AP Macroeconomics Exam: Tips for Long Free-Response Questions

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Read this article to learn more about how to answer the long free-response question on the AP Macroeconomics Exam. Go over strategies and tips for working on this part of the exam.

Take a Moment to Prepare

Don't jump right into your answer! You have a ten minute reading period before you start writing and you should use it. Consider how you want to allocate your writing time. You will have 50 minutes total to answer the long question as well as two shorter free-response questions. Setting aside 25 minutes for the long question is generally a good idea.

You should also think about whether you want to answer the long question first, or after the two shorter questions. Finally, try to outline your answers so you're as ready as possible when the writing period starts. This lesson provides some more general tips for taking this exam.

Answer the Question Completely

Make sure you read the question carefully so that you're answering it correctly. These questions sometimes include multiple parts, and you want to make sure you answer every section. An easy way to ensure that you don't miss anything is to label your answers in the same way the question is labeled. For example, if the question includes sections a, b and c, so should your answer.

Additionally, you want to make sure that your answer is thorough. This is a long answer question! That means simply stating that prices increased or decreased won't do. Make sure you take the time to explain the why and how of your answer. What caused these changes? How did you determine what happened? Include all of this information! You can use this lesson on how to write a great essay quickly to find even more writing strategies.

You may also find that your question involves drawing a graph. Make sure that you don't skip this step! You won't get full credit if the graph is missing. This lesson on using and analyzing graphs to support an essay can help you get more comfortable with this part of the exam.

Be Accurate

Even a well-planned and complete answer can get a bad grade if the information isn't correct. Make sure you use the right terms throughout your answer. Ensure that each section of the answer is labeled properly. And definitely take a moment to properly label your graph. Creating a great graph does you no good if no one can understand it, so make sure that you label your axes, your curve and anything else that you use.

Know Your Subject Matter

Make sure that you are well-versed in all the content areas you'll be tested on. Here at Study.com, we offer a full prep course for the AP Microeconomics exam. This course helps you review essential topics such as inflation, supply and demand, the production possibilities curve, fiscal policies and more! You'll find short, engaging text and video lessons that clearly illustrate the topics you may be asked to write on in the long free-response question.

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