What Are the Best AP Psychology Textbooks and Prep Books?

4 min readseptember 30, 2021

Dalia Savy

Dalia Savy

AP Psychology 🧠

334 resources
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The Best AP Psych Books 📚

Just like how each individual is different, each AP Psychology review book is different and may work better or worse depending on the learner. Discovering what type of learner you are is a crucial skill that helps throughout life.
Let's find the best books for you!

The AP Exam 🕑

First, here is the format of the AP Psychology Exam in May:
Section 1: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
  • You have 1 hour and 10 minutes to answer 100 MCQs
  • These will count as 66.7% of your total exam score
Section 2: Free Response Questions (FRQ)
  • You have 50 minutes to answer 2 FRQs
  • These will count as 33.3% of your total exam score

Best Prep Books

1) Princeton Review👑


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  • Lots of visuals and graphics 👀
  • All necessary content covered in depth and has a glossary
  • 2 practice exams are included with answers 📚
    • If you buy the premium version for $4 more, there are 4 practice tests in the book and 1 online.
  • Gives study tips and acronyms as you read 💡
  • Lots of test strategies for the exam
  • Moderately expensive ($13 regular + $17 premium)
  • Their study plan is very vague and may not be easy to incorporate in your schedule

2) 5 Steps to a 5


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  • Has a linear, straightforward study plan set up for you
    • With the elite version ($9 more), you have access to a section called "5 minutes to a 5️⃣." This includes 180 days of questions that will only take you 5 minutes! It's quick and easy practice to keep you motivated 🙃
  • Covers all necessary content and keeps it concise (easy to read too)
  • Includes 6 practice exams (3 online, 3 in the book)
  • Includes a glossary and MCQs after each chapter
  • Has an online prep course that you can access with your PC or phone 📱
    • Their interactive online software has practice questions, a personalized study plan, practice tests, flashcards, and even a game center 🎮
  • The questions are slightly easy compared to what you actually see on the AP Exam
  • There aren't many tips in terms of how to approach the MCQs or FRQs
  • Elite version ($21) is slightly more expensive than Princeton's premium version ($17) 💰

3) Barron's Test Prep✏️


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  • Lots of practice tests to hone in your exam skills ❓
  • They also have an online portal to continue your studying on
  • Lots of test-taking tips
  • Questions are harder than the ones on the AP 🤔
    • If you get these right, you'll probably nail the AP questions
  • Doesn't provide examples to demonstrate the advice they give
  • Less interactive approach to studying (written like a textbook)
  • Very content heavy, not many visuals
  • Expensive ($23) 💰

Prep book Awards Time 🏆

Best Overall Book🎉: 5 Steps to a 5
People that want a 5️⃣: 5 Steps to a 5 or Princeton
Best for Practice Tests❓: Barron's Prep
Best for Those that want More Knowledge🧠: Barron's Prep
Best Online Portal 🖥️: 5 Steps to a 5
People that need Structure📅: 5 Steps to a 5

Best Textbook

Myers' Psychology for AP (Second Edition)📖


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Most schools provide this textbook to prep for the exam. With this textbook and some practice with previous AP questions, you would be well prepared to get a 5️⃣
  • A table of contents is included and shows how the textbook is aligned with the CED 🔖
  • Includes a timeline of psychology milestones in the beginning of the book
  • It includes MCQs and FRQs at the end of each chapter and unit ❓
  • Lots of helpful visuals and tables that summary information well 👀
  • Includes tips, tricks and different ways to approach a topic💡
  • Points out vocabulary terms on the side of the page
  • Includes an AP style exam and glossary
  • Not too expensive to rent!
    • Plus, there are PDF versions of this textbook online 🖥️
  • Doesn't include answers to all questions in the textbook
  • Could be a little hard to read in some sections
  • Expensive to buy 💰

Closing Thoughts

Try to choose the prep book that suits your learning style and the amount of effort you want to put into studying. Buy something you know you'll wanna read and look through the pros and cons before spending the money.
If you study with any of these prep books and the Myers' textbook together, you're on your way to get a 5️⃣ Happy studying! 🎉
Browse Study Guides By Unit
🔎Unit 1 – Scientific Foundations of Psychology
🧠Unit 2 – Biological Basis of Behavior
👀Unit 3 – Sensation & Perception
📚Unit 4 – Learning
🤔Unit 5 – Cognitive Psychology
👶🏽Unit 6 – Developmental Psychology
🤪Unit 7 – Motivation, Emotion, & Personality
🛋Unit 8 – Clinical Psychology
👫Unit 9 – Social Psychology
✏️Frequently Asked Questions
🧐Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
✍️Free Response Questions (FRQ)
📆Big Reviews: Finals & Exam Prep

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