The Resources I Used to Study for My AP Exams
Hey guys! So up until now, I have taken 7 AP classes and I thought it would be helpful to briefly list the resources I used to study from and how I studied for each class/exam. The AP classes I’ve taken are as follows: AP U.S. History, AP Language and Composition, AP Calculus BC, AP French Language and Culture, AP World History, AP Statistics, and AP Physics C. So without further ado, here’s how I did it:
AP U.S. HISTORY
- Barron’s AP United States History 2nd Edition (2012)
- Barron’s AP United States History Flash Cards 2nd Edition (2012)
The Barron’s book is simply the best when studying for APUSH. I found their chapter summaries very detailed and thorough and the quizzes at the end of each chapter helped me a lot. I used this to study not only for the exam, but also for the class itself. The flashcards are also an essential tool for remembering key dates to use on the multiple choice and the essay section. Now granted, I took the exam the year before they modified the test but I think the process is still the same. You need to be very familiar with the different types of essays and know how to approach them. This only comes with practice so try to write as many practice essays as you can as it is good preparation. The key dates really come into play on the multiple choice so you’ve got to know as many as you can. Use the flash cards for this and practice whenever you’ve got free time. As for studying for the class, take a lot of notes when you read. They will be a BIG help.
AP LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
I personally didn’t use any resource materials to study for this test because you don’t really need anything specific. It’s very similar to APUSH though. Familiarize yourself with the essay types and write many practice ones and do many multiple choice passages as well. Critical reading skills are really important on this test. If you want a more in depth response, check out the post I made about studying for AP Lang here.
AP CALCULUS BC
- Barron’s AP Calculus BC (or AB) 13th Edition (2015)
I also didn’t purchase any study materials for this class because my teacher provided us with the textbook’s AP review book. My friends however, purchased the Barron’s book and had good results so that’s what I would recommend. Basically you have to continuously review your notes and always ask questions. It’s important to understand the reasoning behind a formula or procedure in order to fully know the material. There’s also a lot of memorization so be prepared for that. Here’s an ask I answered about AP Calc.
AP FRENCH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
- Barron’s AP French Language and Culture (2013)
If you struggle in French, this is a tough exam. But don’t worry, if you study the right way it’s beatable! The first important thing is to look at old AP French exams and familiarize yourself with the format and what they ask of you. Practice everything but work on your weaknesses in order to even out your score. Read articles and books in French to prepare for the reading and listen to the news in French or even French music to prepare for the listening. If you have an opportunity to speak in class, do it! It’s good practice for the speaking. Finally, really work on those essays because there are certain key phrases you have to use in order to get the points.
AP WORLD HISTORY
- Princeton Review Cracking the AP World History Exam (2015)
Basically the United States History sections. The two exams are very similar in some aspects but different in others. The essays are the key difference and they are, in my opinion, harder than the APUSH essays. So look at past rubrics and work out a formula for approaching the essays. It will be a big help. My teacher recommended the Princeton Review for this exam simply because it does a better job of covering the material and making it approachable. I didn’t get flashcards this time but you could if they help you review.
- Barron’s AP Statistics (2015)
I approached AP Statistics the same way I wrote above for AP Calc. AP Stats has even more memorization than the AP Calc exam and a lot of what you do is on your graphing calculator. So make sure to familiarize yourself with all the functions you learn in class and know how to differentiate between the different tests that you have to conduct. Writing is a key component in this class and it’s important to be clear, detailed, and thorough in your responses. Again, my teacher provided review materials so I didn’t purchase any but I would recommend the Barron’s book for this test because Barron’s generally approaches math in what I think is a clearer and easier to understand way.
AP PHYSICS C
- Princeton Review Cracking the AP Physics C Exam (2015)
This class is a monster. It has to be the hardest AP class and exam I’ve taken so far and probably will still be the hardest after I finish this year’s AP classes. Study smarter not harder for this. There is so much I can say about this class so I’ll just link you to a very detailed post I made about it here.
That’s about it for now. Let me know if you want me to make a detailed post for any specific class. If any requests do come up, I’ll update this post with new reference links. I will also make a part two of this post in January or so after I finish some more classes. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope this helped! Good luck!