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Exam Skills: MCQ/FRQ

2021 AP Macroeconomics Exam Guide

7 min readmarch 1, 2021


AP Macroeconomics 🤑

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Your guide to the 2021 AP Macroeconomics exam

We know that studying for your AP exams can be stressful, but Fiveable has your back! We have created a study plan that will help you crush your AP Macroeconomics exam. We will continue to update this guide with more information about the 2021 exams, as well as helpful resources to help you score that 5. Create a Fiveable account and join our Discord to stay involved in all things AP exams! 😁

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Format of the 2021 AP AP Macroeconomics exam

This year, all AP exams will cover all units and essay types. The 2021 AP Macroeconomics exam format will be:
  • Section I: Multiple Choice—66% of score 
    • You will have an hour and ten minutes to answer 60 questions. 
  • Section II: Free Response—33% of score 
    • 1 hour to respond to three FRQs
      • 1 long free response question (50% of section score) 
      • 2 short free response questions (50% of section score) 
    • *On the digital exam, students will not be asked to draw graphs.

When is the 2021 AP Macroeconomics exam and how do I take it?

There are three different exam administrations this year and the tests will be taken in person at your school, unless your AP Coordinator has indicated otherwise. Here is what we know from College Board so far:
  • The first date is on paper at your school on Monday, May 10, at 12pm, your local time. 
  • The second exam will be offered digitally either at home or in school on Wednesday, May 19 at 4pm EDT. 
  • The third exam will be offered digitally either at home or in school on Wednesday, June 2 at 4 PM EDT. 
You will have 2 hours and 10 minutes to take the exam. We will have more updates from the College Board soon, but as of now this is what we know! Create a Fiveable account to get updates on the latest 2021 exam news. 

Resources:

How should I prepare for the exam?

  • First, download the AP Macroeconomics Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know at a high level. Take note of your strengths and weaknesses! 
  • Review every unit and question type, and focus on the areas that need the most improvement and practice. We’ve put together this plan to help you study between now and May. This will cover all of the units and essay types to prepare you for your exam
  • Join our Discord channel to talk to real students just like you studying for this exam! We have TAs in each subject channel to support you this Spring. 
  • Finally, check out our live Cram events so that you can review for the AP Macro exam with a rockstar teacher and study socially among other students!  

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Pre-work: set up your study environment

Before we begin, take some time to get organized. Remote learning can be great, but it also means you’ll need to hold yourself accountable more than usual. 
🖥 Create a study space.
Make sure you have a designated place at home to study. Somewhere you can keep all of your materials, where you can focus on learning, and where you are comfortable. Spend some time prepping the space with everything you need and you can even let others in the family know that this is your study space. 
📚 Organize your study materials.
Get your notebook, textbook, prep books, or whatever other physical materials you have. Also create a space for you to keep track of review. Start a new section in your notebook to take notes or start a Google Doc to keep track of your notes. Get yourself set up!
📅 Plan designated times for studying.
The hardest part about studying from home is sticking to a routine. Decide on one hour every day that you can dedicate to studying. This can be any time of the day, whatever works best for you. Set a timer on your phone for that time and really try to stick to it. The routine will help you stay on track.
🏆 Decide on an accountability plan.
How will you hold yourself accountable to this study plan? You may or may not have a teacher or rules set up to help you stay on track, so you need to set some for yourself. First set your goal. This could be studying for x number of hours or getting through a unit. Then, create a reward for yourself. If you reach your goal, then x. This will help stay focused!
🤝 Get support from your peers. 
There are thousands of students all over the world who are preparing for their AP exams just like you! Join our Discord channel to chat, ask questions, and meet other students who are also studying for the spring exams. You can even build study groups and review material together! 

AP Macroeconomics 2021 Study Plan

💸 Unit 1: Basic Economic Concepts 

Big Takeaways 

Unit 1 is an introductory unit that delves into basic economic concepts such as equilibrium, supply and demand, and opportunity costs. Additionally, this unit introduces models and graphs that come up often in FRQs and will prepare students for further analysis in the later units! 

Definitely do this: 

🎥 Watch these videos:
  • Opportunity Cost Tables by Khan Academy: learn how to use production possibility curves to create a table and determine comparative advantage 
📰 Check out these articles:
✍️ Practice:

Resources:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper: 

  • Check out this Quizlet for vocab review!

📈 Unit 2: Economic Indicators and the Business Cycle

Big Takeaways 

The majority of this unit deals with how economic phenomena are measured. In this unit, students will be exposed to topics such as GDP, unemployment, inflation, and business cycles. Finally, students will learn how to differentiate between real and nominal GDP.

Definitely do this: 

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰 Check out these articles:
✍️ Practice:

Resources:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

💲 Unit 3: National Income and Price Determination

Big Takeaways 

This unit focuses on the concepts of aggregate demand, short and long-run aggregate supply, and how changes in the economy can affect employment and national income. This unit contains a lot of important concepts that will show up on the FRQ section of the AP exam! 

Definitely do this: 

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰 Check out these articles:
✍️ Practice:

Resources:

💰 Unit 4: Financial Sector 

Big Takeaways 

This unit dives into the financial sector which encompasses financial assets, interest rates, monetary policies, banking, and the loanable funds market. 

Definitely do this: 

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰 Check out these articles:
✍️ Practice:

Resources:

⚖️ Unit 5: Long-run Consequences of Stabilization Policies 

Big Takeaways 

Learn how economic conditions can be improved through fiscal policies. Students will also learn how to examine the Phillips Curve, money growth, and other types of economic growth. 

Definitely do this: 

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰 Check out these articles:
✍️ Practice:

Resources:

🏗 Unit 6: Open Economy- International Trade and Finance 

Big Takeaways 

Building on concepts from units 1-5, this unit dives into the idea of an open economy which is when one country interacts with other countries. Additionally, this unit introduces the concept of foreign exchange markets. 

Definitely do this: 

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰 Check out these articles:
✍️ Practice:

Resources:

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