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Which AP prep guides are best?

Janie Grace

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I think it depends on the test, somewhat.  For AP biology, a lot of the review guides still do not reflect the redesigned test, even though it happened back in 2012.  This year I got one I had never heard of before for that class--Preparing for the Biology AP Exam by the Holtzclaws.  It's been amazing!  I got it because the reviews from other AP bio teachers were so positive (and I have since added my own), and they weren't positive about the other review books, especially the big name ones (plus I already have Barrons, and I knew it wasn't good).  So maybe check amazon reviews for review books that teachers like?  They should at least know if the material is being covered or if the questions in the book actually reflect the questions on the real test. 

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There are lots of choices -- Barrons, Princeton Review, Kaplan, etc. I am leaning towards the one that looks like it is put out by the actual AP organization (though it costs a few more bucks). But I want to hear if any of you have a preferred choice. Thanks.

The book you linked is NOT published by th College Board. The authors/group have copied the CB look. The book is also much shorter than any other prep books, at only 108 pages. I read the reviews----many of the glowing ones (and the only 2 star review) included the disclaimer that the reviewers received the book in return for an "honest review".


Yeah, no.


In general (very general), Barrons tend to be harder than the actual exam and Princeton Review tend to be spot-on for difficulty level. 5 Steps to a 5 vary in quality, and they also tend to be shorter than other prep books. 5 Steps also have some books called 500 Questions to Know (or some such---I'm upstairs right now) which can be a good source of additional questions.


We've only used one REA/Crash Course book so far but it's been very good. No practice tests in this one (Environmental) however.


Ethel Woods for Comparative Government and Politics is excellent. I highly recommend it.

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