AP Macroeconomics

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AP Macroeconomics aims to give students an understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. It places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination and also develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth and international economics. According to surveys of comparable curricula at four-year colleges and universities, it is it is equivalent to a one-semester introductory college course.

Topics covered on the exam include:

Basic Economic Concepts (8–12%)

  • Scarcity, choice and opportunity costs
  • Production possibilities curve
  • Comparative advantage, absolute advantage, specialization and exchange
  • Demand, supply and market equilibrium
  • Macroeconomic issues: business cycle, unemployment, inflation, growth

Measurement of Economic Performance (12–16%)

  • National income accounts
  • Inflation measurement and adjustment
  • Unemployment

National Income and Price Determination (10–15%)

  • Aggregate demand
  • Aggregate supply
  • Macroeconomic equilibrium

Financial Sector (15–20%)

  • Money, banking and financial markets
  • Central bank and control of the money supply

Inflation, Unemployment and Stabilization Policies (20–30%)

  • Fiscal and monetary policies
  • Inflation and unemployment

Economic Growth and Productivity (5–10%)

  • Investment in human capital
  • Investment in physical capital
  • Research and development, technological progress
  • Growth policy

Open Economy: International Trade and Finance (10–15%)

  • Balance of payments accounts
  • Foreign exchange market
  • Net exports and capital flows
  • Links to financial and goods markets

Read the full course description and exam information with sample questions.

AP Macroeconomics Development Committee

Committee Co-Chairs

  • Clark G. Ross, Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina
  • Gabriel A. Sanchez, Bonita High School, La Verne, California

Committee Members

  • James Hartley, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts
  • Brian R. Held, Loyola High School, Los Angeles, California
  • Holly L. Jones, The Pennington School, Pennington, New Jersey
  • Neil Sheflin, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

College Board Advisor

  • Patricia Brazill, Irondequoit High School, Rochester, New York

Chief Reader

  • Arthur Raymond, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Chief Reader Designate

  • Fred Smith, Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina