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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information

Updated April 8 Students can now download the digital testing application and take digital practice to prepare them for the testing experience. See below for more information on digital practice and taking the digital exam.

AP Macroeconomics Exams will be offered on paper in early May and as a digital exam in late May and early June.

All versions of the exam will cover the full scope of course content, giving students the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement. On the digital exam, students will answer free-response questions with a keyboard, rather than by hand. Students taking digital exams will not be asked to draw or graph as part of their response—rather, these skills will be assessed with questions about given diagrams or other stimuli. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

Note: Calculators will be permitted on all sections of the digital AP Macroeconomic Exam in 2021.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Macroeconomics only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

AP Daily and AP Classroom
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help you cover all course content, skills, and task models, and check student understanding. Unlock personal progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use the progress dashboard to highlight progress and additional areas for support. As the exam approaches, assign AP practice exams in the AP Classroom question bank and encourage students to take advantage of AP Daily: Live Review sessions April 19–29.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information, refer to the Exam Overview section in the AP Macroeconomics Course and Exam Description (CED).

Encourage your students to visit the AP Macroeconomics student page for exam information.

Digital Practice and Testing Information

Updated April 8

Digital Practice Now Available

Starting April 8, students can try out the test-day experience by answering example questions in the digital testing application. See the Digital Practice page for general information about practice options.

AP Macroeconomics students will have two options to answer example questions in the digital testing application. Both provide approximately the same time limit per question as the full exam.

  • Digital Practice has a shortened multiple-choice section (12 questions, 15 minutes), a shortened break of 5 minutes, and a shortened free-response section (2 short free-response questions, 30 minutes). Note: The Digital Practice does not include a long free-response question, though one will appear on the digital exam.
  • The App Demo is an even shorter subset of the questions in Digital Practice–5 multiple- choice questions, a 2-minute break, and 1 free-response question.

We highly recommend all students take the Digital Practice, and strongly advise that if they can’t take the Digital Practice, they at least take the App Demo. Both can be taken multiple times, and can be accessed directly in the digital testing application. Students can access their answers and solution materials (MCQ answer key, FRQ scoring guidelines) for the Digital Practice. Note: Taking the App Demo after completing Digital Practice may override student answers from Digital Practice. Teachers can also access digital practice from the teacher dashboard, available beginning April 22.

Taking the Digital Exam

Students should be aware of some aspects of testing digitally that they’ll encounter—in the Digital Practice and on exam day:

  • Students may use a calculator on the digital AP Macroeconomics exam. However, they’ll need to bring their own calculator because the digital testing application does not include one.
  • As a reminder, students will answer all multiple-choice questions and type all free-response answers directly in the digital exam application. The free-response questions won’t require students to draw diagrams, charts, or complicated mathematical expressions. Scratch paper is permitted for notes or planning, but students cannot handwrite or otherwise upload responses
  • As a reminder, students cannot go back to questions they’ve already answered, and cannot skip ahead.
  • Exam directions and section-specific directions will not be read by a proctor–they’ll appear entirely in the application. Students will see them at the beginning of each section, and can access them at any time during the exam. Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear. While students should read the directions, they should be aware that the timer will be running while they do so. Teachers and students can view the full text of the exam and section directions in advance of the exam.

More information about taking digital exams is available in the Digital Testing Guide.

Digital Exam Readiness Dashboard

Beginning April 22, AP teachers and AP coordinators will have access to a new digital exam readiness dashboard. Teachers and coordinators will access the dashboard from their personalized AP login page (after signing in through AP Central or through myap.collegeboard.org). The dashboard can be used to monitor students’ progress in taking the steps necessary before and on exam day to enable them to take a digital exam. See details in the “Preparing for Digital AP Exams” section of the AP Digital Testing Guide.

Exam Dates

  • Event
    • MON, MAY 10, 2021, 12 PM LOCAL

    AP Macroeconomics Exam—Administration 1

    Paper, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • WED, MAY 19, 2021, 4 PM EDT

    AP Macroeconomics Exam—Administration 2

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  
  • Event
    • WED, JUN 2, 2021, 4 PM EDT

    AP Macroeconomics Exam—Administration 3

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  

Exam Format

The AP Macroeconomics Exam includes two sections. The first section contains 60 multiple-choice questions. The second section is the free-response section, which includes one long question and two short questions. The chart below provides a detailed breakdown of both the multiple choice and free-response sections.

Note on 2021 exams: There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Macroeconomics only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Both the paper and digital versions of the AP Macroeconomics Exam will be full length and measure the full range of knowledge specified in the course and exam description.

On the digital exam, students will answer free-response questions with a keyboard, rather than by hand. Students taking the digital AP Macroeconomics Exam will not be asked to draw or graph as part of their response—rather, skills will be assessed by asking students to answer questions about given diagrams. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

Per the AP Exam Calculator Policy, calculators are not permitted on the paper exam.  On the digital exam, calculators will be permitted on all sections of the 2021 exam. As is the case every year, a student’s AP Exam score of 5, 4, 3, 2. or 1 reflects the degree of knowledge and achievement the student demonstrates, not a pre-set number of points. The AP Program uses standard and widely supported psychometric and statistical procedures to provide students with comparable scores, regardless of which exam version they take and whether they take the exam on paper or digitally.

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 and skills in skill categories 1, 2, and 3.

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).
  • Please note: FRQs will be presented in a different order on paper and pencil and digital exams, as follows:
    • Order of FRQs on paper and pencil exams
      1. Long free-response question
      2. Short free-response question
      3. Short free-response question
    • Order of FRQs on digital exams
      1. Short free-response question
      2. Short free-response question
      3. Long free-response question
  • Students will be asked to:
    • Make assertions about economic concepts, principles, models, outcomes, and/or effects
    • Explain economic concepts, principles, models, outcomes, and/or effects
    • Perform numerical analysis
    • (On paper and pencil exams) Create graphs or visual representations
    • (On digital exams) Answer questions about given graphs and visuals

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

2020 (Last Year’s) Free-Response Questions

Last year's free-response questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank for teachers to assign to students as homework or in class, and do not require secure assessment using the LockDown Browser. Since the 2020 exams had to be designed for highly unusual circumstances, these questions were updated, where possible, to best match the format of free-response questions in the course and exam description and on traditional AP Exams.

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including personal progress checks and a question bank with topic questions and practice exams aligned to the current course and exam.

To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.

2019 Free-Response Questions

For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the chief reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the AP Reading leadership to explain how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.