Sep 22, 2009

From the AP classroom 5

After attending the AP reading in Lincoln this summer I realized my mantra would have to change. Here is the edited version: When all else fails graph, graph, graph, label, label, label, and CALCULATE, CALCULATE, CALCULATE! Can you tell what I have added? Have your students calculate the areas of consumer and producer surplus and dead weight loss. Recognition of these areas through the standard labeling will not be enough.

Also, they will need to be able to calculate elasticity using the total receipts test and/or the elasticity coefficient(use the midpoint formula) in order to prove which portion of the demand curve is being represented through a price change. It will not be enough to use an explanation of that principle. Lessons 18 and 19 in the 3rd edition of the Morton AP Microeconomics workbook will provide excellent practice for these elasticity issues.

While I have always had my students do these calculations and practice these extensively there was a general consensus at the reading that this was not the norm as evidenced through student responses on the exam questions this year.