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Advanced Placement

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

Written by Apoorvaa Agarwal

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  • The AP Microeconomics course covers the basics of microeconomics, which is the study of how markets work.
  • The AP Microeconomics exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice (60 questions, 1 hour 10 minutes) and free-response (1 long essay and 2 short essays, 1 hour).
  • The mean score for the AP Microeconomics exam in 2022 was 2.93 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 Microeconomics Exam for 2022 was 59.0%. 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 Microeconomics is one of the most popular AP courses offered by the College Board. In 2022, over 84,386 students took the AP Microeconomics exam.

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

What is on the AP Microeconomics exam?

The AP Microeconomics exam covers a wide range of topics related to the study of how markets work, from the individual to the global level.

These topics include the concepts of supply and demand, market equilibrium, elasticity, production and costs, perfect competition, monopoly, and oligopoly.

In addition to these specific topics, the AP Microeconomics exam also covers several broader topics, such as the role of government in the market, the efficiency of markets, and the distribution of income.

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

The AP Microeconomics Exam format includes two sections as below:

SectionNo. of questionsTime allocated to  each sectionWeightage
Multiple-choice  questions60 questions1 hour 10minutes66%
Free response   questions3 questions 1 hour 33% 
AP Microeconomics exam format

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

How long is the AP Microeconomics exam?

The AP Microeconomics exam is 2 hours 5 minutes long and is divided into two sections:

  • Section I: Multiple-choice (60 questions, 1 hour 10 mins)
  • Section II: Free-response (1 long essay and 2 short essays, 1 hour )

The AP Microeconomics Exam will test your understanding of the microeconomic concepts covered in the course units, as well as your ability to analyze graphs, tables, and other data.

The multiple-choice section of the exam is worth 40% of your total score, and the free-response section is worth 60% of your total score.

The long essay in the free-response section is worth 25% of your total score, and the two short essays are each worth 15% of your total score.

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

How many questions does the AP Microeconomics exam have?

The AP Microeconomics exam has 6 questions in total divided into two major sections; 66 multiple-choice questions and 3 free-response questions.

Topics for AP Microeconomics Reviews

AP Microeconomics is a rigorous course that covers the core concepts, theories, and processes that shape the behavior of individuals, firms, and industries in the economy. Students will do hands-on activities and projects to investigate economic phenomena.

UnitWhat’s includedWeight in exam
Unit 1: Basic Economic Concepts
You’ll study the foundations of microeconomic thinking, including how to evaluate decisions based on constraints and trade-offs and make rational economic choices.
-Scarcity
-Resource allocation and economic systems
-The Production Possibilities Curve
-Comparative advantage and gains from trade
-Cost-benefit analysis
-Marginal analysis and consumer choice
12%-15% 
Unit 2: Supply and Demand
You’ll learn the basis for understanding how markets work with an introduction to the supply and demand model.
-Demand
-Supply
-Elasticity
-Market equilibrium, disequilibrium, and changes in equilibrium
-The effects of government intervention in markets
-International trade and public policy
20%-25%
Unit 3: Production, Cost, and the Perfect Competition Model
You’ll explore the factors that drive the behavior of companies and learn about the perfect competition model.
-The production function
-Short- and long-run production costs
-Types of profit
-Profit maximization
-Perfect competition
22%–25%
Unit 4: Imperfect Competition
You’ll learn how imperfectly competitive markets work and how game theory comes into play in economic models.
-Monopoly
-Price discrimination
-Monopolistic competition
-Oligopoly and game theory
115%–22%
Unit 5: Factor Markets
You’ll learn how concepts such as supply and demand and marginal decision-making apply in the context of factor markets.
-Introduction to factor markets
-Changes in factor demand and factor supply
-Profit-maximizing behavior in perfectly competitive factor markets
-Monopsonistic markets
10%–13%
Unit 6: Market Failure and the Role of Government
You’ll examine the conditions under which markets may fail and the effects of government intervention in markets.
-Socially efficient and inefficient market outcomes
-Externalities
-Public and private goods
-The effects of government intervention in different market structures
-Income and wealth inequality
18%–13%
AP Microeconomics Course Content

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

How is the AP Microeconomics exam scored?

The AP Microeconomics exam is divided into two sections:

  • Section I: Multiple-choice (60 questions, 55 minutes)
  • Section II: Free-response (1 long essay and 2 short essays, 1 hour 40 minutes)

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 Microeconomics 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 Microeconomics exam in 2024?

The AP Microeconomics exam for 2024 will be held on Tuesday, May 7 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 Microeconomics exam?

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the AP Microeconomics 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 market structures. This is an important part of AP Microeconomics, and it will come up on the exam.
  • Be familiar with the different types of economic efficiency. This is another important topic in AP Microeconomics, and it will also come up on the exam.
  • Practice answering multiple-choice questions. The AP Microeconomics exam includes a multiple-choice section. How can Wiingy help with AP Microeconomics exam prep?

    In 2022, only 17.7% of the 84,386 students who took the AP Microeconomics 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 Microeconomics 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.

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

    Why take AP Microeconomics?

    Here are some reasons why taking the AP Microeconomics exam can be beneficial for students:

    • College credit: Depending on your score and the policies of the college you plan to attend, a high score on the AP Microeconomics exam can earn you college credit. This can save you time and money on tuition costs, as you may be able to skip introductory microeconomics 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 Microeconomics exam can also earn you advanced placement in higher-level microeconomics 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 Microeconomics exam and earning a high score demonstrates to colleges and future employers that you have mastered college-level microeconomics 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 microeconomics: Finally, taking the AP Microeconomics exam can be a way to pursue your interest in microeconomics and deepen your understanding of how markets work. By exploring advanced microeconomics concepts and practicing critical thinking skills, you can gain a greater appreciation for the complexity and dynamics of the market economy.

    Conclusion

    Students who are interested in majoring in economics, business, finance, or public policy will find the skills learned in AP Microeconomics 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 Microeconomics exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice (60 questions, 55 minutes) and free-response (1 long essay and 2 short essays, 1 hour 40 minutes).

    The mean score for the AP Microeconomics exam in 2022 was 2.86 out of 5, which is slightly higher than the mean score for all AP subjects in 2022 (2.92). The passing rate for AP Microeconomics in 2022 was 54.2%, which is slightly higher than the pass rate for AP overall (60.2%).

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

    Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

    Is AP Microeconomics harder than AP Macroeconomics?

    According to score distribution data provided by CollegeBoard, roughly 51% of students scored a three or higher on the AP Macroeconomics exam, while about 59% of students scored a three or higher on the AP Microeconomics exam. Based on this data, students could fairly assume that AP Microeconomics is not harder than AP Macroeconomics

    Do colleges care about AP Microeconomics?

    The answer to this question depends on several factors. If a student applies to study economics, business, finance, or a related subject and received a low score on the AP Microeconomics exam, this could reflect poorly on the prospective learner.

    That said, a student applying to study a topic like theater arts or religion may earn a high score on the AP Microeconomics exam, but this will mean less to admission officers since it doesn’t relate to their chosen major at all.

    Is AP Microeconomics worth taking?

    Many students may wonder whether AP classes are worth taking, and some may question specifically whether AP Microeconomics is worth the effort. In short, it depends on the student. A learner who plans to study fine art or nursing may find less value in taking this course than someone considering a major in economics or business administration.

    In short, students need to consider how taking a course in microeconomics benefits their future selves. If they feel that knowledge of microeconomics can prove valuable to their future endeavors, taking AP Microeconomics is worth it.

Reviewed by

Priyanshi Agrawal

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