5 Steps to a 5 AP Macroeconomics, 2014-2015 Edition (5 Steps to a 5 on the Advanced Placement Examinations Series)

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  • excellent for initial review, but insufficient for serious focus on preparing for AP Macro
  • covers more test-taking strategy than it does the core economics content
  • lacks enough practice content that would help students solidify their grasp of the key topics

5 Steps to a 5‘s entry for AP Economics unfortunately feels a step or two short of adequately preparing students for the titular exam. Although its contents nominally cover what needs to be known for the test, they do so in a disappointingly thin way that alternative test prep options easily outdo.

5 Steps definitely proves worthwhile for students who want to get ahead at the beginning of a school year, before their formal economics classroom work gets too serious. But 5 Steps feels too flimsy for use as test prep in the weeks leading up to the May exam date.

To begin, 5 Steps lacks a sufficient number of practice questions to properly gear up students for the rigors of the AP exam. The book focuses also focuses more on test-taking strategy than it does on the core content (for example, boiling down the complex concept of the “Difficulties of Fiscal Policy” to just over three pages).

5 Steps is suitable as an initial way into the fundamentals of economic analysis and other less challenging topics within macroeconomics. But with its overly casual treatment of tougher concepts, the book ultimately feels better suited as reference material rather than a strong standalone study resource.