The National Political Science Bee’s first stage is the National Qualifying Exam.

To register for the National Political Science Bee National Qualifying Exam, please follow the instructions here.

There are three versions of this exam; students need to qualify for the National Championships through any one version of it. The three versions of the exam are the A Set, B Set, and C Set versions of the exam. Please note the following about each version of the exam:

A Set: Based on the distribution and format (with 4 answer choices per question) of the AP exam for US Government and Politics. Available from February 1, 2022. Offered during the lunch break at all A Set tournaments of the National History Bee and Bowl or available to take online.
Note: This version of the exam is provided free of charge to AP US Government and Politics teachers for use in their classes. If used in their class, students have 40 minutes to take the exam, and can still qualify for Nationals if their scores are at or above the Varsity A Set Exam National Median Score (if they are in 11th or 12th grade) or if their scores are at or above the Junior Varsity A Set Exam National Median Score (if they are in 10th grade or below).

B Set: Based on the official National Political Science Bee – Official Distribution. Available from January 1, 2022. Offered during the lunch break at all B Set tournaments of the National History Bee and Bowl or available to take online.

C Set: Based on the official National Political Science Bee – Official Distribution. Available from October 30, 2021. Offered during the lunch break at all C Set tournaments of the National History Bee and Bowl or available to take online.

National Political Science Bee – Sample National Qualifying Exam (B Set / C Set style)
National Political Science Bee – Sample National Qualifying Exam – ANSWER KEY (B Set / C Set style)
Sample AP style multiple choice questions can be found here.

Students qualify for the National Championships by either finishing in the top half of students at a regional that they attend, or by finishing above the National Median Score for their age division on any one of the three versions of the Exam. A lower score on any one version will not disqualify a student if they have a qualifying score on a separate version. To provide notification of Nationals qualification at as early a time as is possible, the official National Median Scores for both Varsity and Junior Varsity students are determined on January 1 for C Set, February 1 for B Set, and March 10 for A Set. After these dates, the National Median Scores do not change even though additional students can still take these exams up until the deadlines for taking them.