AP Macroeconomics

AP Economics Program

The AP Program offers two courses in economics: AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics. Each course corresponds to one semester of a typical introductory college course in economics. AP Macroeconomics focuses on the principles that apply to an economic system as a whole. AP Microeconomics focuses on the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision-makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system.

AP Macroeconomics Course Overview

AP Macroeconomics is an introductory college-level course that focuses on the principles that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination; it also develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. Students learn to use graphs, charts, and data to analyze, describe, and explain economic concepts.

AP Macroeconomics Course Content

The AP Macroeconomics course provides students with a thorough understanding of the principles of economics and how economists use those principles to examine aggregate economic behavior. Students learn how the measures of economic performance, such as gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, and unemployment are constructed and how to apply them to evaluate the macroeconomic conditions of an economy. The course recognizes the global nature of economics and provides ample opportunities to examine the impact of international trade and finance on national economies. Various economic schools of thought are introduced as students consider solutions to economic problems.

Topic Outline for AP Macroeconomics

I. Basic Economic Concepts

II. Measurement of Economic Performance

a. National income accounts

b. Inflation measurement and adjustment

c. Unemployment

III. National Income and Price Determination

a. Aggregate demand

b. Aggregate supply

c. Macroeconomics equilibrium

IV. Financial Sector

a. Money, banking, and financial markets

b. Loanable funds market

c. Central bank and control of the money supply

V. Stabilization Policies

a. Fiscal and monetary policies

b. The Phillips curve

VI. Economic Growth

a. Definition of economic growth

b. Determinants of economic growth

c. Growth policy

VII. Open Economy: International Trade and Finance

a. Balance of payments accounts

b. Foreign exchange market

c. Imports, exports, and financial capital flows

d. Relationships between international and domestic financial and goods markets

AP Macroeconomics Exam Structure


Assessment Overview

The AP Macroeconomics Exam questions measure students’ knowledge of macroeconomics principles and their ability to reason within the discipline.

Format of Assessment

Section I: Multiple Choice | 60 Questions | 1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 66% of Exam Score

• Questions require the use of economics content knowledge and reasoning across the range of course topics.

• Some questions require analysis of different hypothetical situations.

Section II: Free Response | 3 Questions | 1 Hour (includes a 10-minute reading period) | 33% of Exam Score

• 1 long free-response question (50% of section score)

• 2 short free-response questions (each worth 25% of section score)

• Questions ask students to analyze unique scenarios using different course concepts.

• Some questions in the free-response section require graphical analysis.