AP Macro Exam

ap_logoAP Macroeconomics Exam is a little over 2 hours long. The exam consists of a 70-minute multiple-choice section and a 60-minute free-response section. The multiple-choice section accounts for two-thirds of your exam score and the free-response section for the remaining one-third. Some questions in the free-response section require graphical analysis. The free-response section begins with a mandatory 10-minute reading period. During this period, you are advised to read each of the questions, sketch graphs, make notes, and plan your answers. You then have 50 minutes to write your answers.

When answering the AP Macroeconomics free-response questions, you should respond clearly and concisely. Including paragraph or even full-sentence responses is not always necessary; however, it is important to address the verb prompts appropriately (as explained below). A written response that presents conflicting answers is likely to lead to the loss of points.

Definitions of the following terms that are frequently used as prompts in free-response questions are:

“Show” means to use a diagram to illustrate your answer. Correct labeling of all elements including the axes of the diagram is necessary to receive full credit.

“Explain” means to take the reader through all of the steps or linkages in the line of economic reasoning. Graphs and symbols are acceptable as part of the explanation.

“Identify” means to provide a specific answer that might be a list or a label on a graph, without any explanation or elaboration.

“Calculate” means to use mathematical operations to determine a specific numerical response, along with providing your work.

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Part 1 is a multiple-choice section to answer 60 multiple choice questions in a 70-minute time period. The exam tests your knowledge of topics included in a one-semester introductory college course. Topics include basic economic concepts; measurement of economic performance; national income and price determination; financial sector; inflation, unemployment, and stabilization policies; economic growth and productivity; and open economy.

The following table reflects the approximate percentage of the multiple-choice section of the exam devoted to each content area:

 8-12%  basic   economic concepts
 12-16%  measurement   of economic performance
 10-15%  national   income and price determination
 15-20%  financial   sector
 20-30%  inflation,   unemployment and stabilization policies
 5-10%  economic   growth and productivity
 10-15%  open   economy: international trade and finance

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Part 2 is a free-response section to answer one long and two short free-response questions in a 60-minute time period. The free-response section begins with a mandatory 10-minute reading period. During this period, students are advised to read each of the questions, sketch graphs, make notes, and plan their answers. Students then have 50 minutes to write their answers. Some questions in the free-response section require graphical analysis. The longer free-response question will generally require students to interrelate several content areas. The two shorter questions will typically focus on a specific topic in a given content area.

The score on the long question will account for one-half of the student’s total free-response score; the scores on the shorter questions will each account for one-quarter of the student’s total free-response score.

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