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Study AP Exam – Best AP Books

Best AP Biology Review Books 2018: In-Depth Reviews to Score 5

AP Biology Exam - Introduction

College Board offers Advanced Placement Biology exam to high school students. Like many other AP courses the idea is for the students to earn college level courses while being in high school. We have already covered some of the details regarding the AP exam and the history of this exam, so be sure to check it out. Recommendation is for students to successfully complete high school Biology prior to pursuing 

College Board and other sources confirm and we agree with the assessment that no background in Biology is required to take the course, however, be sure to check with your school for specific information. It is extremely important to have reliable books for learning and studying the material covered in AP classes. This is particularly true for AP Biology considering the complexity and breadth of the course’s content.

The format of the AP Biology exam continues to be modified to ensure students are getting appropriately prepared for the tests. With these changes, we expect the books to change as well. Some of the AP books have done better job of keeping up with the changes while others are lagging or have information that might be old.

Our panel of experts is reviewing these books on a quarterly basis to ensure, we make recommendations so you can get 4 or 5 on your AP Biology exam.

AP Biology Exam - Overview

AP Biology exam is 90 minutes long and it has two sections.

First section covers multiple choice and/or grid-in and free response type of questions and counts towards 50% of your overall exam score. 

The first 63 questions are simple multiple choice ones, and the last 6 are grid-in questions.

The second section which makes up 50% of the remaining grade consists of 8 free questions. 

There are 2 long free response questions, one of which is lab or data-based, and 6 one paragraph short free response questions.

Each student is allowed to use a four function calculator throughout the exam.

How do we rate these books?

Our #1 goal is to provide you reliable books that will get you prepared in the shortest amount of time with a chance to get a 5.  AP Biology is a complex exam with a lot of details and the format continues to be modified over the years.  Some books do a better job of keeping up with changes than others.  

The assesment we provided here for AP Biology prep textbooks are based on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book reviews along with feedback from students and teachers, followed by our experts that go thru these books to ensure the quality of the book.  

We rate these books on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the worst book and 5 being the best book out there on the market to get you the highest possible score on AP exam.

AP Biology TextBook- Top Recommendations 2018

AP Biology TextBook - 2018

Pearson Education – Test Prep Series – AP Biology

PROS: We have been looking for the Best AP biology text book since the test was redesigned.  We came across other books that were good, but then those books didn’t have everything we were expecting to see in one book. Best Ap Books are both easy to read (in terms of digesting information) and quickly prepare you for AP Exam to score the highest. We have selected precise collection sorted by subject to help you prepare in the shortest time possible.

AAp Biology - Test Prep Series
Ap Biology – Test Prep Series

This book by Pearson Education is clearly head and shoulders above the rest. It is written by the HoltzClaws, who also write guided reading questions that go along with the Campbell biology book. There are 10 topics, or chapters in this book that review content.  Book also highlights “You Must Know” section that provides bullet points indicating material that you must really be aware of. There are several types of questions at the end of each chapter.

Level one contains knowledge and comprehension questions that “review essential content knowledge but don’t represent the type of question you will see on the AP exam.

Level 2, application and synthesis, questions are similar to those you will see on the exam.

Based on the questions we have seen on the practice exams released to approved AP bio teachers, these questions DO look like the ones on the exam. Very good practice, and worth its weight in gold right. Then there are at least 2 grid-in questions for each chapter.

You may need your textbook to review the topics more in depth, but this review book will help you figure out any areas that you don’t know well, and it will give you lots of practice in the kinds of problems you will actually encounter on the exam.

This book is a perfect companion to Campbell Biology, a common AP Biology and General Bio I and General Bio II textbooks. This which we consider to be the best ap biology textbook concisely review concepts that professors want students to know.

If you are looking for a book that provides summary of the many long lectures and text readings, we would highly recommend that you get this book.

CONS: Even with everything this book has to offer, some details are missing on few topics, but overall we feel like this book will get you a chance to score 5 on your AP exam, therefore, we are giving it the #1 AP Biology Book rank.

Barron’s AP Biology 6th Edition

PROS: Comprehensive review to help you get a 5! The format of its questions changes a lot from the last edition, personally feel its context approaches to AP curriculum more. It’s helpful because it increases the conditions of a question which matches AP curriculum that wants student to have a strong reading capability. The practice tests were especially helpful.AP Biology Barrons 6th

Good book that is very popular for test preparation, however, this AP Biology Textbook fell short at providing all the necessary information.  In this updated book, you will find two full-length exams that follow the content and style of the new AP exam.  In this book you will see all test questions answered and explained including extensive review of all AP Test topics. There are good amount of multiple choice and free response questions in this book, however, multiple choice questions are fair in terms of giving you an idea of picking the best book.  

You can purchase this Barron’s AP Biology textbook alone or with a CD-ROM that includes two additional practice tests with answers and automatic scoring. Additional online resource includes and additional test.

Great book to review the materials as it goes over important concepts in a very clear, direcct manner and it is very well-organized.  If you are taking specific classes followed by reviewing what’s in this book, it might be sufficent to help you get 5 on your exam. 

CONS: This book is excellent and Barron makes it very easy to understand and study the material, however, there are a number of errors and typos.  Some of the errors are pertaining to practice questions, so information can be misleading, so be observant.

Princeton Review Cracking the AP Biology Exam 2018

PROS: This is a good book that can help you score 5 on your AP Biology exam.  You get the usual quality that you would expect from Princeton book.  You get detailed content reviews, test strategies and access to AP connect extras.  With online portal in this new edition includes extra exams and total of 5 full-length practice tests that also provide detail answers. You can get 4 full-length practice test in the book and the additional test is available online. Practice drills at the end get you prepared in no-time.Princeton Cracking the AP Biology Exam

To learn test material quickly this is a good book.  Princeton Review Cracking the AP Biology Exam 2108 book is one of the books you would like to have in your portal.  Remember Princeton is known for their strategies and how easy you can go thru the materials, but if you are looking for good practice test, you may want to stick with Pearson Education Test Prep Series or Barron’s book.


CONS: This is a great book, but the actual tests are on the light side.  So, beware and make sure you either purchase more than one book or if this is the only book, do take a look at additional help section for more resources.

5 Steps to a 5 AP Biology Exam 2018

PROS: 5 Steps to a 5 AP Biology Exam book is very easy to digest and you get good quality information relatively quickly.  We felt that it has enough details to make the cut.  With effective guides and study plans, you can build upon your skills and knowledge and have the confidence you need to achieve a high score on the exam. This popular AP Biology Exam book has the latest course and syllabus and the latest exam.  

5 steps to a 5 - AP Biology 2018

You get online help and with 5 full-length practice test, two of them you will find in the book and three are available online with detailed answers.  One of the best thing about this book is the material is rather easy to go thru and that can help you get prepared quickly, however, compared to Princeton, this information is slightly below par.  

We also like the fact that book takes the approach of providing flashcards, games and more, so you don’t have to invest additional money.  Overall, well worth the money and good resource in conjunction with another book.

CONS: This is a good book, but the actual tests and practice tests aren’t good enough to prepare you for the test. Try this book with Pearson Education series and you will be very close to getting 5 on this AP Bio exam.

Sterling Test Prep: AP Biology Practice Questions 2018

PROS: Another excellent book that is a must if you are wanting to purchase just one book.  To get a 5 on your exam, you should apply the knowledge you have and get the right answers quickly.  This book provides well over 1500 questions that not only test your knowledge, but also prepare you for the actual AP Biology exam.  

Sterling Test Prep AP Biology 2018

Odds of your passing and even getting a 5 on AP Bio exam with this book along with Pearson are very good.  With lot of good questions, you get to practice what you might see on the actual exam. You get confidence and being the level of details provided you can also get the feel of AP Biology Textbook. 

If you are in a hurry or wanting to spend little time, this may not be the best option, but if you still need to prepare, go ahead and try out this awesome resource. Just remember, AP books are just that – they prepare you for AP exam, but if you are looking to ace your test, you must have some type of actual textbook.  I would definately recommend this after Pearson.

CONS: This is a good book, but reads more like a crash course/textbook, so be aware that you will needs something else to go along if you are doing self-study.  Overall, very impressive book to prep you with little bit of time.

AP Biology Exam - Additional Resources

AP Biology Resources – Free Practice Exams

AP Biology is an introductory college level biology course which is not very difficult to pass if you are willing to do the necessary work. As part of this test students need to demonstrate their understanding of biology through inquiry based investigation. We have already make recommendations on top books that can help you get 4 or 5 on your test. In addition, there are thousands of Ap Biology Resources on-line that can also help you better prepare for this test quickly.

Best AP Books - AP Textbook

As part of our goal to get you the top books and to get you prepared for the AP Biology exam, we will document these AP Biology Resources that will be beneficial to you.  If you go through these AP Biology resources, you will be 95% ready 95% to take the AP test. Make sure you check out all three recommended books and that should be sufficient to get you to pass this test.  For additional resources, see the recommendations below.

AP Biology Course Overview

This excellent resource from College Board provides quick overview of the exam that should help you close any gaps you have towards understanding the general test requirements.

AP practice Exams

Once again some excellent resources from AP College Board besides getting top AP Biology books to get you prepared for the AP test.

Albert IO is another great resource to get you prepared for the AP Exam. If you would rather spend additional money and get more comfortable, this site provides over 1000+ questions to get you familiar, however, that would cost you more money. If you would rather, without spending anymore, you can answer 30 questions and see where you stand.

Varsity Tutors
Another site that lets you practice this test by taking 369 questions at no cost.  Complete free AP Biology practice tests to help you get prepared for the actual test.

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