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A Program of the Virginia Department of Education

04205 AP Economics

Field of Study

This course combines AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics to give students a broad picture of economics in theory and practice.

AP Microeconomics is a fast-paced, college-level course that focuses on the decision-making of individuals, households, firms, and the government.

AP Macroeconomics is the study of how the whole economy behaves. This includes regional, national, and global markets. Much of what students will study in 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.

Students will study a variety of economic theories and analyze their practical applications in the real world. In the first semester, course topics include the product market (including forces of supply and demand), factor/resource markets (including labor and capital), and competition/market structures.

In the second semester, students will study the economic systems that are the foundation to understanding national, regional, and global economies. 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.

Students successfully completing this course will be prepared to take both the AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics exams as offered by the College Board in May each year.

Student Expectations

Students will complete activities, assignments, and assessments that involve analytical thinking, mathematical reasoning ability, and sketching and interpreting graphs. Timely submission of student work and frequent communication with the instructor are essential for success in the course.

Related Requirements

This course will help prepare students for college and potentially allow them to earn up to six university credits upon successful completion of the AP exams. Students are expected to take both the AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics exams in May, and the course is taught with this expectation in mind. This course is a year-long, full-credit course. Note: this course does not satisfy the Economics and Personal Finance graduation requirement.


  • Recommended: Successful completion of Economics and Personal Finance
  • No other courses are required to be taken or complete before beginning study in AP Economics. Strong math reasoning and graphing skills, however, are essential prerequisites for success in the course.

Course Texts and Materials


  • Principles of Microeconomics
    ISBN 1938168240
    Publisher: OpenStax
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
    ISBN: 1938168259
    Publisher: OpenStax

These books are available for free in web view and PDF. You can also choose to purchase on iBooks or get print versions via the campus bookstore or from OpenStax on Amazon.com. 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 links on your book page on openstax.org so you get the official OpenStax print versions. (Simple printouts sold by third parties on Amazon are not verifiable and not as high-quality.)


  • Advanced Placement Economics: Microeconomics: Student Edition (Fourth Edition)
    Authors: John S. Morton and Rae Jean B. Goodman
    ISBN: 978-1-56183-670-3
    Publisher: National Council on Economic Education
  • 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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