University of California, Santa Barbara

Political Science 155: Mock Final

The final exam will have three parts.  Part I will have about 20 multiple-choice questions. Part II will have 5-10 short answer questions.  Part III will have two essay questions, one of which you must answer.

These are examples of the questions which will be asked.

Part I. Please answer all of the following questions on your scantron. Each item is worth two points. 

1.      According to Davidson and Oleszek, since the mid-1990s has the Senate been characterized by:


a)      Increased conflict and partisan polarization

b)      Decreased conflict, and increased collegiality

c)      Little change in partisan relations since the early 1970s


2.      Which of these is NOT a source of conflict between the executive and legislative
branches, as discussed in lecture?


a)      Different constituents

b)      Different internal structures

c)      Different levels of access to campaign funding

d)      Different time schedules


3.      According to Sidlow, what was the outcome when Joe Schwarz ran for reelection?

a)      Schwarz won reelection

b)      Schwarz lost in the primary election

c)      Schwarz lost in the general election

Part II.  Please answer all of the following questions in your blue book.  Keep your answers short, not more than a paragraph or two. Each item is worth 4 points.

4. Explain what Arnold means by the term "traceability" of a bill.

5. What is a filibuster and how does one end it?

6. According to Davidson and Oleszek, what is the "strongest single correlate of members' [roll call] voting decisions"?

Part III. Please answer one of the following essay questions. Develop your argument carefully, using evidence to support your statements wherever possible. Essays will be graded on the basis of your knowledge of Congress and your ability to reason about what you know. Please identify which question you are answering. The essay is worth 48 points.

1. A critic of Congress writes, "The system allows members to take the 'right' positions, make pleasing statements, and bring home the bacon without taking any responsibility for the collective performance of Congress. It provides a setting for emphasizing individual achievements while insulating members from blame for general failures and inadequacies of the institution, which are at least in part a consequence of the patterns of individual behavior encouraged by the system itself." Evaluate and discuss this statement.


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University of California, Santa Barbara