2009 Released ap us government Exam



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2009 Released AP US Government Exam
1. The debates between Federalists and AntiFederalists were primarily about which of the following issues?
(A) The right of the people to rebel

(B) The existence of slavery

(C) The scope of power of the central government

(D) The need to establish a standard currency

(E) The representation of large and small states
2. Which of the following statements about gerrymandering is true?
(A) It has been banned by United States Supreme Court decisions beginning with Baker v. Carr.

(B) It was used traditionally to maintain urban control of the House of Representatives.

(C) It can be used by a political party to draw boundary lines to control as many districts as possible.

(D) It guarantees greater constituency control over elected representatives.

(E) It ensures liberal control of the House of Representatives.
3. Which of the following constitutional principles most directly addresses the relationship between the national and state governments?
(A) Checks and balances

(B) The Bill of Rights

(C) Separation of powers

(D) Representation

(E) Federalism
4. The term “pork barrel” refers to legislation specifically designed to
(A) encourage a balanced federal budget

(B) ensure the careful inspection of farm goods and other foodstuffs

(C) distribute excess produce to the poor

(D) provide funding for local projects that are intended to benefit constituents

(E) equalize representation between farming and nonfarming states
5. Which of the following is a member of the White House Staff?
(A) The chair of the Federal Reserve Board

(B) The national security advisor

(C) The secretary of commerce

(D) The ambassador to the United Nations

(E) The attorney general
6. In 1987 the cooperation among the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to defeat Robert Bork’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court was an example of
(A) impeachment

(B) litigation

(C) coalition building

(D) the recall process

(E) the initiative process
7. The Supreme Court’s power of judicial review permits the Court to overrule all of the following EXCEPT
(A) lower-court decisions

(B) state legislation

(C) acts of Congress

(D) the Bill of Rights

(E) executive orders
8. Which of the following statements about political parties and the United States Constitution is true?
(A) According to the Constitution, only two major political parties may exist at any time.

(B) The Constitution requires political parties to be restricted by both federal and state law.

(C) The Constitution indicates that political party leaders at the national level be elected by political party leaders at the state level.

(D) The Constitution specifies that political party leaders must be native-born United States citizens.

(E) The issue of political parties is not addressed in the Constitution.
9. The free-exercise clause protects
(A) the president from forcibly revealing private conversations with staff

(B) individuals who, for religious reasons, refuse to pay Social Security taxes

(C) voluntary prayer by student groups before school

(D) a person’s right to burn the American flag (E) a person’s right to practice polygamy


10. Which of the following United States Supreme Court cases established the principle of judicial review?
(A) McCulloch v. Maryland

(B) Gibbons v. Ogden

(C) Wolf v. Colorado

(D) Roe v. Wade

(E) Marbury v. Madison
11. Which of the following is the most likely consequence of divided government?
(A) Reorganization of the federal bureaucracy

(B) Conflicts between states

(C) Delays in confirmation of federal court nominees

(D) Conflicts between national government and states

(E) Elimination of the seniority rule in Congress
12. In Plessy v. Ferguson, the United States Supreme Court ruled that state-imposed racial segregation is constitutional, based on the
(A) “clear and present danger” doctrine

(B) “separate but equal” doctrine

(C) “dangerous tendency” doctrine

(D) privileges and immunities clause (E) necessary and proper clause


13. Which of the following is a fundamental element of the United States Constitution?
(A) Recognition of the centrality of political parties in government

(B) Direct election of members of the executive branch

(C) An executive branch that is more powerful than the legislature

(D) Emphasis on a unitary system of government

(E) Division of government authority across political institutions
14. Which of the following best explains the principle of stare decisis?
(A) It requires that at least four Supreme Court justices agree to hear a case.

(B) It encourages presidents to take judicial experience into account when nominating judges.

(C) It encourages judges to follow precedent when deciding cases.

(D) It reinforces the philosophy of judicial activism.

(E) It increases the number of cases judges are required to hear.
15. Which of the following is NOT a way in which the federal government regulates campaigns?
(A) By requirements for disclosure of campaign donations

(B) By establishment of federal agencies to regulate campaign finance activities

(C) By limits on the distribution of soft money

(D) By limits on individual donations to campaigns

(E) By prohibitions on negative advertising
16. Which of the following statements about the Senate is true?
(A) Each state is represented in the Senate according to its population.

(B) The Senate, unlike the House, has a Rules Committee.

(C) Individual senators can exercise substantial influence over the legislative process.

(D) The Senate has a strict time limit on debates.

(E) The Senate is more responsible than the House for initiating appropriations legislation.
17. The framers of the United States Constitution left decisions on voting eligibility to the
(A) civil rights agencies

(B) individual states

(C) United States Supreme Court

(D) House of Representatives

(E) Senate
18. In the process and structure of public policymaking, “iron triangles” refer to the
(A) bargaining and negotiating process between the President and Congress about the direction of domestic policy

(B) dominance of corporate power in setting the national policy agenda for economic expansion

(C) interrelationship among federal, state, and local levels of government in the policy process

(D) networks of congressional committees, bureaucratic agencies, and interest groups that strongly influence the policy process

(E) group of presidential advisers who formulate the President’s foreign policy agenda
19. One reason for the persistence of a two-party system in the United States is
(A) the lack of divisive issues in United States politics

(B) the separation of powers

(C) the single-member district electoral system

(D) the lack of a strong labor movement

(E) low voter turnout in most elections
20. Both Gitlow v. New York and New York Times v. Sullivan are United States Supreme Court cases that dealt with which of the following amendments to the United States Constitution?
(A) First Amendment

(B) Second Amendment

(C) Fourth Amendment

(D) Fifth Amendment

(E) Fifteenth Amendment
21. Which of the following is true of political action committees (PACs)?
(A) They are a part of political party organizations.

(B) They make campaign contributions to gain access to legislators.

(C) They are allowed to contribute to only one candidate in a given contest.

(D) They effectively control the presidential campaigns.

(E) They may operate at the state level but not at the national level.
22. All of the following are ways that the legislative branch can check the powers of the executive branch EXCEPT:
(A) Congress may remove the president through its impeachment and conviction powers.

(B) Congress may override a presidential veto.

(C) Congress may pass a law declaring a presidential action unconstitutional.

(D) The Senate may refuse to approve a presidential appointment.

(E) The Senate may refuse to approve a treaty negotiated by the president.
23. Which of the following best describes the primary formal role of the attorney general?
(A) Providing legal advice for the president and cabinet secretaries

(B) Serving as a liaison between the president and the Supreme Court

(C) Serving as the chief executive officer of the Department of Justice

(D) Directing the Government Accountability Office (GAO)

(E) Persuading the Senate to confirm the president’s judicial nominees
24. Which of the following is an example of congressional oversight?
(A) Holding hearings for review of an executive agency’s activities

(B) Assisting constituents with particular problems

(C) Reporting campaign contributions to the Federal Election Commission

(D) Signing trade agreements with other countries without input from the president

(E) Conducting ethics investigations of congressional leadership
25. How is a president chosen when none of the candidates receives a majority of the electoral college vote?
(A) There is a national runoff election between the two candidates with the greatest number of electoral votes.

(B) The United States Supreme Court directly elects the president.

(C) The election is ruled null and void and Congress appoints a new president.

(D) The Senate chooses a new president by a majority vote of its entire membership.

(E) The House chooses a new president by a majority vote of its state delegations.
26. The Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides protections for the disabled, is an example of
(A) state supremacy

(B) horizontal federalism

(C) affirmative action

(D) dual federalism

(E) a federal mandate
27. Which of the following best describes the difference between an open and closed primary?
(A) Voters must pay a poii tax to vote in a closed primary, but not in an open primary.

(B) Voters are allowed to split their ticket in a closed primary but not in an open primary.

(C) Only voters who register as members of a political party may vote in that party’s closed primary, while independents and others may be eligible to vote in open primaries.

(D) Open primaries require a run-off system, while closed primaries do not.

(E) Candidates must seek the approval of the party organization to run in a closed primary, but anyone may be a candidate in an open primary.
28. Which of the following best describes the concept of political efficacy?
(A) It is the belief that the average citizen can make little or no difference in an election.

(B) It is the belief that an intelligent voting decision cannot be made without information.

(C) It is the belief that the media must provide unbiased information for citizens to be able to make well-informed choices.

(D) It is the belief that one can make a difference in politics by expressing an opinion and acting politically.

(E) It is the belief that politicians must keep the electorate well-informed if they are to govern efficiently.
29. Which of the following is an example of presidential use of inherent powers?
(A) George H. W. Bush’s appointment of Clarence Thomas

(B) Bill Clinton’s line-item veto of some congressionally authorized funds to the states

(C) Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase

(D) Woodrow Wilson’s signing of the Treaty of Versailles

(E) Dwight Eisenhower’s deployment of troops to Arkansas
30. Which of the following statements about writs of certiorari is accurate?
(A) Cases appealed by the solicitor general are automatically granted certiorari.

(B) The Supreme Court grants certiorari for less than 5% of the cases appealed to it.

(C) The Supreme Court has historically granted certiorari to all separation of powers cases.

(D) The Supreme Court does not grant certiorari to cases involving state laws.

(E) Federal district courts sometimes issue writs of certiorari to state appellate courts.
31. Cooperative federalism can best be described by which of the following statements?
(A) Different levels of government are involved in common policy areas.

(B) Government must have cooperation from the people in order to make legislative decisions.

(C) Local levels of government can make decisions on issues more efficiently than state and national governments can.

(D) The federal government must make regulations that can be applied across every state in the same way.

(E) Business and government can work together to more effectively accomplish shared goals.
32. When independent regulatory agencies make rules, enforce those rules, and adjudicate disputes arising under those rules, they risk violating the constitutional concept of
(A) equal protection of the laws

(B) due process of law

(C) federal supremacy

(D) separation of powers

(E) federalism
33. Explanations for low voter turnout include all or the following EXCEPT
(A) registration requirements

(B) weak party affiliation

(C) laws protecting voting rights for minorities

(D) weekday elections

(E) frequency of elections at the state and local level
34. Which of the following statements about motions for cloture is true?
(A) They force a bill out of committee so that the full House can vote on it.

(B) They are applied to bills that failed in the previous session of Congress.

(C) They are applied only to appropriation bills.

(D) They are used by senators to end a filibuster and bring a bill to a vote.

(E) They occur whenever a bill is reported out of committee.
35. Since 1972, voters in presidential elections have
(A) become more focused on individual candidates

(B) increasingly based their votes on televised candidate debates

(C) become more influenced by party platforms

(D) become more likely to focus on local rather than national conditions

(E) become more likely to rely on print media for information
36. The process of extending the protections of the Bill of Rights by means of the Fourteenth Amendment to apply to the actions of state governments is known as
(A) judicial review

(B) incorporation

(C) broad construction

(D) federalism

(E) stare decisis
37. The main intent of “motor voter” laws is to
(A) increase voter registration

(B) increase voter turnout by providing transportation to polls for people without cars

(C) increase the rate at which incumbents are reelected to office

(D) prevent states from using literacy requirements for voting

(E) allow sixteen year olds to vote if they have a valid driver’s license
38. Which of the following describes a consequence of the growing concentration of ownership of the news media?
(A) Newspaper prices have gone down.

(B) Coverage of political events has gotten more liberal over time.

(C) Prices for televised campaign ads have gone down.

(D) Candidates get more free airtime.

(E) There is increased similarity of network news coverage.
39. The difference between an appellate court and a district court is that an appellate court
(A) conducts trials by jury

(B) has original jurisdiction

(C) reviews previous court decisions

(D) hears civil cases but not criminal cases

(E) does not follow the principle of stare decisis
40. The differences shown in the table demonstrate which of the following?
(A) Political efficacy

(B) Women’s greater political participation

(C) Men’s greater political participation

(D) Age discrimination

(E) The gender gap
41. The Supreme Court has ruled which of the following concerning the death penalty?
(A) A state may not impose the death penalty on a noncitizen.

(B) Lethal injection is the only constitutionally acceptable method of execution.

(C) Females may not be executed.

(D) The death penalty is not necessarily cruel and unusual punishment.

(E) The death penalty violates the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
42. Giving state governments greater discretion in deciding how to achieve the specific goals of welfare reform is an example of
(A) an unfunded mandate

(B) implied powers

(C) dual federalism

(D) devolution

(E) affirmative action
43. Which of the following is the best example of a categorical grant?
(A) Money given to states for special education programs

(B) Money given to individuals in the form of tax rebates

(C) Money given to states unconditionally

(D) Money given to states to spend at their discretion on transportation

(E) Money given directly to private business for economic development
44. Which of the following is true of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ?
(A) It was unnecessary because the Fifteenth Amendment effectively guaranteed African Americans the right to vote.

(B) It has never been applied to any group except southern African Americans.

(C) It has been a major instrument for increasing the number of African American and other minority voters.

(D) It was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in Shaw v. Reno.

(E) It requires that minority officeholders be elected.
45. Since the early 1980s, the Republican Party platform has been increasingly influenced by
(A) environmental activists

(B) evangelical Christians

(C) civil libertarians

(D) labor unions

(E) active military officers
46. The role Congress plays in ensuring that executive branch agencies are carrying out their legislated responsibilities is known as
(A) judicial review

(B) legislative oversight

(C) bicameralism

(D) federalism

(E) executive privilege

47. The table above supports which of the following statements about partisanship and the 1984 presidential election?


(A) Democrats were more likely to vote their party identification than were Republicans.

(B) The number of strong Democrats was less than the number of strong Republicans.

(C) Independent Democrats and independent Republicans were the two groups most likely to vote for candidates of the other party.

(D) Partisanship was a good predictor of the way a person voted.

(E) Independents were less likely to vote than were party identifiers.
48. The Constitution states that all revenue bills must originate in
(A) a White House budget resolution

(B) the Congressional Budget Office

(C) the United States Senate

(D) the United States House of Representatives

(E) the Office of Management and Budget
49. Nominations to the Supreme Court must be approved by a
(A) simple majority vote in the Senate only

(B) simple majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate

(C) two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives only

(D) two-thirds vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate

(E) two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate and a majority of the sitting justices on the Supreme Court
50. Which of the following is true of most federal judges appointed by the president?
(A) They serve ten-year terms.

(B) They serve as long as the appointing president stays in power.

(C) They serve for life on good behavior unless removed by the president.

(D) They serve for life on good behavior unless impeached and convicted by Congress.

(E) They serve for life and are not subject to congressional impeachment.
51. Which of the following describes a fundamental difference between political parties and interest groups?
(A) Political parties are prohibited from sponsoring campaign advertisements, and interest groups are not.

(B) Political parties represent broad arrays of issues, whereas interest groups are more likely to focus on narrow sets of issues.

(C) Political parties are more likely to focus on national politics, whereas interest groups focus on local politics.

(D) Political parties tend to have strength in particular regions. whereas the power of interest groups is more consistent across states.

(E) Political parties are required to disclose their campaign finance activities, whereas interest groups are not.
52. Compared to the general population, delegates to presidential nomination conventions are
(A) less interested in politics

(B) less educated

(C) financially worse off

(D) more likely to register as independent

(E) more ideological
53. Unlike the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution does which of the following?
(A) Restricts the ability of Congress to tax.

(B) Restricts the ability of Congress to establish an army or navy.

(C) Establishes a unitary form of government.

(D) Emphasizes state sovereignty over national sovereignty.

(E) Emphasizes both national sovereignty and federalism.
54. Federal budget entitlements refer to spending
(A) to provide individual benefits established by legislation

(B) by legislators on trips to home states to confer with constituents

(C) by congressional staff while traveling on official business

(D) on behalf of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

(E) targeted to benefit residents of specific congressional districts
55. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) was a significant Supreme Court ruling because it
(A) placed limitations on the federal government and affirmed the rights of people and of the states

(B) made it illegal for members of the Communist party to be schoolteachers

(C) upheld laws allowing for the internment of ethnic groups during wartime

(D) applied the freedom of press provisions of the First Amendment to the states by means of the Fourteenth Amendment

(E) held the “separate but equal” concept to be a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
56. Which of the following is the leading predictor of how an individual will vote in a congressional election?
(A) Newspaper endorsements

(B) Gender

(C) Partisanship

(D) Presidential endorsement

(E) Occupation

57. Which of the following statements is best supported by the data in the table above?


(A) Latinos are fairly homogeneous in their party identification.

(B) Latinos have become substantially more supportive of the Democratic Party than they were in the l950s.

(C) The majority of Latinos probably voted for Bill Clinton in 1992.

(D) Latinos of Cuban descent are more supportive of the Republican Party than are Latinos of Mexican or Puerto Rican descent.

(E) Latinos of Mexican descent are less likely to consider themselves independent than are Latinos of Cuban or Puerto Rican descent.
58. Which of the following is true about the pocket veto?
(A) It is used to strike down a provision of a bill that the President finds disagreeable.

(B) It may be overridden by a two-thirds vote in Congress.

(C) It occurs when the President takes no action on a bill for ten days during which Congress is adjourned.

(D) It is used when the President expects to reach a compromise with Congress about how a bill should be modified.

(E) It is used when both houses of Congress pass separate versions of the same bill.
59. Of the following, which is the most powerful figure in Congress?
(A) The Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee

(B) The Speaker of the House

(C) The Minority Whip of the Senate

(D) The Majority Whip of the House

(E) The Chair of the Senate Finance Committee
60. Interest groups engage in all of the following activities EXCEPT
(A) testifying before congressional committees

(B) sponsoring issue advocacy ads

(C) lobbying federal agencies

(D) filing federal lawsuits



(E) using the franking privilege
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