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Best AP Psychology Review Books 2022

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AP® is a registered trademark of the college board. So while prepping for the Advanced Placement exam, it only makes sense to use textbooks that meet the AP psychology curriculum requirements.

The best AP Psychology review book should comprehensively cover every test topic in all 9 units. 

From Scientific Foundations of Psychology to Sensation and perception to Social Psychology, you need to have all that information mastered to a T. 

It might seem like a lot to handle, but having the right AP Psychology textbooks in your arsenal will make your studying that much easier. 

Best AP Psychology Review Book

Comparison Table

Myers' Psychology for the AP

Barron's AP Psychology Premium

5 Steps to a 5 AP Psychology

TPR AP Psychology Premium

AP Psychology Crash Course

Cracking the AP Psychology Exam

No. Of Pages

1,104

424

368

480

272

384

Format

Book

Book + Online

Book + Online

Book + Online

Book + Online

Book + Online

Full-Length Practice Exams

1

6

3

5

1

2

Practice Questions

700+

810

190+

130+

15

--

Writing Style

Humorous

Textbook-Style

Simple

Conversational

Simple

Conversational

Best AP Psychology Review Books In 2022

1. Myers’ Psychology For The AP Course Book Review

Having authored 17 books and written numerous articles appearing in 36+ academic periodicals, David G. Myers truly knows his stuff when it comes to the field of Psychology.

It is therefore not hard to see why many students have referred to this book as the holy bible of Psychology.

Myers’ Psychology for the AP Course is a very heavy, very in-depth book that holds incredible knowledge bound to give you a 5 on the AP exam.

This textbook is divided into 5 major units, and each unit is further divided into short, bite-sized modules.

This design enhances readability, making it much easier to take in and digest the wealth of information provided.

It is by far one of the most expensive Psychology test prep books you will find on the market, but rest assured that if you can afford it, this book will prove to be pure gold.

The content is not only informative, but it is also very interesting to read. The authors integrate poignant personal stories into their humorous, witty narrative in a way that will not only help you understand the content better but will also enhance your interest in Psychology as a discipline.

Rather than just having an endless sea of text, there are numerous graphics, humorous cartoons, research studies and tables, helping to tie the content together.

Pros

• An interesting read that incorporates real-life examples and stories.
• Bite-sized modules allow for easier readability.
• Very in-depth and comprehensive.
• Provides top-tier exam tips with invaluable advice.

Cons

• Contains a fair amount of information irrelevant to the AP exam.

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2. Barron’s AP Psychology Premium Book Review

Barron’s AP Psychology Premium book additionally comes with access to Barron’s Online Learning Hub, where you’ll get additional practice.

Featuring a total of 6 full-length practice tests, 3 tests are contained in the book, whereas the other 3 are on the online platform, whereby you have a timed test option to perfectly simulate the AP exam experience.

Written and reviewed by AP experts, this comprehensive book covers all 9 units on the AP Psychology exam in a detailed yet concise manner.

The content has been tailored to the most recent exam, aligning with the most current AP course and exam description.

In addition to the full-length practice tests, you also get practice questions at the end of each chapter to reinforce what you’ve just learnt.

To enhance readability, the book contains some pictures, charts, tables, and diagrams, hitting the major concepts in a way that’s very easy to understand especially for visual learners.

However, one of the biggest perks of this textbook is the detailed answer explanations offered for each question. The book not only shows you what you got wrong or right, but it also explains why your answer was the right or wrong choice, thereby reinforcing your content review.

Featuring tips, strategies, and study advice for exam day, using this textbook feels almost like having a trusted tutor by your side throughout your AP Psychology prep.

Pros

• Includes a diagnostic test.
• Very detailed answer explanations.
• The content review is concise and to the point.
• Contains information that’s very relevant to the exam.

Cons

• There’s no glossary you can quickly refer to for definitions of terms.

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3. 5 Steps To A 5: AP Psychology Book Review

5 Steps to a 5 is a multi-platform AP study guide that not only provides you with an AP Psychology textbook but additionally gives you access to a robust online platform.

The online platform features a full-length practice test, personalized study plans, flashcards, games, and social media support, among many other features that will enhance your AP test prep experience.

Additionally, the online platform features powerful analytics and progress charts which you can conveniently use to assess your readiness to face the real exam.

The book itself provides a comprehensive overview of the AP Psychology exam format, suitably equipping you with all you would need to score a 5 on the test.

All topics have been addressed in the depth and style required for the AP Psychology exam, which is probably why this book is immensely popular among students.

In addition to the 3 full-length practice exams, there are plenty of practice exercises with thorough answer explanations, so there are no gaps in your content review.

The book provides an extensive glossary for quick references, and you also get proven strategies specific to each exam section. You even get strategies for deconstructing essay prompts and planning your essay.

Pros

• Comprehensive and written in a style that’s easy to follow.
• The practice tests align with the latest College Board requirements.
• Features powerful analytics you can use to assess your test readiness.
• Includes a self-guided study plan with daily goals.

Cons

• The practice questions are a bit too easy.

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4. Princeton Review’s AP Psychology Premium Prep Book Review

This premium version of The Princeton Review’s AP Psychology prep book offers a comprehensive study guide bound to earn you a 5 on the exam.

In addition to the book, you also have access to online extras, which include study plans, helpful pre-college information and a handy list of key terms, among other resources.

This well-written book employs a conversational style of writing that most students find relatable adding some fun and interest to your test prep.

As with all the best AP Psychology books, all test topics have been covered comprehensively.

The book provides a thorough content review of everything you would need to face the AP Psychology exam.

Furthermore, rather than being too wordy in a textbook kind of writing style, the content review chapters are diagram-heavy, which is great, especially for visual learners.

The best part, though, has to be the smart test-taking tips and strategies that have been included in this book.

For both the multiple-choice and the free-response questions, this Princeton Review book teaches you how to use reasoning through logic and the process of elimination so you can filter out the wrong answers and arrive at the correct one.

If you want a high score on the AP exam, knowing how to approach questions can be an important strategy to master, and this book is a great resource for just that.

Pros

• Offers excellent test-taking skills and strategies.
• Provides a step-by-step guide for organizing your studying.
• Uses a conversational style of writing.
• Diagram-heavy content enhances readability.

Cons

• There is no compendium of definitions of terms and concepts for quick reference.

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5. AP Psychology Crash Course Book Review

If you are in a time crunch whereby you are short of time, and the AP Psychology exam is right around the corner, then this Crash Course book is just what you need.

AP Psychology Crash Course promises you a higher AP score in less time, and in that regard, the book truly doesn’t disappoint.

Written by a veteran AP Psychology teacher, this book cuts through the fluff proving just the essence of what you need to ace the AP exam.

It provides a decent review of the major topics, providing a targeted, focused review, so you only study what you need to know.

Keep in mind that this isn’t ideally the book to use when learning content from scratch. But rather, it is more suitable as a supplement for students who want a refresher on AP Psychology.

Designed in an easy-to-read format, this book allows you to make the most of your study time by covering only the information tested on the exam.

Besides covering content review, though, the textbook also includes expert test-taking strategies including detailed explanations on how to answer the multiple-choice questions.

You are given one full-length practice test, which you take online. This exam is timed and comes with detailed answers along with automatic scoring analysis.

Ultimately, whether you are doing some last-minute cramming for the AP exam or are simply looking for extra content review, you cannot go wrong with this study guide.

Pros

• A fast and easy way to study for the exam.
• Targeted, focused review ensures you optimize your study time.
• Offers a great summary of all the key points.
• Provides excellent tips to understand hard-to-grasp concepts.

Cons

• Offers very little practice material.

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6. Cracking The AP Psychology Exam Book Review

This comprehensive study guide by The Princeton Review provides tried-and-true strategies to help you score highly on the A exam by avoiding common traps and pitfalls.

The whole point of this Cracking the AP Psychology Exam book is to provide you with essential tactics, so you can work smarter, not harder.

You are provided with targeted strategies for every question type and a thorough content review for all test topics.

Furthermore, this book contains sample questions complete with detailed step-by-step explanations on how to answer every type of question.

This handy guide is what helps you create your own pacing strategy so time doesn’t run out on you during the exam.

The test-taking tips provided are also quite helpful, guiding you on how to guess logically using the process of elimination.

Every content review chapter comes with a useful list of key terms, along with practice drills at the end to help reinforce what you’ve just learnt.

Besides the book, students also get access to an online portal containing student plans and helpful pre-college information, among other helpful resources.

Pros

• Quickly summarizes the vital information you need to know.
• Explains how to answer every type of question.
• Guides on how to plan out your AP Psychology prep.
• Has excellent test-taking tips and strategies.

Cons

• Does not provide a quick reference for definitions of terms.

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Verdict

The best AP Psychology textbooks can be a lifesaver, presenting you with excellent content reviews condensed down into the vital aspects of each topic and unit.

However, you need to keep in mind that each book will have its drawbacks, so the challenge becomes finding what works specifically for you.

Myers’ is an excellent, top-rated Psychology book not just for AP test prep but for anyone interested in Psychology as a discipline. The book is written in an entertaining, captivating manner that is guaranteed to enhance your interest in Psychology.

On the downside, Myers’ Psychology for the AP course can be a bit too detailed, bogging you with unnecessary information that isn’t relevant to the AP exam.

If you are looking for something concise and straight to the point, you might be better off with AP Psychology Crash Course, which filters out all the fluff, presenting only what’s relevant to the exam.

However, on the downside, this book hardly provides any practice material. In addition to that, the content is so condensed that you can only use the book as a refresher guide rather than a stand-alone textbook.

Barron’s AP Psychology Premium might be an excellent AP Psychology test prep resource. However, although the content is thorough and top-tier, the writing style isn’t all that great. The book is written in a very textbook kind of style, with long paragraphs and not enough graphics to enhance visual learning.

As such, this book is best suited for students who have plenty of time for their AP Psychology test prep because it would take quite a bit of time to get through it. If you are easily bored by the dry textbook writing style, this isn’t the book for you.

Ultimately, your choice will be informed by your learning style and study time, among other study needs you may have. What works for you won’t necessarily work for another student, and that’s perfectly alright. 

All that matters is finding the AP Psychology book that perfectly suits you.

FAQs About The Best AP Psychology Review Book

Can You Self Study AP Psychology?

Yes, as long as you have the right resource, you can absolutely self-study AP Psychology and even score a 5 on the exam.

AP Psychology books differ greatly in writing style, depth of content review, practice material, general outline and layout, visual appeal, etc. So to self-study successfully, you would need first to find and establish what works for you.  

Is Barron’s Or Princeton Review Better For AP Psychology?

Barron’s is better than Princeton Review for AP psychology if you are looking for thorough content coverage and numerous practice material complete with very detailed answer explanations. 

On the other hand, though, Princeton Review is better than Barron’s for AP Psychology if you are interested in learning incredibly helpful AP test-taking tips and strategies.

Which Is The Best AP Psychology Review Book For Self-Study?

The best AP Psychology review book for self-study is Myers’ Psychology for the AP Course.

This review book is very detailed, providing thorough coverage of all aspects of AP Psychology. Furthermore, the book is written in a humorous way using the authors’ personal experiences, making the content very engaging and enjoyable to read. 

Is Kaplan AP Psychology Book Any Good?

No, Kaplan AP Psychology book isn’t good, really. The content is a bit confusing and hard to understand.

Kaplan itself highly recommends Barron’s AP Psychology book rather than pushing for its own AP Psychology Prep Plus book.

John Reed
The chief editor of TestPrepPal.com. I am an alumni of the university of Pennsylvania and my goal with the website is to help future graduates with their tests.

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