So you’ve studied your course books. You’ve analyzed the United States’ foundational documents. And you’ve read so many Supreme Court decisions that you know the judges’ names better than you know your family’s.

You’re now ready for the AP® U.S. Government and Politics Exam!

But hold on. Before you head over to the designated testing facility, you need to make sure that you have everything you need to take the test. Not only that, but you need to make sure that you don’t bring anything that could get you kicked out of the testing facility.

What can I bring to the AP® U.S. Government and Politics Exam?

Students may bring the following items with them to the testing facility. Note: Not all of the items below will apply to you as it might be dependent on your situation (e.g. Student Accommodations Letter).

  • Two No. 2 pencils with erasers. These will be used on the multiple-choice portion of the exam.
  • Two black or dark blue ink pens. These will be used for any free-response questions you must answer. Be sure to bring black or dark blue ink pens only.
  • Your school’s six-digit code. This code will be used by the College Board for processing purposes. Note: If you’re homeschooled, you’ll be given your own homeschool code at the time of the exam.
  • A watch. This is a simple analog or digital watch with no internet access or alarms. Don’t even try to bring your smart watch in the room.
  • Government- or school-issued ID. If you don’t go to the school where you’re taking the AP®S. Government and Politics exam, you must also bring a government- or school-issued ID.
  • College Board SSD Student Accommodation Letter. If you require accommodations beyond the regular exam, you’ll receive a letter that verifies this (e.g. you need a braille or large-type exam).

Though you might not use all of these items, it’s worthwhile to bring them anyway to make sure you’re as prepared as possible.

What should I not bring to the AP® U.S. Government and Politics Exam?

Now that you know what you can bring to the testing facility, let’s take a look at the things you should just leave at home. Remember: If you don’t follow the rules and you bring something you shouldn’t, you can and will be expelled from the testing facility — so stick to the rules.

Here’s what you shouldn’t bring with you:

  • Most electronics, including cell phones, smart watches, watches with alarms, video games, tablets, laptops, mp3 players, cameras, Bluetooth devices, portable radios, recording devices, etc. Good rule of thumb: If it’s an electronic item, don’t bring it into the exam room.
  • Food or drink. While you can’t bring food and drinks into the testing facility, you can have them outside of the room where you can access them during your ten-minute break.
  • Specific calculators. This is going to be less relevant to the AP®S. Government and Politics Exam but the College Board has a complete list of calculators you can and cannot bring.
  • Notes and books. Even reference materials like a dictionary or a thesaurus are not allowed.
  • 3 pencils, mechanical pencils, and colored pencils. Also, leave the gel and glitter pens at home.
  • Scratch paper. Some students like to use it to outline their thoughts for essays throughout their course — that’s fine. But don’t bring any with you on exam day.
  • Rules, protractors, and compasses. Again, less relevant for the AP® S. Government and Politics Exam, but it bears repeating just in case.

Preparation is key

Perhaps the most important thing you should bring with you is the knowledge you gained from months of studying.

With that, we want to help you out.

Download our FREE AP® U.S. Government and Politics Exam study guide here.