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A Program of the Virginia Department of Education

04204 AP Macroeconomics

Note: This course’s material is also covered in 04205 AP Economics, which combines the AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics courses into a single year-long, full-credit course. If a student plans to take both of the half-credit AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics courses in a school year, they may want to consider enrolling in the combined AP Economics course.

Field of Study

Macroeconomics is the study of how the whole economy behaves. This includes regional, national, and global markets. Much of what students will study in AP Macroeconomics is the theory of economics and the effects of economic decisions made in these markets.

Material Covered

There are no prerequisites for this course, and as a result this course will begin with an introduction to economic basics. The economic systems that are the foundation to understanding national, regional, and global economies are also covered. Macroeconomic theories are introduced next, followed by the application of money creation and economic growth. The importance of fiscal and monetary policy on national economies is evaluated and theories and formulas are applied to macroeconomic issues. Finally, the course covers the foreign exchange and trade markets.

Student Expectations

Students will engage in group discussions, practice application of the material, and formative and summative assessments.

Additional Information

This course will prepare students to successfully complete the AP Macroeconomics Exam offered in May of each year. Students should be aware that this is a half-credit course. Most students take it along with AP Microeconomics to earn a full credit in the subject. Note: this course does not satisfy the Economics and Personal Finance graduation requirement.


  • Recommended: Successful completion of Economics and Personal Finance
  • Students may take either or both AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics. There is not a suggested or required sequence.

Course Texts and Materials


  • Principles of Macroeconomics
    ISBN: 1938168259
    Publisher: OpenStax
  • This book is available for free in web view and PDF. You can also choose to purchase on iBooks or get a print version via the campus bookstore or from OpenStax on Amazon. You can use whichever formats you want. Web view is recommended; the responsive design works seamlessly on any device. If you buy on Amazon, make sure you use the link on your book page on openstax.org so you get the official OpenStax print version. (Simple printouts sold by third parties on Amazon are not verifiable and not as high-quality.)


  • 5 Steps to a 5: AP Macroeconomics, 2018 edition
    Author: Eric R. Dodge
    ISBN-13: 978-1259863868
    ISBN-10: 1259863867Note: The 2015, 2016, and 2017 editions are also good. The most recent version is not essential for students to successfully review.
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