The 8 Best AP Biology Prep Books

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5 Steps to a 5
Kaplan Test Prep Plus
CliffsNotes AP Biology 5th Edition

This wiki has been updated 9 times since it was first published in February of 2018. If you're looking to get a leg up on a STEM major before heading off to college, it's a good idea to take the AP biology exam — and an even better idea to practice ahead of time with one of these prep books. They cover everything that's on the test and provide plenty of tips and tricks for nailing down a strategy, so you'll be more than capable of getting a 5 when the big day comes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best ap biology prep book on Amazon.

8. AP Biology Crash Course

7. Barron's AP Q&A Biology

6. CliffsNotes AP Biology 5th Edition

5. Kaplan Test Prep Plus

4. Barron's AP Biology Premium

3. Preparing for the Biology AP Exam

2. The Princeton Review Premium

1. 5 Steps to a 5

Editor's Notes

February 11, 2020:

Taking the AP biology exam offers an excellent way to get ahead of the pack in college, and in an age where competition is fierce, getting every advantage you can is crucial. If you've yet to begin your AP class, it's smart to select a good biology textbook to study from, chosen based on your learning style and objectives, so you can grasp the material the first time around. This means you might end up with a secondary text that is different from the one you're using in class.

This list has been overhauled to reflect the most informative and up-to-date editions to help you clear the exam. We said goodbye to Kaplan Test Prep and Barron's 6th Edition to make way for the more recent and revised Kaplan Test Prep Plus and Barron's AP Biology Premium. We also updated AP Biology Crash Course and The Princeton Review to reflect their 2020 editions. Then, we expanded the list with Barron's AP Q&A Biology, a volume with 600 questions for the student who wants to be rigorously tested on the material.

While some structural exam changes are coming up in 2020, we still chose to keep CliffsNotes AP Biology 5th Edition, Preparing for the Biology AP Exam, and 5 Steps to a 5, despite them not having been revised in the last year. This is because they continue to be helpful and illuminating, are written well, and break down ideas in ways that are easy to comprehend. Many of the same concepts are covered, as well as tips and strategies. Students just need to research the expected 2020 changes (like the removal of grid-in questions) to skip any portions that are no longer relevant.


Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated on February 12, 2020 by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.


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