5 Best AP Macroeconomics Prep Books (2020)

Best AP Macroeconomics Study Books

When we talk about economics, we’re actually talking about one of the following: macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Macroeconomics occurs on a large scale. It involves economic phenomena at a national or global level. Macroeconomics take a top-down view of how governmental decisions can affect the consumer, look at how GDP changes over time, how national unemployment would impact the economy, and so on.

Microeconomics involves the study of people and individual businesses. You can think of it as why people go shopping on Black Friday or why a business would want to invest in a particular marketing strategy.

Therefore, if you’re taking the AP Macroeconomics exam, it would be a waste of your time to buy a book looking at economics as a whole.

There are many AP Macroeconomics textbooks to choose from. We sorted through different prep books and listed the best ones to use to prepare for your AP exam.

AP Macroeconomics Prep Books Review

These five AP macroeconomics prep books are worth considering.

1. 5 Steps to a 5: AP Macroeconomics 2019

This economics test book includes current material for macroeconomics material, test-taking strategies, and even practice tests to help you ace the AP exam.

Publisher: McGraw Hill

Year: 2018

Number of Pages: 256

Our Final Grade: A

5 Steps to a 5 is McGraw Hill’s series of AP test prep books. This installment is just as efficient at helping you prepare for the exam as the other books.

This book has four full-length AP Macroeconomics practice exams, each of which includes detailed explanations for why each answer is correct. There are also plenty of test-taking tips to give you a better idea of what to expect when you take the AP exam.

The different sections allow you to absorb information easily. The pace builds gradually, so you never feel like you’re jumping around from one topic to the next.

Overall, 5 Steps to a 5: AP Macroeconomics is a powerful tool to study for the AP exam. It’s most useful for students wishing to maximize their study time.

Pros

  • Includes four full-length AP Macroeconomics practice exams
  • Information tailored just for AP Macroeconomics
  • Made by McGraw Hill, a textbook publisher that also excels in test prep

Cons

  • With extensively detailed information, this book might be too difficult to understand without also taking a macroeconomics class

2. Cracking the AP Economics Micro & Macro Exams: 2020 Edition

Get up-to-date macroeconomics test prep from the Princeton Review — one of the best college admission services in the United States.

Publisher: Princeton Review

Year: 2019

Number of Pages: 336

Our Final Grade: A-

Even though this book covers two full subjects, it manages to do so in only 336 pages. The macroeconomics portion is easy to understand and filled with lots of practice questions. There’s even a full practice exam for the macroeconomics portion.

The only downside to this book is that half of it won’t be useful to you. And providing only one practice exam for macroeconomics means you won’t get much practice after completing the first one.

But Cracking the AP Economics Micro & Macro Exams is still a good resource for those wishing to excel on the AP Macroeconomics exam. It’s affordable, covers a lot of material, and gives you plenty of test-taking tips to succeed.

Pros

  • Recent course material
  • Get test-taking strategies as well as macroeconomics content
  • Includes one full-length test for macroeconomics

Cons

  • If you’re not taking an AP microeconomics class, lots of material in the book won’t apply to you

3. Barron’s Test Prep: AP Microeconomics/Macroeconomics with Online Tests

Barron’s — a leader in college test prep — helps you get a five on the AP Macroeconomics test with in-depth information, practice tests, and more.

Publisher: Barron’s Test Prep

Year: 2018

Number of Pages: 352

Our Final Grade: B+

Barron’s is another behemoth in the AP exam prep book business. This book helps you understand macroeconomics concepts while giving you lots of practice. There are even full-length practice tests to help you test your knowledge.

Like with the previous book, though, half of this Barron’s prep book won’t be useful to you. But you’ll find the macroeconomics portion very helpful.

Pros

  • In-depth review of key macroeconomics concepts
  • Affordable
  • Includes online practice tests

Cons

  • Includes AP Microeconomics material, which you won’t need
  • Material can sometimes be vague and difficult to understand

4. Macroeconomics

Find everything you need to know about macroeconomics in this book

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education

Year: 2017

Number of Pages: 552

Our Final Grade: B

You’ll learn about concepts like strategic behavior, game theory, interest rate normalization, and more with this textbook. The content facilitates classroom engagement and you’ll find that each section includes some questions to create a more interactive learning experience.

This textbook features different types of learning activities. You’ll also find plenty of visuals and videos included in the online material.

The downside is that the book doesn’t focus on the AP exam, so you won’t get test-taking tips or practice exams to help boost your exam score. If you’re more worried about the material than the test itself, this is a good resource for you.

Pros

  • Extensive overview of macroeconomics concepts
  • Clear learning objectives included
  • Plenty of visuals and access to videos

Cons

  • Not tailored to AP exam
  • No AP practice exams

5. Principles of Macroeconomics for AP Courses

Everything you need to know about macroeconomics — tailored to AP students.

Publisher: OpenStax

Year: 2018

Number of Pages: 537

Our Final Grade: B-

This is another book designed to help you succeed on the AP Macroeconomics exam. It covers all the top concepts and has plenty of practice questions. You can get this book digitally as well as in print.

There are plenty of graphs, charts, and other visuals to explain difficult concepts. And you’ll find a thorough explanation for all the important concepts covered. It’s not the most well-known study aid, but this book can help you prepare for the AP Macroeconomics exam.

Pros

  • Choose from print and digital versions
  • Plenty of visuals
  • Lots of practice exams

Cons

  • Formatting gets a little weird when viewed digitally

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to questions you probably have about choosing an AP macroeconomics prep book.

I Don’t Have Lots of Money to Spend on Prep Books. How Else Can I Prepare for the AP Macroeconomics Exam?

Your local school or public library is likely to have many of the AP Macroeconomic exam books on this list. If they don’t, most libraries allow you to request books from other libraries.

Checking out multiple AP Microeconomics prep books saves you money. It also gives you access to multiple practice exams. Just don’t write in the library books.

I’m Crunched for Time. What Should I Focus On?

Everyone learns differently, but sources say that taking practice exams or quizzing yourself is better than copying down material.

Taking a test is active. When you take an exam, you recall the material and critically think about how to best answer the question.

If you get a question wrong, you can go back to the information and figure out what went wrong. Many exam books offer detailed answers on why the correct answer is the right one.

Rereading or copying down material is a form of passive learning. You can quickly lose focus and waste time. Besides, it is boring, and you may feel yourself become resistant to studying.

If you’re truly strapped for time, review the different units of your AP Macroeconomics class until you feel comfortable taking a practice exam. Then take multiple practice exams. It would also help to watch informative AP Macroeconomic test prep videos throughout the days leading up to the exam.

How Can I Study More Effectively?

Here are a few strategies to help you study:

  • Start early
  • Always get enough sleep
  • Listening to music with no lyrics
  • Studying in chunks of about 25 – 30 minutes with plenty of short breaks in between
  • Writing notes by hand instead of using a keyboard
  • Keeping to a study schedule (for example, studying for two hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
  • Eliminating distractions before you start studying
  • Avoiding multitasking
  • Staying hydrated and eating lots of snacks to stave off hunger

Conclusion

The AP Macroeconomics exam tests your knowledge of math formulas and key concepts. You can prepare by learning this material and by familiarizing yourself with the format of the exam and how you should formulate your answers.

The best AP Macroeconomics prep books teach you both. You’ll learn the material and write the kind of answers the AP exam readers expect to see.

We recommend 5 Steps to a 5: AP Macroeconomics 2019 because of how succinctly it summarizes important macroeconomics content. It also teaches you how to take the AP exam and identify any trick questions the exam makers throw at you.

5 Steps to a 5 also has the most up-to-date information on macroeconomics and has plenty of prep questions to help you pass the test.

However, feel free to use any of the prep books on this list or use multiple exam books. Just be sure to take lots of study breaks and don’t pull any all-nighters before the big day!

Was this article helpful? Share it!
Brett Gordon
 

Founder of ExamCave.com