The Course

AP Microeconomics

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Course Overview

AP Microeconomics is an introductory college-level microeconomics course. Students cultivate their understanding of the principles that apply to the functions of individual economic decision-makers by using principles and models to describe economic situations and predict and explain outcomes with graphs, charts, and data as they explore concepts like scarcity and markets; costs, benefits, and marginal analysis; production choices and behavior; and market inefficiency and public policy.

Calculator Policy

Starting with the 2022-23 school year (spring 2023 exam), a four-function calculator is allowed on both sections of the exam. Note that this is strictly a change to the calculator policy and does not affect the exam format (number of sections, number of questions), the type of questions students may see on the exam, or the course skills.

Course and Exam Description

Course Resources

Course Content

Based on the Understanding by Design® (Wiggins and McTighe) model, the course framework provides a clear and detailed description of the course requirements necessary for student success. The framework specifies what students must know, be able to do, and understand, with a focus on big ideas that encompass core principles and theories of the discipline. The framework also encourages instruction
that prepares students for advanced economics coursework. 

The AP Microeconomics framework is organized into six commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.


Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)

Unit 1: Basic Economic Concepts


Unit 2: Supply and Demand


Unit 3: Production, Cost, and the Perfect Competition Model


Unit 4: Imperfect Competition


Unit 5: Factor Markets


Unit 6: Market Failure and the Role of Government


Course Skills

The AP Microeconomics framework included in the course and exam description outlines distinct skills that students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think and act like economists.



1. Principles and Models

Define economic principles and models.

2. Interpretation

Explain given economic outcomes.

3. Manipulation

Determine outcomes of specific economic situations.

4. Graphing and Visuals

Model economic situations using graphs or visual representations.

AP and Higher Education

Higher education professionals play a key role in developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education section features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.

This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy Search.

Meet the AP Microeconomics Development Committee

The AP Program is unique in its reliance on Development Committees. These committees, made up of an equal number of college faculty and experienced secondary AP teachers from across the country, are essential to the preparation of AP course curricula and exams.