AP Macroeconomics

0.75 Credits
18 weeks


In this course, students establish the fundamentals of economics with a survey of scarcity, opportunity cost, supply, demand, and market equilibrium. They then zoom out to the largest scale of economic analysis, learning the indicators of whole countries’ economic health, specifically gross domestic product, unemployment, and price level. With that foundation, the rest of the course examines fiscal and monetary policies, their consequences, and the basics of international trade and the foreign exchange market. In addition to preparing for the AP Exam, students gain a deeper understanding of the world around them, the roles that government and banks play in an economy, and the economic outcomes generated by policy decisions.



Supply & Demand, Absolute & Comparative Advantage

Student will demonstrate understanding and application of the economic concepts of supply and demand and the distinction between absolute and comparative advantage by creating and analyzing graphs and calculating production advantage.

Economic Growth & Productivity

Student will demonstrate an understanding of the sources of economic growth by graphing and predicting the impact of changes in productivity and fiscal policy on the Aggregate Supply/Aggregate Demand model.

International Trade

Student will demonstrate an understanding of global trade by analyzing comparative advantage in production, evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of trade barriers, and calculating the international impact of the supply and demand for money.

Managing the Economy

Student will demonstrate an understanding of governmental and central banking intervention in the economy by graphing and predicting the impact of changes in fiscal and monetary policy on the Aggregate Supply/Aggregate Demand model.

Major Topics and Concepts


Module 01: Basic Economic Concepts
Basic Economic Concepts Introduction
Opportunity Cost and the PPC
Comparative Advantage and Gains from Trade
Market Equilibrium, Disequilibrium, and Changes in Equilibrium

Module 02: Economic Indicators and the Business Cycle
Economic Indicators and the Business Cycle Introduction
The Circular Flow and GDP
Limitations of GDP
Price Indices and Inflation
Costs of Inflation
Real v. Nominal GDP
Business Cycles
Economic Indicators and the Business Cycle Review
Economic Indicators and the Business Cycle Exam

Module 03: National Income and Price Determination
National Income and Price Determination Introduction
Aggregate Demand (AD)
Short—Run Aggregate Supply (SRAS)
Long—Run Aggregate Supply (LRAS)
Equilibrium in the Aggregate Demand—Aggregate Supply (AD—AS) Model
Changes in the AD—AS Model in the Short—Run
Long—Run Self—Adjustment
Fiscal Policy
Automatic Stabilizers

Module 04: Financial Sector
Financial Sector Introduction
Financial Assets
Nominal v. Real Interest Rates
Definition, Measurement, and Functions of Money
Banking and the Expansion of the Money Supply
The Money Market
Monetary Policy
The Loanable Funds Market

Module 05: Long-Run Consequences of Stabilization Policies
Long—Run Consequences of Stabilization Policies Introduction
Fiscal and Monetary Policy Actions in the Short Run
The Phillips Curve
Money Growth and Inflation
Government Deficits and the National Debt
Crowding Out
Economic Growth
Public Policy and Economic Growth

Module 06: Open Economy—International Trade and Finance
Open Economy—International Trade and Finance Introduction
Balance of Payments Accounts
Exchange Rates
The Foreign Exchange Market
Effect of Changes in Policies and Economic Conditions on the Foreign Exchange Market
Changes in the Foreign Exchange Market and Net Exports
Real Interest Rates and International Capital Flows



Course Materials

AP Course & Exam Registration Requirements

College Board requires students to register for AP exams no later than November 13th (individual schools may set earlier deadlines).

All VLACS AP students are required to enroll in the “course only” section in My AP.  Instructions for joining My AP will be posted on each VLACS course page and instructors are available to help with this process.

Students who plan to take the corresponding AP exam must arrange to take the exam at a local school that administers it. To register for an AP Exam, the local school will enroll the student in an “exam only” section in My AP.  Students should follow these steps:

  • Search for a local test site through this resource of contact AP Services for Students at 888-225-5427 [email protected]. That office can give you contact information for local AP coordinators who may be willing to test outside students. Students are then responsible for contacting coordinators on that list to see if one can arrange to test for you. You should do this no later than October 2nd. Note that schools may have their own local deadlines for receiving requests from outside students to test at their school so we recommend doing this as soon as possible
  • The AP coordinator who agrees to assist you must provide a join code for an “exam only” section in My AP. You’ll use the join code to join the section so that the AP coordinator can order your exam.

Please note that, if a school allows a student to register after the 11/13 deadline, there will be a $40 late exam fee. There will also be a $40 canceled/unused exam fee if a student registers and then cancels his/her exam or if the student does not show up on test day.

More information is available on the College Board’s website: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/