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 do not 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 by Phillip Pack

Author Phillip Pack, Ph.D. is a college biology professor who has taught AP Biology for over a decade. That experience manifests in the answer explanations and multiple-choice question strategies.

5 Steps to a 5: AP Biology 2024 Elite Student Edition by Mark Anestis and Kelcey Burris

Our clients speak very favorably of the 5 Steps series and this book certainly delivers. The three practice 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.

Ultimate AP Biology: Everything you need to get a 5 by Deborah Goldberg and David Maxwell

This is a comprehensive study tool. (Hence we don’t object to “Ultimate” in its title.) Three full-length practice exams accompany 462 flash cards and 600 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.


AP Calculus Premium, 2024: 12 Practice Tests + Comprehensive Review + Online Practice by Dennis Donovan, David Bock and Shirley Hockett

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.

AP Calculus AB/BC [5 Steps to a 5] by William Ma

This is another easy-to-follow guide in the 5 Step series with three high-quality, full-length practice tests as well as flashcards, games, diagnostic tests, and more. 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

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 and Composition 2024 Elite Student edition by Michael Hartnett and Barbara Murphy

The 5 Steps for English Literature 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 time frame.

Princeton Review AP English Language & Composition Premium Prep, 2024 by Princeton Review

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


5 Steps to a 5: AP U.S. Government & Politics 2024 by Pamela Lamb

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

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

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.

Princeton Review AP U.S. Government & Politics Prep, 2024 by Princeton Review

Yeah sure we like the detailed review of pertinent AP Government topics and the three 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 U.S. History 2024 by Daniel P. Murphy

The 5 Steps to a 5 series has long been one of our clients’ favorites. The three full-length practice exams are fairly realistic, and it contains three different study schedules for those students who cannot get the early start we so strongly recommend.

AP U.S. History Crash Course by Larry Krieger

The Crash Course series has some vocal fans and, if you find yourself short of time, this may be just the guide for you!

Princeton Review AP U.S. History Premium Prep, 2024 by Princeton Review

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

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