Micro AP in May

Friday, May 13, 2022 - By: Jensa NG, Mack ’23

As May rolls around, the days grow longer and warmer, students can be found basking on the fields, or spikeballing late into the evening, but for many brave academics, May also brings the dreaded AP exams. Fortunately, however, for Ms Napier’s AP Microeconomists, the dreading was a little less intense.

May 6th was our big day, the day our analyzing, reasoning, graphing, and problem-solving glue together, in hopes of a 4 or 5. On the AP scale, a 3, 4, or 5 are all passes, however, many universities will only accept a 4 or a 5 to count the AP as a first-year credit.

So, the pressure was on.

We began the year with Unit One “Basic Economic Concepts” where we learned all about scarcity, the factors of production, the production possibilities curve, and a few more ‘basic’ ideas around Microeconomics. “This is easy”, we thought - but that, my friends, was just unit one.

Up next, units two and three focused on supply, demand, consumer choice, marginal analysis, costs of production, and perfect competition. Now, if at this point, you feel like you are reading an entirely different language, don’t worry - you're not alone. It took our fearless group hours and hours of class time, extra help, graphing, and re-graphing to learn the language - and get it right.

In units four, five, and six, we uncovered the world of  imperfect competition (the land of monopolies and oligopolies), the resource market, market failures, and the government. Now “the government” is a very broad term. To break it down, we learned about how the government is involved in different markets, whether it’s using taxes to raise prices, or subsidies to lower them to hit the socially optimal sweet spot.
 
As the big day began to rise on our horizon, review and practice tests flowed our way, as if out of a newly un-kinked hose. AP Classroom, google classroom, countless practice questions and sample tests, along with a review of all the memory tricks, gestures and acrobatics we did in class all year. It all came down to one final Microeconomics Showcase game on May 6th at high noon (after a class pre-exam lunch).  
 
We took our thrones for our fairly short, two-hour exam. Now, I’m not necessarily sure how much I’m actually allowed to say about the exam without the heavy hand of the College Board striking me down as I write this. Invigilator Ms West warned us that “Your score will be canceled if you consult with anyone outside this room about the exam” as she read our instructions off the AP exam booklet. So, I will not risk divulging too much information, but the majority of the class left the exam room with a conservative “I think it went well”. And for an AP exam, that is a pretty good feeling.
 
Up next on the agenda is our Independent Research project, followed by a year-end Micro Escape Room and pizza party. Before we know it, the sun will be setting on our adventure through AP Microland and off we ride into the wild, wild world, beyond the constraints of the production possibilities frontier.
 
Jensa NG, Mack ’23

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