Each year after the AP® exam I ask students to evaluate my class. Last year, they overwhelmingly identified that they wanted to work on FRQs more throughout the year. So, this year I assigned a daily FRQ that aligned with that day’s content. Each unit had a different FRQ focus. For example, Unit 1 focused on the concept application question. Then, at the end of the unit, I let students choose their best one to submit for a grade. 


I have truly loved my daily FRQs this year and I spend a considerable amount of time reading student responses and providing thoughtful feedback on their writing to help them improve. This costs me some time during the year, but saves me for exam review because I can continue letting students choose what they need to work on and give feedback on that rather than grading four questions per student. 


In my previous post, I focused on using the practice exam in the Advanced Placement® United States Government & Politics coursebook for multiple-choice review. My class meets in 80 minute blocks, so it is impossible to give a full practice exam in one class period. Instead, I give the multiple-choice test in class and have students begin the free-response from the coursebook during our class meeting time. At the end of the class period, I calculate how much time they would have left on the exam and tell them to finish at home in the remaining time period. Since I don’t take this test for a grade, this encourages them to be honest and actually stop when time expires. 


During the following class meeting, I have students choose which of their FRQs they want me to grade and give them feedback on and they peer grade the other three. They can then combine this score with their multiple-choice score and predict how they would do on the AP® exam. I love to follow this with the included writing carousel lesson. This lesson allows students to be reflective, choose which FRQs they need the most practice with, and get that needed practice with reflection questions built in throughout as well as at the end of the lesson. I hope you can use this with your students! 


Download the lesson plan and resources for review below!



Paula Franklin teaches AP® US Government and Politics at West High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. She has been teaching the course for nine years and has served as an AP® Reader, table leader, and early table leader at the AP® US Government and Politics Reading over the past five years. She has a B.A. in Political Science and an M.S. in Theory and Practice in Teacher Education from the University of Tennessee, and an Ed.S. in Instructional Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University. Paula is a 2017 Milken Educator, a Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes Fellow, an AP® US Government and Politics Mentor, and a member of the iCivics Educator Network.