making a decision.

The Exam

The AP Government Exam is in the first week of May. According to the AP U.S. Government and Politics Course and Exam Description, the exam consists of two sections: multiple-choice questions and free-response questions. The students get 55 multiple choice questions to answer within 80 minutes. For the free-response questions, there are 4 questions with 100 minutes to answer them all (recommended 25 minutes for each question). The types of questions are Concept Application, Quantitative Analysis, SCOTUS Comparison, and Argument Essay. To see specific information on each free question, click here and search for page 173.


 Advice from Mr. Zawadski

Mr. Zawadski

Social Studies teacher Christopher Zawadski describes the many benefits of taking AP Government. It helps prepare students for college; it is good practice for students who are college bound in terms of the pace and content of the class. There are lots of skills that are taught in this class that are essential for college, such as reading, writing, presenting, and discussion. He explains that they do a decent amount of reading, but there are discussions on those readings as well.  “The more involved you are in class discussion, the more enjoyable the class is,” Mr. Zawadski said. He also explained how our country is in a time of debate and different opinions of students make the class more engaged in discussion. Differing from Level 1 Civics, AP Government has more advanced pacing and depth. There are 18 chapters to get through before April vacation, and it’s important that all students stay disciplined with the reading and notes. Time management is extremely significant in a course like this. Unlike the objective notes the students took as sophomores in World History, the readings in AP Government require students to read and take notes on entire chapters. Students usually have 7–10 days to complete the chapter. Mr. Zawadski hopes that one day his students will be involved in voting and be informed citizens.


Advice from current and past students

Junior Alyssa Ruthstrum, who currently takes the class, explains that this course is helping her feel more accomplished as a student. The course helped her improve her work ethic immensely. For future students, she recommends staying on top of work, and not procrastinating (in any class, but especially in this one) because it is a very demanding course and the work can pile up. To help her prepare for the AP exam in May, Alyssa is keeping track of all her work she has done so far, looking over answers from past assignments, and studying notes.

Senior Chloe Jackson, who took the course and exam last year, suggests using Quizlet to study all the terms, especially the Supreme Court cases that students are required to know. The workload is double the amount of work from a normal honors class, like Honors World History for sophomores. During the exam, students get 3 hours to take the exam, with a break in between. Chloe explains that it is difficult to maintain focus for that long, but the break is helpful. This class taught Chloe not to procrastinate, and how to manage her time better.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Ruotolo
Olivia Ruotolo, Reporter, Writer, Photographer
Hi! My name is Olivia Ruotolo, and I’m a junior here at Morgan. This is my second time taking Journalism, and I am very excited to continue writing, reporting, and covering different sport and school events for the Morgan Pawprint. I am on the Morgan Girls Soccer team, Basketball team, and the Outdoor Track and Field team. I am also a part of Spirit Squad. For the Pawprint, I am an editor, videographer, and work as a photographer. 

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