For quick reference, here are links to related books we have reviewed:

A Note on Advanced Placement Books

While colleges are becoming less likely to give you advanced standing for your AP classes, they still do nonetheless scrutinize your scores to gauge your academic qualifications. Like the SAT and ACT tests, the AP tests are standardized. They are, however, much more content based and, therefore, measure study skills more accurately than the other two tests. As a result, we strongly recommend you to purchase – and use – your study books well in advance of your test dates!

The books we have reviewed here can be used to augment your classroom learning and help give you an edge when it comes to your AP score. Best of luck and please don’t hesitate to call us at 1.800.809.0800 (+1 703.242.5885 outside the US and Canada) if you want to discuss your profile in greater detail!

For ease of use, we have broken our books out according to subject test.


CliffsNotes AP Biology, 5th Edition by Phillip Pack

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Author Phillip Pack has been teaching AP Biology for over 20 years and that experience manifests in the answer explanations and multiple choice question strategies.

5 Steps to a 5 AP Biology, 2018 Edition by Mark Anestis and Kellie Ploeger Cox

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Our clients speak very favorably of the 5 Steps series and this book certainly delivers. The tests are very closely calibrated to the actual AP test and its content is well organized to help you quickly brush up on the content memorization.

Barron’s AP Biology, 6th Edition by Deborah Goldberg

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Two full-length practice exams accompany hundreds of additional multiple-choice and free-response practice questions as well as test taking advice and a solid review of the material covered on the AP biology test.

Barron’s AP Biology Flash Cards, 3rd edition by Deborah Goldberg

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Because there is a lot of memorization necessary for the AP Biology exam, we recommend these flash cards for test takers. The 450 card set covers 20 general categories and makes a great accompaniment to the Barron’s AP Biology book reviewed immediately above.


Barron’s AP Calculus with CD-ROM, 14th Edition by  David Bock, Dennis Donovan and Shirley Hockett

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This hefty study guide covers both Calculus AB and Calculus BC and contains four full practice exams for each. Barron’s has produced some good study guides, but this may be their best. We recommend this book for all AP Calculus students who are struggling a bit and need the additional content explanations.

5 Steps to a 5 AP Calculus AB, 2018 Edition by William Ma

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This is another easy-to-follow guide in the 5 Step series with high quality practice tests. Be sure to order this book (or any AP book for that matter) early.

Be Prepared for the AP Calculus Exam by Mark Howell and Martha Montgomery

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Be Prepared is another excellent option for the student who has a pretty good fundamental understanding of the AP Calculus material and is looking for content summary and some practice exams. (The guide contains a total of 5 practice tests: 3 for AB and 2 for BC.)

English Literature and Composition

5 Steps to a 5 AP English Literature, 2018 Edition by Estelle Rankin and Barbara Murphy

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The 5 Steps for English Lit carries the same proven formula of the other books in the series: three high-quality practice exams, condensed review material, daily “homework questions” and your choice of three different study plans depending on your timeframe.

Cracking the AP English Language & Composition Exam, 2018 Edition by Princeton Review

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This Princeton Review guide has very sound advice for acing the essays and a good summary of AP English material in addition to two practice tests that will augment nearly any test taker’s preparation efforts.


5 Steps to a 5 AP US Government and Politics, 2018 Edition by Pamela Lamb

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The 5 Steps for AP US Government book includes the time tested 5 steps approach with seven total practice tests as well as an interactive, customizable AP planning app.

AP U.S. Government & Politics Crash Course by Larry Krieger

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This REA publication is one more example of how a highly qualified author (Mr. Krieger has been recognized by the College Board as a top AP class instructor) helps produce a quality book. Students who have procrastinated with their AP Government preparations will find this book to be especially helpful.

Cracking the AP U.S. Government & Politics Exam, 2018 Edition by Princeton Review

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Yeah sure we like the detailed review of pertinent AP Government topics and the five full-length practice exams, but the book’s strongest selling point is the detailed free-response question explanations and essay examples.

US History

5 Steps to a 5 AP US History, 2018 Edition by Daniel P. Murphy and Stephen Armstrong

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The 5 Steps to a 5 series has long been one of our clients’ favorites. The six full-length practice exams (three in the book and three online) are fairly realistic and it contains three different study schedules for those students who can’t get the early start we recommend.

Barron’s AP United States History Flash Cards by Michael Bergman and Kevin Preis

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OK. We don’t normally recommend flash cards, but this is an exception to that rule. Flash cards work well for content that is heavily memory based and history fits this qualification to a tee!

Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam, 2018 Edition by Princeton Review

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If you are a fan of the Princeton Review books, we think you’ll like this one too. In addition to two full-length practice tests, it also showcases Princeton Review’s approach to multiple choice test questions.