If you’re starting the process of studying for your AP Macroeconomics exam and want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible, there’s nothing better than taking practice tests. Studying with AP Macroeconomics practice tests will familiarize you with the types of questions you’ll see on the exam, expose you to the exam format and length, and give you insight into what material you might be struggling with.
But where can you find great AP Macro practice tests? We've compiled a list of the best AP Macroeconomics practice exams out there, and we’ll give you a few tips on how to use them to potentially boost your score.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
These practice tests have the College Board seal of approval. (Not to be confused with a real seal, which is MUCH cuter.)
Official AP Macroeconomics Practice Tests
Official AP Macro practice exams are your best bet for high quality study aids. That’s because these are issued by the College Board, which also administers the AP exams! As a result, these official AP Macroeconomics practice exams are the most accurate representation of the types of questions you’ll encounter on the actual test.
Although the official full-length AP Macro practice exams available are several years old, they still feature the best possible answer explanations and scoring calculations you’ll find online.
Here are the official full-length practice tests currently available online.
- 2014 AP Macroeconomics Practice Exam (pdf)
- 2013 AP Macroeconomics Practice Exam (pdf)
- 2012 AP Macroeconomics Practice Exam (pdf)
Also, additional AP Macroeconomics practice exam pdfs are available with your AP Classroom account.
In addition to these full-length AP Macroeconomics practice exam pdfs, there are many official Free-Response Question (FRQ) pdfs with score calculators available. The FRQ section of the AP Macro exam is a good thing to practice because many students find it’s the most challenging part of the exam.
Below we’ve listed a few of the official AP Macro FRQ practice sets. If you want to study more of them (which is a good idea), there are more available on the College Board website here.
- 2019 Free-Response Questions Set 1--- Set 1 Score Guide
- 2019 Free-Response Questions Set 2--- Set 2 Score Guide
- 2018 Free-Response Questions Set 1--- Set 1 Score Guide
- 2017 Free-Response Questions Set 2--- Set 2 Score Guide
Even though these official AP Macro practice exams are the best-of-the-best when it comes to your study resources, we recommend that you wait until your second semester--when you’re more familiar with the course material--to use these. Instead, the unofficial tests listed below will be most helpful as you’re working through your first semester.
Unofficial practice tests can help you prep...but use them with caution!
Unofficial AP Macroeconomics Practice Tests
There are tons of unofficial AP Macro practice materials out there to choose from. They can certainly help you get comfortable with the course topics, but don’t rely on these exclusively as you study for the final exam.
That’s because many of these resources either don’t offer full-length multiple choice sections or they leave out the FRQ section. Furthermore, some don’t have a timed mode, or they ask questions that are part of outdated versions of the AP Macro Exam.
In other words: it’s best if you use these resources to supplement the official practice tests we listed above!
Free AP Macro Practice Exams
- Barron's offers a free practice test online that has the same format as the current AP test.
- You can take it in timed or untimed ("practice") mode.
- If you use practice mode, you can see answer explanations as you go along.
- The multiple-choice section has automated scoring, but you'll have to self-score your free-response answers (guidelines are provided).
- This site offers a free, timed practice test online that mirrors the format of the current AP test.
- They offer several separate free-response quizzes you can practice with.
- The best part: they feature quizzes for each unit and topic you’ll cover for the whole year.
- This site features 88 practice tests you can use for studying. However, none are full-length.
- There are no free-response questions available.
- Each of the tests is organized by the concept being tested, has a difficulty rating, and has estimated length of time to answer each question.
- They offer full explanations for how to arrive at the correct answer, so you’ll know how to correct mistakes.
These practice tests will cost you cold, hard cash.
Subscription Only AP Macro Practice
Shmoop Practice Tests ($14.99 a month for regular subscription)
- A subscription to Shmoop will get you access to a diagnostic test plus a full AP Macro practice test (including both multiple-choice and free-response questions, although these are of course unofficial).
- The subscription also includes videos and study guides to help you get familiar with the material.
- Shmoop tries to use humor in their writing style (not always successfully), but if you're not put off by that, it might be a good resource for you.
Peterson’s Practice Tests ($49 per month; discounts available for three and six month contracts)
- A subscription to Peterson’s gives you access to two full-length AP Macro practice tests with full answer explanations.
- Although it’s pricey, the subscription also gives you access to all other AP subject area practice tests.
- Also includes ACT practice tests and SAT prep resources.
Practice Tests in Review Books
You can also use test prep books to review for your AP Macroeconoimcs exam. Obviously there is a charge for these, but they come with plenty of study materials. Both Kaplan and Princeton Review only offer one practice test for Macro. Barron’s however offers four--two in the book, and two online (available with book purchase).
- Kaplan Study Guide (around $10)
- Barron’s Test Prep (between $15-$20)
- The Princeton Review (between $10-$20)
How to Use AP Macroeconomics Practice Tests
This section includes how you should be using practice tests in your study hours during the first and second semesters of your AP Macro class.
First Semester: Using Practice Tests for Class
At this point trying to take full-length practice tests will probably be an exercise in frustration. But you can still use the resources included in this article to help with your homework and in-class tests. Focus on free-response questions that match what you’ve studied so far. At this point, you can use sites like Varsity Tutors that organize quiz questions by topic.
There are also plenty of other sites that feature quizzes by topic or unit you’re studying. For instance, Quizlet has quizzes and flashcards to help you hone your skills. And Study.com offers lesson overview videos and quizzes on every topic you’ll see in class (although a subscription is required for much of this material after the first 30 days). Although none of these questions are official, they will serve as a solid introduction to the material. Also, be sure to check out our complete AP Macro study guide for even more resources for your first semester!
Second Semester: Preparing for the AP Test
At this time you should be pretty familiar with at least most of the material that will be on the test. So it’s time to focus your AP Macro practice on the official tests available.
By using the full-length practice tests you’ll be able to judge how you might score on the actual final exam, and see where your weaknesses lie. You can see if there are content areas that you need to study further, or if your mistakes are due to time management or careless errors.
As you take the tests, focus on the multiple choice sections first, then move into the free-response. Be sure to notice which questions or sections gave you the most trouble and why. For instance, if the free-response was a problem because you’re still struggling with creating graphs accurately, before you take another practice test spend some time drawing practice graphs and scoring those separately.
In order to get the most out of your review time with these practice tests, make sure you follow the strategies listed below!
These tips will help you get the most out of your AP Macro study time.
4 Essential AP Macro Practice Testing Strategies
Now that you’re equipped with lots of practice tests, it’s time to start studying! Here are our top tips so you can get the most out of your prep.
#1 Replicate Realistic Test Conditions
In order to make sure that your scores accurately reflect your potential, it’s a good idea to stick to the rules. You should remove distractions (like your cell-phone or internet access), and follow the AP Macro exam format exactly. Start with the multiple choice section and set a timer for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Then give yourself the full official break time before you move on to the free-response section (also 1 hour 10 min.).
In addition, it’s important to know if you’ll be taking the digital or paper version of the exam. If you’re taking the digital version, practice the whole exam with your calculator, and be sure to type up your responses in the FRQ section.
If you’ll be taking the paper version, you’ll only be able to use your calculator on certain sections, so only use it on the designated portions during your practice sessions. And be sure to hand-write your responses in the FRQ section. This way you’ll know your timing is accurate.
#2 Don’t Panic If You’re Not Familiar With Scenarios You See on the Test
Even if you’ve gone over all the notes you’ve taken over the course of the year, and covered every topic, it’s likely the practice tests will have examples or question phrasing you haven’t encountered. Don’t let that psych you out!
Remember that the concepts and topics are the same as what you learned in class. So take a deep breath and rely on your common sense.
#3 Spend the Full 10 Minutes Reading the Free-Response Questions Before You Write
On test day, you’ll have 10 minutes built into the FRQ section just for reading. Even if you’re tempted to just skim some parts, resist. It’s a good idea to read each of the questions fully, and underline important components of each.
You can also use this time to figure out which questions you’re most confident about. When it’s time to start writing, begin by answering these questions first before moving on to those you might feel unsure about.
#4 Analyze Your Mistakes
Once you’ve scored your practice test, it’s super important to think critically about what went wrong (and what went right!). Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is going to be key to keeping your study time focused and getting the score you want on the final exam.
So if there were content areas where you missed a significant number of questions, then you know that you should spend more time reviewing that content. Did you have trouble interpreting and analyzing scenarios on the test even though you knew the background information? The solution here is more practice with the official questions so that you get more comfortable with the question format. And if you ran out of time, keep practicing the pacing. If the problem was careless errors, try underlining key points in the questions to help you focus on what the question is actually asking. .
The point is: if you know what you’re doing wrong, you can regroup, review, and then make it right! And in the end, that can translate into a higher score.
You should definitely take plenty of practice tests as part of your test prep for AP Macroeconomics. Even though reading your notes and memorizing facts is helpful, that’s only part of the equation when it comes to getting a perfect score. Practice questions are the key to improvement because they ask you to put your knowledge to practical use!
You can use a mixture of official and unofficial tests during your review sessions. Just be wary of major differences in your scores from test to test so that you can accurately assess your readiness for the final. You can even use these tests throughout the year to prepare for specific units of the course. If you do enough serious practice, the real AP test will be a breeze (well, maybe not, but at least you won’t get blown away)!
If you're really enjoying your AP Macro class, then you may like majoring in economics, too. You can learn more about an econ major in this article.
And if you're not sure what a "major" is, that's okay! Our experts will teach you everything you need to know about what a major is--and how to choose one.
AP exams can help you earn college credit...they aren't the only option. Here are some other ways you can earn college credit while still in high school.
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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.