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What are the best SATII/AP US History review books? eg. Kaplan, Barrons, etc.

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If you or your children have used review books for US History such as Kaplans, Barrons, Insider's Guide, Princeton Review, or others, which are your favorites and why?


I am partly looking for this as a way to practice study skills, if that makes any difference, and I am hoping for something that gives more than just practice tests, but practice tests would also be useful.


I don't even know if ds will ever take one or both of these tests, but we have been working with history with Living Books, Documentaries, source documents and so on, and do not know if it is having retention or not, so for the moment the reason we are looking for such study materials is more to do with it being a part of learning what a child might be expected to know if a more conventional approach were used, and where there may be holes that need patching.


I am following some of the ideas in Make It Stick, that say that testing can be a tremendous help with learning material. So far we have not used testing much at all in our homeschool.  I'm looking for ways to implement the Make It Stick ideas, and ds chose US History to work with on it.


I am thinking toward both SAT2 and AP type review because I think a combo of more difficult and not quite as difficult levels as well as some essay type questions in addition to multiple choice would be helpful based on Make It Stick principles.


Not sure if I've made any sense, but feed back would be appreciated!  Thanks!

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I am not familiar with the US History books, but I am familiar with many other subjects.


In general, 5 Steps are really concise (sometimes too concise), Barron's practice tests are more difficult than the real thing, and Princeton Review books are right in the middle.

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Like LuckyMama said, the Barron's books have practice tests that are far more difficult than the actual test and are very discouraging. My dd was getting scores around 400 on the Barron's tests, but got 650 on the released test in the SAT subject test blue book and ended up with 680 on the actual test.


5 Steps to a 5 are very good for giving you a nice overview of what you need to know, although for an AP test, you should definitely work through all of the released questions that are on the college board website. Signing up for the question of the day is also helpful.



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