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Advanced Placement

The Complete Guide to AP Macroeconomics Exam [Updated for AP 2024 Exam]

Written by Apoorvaa Agarwal

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What are Hardest AP Classes?

  • The AP Macroeconomics course covers the basics of macroeconomics, which is the study of the economy as a whole.
  • The AP Macroeconomics exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice (66 questions, 1 hour 10 minutes) and free-response (1 long essay and 2 short essays, 1 hour).
  • The mean score for the AP Macroeconomics exam in 2022 was 2.71 out of 5. This is slightly higher than the mean score for all AP subjects in 2022, which was 2.92.
  • The pass rate of the AP Macroeconomics Exam for 2022 was 51.8%. This is slightly higher than the pass rate for AP overall, which was 60.2%.
  • Possible majors and career pathways:
    • Majors: Economics, business, finance, public policy, government, international relations
    • Career pathways: Economist, financial analyst, business consultant, policymaker, government official, international trade specialist

AP Macroeconomics is one of the most popular AP courses offered by the College Board. In 2022, over 134,413 students took the AP Macroeconomics exam.

The AP Macroeconomics exam is a challenging but rewarding course that can help you develop a deeper understanding of how the economy works. If you are interested in economics, business, or public policy, then AP Macroeconomics is a great course to consider.

What is on the AP Macroeconomics exam?

The AP Macroeconomics exam covers a wide range of topics related to the study of the economy as a whole, from the pre-industrial era to the present day.

These topics include the concepts of gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment, inflation, interest rates, and economic growth.
In addition to these specific topics, the AP Macroeconomics exam also covers several broader topics, such as the role of government in the economy, the international economy, and the factors that determine economic growth.

The AP Macroeconomics exam is a challenging but rewarding course that can help you develop a deeper understanding of how the economy works. If you are interested in economics, business, or public policy, then AP Macroeconomics is a great course to consider.

The AP Macroeconomics Exam format includes two sections as below:

SectionNo. of questionsTime allocated to  each sectionWeightage
Section I Multiple-choice  questions66 questions1 hour 10minutes66%
Free response  questions3 questions 1 hour 33% 
AP Macroeconomics exam format

Now let’s understand everything about the AP Macroeconomics exam like duration, structure, score distribution, etc.

How long is the AP Macroeconomics exam?

The AP Macroeconomics exam is 2 hours 10 minutes long and is divided into two sections

  • The first section consists of 66 multiple-choice questions and is 1 hour 10 minutes long.
  • The second section is a free-response section with 3 questions and is 1 hour long.

The AP Macroeconomics Exam will test your understanding of the geographic concepts covered in the course units, as well as your ability to analyze maps, geospatial data, infographics, and more.

How many questions does the AP Macroeconomics exam have?

The AP Macroeconomics exam has 63 questions in total divided into two major sections; 66 multiple-choice questions and 3 free-response questions.

Here are sample questions for AP Macroeconomics Exam from the College Board website.

AP Macroeconomics Exam Sample Questions

Topics for AP Macroeconomics Reviews

AP Macroeconomics is a rigorous course that covers the core concepts, theories, and processes that shape the economy as a whole. Students will do hands-on activities and projects to investigate economic phenomena.

UnitWhat’s includedWeight in exam
Unit 1: Basic Economic Concepts
You’ll start the course with an introduction to economic concepts, principles, and models that will serve as a foundation for studying macroeconomics.
-Scarcity
-Opportunity Cost and the Production Possibilities Curve
-Comparative advantage and gains from trade
-Supply and demand
-Market equilibrium, disequilibrium, and changes in equilibrium
5%-10% 
Unit 2: Economic Indicators and the Business Cycle
You’ll look at how economic phenomena such as employment and inflation are measured.
-The circular flow and GDP
-Unemployment
-Price indices and inflation
-Real vs. nominal GDP
-Business cycles
12%-17% 
Unit 3: National Income and Price Determination
You’ll explore how changes in aggregate spending and production, economic fluctuations, and policy actions affect national income, unemployment, and inflation.
-Aggregate demand
-Short-run and long-run aggregate supply
-Equilibrium and changes in the Aggregate Demand-Aggregate Supply Model
-Fiscal policy
17%–27%
Unit 4: Financial Sector
You’ll examine the financial sector and explain how monetary policy is implemented and transmitted through the banking system.
-Financial assets
-Definition, measurement, and functions of money
-Banking and the expansion of the money supply
-Monetary policy
18%–23%
Unit 5: Long-Run Consequences of Stabilization Policies
You’ll spend more time exploring the effects of fiscal and monetary policy actions and examining the concept of economic growth.
-The Phillips Curve
-Money growth and inflation
-Government deficits and national debt
-Crowding out
-Economic growth
20%–30%
Unit 6: Open Economy
International Trade and Finance
You’ll examine the concept of an open economy in which a country interacts with the rest of the world through product and financial markets.
-Balance of payments accounts
-Exchange rates and the foreign exchange market
-Effects of changes in policies and economic conditions on the foreign exchange market
-Changes in the foreign exchange market and net exports
-Real interest rates and international capital flows
10%–13%
AP Macroeconomic Course Content

For additional course resources such as classroom resources, formulae and equation sheets and lab manuals refer to the College Board AP Macroeconomics course page.

How is the AP Macroeconomics exam scored?

The AP Macroeconomics exam is divided into two sections:

  • Section I: Consists of 60 multiple-choice questions.
  • Section II: Consists of 3 free-response questions.

After the exam, the raw scores for each section are converted into scaled scores ranging from 1 to 5, according to a method that considers the exam’s complexity. The final step is to sum the results to determine the student’s final AP Macroeconomics exam score.

Multiple-choice: You will get 1 point for each multiple-choice question you answer correctly. There are no point deductions for incorrect answers.

Free-response: Points are allotted for clearly and thoroughly answering each part of the question. The long free-response question is worth 25 points, and each of the two short free-response questions is worth 15 points. Each free-response question has an equal bearing on your overall score.

The multiple-choice and free-response sections are each worth 50% of your score. Your free-response score is scaled accordingly and added to your multiple-choice score to arrive at a scaled AP score that is then converted to a final score on the 1-5 AP scale.

When is the AP Macroeconomics exam in 2024?

The AP Macroeconomics exam for 2024 will be held on Friday, May 10 2024 08:00 am local time. The 2024 AP Exams will be held over two weeks in May: May 6–10 and May 13–17. 

For the most recent information on exam dates and registration deadlines, students can check with their institution or the College Board website.

How to prepare for the AP Macroeconomics exam?

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the AP Macroeconomics exam 

  • Pay attention to the graphs and charts in your textbook. These can be a great way to visualize the concepts that you’re learning.
  • Learn the different economic systems. This is an important part of AP Macroeconomics, and it will come up on the exam.
  • Be familiar with the different economic indicators. This is another important topic in AP Macroeconomics, and it will also come up on the exam.
  • Practice answering multiple-choice questions. The AP Macroeconomics exam includes a multiple-choice section. Practicing answering multiple-choice questions will help you to improve your test-taking skills and prepare for the exam.
  • Practice writing essays. The AP Macroeconomics exam includes a free-response essay section. Practicing writing essays will help you to improve your writing skills and prepare for the exam.

How can Wiingy help with AP Macroeconomics exam prep?

In 2022, only 16.4% of the 134,413 students who took the AP Macroeconomics exam scored a 5. While 3 is considered the unofficial passing rate, most elite universities, such as Harvard or Princeton, offer AP credit only if you score 5 or higher. 

Getting a 5 is possible if you have the right support in your high school, but that’s rarely the case.

Here at Wiingy, we work with vetted AP Macroeconomics tutors with demonstrated expertise and experience in helping students score a 5 on AP exams

Unlike tutor marketplaces, every Wiingy tutor is screened individually and undergoes a comprehensive assessment. Less than 3% of applicants are selected to become tutors on Wiingy’s platform, ensuring tutors are highly qualified and experienced in teaching AP courses.

Our tutors will work with you 1-on-1 to master the content and skills you need to succeed. Experienced tutors can provide you with curriculum-specific guides and practice questions and familiarize you with the exam format to help you ace the test.

We know that sometimes you don’t want to pay for private tutoring because it is too expensive. It’s common to see tutoring costs between $100 to $150 per hour. Wiingy’s rates are very affordable, starting from just $28 per hour, much lower than the average AP tutoring offered by other platforms.

One more advantage of studying with us is that we don’t require you to sign up for any packages or yearly subscriptions. You can sign up for as little as a single lesson and add more lessons as per your requirements.

While we try to match you with the perfect tutor as per your needs, we know that sometimes even the best tutors might not be the right fit for you. That’s why we offer you the Perfect Match Guarantee, which means that if you are not satisfied with your tutor for any reason, you can request a free replacement at any time

Sign up with Wiingy AP Macroeconomics Tutoring today and achieve your goal of scoring a 5 on your AP Test!

Why take AP Macroeconomics?

There are several reasons why taking the AP Macroeconomics exam can be beneficial for students. Here are some points in detail:

  • College credit: Depending on your score and the policies of the college you plan to attend, a high score on the AP Macroeconomics exam can earn you college credit. This can save you time and money on tuition costs, as you may be able to skip introductory macroeconomics courses in college. You can major in Economics, Business Administration, Finance, Political Science, or Public Policy.
  • Advanced Placement: In addition to college credit, a high score on the AP Macroeconomics exam can also earn you advanced placement in higher-level macroeconomics courses in college. This can give you a head start and allow you to take more advanced courses earlier in your college career.
  • Career prospects: Taking the AP Macroeconomics exam and earning a high score demonstrates to colleges and future employers that you have mastered college-level macroeconomics concepts and skills. This can be an impressive addition to your college application or resume if you are looking to make your career as an Economist, Financial Analyst, Business Consultant, or Policymaker.
  • Interest in macroeconomics: Finally, taking the AP Macroeconomics exam can be a way to pursue your interest in macroeconomics and deepen your understanding of the economy. By exploring advanced macroeconomics concepts and practicing critical thinking skills, you can gain a greater appreciation for the complexity and dynamics of the global economy.

Conclusion

Students who are interested in majoring in economics, business, finance, or public policy will find the skills learned in AP Macroeconomics to be essential. Additionally, the skills learned in this course can be applied to a wide range of careers, such as consulting, banking, and government.

The AP Macroeconomics exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice (66 questions, 1 hour 10 minutes) and free-response (1 long essay and 2 short essays, 1 hour ).

The mean score for the AP Macroeconomics exam in 2022 was 2.71 out of 5, which is slightly higher than the mean score for all AP subjects in 2022 (2.92). The passing rate for AP Macroeconomics in 2022 was 51.8%, which is slightly higher than the pass rate for AP overall (60.2%).

The AP Macroeconomics exam is challenging, but it is also rewarding. By learning about the economy and applying your critical thinking skills, you can gain a deeper understanding of how the world works.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is AP Macroeconomics harder than AP Microeconomics?

In 2020, 82,415 students took the AP Microeconomics exam. Of these, 68.9% received a passing score of 3 or better and 23.3% earned a score of 5.

In comparison, 122,639 students took the AP Macroeconomics test, and 63.2% received a 3 or better, while 19.7% earned the top score. These figures suggest that AP Macroeconomics may be slightly harder.

However, you should consider several other criteria. For example, if you possess strong math skills, you may enjoy the mathematical relationships more common to micro models. Conversely, if your strong suits lie in history and government, macro may be easier for you due to the political and economic theories.

Do colleges care about AP Macroeconomics?

For students considering a major in business, economics, finance, and public policy, taking and earning a high score on the AP Macroeconomics exam can demonstrate your level of commitment. Additionally, AP courses on your transcript let colleges know you took the most challenging classes available.

On the other hand, AP Macroeconomics may not correspond to the content in a college course as readily as courses like AP Calculus and AP Biology. This may make it more difficult to earn credits or advanced placement. It’s a good idea to check AP requirements if you know which colleges you hope to attend.

Is Macroeconomics hard to self-study?”

Macroeconomics is not necessarily hard to self-study, but it can be challenging. The subject matter is complex and can be difficult to understand without a teacher or tutor to help explain the concepts. However, with the right resources and a lot of hard work, it is possible to learn macroeconomics on your own.

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Priyanshi Agrawal

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