The National Economics Challenge (NEC) is the premier economics competition for high school students in the United States. Organized by the Council for Economic Education, the NEC tests students on micro and macroeconomic principles as well as their knowledge of the global economy. This exciting team-based competition begins at the state level, with winning teams advancing to the National Semi-Finals and potentially the National Finals. The top teams from the semi-finals receive an all-expense-paid trip to New York City for the National Finals, making this both a prestigious and fun event for budding economists.

Exam Dates:

April 22-26, 2024


9 – 12


State Level, Semi-Finals, National Finals


National Finals in New York City

Competition Structure

The NEC competition structure involves several stages and specific team composition rules. Teams consist of up to four members, with the option to compete with three if necessary. All team members must come from the same school, organization, or afterschool program. Teams that qualify for the National Semi-Finals can reconstitute members but must retain at least two original members. No reconstitution is allowed between the Semi-Finals and Finals. Each team must have a coach affiliated with their school or organization, who will accompany them if they advance to the National Finals.

  • Teams of up to four members, minimum three
  • Members from the same school, organization, or program
  • Possible to reconstitute team before Semi-Finals, retaining two original members
  • No reconstitution between Semi-Finals and Finals

Student Eligibility

Participation in the NEC is open to high school students who meet specific criteria. Students must be enrolled in a qualifying high school or home-based course during the current academic year. Students taking or having taken college-level economics courses are not eligible. Those who have taken multiple high school economics courses must compete in the Adam Smith Division. Returning participants must also compete in the Adam Smith Division, regardless of coursework. Home-schooled students compete in the Adam Smith Division as well.

  • Must be enrolled in a qualifying high school or home-based course
  • Not eligible if taking or have taken college-level economics courses
  • Multiple high school economics courses require competing in the Adam Smith Division
  • Returning participants compete in the Adam Smith Division

NEC Competition Training

IvyMax offers specialized training programs to help students excel in the NEC competition. Their comprehensive curriculum covers all the necessary topics, including micro and macroeconomics, and global economic principles. IvyMax provides experienced instructors, practice exams, and personalized feedback to ensure participants are well-prepared. By enrolling in IvyMax training, students can enhance their knowledge, improve their problem-solving skills, and increase their chances of advancing to the National Finals.

  • Specialized training programs for NEC
  • Covers micro and macroeconomics, and global economic principles
  • Experienced instructors and practice exams
  • Enhances knowledge and problem-solving skills