*Updated April 3, 2020
The College Board has modified the AP Microeconomics exam, and all other AP exams, in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19.
The AP Microeconomics exam for 2020 will be shorter, administered online, cover less material, and have a different format than previous tests.
Here are the key changes you need to know to do well in the upcoming AP Microeconomics exam.
Will I get AP credit for the modified AP Microeconomics exam?
Students who take the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam will be eligible for college credit, according to the College Board: “Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked this year to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.”
As in previous years, a student must obtain a score of 3, 4 or 5 to be eligible for college credit.
How long is the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam?
The online 2020 AP Microeconomics exam will be just 45 minutes long, instead of the two hours and 10 minutes it took in previous years, and can be taken at home (if schools are still closed on exam day) or at school.
What is the AP Microeconomics exam format for 2020?
The 2020 AP Microeconomics exam will be an open book/open note exam based entirely on free-response questions. There will be no multiple choice questions as there were in the past.
What device should I use to take the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam?
You can take the exam on any device you have access to, including a computer, tablet or a smartphone. You should make the determination of which device works best for you beforehand.
You are also allowed to submit a photo of your handwritten work.
What if I don’t have internet access?
If you need access to the internet or a working computer, contact the College Board here for help. The College Board is committed to making the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam work for all students: “We recognize that the digital divide could prevent some low-income and rural students from participating. Working with partners, we will invest so that these students have the tools and connectivity they need to review AP content online and take the exam.”
What will be tested on the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam?
You will be tested only on material from Units 1 through 5, so you should be prepared to answer questions on these topics:
- Unit 1: Basic Economic Concepts
- Unit 2: Supply and Demand
- Unit 3: Production, Cost, and the Perfect Competition Model
- Unit 4: Imperfect Competition
- Unit 5: Factor Markets
What will not be tested on the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam?
You won’t be tested on material from Unit 6: Market Failure and the Role of Government.
Are exam question types and sample questions available for the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam?
The AP Microeconomics exam will consist of two questions. The first question seeks two short free-responses and the second seeks a long free-response. Check here for a description of the questions.
You will have 25 minutes to read and respond to the first question and five minutes to upload your response. Then you will have 15 minutes for the second question plus another five minutes to upload your response.
What’s the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam date and time?
The College Board is offering two exam dates for each AP exam this year.
The AP Microeconomics exam is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20 at these times:
- Hawaii Time: 10 a.m.
- Alaska Time: 12 p.m.
- Pacific Time: 1 p.m.
- Mountain Time: 2 p.m.
- Central Time: 3 p.m.
- Eastern Time: 4 p.m.
The AP Microeconomics make-up exam will be held on Thursday, June 4 at these times:
- Hawaii Time: 8 a.m.
- Alaska Time: 10 a.m.
- Pacific Time: 11 a.m.
- Mountain Time: 12 p.m.
- Central Time: 1 p.m.
- Eastern Time: 2 p.m.
Note: Unless you have a scheduling conflict, you should plan on taking your AP Microeconomics exam on the primary date. This way, you can take it on the make-up date if it turns out you can’t take it on the primary date.
Is the College Board offering any free AP Microeconomics exam review courses?
The College Board is committed to making free resources available to students through exam day.
Note: The AP Microeconomics review courses will also cover topics that have been excluded from this year’s exams.
What are my other options for preparing for the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam?
If you don’t have an AP Microeconomics review book already and can’t get it on time through Amazon, which has recently confirmed that even Amazon Prime deliveries of non-essential goods could be delayed a month, try eBay or other alternate sources.
And don’t worry if you have problems getting your book delivered early enough to help you with your prep. There are online resources that you can use to help you prepare for the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam.
In partnership with the College Board, Khan Academy provides an official AP Microeconomics course that comes with free instructional videos, articles, and practice exercises created by current and former AP teachers. In addition, Khan Academy offers free exam skills and strategies.
In line with its mission to create inclusive and social learning experiences available to every student, Fiveable offers a Cram Pass for AP Microeconomics for just $35. This fee is further reduced when you purchase more Cram Passes — $50 for two AP exams and $60 for three AP exams. On top of that, students get a 10% discount with a special TUN coupon — just enter “TUN10%” as your coupon code upon checkout.
Fiveable also offers financial aid for students who can’t afford a Cram Pass.
The Cram Pass includes 10 live-streamed lessons or cram sessions, which are about an hour long but may sometimes be longer if there are extra questions from students, downloadable replays, and practice prompts and feedback. Also, the night before the exam, Fiveable will host a live open forum Q&A to help students prepare. Fiveable cram teachers will tailor their sessions to align with the changes in the 2020 AP Microeconomics exam.
For now, cram sessions are scheduled for every Wednesday at 7 p.m., starting on April 1. Fiveable will add May dates once the College Board announces the test date and add five stream dates on April 3.
According to Fiveable, 92% of students who use Fiveable to help them prepare for their AP exams pass their exams with 70% earning a 4 or higher score.
If you would like to get one-on-one instruction to help you prepare for the AP Microeconomics exam, the Princeton Review offers private tutoring, available both in-person or online, for a fee starting at $167 an hour. If you decide to go with this personalized option, expert tutors will work with you to “make a plan, set goals, and exceed them.” The Princeton Review guarantees that if you’re not 100 percent satisfied, you will be matched with another tutor and get your next lesson for free.
If you’re taking more than one AP exam in 2020, check here for details on other revised AP exams.
Susan Chu is a writer and editor who likes to write about trends in higher education.