Pin It

Study AP Exam – Best AP Books

Best AP US History Exam Books to help you Score 5 – In-depth reviews

AP US History Exam - Introduction

All three courses AP World History, AP United States History and AP European History tend to focus on the development of historical thinking.

You should check out the updated AP US Government and Politics Curriculum Framework.

AP US History is designed to the equivalent of a two semester introductory college or University history course. This course covers time periods from 1491 to the present. 

There are no perquisites for the AP US History Exam and students should be able to take this test if they can read a college level textbook.

This exam is structured around 9 time periods. 

AP US History Exam - Overview

This exam takes 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete.  There are two sections of this exam.

Section 1, Part A: Requires you to answer 55 multiple choice questions and counts towards 40% of your exam score with 55 minutes to complete this part.

Questions appear in sets of 2-5, students analyze images, texts and graphs from all 9 time periods.

Section 1, Part B: Requires you to answer 3 short questions within 40 minutes and counts towards 20% of your AP US History Exam score. 

You are asked to respond to 2 required questions and choose between 2 options for a third question. 


Section II, Part A: You need to answer a document based question within 60 minutes and this section counts towards 25% of your exam score.

Section II, Part B: There is one long Essay question that you must answer within 40 minutes and counts towards 15% of your overall score.


To help you prepare for U.S. Government and Politics exam, we have created a list of reputable text and exam preparation books below.  

You will need to consult with these books to score a five on your U.S. Government and Politics test

AP US History - Top Recommendations 2018

#1 AP U.S. History Text Book 2018

Barron’s AP US Government and Politics

PROS:  Cracking the AP US History Exam Guide is a fantastic resource with excellent content to pass you AP US History exam with the highest possible score. Right in the begining, you will get resources focusing on how to answer the questions followed by 300 pages of content that is easy to follow. 

Great material with online extras with full 5-length practice tests separate this book from the competition.  We believe this is the best book at this time with five exams.  Book provides coverage of all time periods, detailed coverage of multiple, short answer and long essay question. You get access to AP and online portal. Note that 4 practice tests are included with the book and one test can be found online.  

CONS: Slight caution on the practice test as it can be easier than the actual test, other than that fantastic book.

Barron’s AP US History Exam 2018

PROS:  Barron’s Books are fantastic when it comes preparing for the test.  This AP US History book won’t disappoint you with two full-length practice tests that feature all questions answers are also explained. Book tackles all areas including AP US History multiple choice section, along with short answer and long Essay questions as well. 

All time periods are covered adequately from Colonial Society to President Obama’s era with some minor exceptions. This book also comes with an optional CD-ROM that you can purchase separately to cover two additional full-length practice tests with automatic scoring.  

CONS: We believe that in the quest to keep it simple, this book missed a few important events.  Book format is more like story telling. For example. the topic of Great Recession is missing from the book which is an important part of US history. Few other missing elements, but nothing to keep you from getting of 5 on your exam.  Overall, it is worth the money.

AP US History Crash Course

PROS:  AP US History Crash course is the best source when you are running out of time or to do last minute revision.  You can use this Crash Course with any APUSH exam.  With this book, you can review the latest test revisions since it is based on in-depth analysis of the revised AP US History exam.  Now, being that this is Crash Course, you will see the only information covered is what you need.  

Larry Krieger did fine job answering all the question types and how to boost your score for each section. Crash course practice exams cover some actual questions that are on the exam.

Combine this book with Princeton or Barron’s and you got yourself a full set to score 5.

CONS: Since this is a Crash Course some of the details are missing.  If you need detailed information, you may want to get Barron’s or Princeton’s Books.  

AP US Government and Politics Exam - Additional Resources

You are likely to need more than one book to get a 5 on your AP U.S. History exam. Your success, however, depends primarily on your efforts. 

There are some nice pictorial representations of US constitution, so do glimpse at the following resource.

10 Minute Guide to the US Constitution

We love John Green’s Videos as you can learn so much from these regarding US History.  So, make sure you review these videos prior to your AP US History Exam.

College Board also provides some Free Practice Questions, so be sure to review them as well.  Just a word of caution, these questions are easier than what you would see on the exam, so be aware!

Some students love Barron’s AP US History Flash Cards.  If you need visual reference these flash cards are an excellent resource. 

Do you have any questions?  Feel free to ask away by contacting team by sending an email at



1 thought on “Best AP US History Exam Books to help you Score 5 – In-depth reviews

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: