How to Approach AP® Macroeconomics Multiple Choice Questions

The journey to mastering AP® Macroeconomics can be both exciting and challenging. As students prepare for the exam, a common question pops up: “Is the AP Macroeconomics MCQ section difficult?” The answer depends not only on how complex the questions are but also on how students approach them. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key to conquering the AP Macroeconomics multiple-choice section, providing valuable insights and strategies to overcome the challenges effectively.

Format of the AP Macroeconomics MCQ Section

The first section of the AP Macroeconomics exam, the MCQ section, makes up 66% of your overall exam score. It consists of 60 questions to be answered in 70 minutes, giving you around 40-45 seconds per question. All the questions require knowledge of economic concepts and reasoning across the following units of the course content:

Units Exam Weight
Unit 1: Basic Economic Concepts 5–10%
Unit 2: Economic Indicators and the Business Cycle 12–17%
Unit 3: National Income and Price Determination 17–27%
Unit 4: Financial Sector 18–23%
Unit 5: Long-Run Consequences of Stabilization Policies 20–30%
Unit 6: Open Economy—International Trade and Finance 10–13%

The questions also test the following skills:

  • Skill Category 1 (Principles and Models): To assess students' knowledge of economic principles and models
  • Skill Category 2 (Interpretation): To assess how well students can define economic outcomes
  • Skill Category 3 (Manipulation): To assess students' capability to evaluate the results of specific economic situations
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Visual explanation of budget deficit and budget surplus.

How to Approach AP Macroeconomics Multiple-Choice Questions

Approaching AP Macroeconomics multiple-choice questions requires a systematic strategy. Here are a few tips to help you perform well in this section:

  1. Ensure you read the questions carefully:

    Before answering a question, understand what it's asking. To make it more manageable, break the question into smaller components. Highlight numbers, units, or important terms to form and solve equations.

  2. Know the terminology:

    Understanding the macroeconomics terms helps you interpret questions accurately, gather precise information from graphs and charts, and choose the most appropriate answer.

  3. Use graphs and tables wherever possible:

    While drawing graphs and tables may not be explicitly required in AP Macroeconomics MCQs, doing so can benefit you. It helps you organize your thoughts, prevents confusion, and helps you answer questions more precisely. It also enables you to comprehend specific data points or trends that may not be achievable through written information in the questions alone.

  4. Answer all the questions:

    Since there is no penalty for a wrong answer, answer every question. Try eliminating incorrect options to increase your chances of selecting the correct answer. If you still need to figure out the answer, try making an educated guess using reasoned and thoughtful inferences.

  5. Skip and Revisit:

    If you are stuck, skip that question and return to it later. This prevents you from running out of time and reduces stress and anxiety during the exam. Knowing you can revisit challenging questions later promotes a calmer mindset, enabling you to focus better on questions you can answer readily.

  6. Know your calculator:

    You can use a four-function calculator on both AP Macroeconomics exam sections. Make sure to bring the same calculator you practiced with to avoid getting stuck and making errors due to using an unfamiliar calculator.

AP Macroeconomics Multiple Choice Questions Examples

The following are examples of exam-like AP Macroeconomics multiple choice questions derived from the UWorld QBank.

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Graphs indicating the correlation of pricing for complementary goods.

How to Practice AP Macroeconomics Multiple-Choice Questions

Here are some study tips to help you excel in the AP Macroeconomics multiple-choice questions section:

  • Start by familiarizing yourself with the format of the MCQ section. Check how many questions there are and the time and points allotted to them.
  • Ensure a solid grasp of foundational macroeconomic concepts. See how different units are weighted in the AP Macroeconomics MCQ section and prepare accordingly. Topics with higher weight are more likely to appear on the exam.
  • Take timed tests. This will help you manage your time effectively during the exam and improve your ability to analyze and answer questions quickly.
  • Use resources like UWorld's AP Macroeconomics practice tests to prepare for your exam. This will help you understand the difficulty level of the actual exam, review your performance, and adjust your study approach accordingly.
  • Practice as many questions as possible. Pay close attention to the questions you answered incorrectly. Understand why you made those mistakes and strive to clarify any doubts.

Above all this, a study plan is pivotal to remain focused and have a structured framework for your preparation. If you need help with creating an AP Macroeconomics study plan, our guide is here for you! It will help you set realistic goals for each study session and ensure you cover all the units promptly before the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The AP Macroeconomics MCQ answer sheets are scanned and scored by a computer. The total number of accurate responses on your answer sheet determines your section score. For example, if you answer 52 questions correctly, your score will be 52.

For the AP Macroeconomics multiple choice questions section, you get 70 minutes to answer 60 questions.

You can practice and review the past MCQ questions by accessing the College Board®.


  1. AP Macroeconomics. (2022). Retrieved January 19, 2024, from
  2. AP Macroeconomics Course and Exam Description. (2022, Fall). Retrieved January 19, 2024, from
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Chart and plot showing how market equilibrium correlates to demand and supply.

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