AP US Government Exam Key Review Topics. REMEMBER THIS!. You have 45 minutes to do 60 MC questions. You have 100 minutes to do 4 FRQ’s. You MUST attempt all 4. I will explain why when we dissect the practice exam.
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a)COMPONENTS OF MAJOR ARTICLES
b) AMENDING PROCESS
c) KEY AMENDMENTS
d) ELECTORAL COLLEGE PROCESS
e) IMPEACHMENT PROCESS
B) SEPARATION OF POWERS
a) major Checks and the nature of each
2. Supreme Court Rulings
C) Theories of Democratic government
D) Federalism – Why federalism?
1) Define federal, unitary, confederal gvts.
2) Describe state/national govt relationship
a) McCulloch v. Maryland
b) Unfunded Mandates – give examples
c) Types of sanctions (cross over/cross cutting)
d) Block grants & Categorical grants
3) Identify federal responsibilities / state responsibilities
2) Trends in presidential approval
3) Trends in approval of Congress
B) Process by which citizens learn about politics
1) Political Socialization
2) Selective Perception
- Demographic groups and voter behavior
C) The nature sources and consequences of public opinion
1) public opinion polls
D) The ways in which citizens vote and otherwise participate in political life
1) Voting / statistics / obstacles to turnout
2) Other forms of political participation
E) Factors that make citizens differ from one another in beliefs/behaviors
a. organize competition
b. get candidates elected
c. provide loyal opposition
a. National vs grass roots party membership
b. two party systems / multiparty systems
4) Effects on the Political process
5) Electoral laws and systems
6) Describe contemporary political campaigns
2) The activities of interest groups
a. techniques / resources
b. examples of specific groups and their resources
3) Effects on the Political Process
a. Federalist #10 James Madison
b. Incumbency advantage
4) Political Action Committees (PACs)
a. Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974
b. McCain-Feingold, Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United
a) campaigns (watchdog)
c) horse race journalism
4) Factors that influence Congress
a. Divided Government
b. Party Discipline and Loyalty (Partisanism)
c. Influence of interest group pluralism
d. Constituent services (casework) in the home district (their opinions too!)
5) Legislative Process
a. Advantages of the majority party
b. The importance of committees
c. Speaker of the House
d. Rules Committee
e. Standing committees
f. committee assignments
g. leadership positions
h. filibuster / cloture
i. pork barrel politics
6) Non-Legislative activities
a. oversight of bureaucracy
b. confirmation politics (Senate)
c. impeachment / removal (House+ Senate)
d. special investigations
7) What do House/Senate do collectively? What are their similarities?
8) What different powers do House/Senate have?
i. More prestigious (Armed Services)
ii. Less formal, fewer rules
iii. Confirmations / Treaties
b. House of Representatives
i. power of the purse (Ways and Means)
ii. closest to the people
iii. more rules, fewer staff, less prestigious
1) What are the Constitutional Powers of the President? (From Article II)
2) What are the informal powers of the President? (evolving from tradition and custom)
3) How has the President gained power over Congress?
a. Executive Orders
b. Executive Agreements
c. Impoundment of funds
d. War Powers
e. Veto / veto threats
f. Media access (“Bully pulpit”)
1) Who creates federal courts?
2) How are federal judges selected?
3) How is the court system organized?
4)Describe basic jurisdictional issues.
a. What is habeas corpus?
b. How do most court cases end? (chances of having SCOTUS hear your case)
a. What cases have original jurisdiction in the Supreme Court?
b. How do Justices decide to grant cert?
c. How can outside groups influence the Supreme Court?
d. Who is the solicitor General?
e. What is a concurring / dissenting opinion
f. What is Judicial Activism v. Restraint?
Loose v. Strict construction?
6) ID/describe major rulings of the Warren, Burger and Rehnquist and Roberts Courts.
1) ID/Describe Cabinet, Independent Agencies, EOP, and Government Corporations.
2) Describe quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial functions. (Legislative/Judicial-like duties)
3) What are iron triangles? Issue networks?
4) ID/describe rules of bureaucracy.
a. Hatch Act
b. Freedom of Information Act
c. Pendleton Act
d. Whistleblower Act
B) Knowledge of substantive rights and liberties
1. Constitutional limitations on Free Speech
a. In what cases can speech be limited?
b. What types of speech are most unlimited?
c. Types of speech: Pure, Symbolic Speech Plus
2. Constitutional interpretations of Separation of Church and State
3. Constitutional development of right to privacy
4. Constitutional development of Due Process
C) The impact of the Fourteenth Amendment on the constitutional development of rights and liberties
1. Barron v. Balitmore
2. Gitlow v. New York
3. Gideon v. Wainright
B) The formation of policy agendas
C) The role of institutions in the enactment of policy
D) The role of the bureaucracy and the courts in implementation/interpretation
E) Types: Foreign, Domestic, Fiscal, Monetary
F) Linkages between policy processes and the following
2. Political parties
3. Interest groups
4. Public opinion
6. Policy issue networks
7. Mass media
G) Process and politics of creating the Budget