Is AP Economics Hard? What Do You Need to Pass?

Is AP Economics Hard? Well, it depends!

Like any other subject, AP Economics can be difficult if you do not apply yourself.

I genuinely believe that some subjects come easier to certain people than others. If that is the case for you, you will need to work a little harder and put forth more effort to do well.

Is the Exam Difficult?

Before you can sit for an exam like this, you need some sort of evaluation. You need more than studying hard and staying up at night. How? Try to understand your strength and weaknesses.

Once you do, the strategy to attack the exam will naturally come to you.

And you’ll know where to start your reading. Moreover, this will guide your foray into the complex world of the economy and how to apply what you’re reading now on the D-Day.

A side benefit of doing the above exercise is that you can build on your weaknesses and reduce the chances of failure. Having said that, you should read everything assigned and use your teacher as your greatest resource.

It is better to ask questions and understand than to try and muscle through the material with none of it sinking in.

You must prepare yourself and give yourself time to absorb all the material in the course. If you try to cram it all in the night before then you will have no way of knowing where your shortfalls are or how to correct them.

What Will be on the Exam?

The AP Economics exam will cover 6 different units that build upon each other.

  1. Basic Economic Concepts
  2. Economic Indicators and the Business Cycle
  3. National Income and Price Determination
  4. Financial Sector
  5. Long-Run Consequences of Stabilization Policies
  6. Open Economy-International Trade and Finance

What Skills are Needed to Ace the Exam?

In order to successfully pass the course, you will need to have mastery over four key skills. You will need to have knowledge of principles and models and how to define them.

You will need to have the ability to interpret given economic outcomes. Manipulation is another skill required to pass, so you will need to be able to determine outcomes of specific economic situations.

The final skill required is to be able to take the information given and model economic situations using graphs or some type of visual representation.

How Can I Tackle this Test?

The AP Economics exam is given in two sections.

The first section is multiple choice and accounts for 66% of the total exam. It is 60 questions long and you will have one hour and ten minutes to complete it.

I have found that the best way to get through multiple choice is to answer what I know first and then go back through and attempt the more difficult questions.

If you are running short on time and cannot work through them all or cannot figure out the answer, then usually picking one letter like “C” and using that across the board is a good option.

The second section of the exam consists of three questions and is the remaining 33% of the exam. This section is one hour long and has a ten-minute reading section.

One question will require one long free-response answer that will be 50% of this section’s grade and two short free-response answers that are each 25% of the section’s score.

Like the previous section, answer what you know first and then work through the more difficult questions.

Try to not leave anything blank but if it comes down to it write about what you know. Even if you cannot directly answer the question, you may be able to earn partial credit which is better than nothing.

Related: Is AP Art History Hard? Can You Scale It Easily?

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