“Don't get stuck in the past, use it to fuel your future”

Apart from being really good life advice, this is also helpful when it comes to preparing for an economics exam. Looking over past papers and exam questions can give you the practice you need in order to ace the exam.

By revising with old material you will be able to learn the structure and techniques used by past students who received high scores.

Adapting these techniques to the new set of questions and adding all the knowledge you learned throughout the year, you will be right on track to receive a top score report. 

Looking back at your economics syllabus is another great form of review. Make sure that you know all of the topics mentioned and how to apply them when explaining economic trends.

Earning a good score on both the free response and multiple choice sections of these exams can not only help you meet your graduation requirements but also earn you college credit.

Some programs like IB and AP are structured as college courses and can help you show future college admissions offices how well you perform at the college level. AP and IB classes can also function as prerequisites for a future college course.

These exams can also function as placement tests and can help identify what level courses you should be taking the following year.

General education does not always include microeconomics and macroeconomics as part of their school curriculum but they might offer such classes as an elective. If you have the opportunity to take an economics course, make sure that you do!

It is a great way to learn more about the world around you and even get ahead of your graduation requirements.

AP and IB classes are also available for students who wish to study english literature, natural sciences, and even world history. Get a head start on earning college credit and semester hours. 

Past Exams for AP Courses

After the Advanced Placement Exams take place and all of the tests are graded, the College Board releases the exam and the free reposes questions to the public. These past papers are used as sample tests for students to use for future test prep.

writting an ap exam
They have all of the free-response questions dating back to 1999. (Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash)

The past papers for AP Macro and AP Micro are both found on the College Board AP Central website.

This gives students plenty of opportunities to practice their Free Response Questions skills. Each year's past papers includes the following:

  • Free-Response Questions
  • Scoring Guidelines including Scoring Statistics
  • Sample Response for all 3 questions
  • Scoring Distributions

All of this material will help you determine what techniques you must focus on in order to get a top score on this exam.

Before May comes along, you will probably be studying all of the key concepts of the AP course in great detail. Using class notes and review book will become essential. Knowing the structure and timing of the exam is also very important.

Make sure that you are looking over how the exam will be presented and how much time you will have for each section. To get you started, here are a couple of strategies for answering the free response portion of the Advanced Placement exams.

  • Use the 10-minute planning time - use this time to really plan out your answers. You will have 50 minutes to answer the question but fro the first 10 minutes just focus on analyzing what the exam is asking.
  • You don't have to answer the questions in order - you should answer the questions you know the most about first.
  • Go straight to the point - restating the question doesn’t get you much further, so save your time and get straight to the point.
  • Use the best language - the correct terminology and vocab words should be used. There is a lot of terminology that is mistaken as interchangeable. Make sure that you are using the accurate terms.
  • Graphs and labels should be used correctly - since so many economic trends and theories can be depicted in graphs; you will be expected to explain certain answers using graphs.
  • Solve all parts of each question - a lot of the free response questions will have more than just one part. Make sure that you answer all parts and write the appropriate section letter to each part of your answer.
  • Fully explain - if the question prompts you to explain, it won’t be enough to give a one-word answer.

In addition to looking over some of these exams as prep, make sure you also look at the scoring rubric for both the AP exams. This will help you with what revising of skills you must do for future examinations. Your study guides are gonna get quite the boost.

If you are looking for more information about these economics courses on how to earn college credit, take a look at our Guide to Economics in High School.

Past Papers for IB Courses

Unlike the AP College Board, the directors of the International Baccalaureate courses do not officially publish past exams. However, there are still plenty of resources found online that can help you prepare for your upcoming written test. Educators of these courses usually do a good job of proving review material as well.

review books
Review books are available for each kind of economics course. (Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

The IB Follet online store sells each exam paper and each mark scheme from the past years. Each past paper will costs you $3, so it is a bargain if you are looking for authentic material.

The IB Economics SL and IB Economics HL should be taken on different days, as they would be done officially.

These are the IB Economics SL Paper times:

  • IB Economics SL Paper 1 - 1 hr 30 mins
  • IB Economics SL Paper 2 - 1 hr 30 mins

These are the IB Economics HL Paper times:

  • IB Economics HL Paper 1 - 1 hr 30 mins
  • IB Economics HL Paper 2- 1 hr 30 mins
  • IB Economics HL Paper 3 - 1 hr

Test takers who earn a good score on their IB exam can present themselves as academically successful and show colleges and universities that they are ready for college level courses.

Acing your IB exam can help you earn college credit. Test scores from the exams describe above can also function as prerequisites for future college courses you might take. That is why setting up the right study guide and brushing up on your writing skills can be so crucial before this exam.

If you have the option to take this economics course alongside other classes, you should take courses that can serve as the equivalency for other credit hours. If you want to find more about these options, reach out to your school counselor.

Economics Fundamentals

No matter the kind, of course, you are taking, regular, honors, AP, or IB, you will need to learn some basic fundamentals about economics.

money as part of economics review
Money plays a huge role in the fundamentals of economics. (Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash)

High school students who are able to enroll in these types of classes receive test preparation as well as dual credit, these courses can later be used for college and career prep.

Here are some of the basic concepts that everyone should know, especially if you are taking any economics class.

  • Scarcity - our resources are not unlimited; there is always a fixed amount of assets. However our desires are not unlimited, we must choose which ones of these desires to satisfy.
  • Opportunity Cost - this is the relationship between scarcity and choice. The opportunity costs is what we miss out on when we decide on one thing versus another.
  • Supply and Demand - these concepts are the ones that drive the market’s fluctuations. They help change prices and exhale rates.
  • Incentives - are the motives that push us to behave in a certain way. The government might supply business with incentives in order to persuade them to take certain actions.
  • Purchasing Power - this is “the financial ability to buy products and services."

Understanding these concepts are why people study economics.

Your economics teacher will go over this and a lot more during the course of our class. Since so many of these economic concepts build off of one another and are intertwined, make sure you know the fundamentals. You will be using them further on in the lesson plans.

If you need help reviewing these fundamentals or any other concept in the economics sphere, you can reach out to an economics tutor right here on Superprof. Superprof tutors can help you prepare for your next exam and even go over past papers with you.

Looking over past exams and free responses is a great way to get you on the right track to ace your economics final exam but if you are in need of some extra reviewing, make sure to check out our list of the best Economics High School Review Material.

Need an Economics tutor?

Enjoyed this article?

5.00/5 - 1 vote(s)