Most students in secondary education schools likely take exams to show their proficiency in their current courses. Final exams make up a large part of the final grades are are very important when high school students are in Advanced Placement classes. These exams have the ability to provide students with college credit.

Whether you are taking a college course or a regular high school class, you are going to need to ace your exam in order to complete some graduation requirements.

The department of education sometimes places economics classes alongside other social science or civics classes or they may simply list them as an elective. It all depends on the districts. Whatever the label of the class, passing your exam and therefore studying for that exam is very important. The economic knowledge you gather can also benefit your future college and career.

The technical information you learn through the year does not always stick. That is why test preparation at the end of the semester is so important. Preparatory work through teacher education and personal review becomes the main focus during finals season.

A lot of students like to just focus on the content area they feel is their weakest, while others prefer to review everything on the lesson plans.

You can choose to study and review your material on your own, but if you feel like you might benefit from some extra schooling, it might be beneficial to look into a tutor. Superprof offers a variety of tutors; all available to help you prep for your upcoming exams.

Economics Exam Review Books

When the end of the year rolls around, the anxiety about final exams slowly begins to creep on students. High academic standards might be daunting  but there is no need to fear, we have a list of the best review material for most of the economics classes offered in high schools. We also have plenty of information about other high school economics courses you might be interested in.

review book
When it gets to the end of the year, you are gonna start reviewing for your exam. (Photo by Noémi Macavei-Katócz on Unsplash)

Here are the top-rated review books and material for regular, AP, and IB Economics courses.

Economics Classes in High Schools

Regular high school economics courses are usually broader in nature because they are used as a base for other economics courses. These courses usually vary from teacher to teacher, as the board of education does not mandate an official syllabus, unlike those set for AP or IB economics courses.

However, there is still plenty of material out there for you to review.

Quizlet has some great flashcards sets for a final review. On the site you can choose to study by flipping through the flashcards, learning the spelling of the words, or even testing yourself with math or gravity games.

Quizlet also offers study material for other elementary and secondary school subjects such as world history, world geography, and a ton of other social studies as well as a wide range of electives.

Because education in the United States is not federally mandated, and instead directed by the state board, the state standards are what determine the topics taught in each grade level and what makes it to the common core standards.

AP Macroeconomics

The AP Macroeconomics exam is a culminating exam that usually takes place in May. The exam tests the student’s knowledge on seven major topics, all established by the College Board (the creators of AP Courses).

macro economics graph
Macroeconomics follows market large trends. (Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash)

For the AP Macro exam these are the topics:

  1. Basic Economic Concepts - ex. Opportunity costs, scarcity, supply and demand, and free markets.
  2. Measurements of Economic Performance
  3. National Income and Price Determination
  4. Financial Sector
  5. Stabilization Policies
  6. Economic Growth
  7. International Trade and Finance

The top review book for this course is 5 Steps to a 5: AP Macroeconomics. This review book is a concise overview of the course and includes multiple practice tests.

This review book also helps students come up with a study plan, depending on how much time you have for your exam, you can decide on how fast or slow to go through the book.

This book is not only a review of the subject material but it also includes tips on how you can ace the exam. It includes techniques and strategies to help you better understand the type of questions and the answers expected by the readers. It goes way beyond basic education.

AP Microeconomics

The College Board offers a second type of course for those looking for economics classes. Students can choose to take AP Macroeconomics or AP Microeconomics, or both. If your high school does not offer these classes, talk to your counselors about the possibility of taking these online or adding it to your education program.

Both AP Macro and Micro start off similarly. Educators will teach basic economics concepts and the tools used to depict the concepts. The courses start to deviate when it comes to more complicated economic theories.

Instead of theories dealing with the market as a whole, AP Micro focuses on the choices of individual characters within the market.

Here are the four major topics that are included in the AP Microeconomics course:

  1. Basic Economics Concepts
  2. The Nature and Function of Product Markets
  3. Factor Markets
  4. Market Failure and the Role of Government

The AP Microeconomics Crash Course is the review book that will best cover all of the above topics, especially if you are in a crunch for time. This book focuses on just the microeconomics information requirements.

The Crash Course also includes a free full-length practice exam, as well as a list of tips and instructional strategies you should follow in order to achieve your best on the exam.

Both AP Macro and Micro

If you are enrolled in both AP Macro and Micro, you can kill two birds with one stone by purchasing a review that includes both subjects.

online review session
Some review books now offer online resources. (Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash)

Barron’s AP Microeconomics/ Macroeconomics Review Book is the top review material. In the latest edition, the writers have also included online content for student learning on the go.

You will likely take these classes in different semesters.

Apart from four full-length practice tests printed in the book, there are an additional two tests that you can take online and be graded automatically.

It has everything you need to get a 5 on both of your exams. If you are worried about the free-response portions of the exams, you can take look at the past papers for AP economics classes.

Taking both of these classes as elective courses and getting above a 3 on the exam can qualify high school graduates for college credit hours as well as a boost to for admission applications. Regardless, you will gain crucial experience in social sciences and humanities when taking these classes.

IB Economics

For those taking part in the International Baccalaureate curriculum, you will need a review book specialized in the Economics (SL and HL) Examination.

The IB Economics Examination Secrets Study Guide by Mometrix is one of the few review books available for students in these courses. This book presents students with a review strategy for those studying from a month out.

To learn a little more about the syllabus for each of the above economics courses, you can check out our next blog. We touch base on what a high school curriculum includes for a range of economics classes.

Tips For Your Econ Exam

During an exam, especially the free-response sections of the exam, it is crucial that you use the correct lingo when answering each question.

sharp pencil for an exam
Find out what tools to bring to your exam. (Photo by Yoann Siloine on Unsplash)

In order to correctly show your knowledge, you have to be fluent in economic phrases. Here are some easy ways to take your free response to the next level:

  • Don’t say “went up”, say “increased"
  • Don’t say “went down”, say “decreased"
  • Don’t say curves “move”, say curves “shift"
  • Don’t say curves shift “up or down”, say curves shift “left or right"

In addition to using the above vocabulary, you should also pay close attention to what the questions are asking you to present. There are several keywords used in free-response questions that will ask you to perform a specific task.

For example, when asked to “show” an idea or a trend, this usually means that they are expecting a diagram or a graph to depict your answer.

When asked to “calculate”, you should associate that with applying a formula. These calculations will result in numerical responses, show make sure to show all of your work and keep it as neat as possible.

If a question, requests that you “identify”, it is typically asking for a short concrete answer. For these types of questions, there is no need for an extended explanation. Simply identify, be that with a list, label, or short sentence.

If you have yet to sign up for an economics course, make sure you check out the reasons why you should study economics.

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