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Best AP Macroeconomics Review Books In 2021

It’s every AP Macroeconomics student’s dream to score a 5.

And although some of them wouldn’t mind an average score, I tend to believe it’s the fear of the unknown that pushes them to settle for less.

Yes, getting a five isn’t as easy as said, but the consoling fact is that it isn’t impossible.

All you need is the correct amount of guidance, coupled up with adequate resources, and you will be surprised at how much you can achieve.

And sometimes, it doesn’t really matter if you only studied for only a couple of weeks or months. So, if you find yourself fighting against time, don’t let that discourage you.

Below are some of the best AP Macroeconomics review books for additional practice and self-study;

Best AP Macroeconomics Review Books

Company

5 Steps to a 5 The Princeton Review Crash Course Book Barron’s Test Prep

All Access Book

Price $12.93-13.79 13.29-$20.22 $10.87 $12.13 $13.99-$22.95
Full-Length Exams 4 2 1 6 ( 3 Micro, 3 Macroeconomics) 2 (1 Micro, 1 Macroeconomics)
No. of Practice questions Numerous Numerous Numerous Numerous
No. of Pages 256 336 304 352 444
Format Paperback, Online Paperback, Online access Paperback, Online access Paperback, Online access Paperback, Online access
Kindle TICK 1 TICK 1 TICK 1 TICK 1 CROSS 1
Difficulty? TICK 1 TICK 1 CROSS 1 CROSS 1 TICK 1
Test-Taking Strategies TICK 1 TICK 1 TICK 1 TICK 1 TICK 1
1. 5 Steps to a 5: AP Macroeconomics 2020

If a step by step guide to the highest AP score is your ideal review book, then you won’t go wrong with the 5 Steps to a 5: AP Macroeconomics 2020.

The 256 pages book comes with 4 full-length practice tests, with 2 in the book and 2 online.

Because of their MCQ and free-response formats, they will help you understand how the actual AP Macroeconomics exam feels like for better preparation.

You also gain access to the whole cross-platform prep course of 2020, complete with a study plan.

The study plan will include useful educational games, flashcards, progress charts, analytics and much more.

Also, you will love the numerous practice exams that come with the book.

There’s also a detailed explanation to answers, which help you identify the areas that require more focus and those that don’t.

The authors of this book also included a complete overview of the updated AP Macroeconomics exam format, so that you know what to expect on examination day.

You also get to go through numerous proven strategies that will help you become productive in every section of the test.

And of course, the 5-step plan will come in handy to evaluate your readiness for the exam.

All this comes at $12.93-13.79, which I find very affordable. There’s even a Kindle option, which is much cheaper.

Pros
  • Effective review steps and exam-taking strategies
  • 4 full-length exams
  • Numerous problem questions to test your retention level
  • Access to the entire cross-platform prep Course
  • Amazing bonuses
  • Heavily detailed and well-thought of review content.
Cons
  • Due to its detailed nature, beginners might find it complex.

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2. Princeton Review Cracking the AP Economics Micro & Macro Exams

I have said this before, but I will repeat it anyway; when it comes to test prep materials, The Princeton Review can never let you down.

This is one of the reasons as to why their AP Economics Micro & Macro Exams book is ranked among the best-selling in the current market.

What sets it apart, however, is the fact that it concentrates on both macroeconomics guideline and microeconomics exams, which is simply amazing.

To help you get a glimpse of how the actual exam will feel like, this 336 pages book comes with 2 full-length practice tests.

I, however, feel they should have done better by providing more practice tests, but you can always source out for more online.

That aside, to show their concern, the authors ensure that each type of question comes with target strategies, to equip you with efficient question answering tactics.  And this is what most students love about this book (according to online reviews)

This AP Micro& Macroeconomics book will take you through detailed concepts on both sections with a closer look on essential topics such as inflation, demand & supply, among others.

There are also several illustrations, charts, and other pictorial figures for better content explanation and retention.

And even with these features, the book will cost you $13.29-$20.22, which is favorable even for on-budget students. The Kindle option, as expected, is cheaper.

Pros
  • Detailed well-explained answers
  • Numerous practice questions
  • Contains charts and figure illustrations for quicker understanding concepts.
  • Difficult practice tests similar to the actual exam
  • Well organized
  • Online access to study plans, updated information and list of important terms
Cons
  • Some microeconomics concepts might not apply to macroeconomics knowledge.

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3. AP® Macroeconomics Crash Course Book + Online

One thing I love about the Crash Course is the fact that despite being a quick review book, it never compromises on quality.

And the P® Macroeconomics isn’t any different.

The book is an ideal pick for students rushing against time as it literally combines everything you need to know before exam day.

Its primary focus is an analysis of the AP Macroeconomics course outline and a collection of crucial AP-tests.

So, you can comfortably and quickly go through the content without wasting time on concepts which won’t appear in the test.

You will also appreciate its simple content dissemination format, making it easy for you to understand the complex concepts.

The book contains test-taking strategies to boost your confidence, which will grow further after taking the free online AP full-length practice exam.

I actually find their practice test useful as it comes complete with detailed explanations to answers, and they undoubtedly know how to balance everything.

So, if you don’t mind spending $10.87, feel inspired to go for this 304 pages book.

In fact, most students confess that its features surpassed their expectations.

And oh, they also have a Kindle option.

Pros
  • Balanced free AP full-length practice test
  • Large amount of problem questions
  • Effective exam-taking strategies.
  • Doesn’t skip any essential concept
  • Ideal for students rushing against time.
  • Compact
Cons
  • Few reports on unnecessary concepts
  • Few reports on skimped topics

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4. AP Microeconomics/Macroeconomics (Barron's Test Prep)

Sometimes mastering the critical concepts of macroeconomics can be a bit complex.

But, not if you use Barron’s AP Macroeconomics book.

The book comes with 4 full-length practice tests, which include 2 online bonus practice tests totaling to 6 full-length practice tests.

Out of this, 3 are for macro and 3 for micro. But they do touch on the crucial actual exam questions for adequate preparation.

Like other test prep books, this copy offers you amazing review content with numerous problem questions to strengthen your exam-taking skills.

When you’re done answering the questions, you receive an analysis of your results, together with well-explained answers to each question.

So, if you by any chance failed to answer a question correctly, you will be told why and this will in a great way sharpen your judgment skills.

You should notice improvements in subsequent queries.

The best part is that you can access most of these questions online using your mobile phone, laptop or even tablet.

Also, the fact this book presents difficulty questions, in line with the current AP guidelines. So, you can be sure to prepare efficiently for the exam.

It contains 352 pages and will cost you $12.13, which is affordable. You will, however, have to add a few more dollars to get the Kindle option.

Pros
  • Thorough coverage of all necessary content
  • Comes with full-length and problem questions that will help you prepare adequately for the actual exam, by sharpening your skills.
  • Includes an excellent collection of test-taking tactics, tips and strategies
  • Can be easily accessible via smartphones, Macs, tablets and Pcs.
  • In-depth answers to questions
Cons
  • Some parts have been unnecessarily condensed and inaccurate details.

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5. Krugman's Macroeconomics for the AP® Course

Getting a good score in AP Macroeconomics means working smart and using excellent test prep books such as Krugman’s Macroeconomics.

The 544 pages book comprehensively covers all the important content you need to get ready for the exam.

The copy is divided into smaller modules, which makes it easy to review.

With a list of problem questions at the end of each chapter, students can weigh their strengths and weaknesses and work to make necessary improvements.

It’s also articulately organized, so you don’t have to worry about locating content, especially if you need to skip some topics and concentrate on others.

The language is also simple and can be easily understood by students, and the text emphasis from chapter to chapter is impressive.

If you purchase the hardcover, you will spend $62.23-194.99, which unfortunately isn’t favorable for budget students.

Even the eTextbook option is expensive at $132.99.

I could, however, not get any information on the number of full-length practice tests the book offers.

Pros
  • Comprehensive coverage of the macroeconomics concepts
  • Well organized
  • Simple and straight to the point
  • Questions at the end of each chapter
  • Numerous practice tests
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Beginners might find the massive information too complex to master, quickly.

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6. AP Macroeconomics Review

Island Prep Publishing might not be as famous as Barron’s, but they produce high quality AP test prep materials, which if used well, can significantly improve your score.

Therefore, it isn’t surprising that we find its AP Macroeconomics review book useful.

This 311 pages book comes with 400+ practice questions, so you get to weigh your ability to master concepts from one chapter to the next.

The questions are in the multi-choice format, which adheres to the current AP Macroeconomics exam standards.

To ensure you learn from your mistakes, the author and editors have ensured that students receive scores of each question, complete with detailed explanations on every answer.

This is to ensure you identify why some answers turned out wrong even when they seem correct at first glance.

Remember, the AP exam, like any other standardized test, is tricky, so you have to act smart as well to rank highly.

Most students confess to having found this review book sufficient to push them into scoring a 5.

The credit goes to the difficulty of the practice exams, which are pretty similar to the actual AP exam.

The fact that the author uses graphs and other pictorial illustrations to explain concepts makes it easy to memorize material. Therefore, it won’t be difficult for your mind to retrieve during the actual exam.

I also love the fact that the book is compact enough to carry in your backpack or purse for review whenever you want and at whatever time.

If these features seem like what you would like to add to your AP Macroeconomics review list, then be ready to part with around $2.99-$10, which is amazingly cheap even for on-budget students.

Pros
  • Lots of practice questions
  • Well-organized
  • Detailed explanations to answers
  • Cheap
Cons
  • Some areas could do better with more content.

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7. AP® Micro/Macroeconomics All Access Book

Closing our best AP Macroeconomics review books list is this 444 pages AP® Micro/Macroeconomics All Access Book.

Of course, there’s a good reason for this.

The book comes with free online tools to help you personalize your AP micro and macroeconomics preparations.

The content measures your understanding of various concepts, before pinpointing all the areas of weaknesses, so that you can polish up before the exam day.

When you receive the package, you will also start accessing online flashcards, which will fill you in on various crucial terminologies and concepts as far as macroeconomics is concerned.

And the best part is that you get to review on-the-go as the content is accessible via smartphone/laptop.

Plus, you get to use the REA AP® All Access system to create a personalized study schedule, which features the targeted review exam content, focused study areas and assessment of your understanding.

At the end of each chapter, you will get 7 quizzes and 2 mini-tests., complete with score reports.

There are also 2 full-length practice tests (1 for macro and another for micro).

For full benefits, it’s advisable to take the online versions so that you can time yourself, benefit from automatic scoring, and receive a detailed score report.

And to ensure you only move to the next topic having mastered the previous one’s content, you receive 18-minute online topic-level quizzes.

The current pricing of this book is $13.99-$22.95.

Pros
  • Access to personalized eFlashcards
  • Detailed score report and timed testing on online full-length practice tests.
  • Numerous practice problems
  • Personalized study plan
  • Mobile phone access to content
Cons
  • Too long chapters.

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AP Macroeconomics Exam Format

Preparing for an exam whose format you aren’t aware of, is planning to fail.

That’s why it’s crucial to enlighten yourself with what you’re going to face on the day of the AP Macroeconomics exam.

The AP Macroeconomics exam focuses on assessing the students’ capacity of mastering course concept and crucial skills as outlined in the course framework.

So, basically, the exam format is made up of two sections;

Section One; contains 60 multiple-choice questions, which you’re supposed to complete in 1 hour 10 minutes.

This part of the exam carries 66% of the exam score, so you should place more effort here.

As for the nature of questions, you will be tested mainly on your general knowledge of using various economic concepts, your reasoning capacity in a range of course topics, and skills in the skill categories of 1, 2, and 3.

Section Two; is for free-response.

You will tackle 3 questions in 1 hour, which includes a 10-minute reading period.

This section accounts for 33% of the exam score.

You will take one long free-response problem question, which will account for 50% of the section score, while the remaining two questions account for 25% each.

In section two, expect questions weighing your skills in economic concepts assertions, effects, models principles and even outcomes.

You will find yourself offering explanations on various economic concepts, models, outcomes, principles and effects.

Plus, some numerical analysis and creation of visual representations/graphs.

 How to Self-Study for AP Macroeconomics

  1. Master the Exam Format

As mentioned earlier, you should always know what you’re facing.

So, the first step you should take after deciding to self-study is familiarizing yourself with the AP Macroeconomics exam format.

That way, you will know how to approach your review content and which areas to pay close attention to.

  1. Invest in A Review Book

You can’t say to be fully prepared for a self-study session without a pair or two of AP Macroeconomics review book. So, if you haven’t purchased one, do so as soon as possible.

The god news is that you got to read this article, so selecting one according to your needs shouldn’t be difficult.

The worst mistake you can ever make is lazing around and wait until the last week to the exam to buy and review a book. While some books are quick to flip through, the piling pressure to master everything wouldn’t do you any good.

  1. Examine All Crucial Graphs

AP Macroeconomics demands that you interpret numerous economic graphs. You will come across such questions in the multi-question section, so you better get ready for it.

Even in the free-response section, you will have to draw some graphs.

Therefore, as you can see, understanding such graphs will significantly boost your score.

Some of the most important graphs to master include; supply and demand, foreign exchange, Phillips curve, Loanable fund market, production possibilities, investment demand, among others.

  1. Know all Essential Formulas

This applies to both the multi-choice and free-response sections. They both need you to know specific formulas.

And they range from the Real GDP, Tax multiplier to the unemployment rate. Find a list of them all here and focus on memorizing and practicing as much as you can.

  1. Don’t Forget to Use Flashcards

Flashcards are an important part of AP Macroeconomics studying, especially if you’re always on the move.

They will help you quickly master the key terms that will make a difference in your exam.

So, you should constantly be reviewing these terms for a better understanding. The AP® Micro/Macroeconomics All Access Book mentioned earlier on comes with some amazing eFlashcards, and you can customize for use.

  1. Actively Participate in Macroeconomic Blogs/ Test Prep Review Websites and Various Social Media Accounts.

Now that you’re reviewing for your AP Macroeconomics exam, you should make it part of your everyday life.

So, for the remaining couple of weeks, subscribe to macroeconomics blogs/websites for useful information. You can also join various social medial study groups and get to learn from others.

This will help you stay connected to the course, even when you don’t feel like going through your review book.

Sometimes, monotony can be boring, so a little twist here and there won’t hurt anyone.

  1. Familiarize Yourself with Common Mistakes

Don’t rush into anything without knowing what worked for others in the past and what didn’t.

The best thing you can do for yourself is learning from the mistakes of paste AP macroeconomics exam-takers.

You can get amazing opinions from family and friends. But if you don’t, then head online and go through discussion forums like Reddit/Quora.

  1. Use Apps and Watch Videos

Apps are the best thing that ever happened to AP test preparation. Since you will have your phone with you most of the day, you can always log in for some concept mastering whenever you’ve free time.

This will be helpful, especially if you’re working on a tight schedule.

Also, source out videos online and watch when you can. They will help you understand materials better, with an increased retention level.

For some quality videos, check out Khan Academy and ACDCLeadership.

FAQs About Best AP Macroeconomics Review Books

Is AP Macro Easy?

First, it’s important to know that the difficulty of the AP Macroeconomics exam primarily varies from one student to the next.

That said, the general consensus among students is that the exam is pretty easy if you adequately review the course work materials.

So, if you’re good at math and can get your way around graphs, it should be very easy.

But, if you struggle a little bit with the two, then it won’t be easy but not too hard either.

What’s the Difference Between Micro and Macroeconomics?

They’re both the sections of Economics. However, the major difference between the two include;

Microeconomics involves studying individuals and various business decisions.

On the other hand, macroeconomics focuses on the decisions made by governments and countries.

Is It Better to Take Micro or Macroeconomics First?

There’s really no correct order to take these two. You see, they both focus on giving you a clue on how you should progress in your economic studies.

Microeconomics focuses more on math, which makes it an ideal first choice for most students.

Macroeconomics contains less math and comes 2nd for most students.

But you shouldn’t follow the crowd when it comes to your future. So, feel free, to begin with, whichever you feel most comfortable with.

Conclusion

The AP Macroeconomics is one of the most popular AP course. So, when you choose to take it, know that there are thousands of students who also want to attain a high score and probably a 5.

And it’s for this reason that you should select the correct review materials to help you adequately prepare for the actual exam.

The above list isn’t exhaustive, but it does contain some of the best and highly ranked Macroeconomic books, according to students.

Use it to purchase a book that will suit your needs and follow our self-study tips for efficient test preparation.

Best of luck!

John Reed
My name is John Reed and I am the chief editor of TestPrepPal.com. I am alumni of university of of Pennsylvania and want to help future graduates with their tests.

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