AP Microeconomics

Learn all about the course and exam.

About the Course

Study the principles of economics that apply to the behavior of individuals within an economic system. You’ll use graphs, charts, and data to analyze, describe, and explain economic concepts.

Skills You'll Learn

  • Define economic principles and models

  • Explain given economic outcomes

  • Determine outcomes of specific economic situations

  • Model economic situations using graphs or visual representations

Equivalency and Prerequisites

College Course Equivalent

A one-semester, introductory college course in microeconomics.

Recommended Prerequisites

None

Exam Dates

About the Units

The course content outlined below is organized into commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. Your teacher may choose to organize the course content differently based on local priorities and preferences.

Course Content

You’ll study the foundations of microeconomic thinking, including how to evaluate decisions based on constraints and trade-offs and make rational economic choices.

Topics may include:

  • Scarcity
  • Resource allocation and economic systems
  • The Production Possibilities Curve
  • Comparative advantage and gains from trade
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Marginal analysis and consumer choice

On The Exam

12%–15% of exam score

You’ll learn the basis for understanding how markets work with an introduction to the supply and demand model.

Topics may include:

  • Demand
  • Supply
  • Elasticity
  • Market equilibrium, disequilibrium, and changes in equilibrium
  • The effects of government intervention in markets
  • International trade and public policy

On The Exam

20%–25% of exam score

You’ll explore the factors that drive the behavior of companies and learn about the perfect competition model.

Topics may include:

  • The production function
  • Short- and long-run production costs
  • Types of profit
  • Profit maximization
  • Perfect competition

On The Exam

22%–25% of exam score

You’ll learn how imperfectly competitive markets work and how game theory comes into play in economic models.

Topics may include:

  • Monopoly
  • Price discrimination
  • Monopolistic competition
  • Oligopoly and game theory

On The Exam

15%–22% of exam score

You’ll learn how concepts such as supply and demand and marginal decision-making apply in the context of factor markets.

Topics may include:

  • Introduction to factor markets
  • Changes in factor demand and factor supply
  • Profit-maximizing behavior in perfectly competitive factor markets
  • Monopsonistic markets

On The Exam

10%–13% of exam score

You’ll examine the conditions under which markets may fail and the effects of government intervention in markets.

Topics may include:

  • Socially efficient and inefficient market outcomes
  • Externalities
  • Public and private goods
  • The effects of government intervention in different market structures
  • Income and wealth inequality

On The Exam

8%–13% of exam score

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Career Areas 68
Majors 24

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