High school is a great time to explore academic interests, and taking an Advanced Placement class would be a great way to indulge in something challenging yet highly rewarding.
The best thing is that a high AP score can earn college credit, consequently helping you save on tuition.
But how do you guarantee a high score of 4 or 5 on the AP exam? Well, one way to go about it would be investing in a test prep program for AP.
Let’s look at some of the best AP prep courses in the market and see which one would be the best option for you.
Comparison Table of AP Review Classes
The Princeton Review
Live Online & Self-Paced
Free Study Resources?
AP Prep Books?
High Score Guarantee?
Which AP Prep Course Is Right For You?
- The best overall AP prep course that we recommend is The Princeton Review.
- If you haven’t made up your mind on a particular AP class and are looking for a flexible AP prep course, we recommend Kaplan’s Unlimited Prep.
- If you’re looking for a course that offers plenty of practice exercises, we recommend Study.com.
- The best AP prep course for in-person live lessons is Elite Prep.
- If you’re on a tight budget and are looking for a highly affordable AP prep course, we recommend edX, which is entirely free.
Best AP Prep Courses In 2023
1. The Princeton Review AP Courses Review
The Princeton Review has several options for AP prep: there’s the tutoring program, and there’s the course.
The AP 4 Guarantee Course will set you back $1,299 for a one-year subscription period, giving you plenty of time to prep for your AP subject.
The Princeton Review offers six subjects under this course: AP US History, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Physics 1, AP World History, and AP Calculus AB.
For whichever subject you choose, the course provides over 24 hours of LiveOnline classroom instruction. These classes are taught by expert AP instructors who will guide you in just what you need to get a top AP score.
In addition to the live lessons, you also get between 160 and 420 practice questions, the exact number varying depending on the subject you are learning. You also get full-length practice tests that do an excellent job of simulating what you should expect on test day.
There are interactive score reports to help track your progress and help you realize your strengths and weaknesses throughout the course.
One of the biggest perks of this course, though, is the top-rated The Princeton Review’s AP prep books that come with the course. These books are famed for being good review material for the AP exam in each of the subjects covered by Princeton Review.
Although Princeton Review might be a little pricey compared to other options in the market, the course does come with a high score guarantee.
Should you score less than 4 on the official AP test, the company promises to refund a portion of your tuition fees, less the cost of course materials that were shipped to you.
To be eligible for this refund, you must have attended all your AP classes and completed all the assignments.
So, all in all, it really is a worthy AP course you should consider investing in.
– Taught by elite instructors.
– Has exam-like questions and interface.
– Comes with a top-selling AP prep book for your subject.
– Guarantees at least a 4 on your AP exam.
– Quite expensive.
2. Kaplan AP Courses Review
When it comes to AP test prep, Kaplan offers two options, you could either pay $399 for a single subject of your choosing, or you could pay $1,999 for the Unlimited prep program, which allows you to access as many AP classes as you want.
The beauty of Unlimited Prep is that you do not have to know what tests you are taking or when you are taking them. Simply schedule classes anytime and take as many as you wish. It is an incredibly flexible option.
Kaplan covers 8 AP subjects: Biology, Calculus AB, Human Geography, Psychology, US History, World History, English Language, and English Literature.
Each subject is covered under its own course, and for each course, you have eight 2-hour sessions of live class instruction taught by an expert AP teacher. So in total, the entire course comprises about 16 hours of classroom instruction.
The class schedule covers about a month’s worth of class content in one lesson.
The best part, though, is that each class is recorded, so should you miss a session, you can quickly go through the class recordings and follow through the hours of the lecture.
In addition to having class recordings, students are also provided with teacher-written summary notes for each class, available after each session.
So if you might need to refer to something mentioned in the class but don’t have the time to sit through the 2-hour lecture, you can check the teacher’s summary notes and see if that answers whichever query you may have.
Just as well this program conveniently provides online access to the slide decks and questions from each lesson. So even if you missed a session, you would still have everything you need to know from that particular live lecture.
Another great perk with this course is a premium book from Barron’s AP prep series, which contains everything you would need to ace the AP exams.
Featuring tried and tested content, Barron’s top-tier AP books not only allow you to review key content but contain multiple practice exams and questions with thorough answer explanations.
– Taught by top-quality teachers that are highly skilled and engaging.
– Has recordings of all class sessions.
– Teacher-written summary notes are available from each class.
– Comes with Barron’s premium AP prep books.
– No higher score guarantee.
3. Study.Com AP Courses Review
If you are more inclined towards self-study, whereby you prefer to learn entirely at your own pace, then you would be better off going for the Study.com AP test prep courses.
This program covers 27 AP subjects, ranging from AP English Literature and AP English Language to AP Macroeconomics and AP Music Theory.
Also, you might be happy to know that this is one of the most affordable AP test prep courses, costing just $59.99 per month.
The number of video lectures varies per subject, some having just 100 and others having as many as 280 video lessons. That doesn’t matter much, though. Whatever the number of video lessons, rest assured that each subject has been covered comprehensively.
These entertaining video lessons are designed to be fun and engaging. Better yet, each video is pretty short, compacting vital information into a brief but detailed 8-minute clip.
You could either watch the video lessons or ‘read’ them in the printable transcript that’s been provided for each lecture. Better yet, you could use audio mode to get through the lecture during a commute or while doing chores.
Besides the video lessons, this program also provides hundreds of multiple-choice quizzes to test your comprehension and help reinforce what you have just learnt from the video lessons.
Better yet, each question is linked to a specific portion of the lessons, so you can quickly revisit any weak areas and help bolster your content grasp.
Although these courses are packaged as a self-study option, that doesn’t mean you are entirely alone in your AP test prep. Have access to online tutors who are accessible 24/7 to help you with any questions you may have regarding specific lesson topics.
You also have access to timed, full-length AP practice tests that emulate the content, style, and format of the actual AP exams. This helps provide a more realistic testing experience mirroring what you will encounter on the exam.
After the completion of each full-length exam, you get an in-depth diagnostic report identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Also, you are provided with detailed video explanations for the wrong answers so you can understand exactly where you went wrong.
– Brief yet comprehensive video lessons.
– Offers detailed video answer explanations.
– Mirrors the AP testing experience.
– Provides plenty of practice to get you exam ready.
– No AP prep books included.
4. Elite Prep AP Courses Review
Elite Prep is an excellent program that combines online live classes with in-person tutoring to deliver everything you might need to score a 5 on the AP exam.
To begin with, this test prep company covers 21 AP subjects ranging from AP English Language and Composition to AP Computer Science, among many others.
To get started on this program, you are first put in touch with an advisor who will assess your study needs and guide you to the AP test prep course you need. Alternatively, you could also contact your local Elite Prep branch to have any questions answered right away.
At the same time, you also get to schedule and take a free diagnostic test to further reveal precisely where you stand, so you and your instructor can know how much help you would need while taking the AP course.
One thing that sets this test prep program apart from other options in the market is that it offers in-person classes. Beyond just test prep, though, this company additionally offers mentorship and accountability to keep you motivated as you study for the AP exam.
The minute you sign up for the course, you are paired up with a counselor who will meet with you online to help you stay on track, set concrete goals, and build a plan of action to see you ace the AP exam you are prepping for.
Each class lecture is about 3 hours long, and the entire course comprises about 8 weeks of live lectures.
After assessments, progress tracking is made easier through the Elite Prep App. Accessible to students, parents, and counselors, the Elite Prep App can be used to follow student progress through test reports, score trends, instructor notes, and class and counseling schedules.
– Offers a typical in-person classroom learning experience.
– Features a comprehensive curriculum.
– Flexible schedule can accommodate weekend classes for busy students.
– Mobile App allows for easy progress tracking.
– Requires a non-refundable registration fee in addition to the membership fee.
5. edX AP Courses Review
edX is an online portal offering a vast array of AP courses provided by some of the most prestigious universities in the country and fully regulated by the college board.
For instance, on edX, you can take Harvard’s AP Computer Science course or MIT’s AP Microeconomics.
What’s particularly great about this service is that edX offers free AP test prep courses, although you can sign up for membership which will set you back about $49.
It is worth noting that the free access offers you limited access to the courses, varying for each AP course, whereas the paid option allows for unlimited access to the courses.
Another reason you might want to upgrade to the paid membership is that you will get graded assignments and exams, whereas this is not the case with the free option.
edX covers 7 AP subjects: AP Psychology, AP Italian Language and Culture, AP Microeconomics, AP Computer Science, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Physics I, and Precalculus.
Course length varies depending on the depth of the content being covered. For instance, while AP Psychology is covered in 25 weeks, totaling 200+ hours of video lessons, Precalculus is covered in 15 weeks totaling 130+ hours of lectures.
Each lesson comes with a video transcript, so you can either watch a lesson or read it. Either way, you get to study entirely at your own pace.
– Free course audit option.
– High-quality course coverage.
– Offers downloadable video transcripts that you can view offline.
– Taught my highly knowledgeable instructors from top-tier universities.
– The user interface could use some improvement.
What Are The Top Features To Look For In An AP Prep Course?
There are 38 AP exams in total, and these range vastly in subjects whereby you have Arts & Humanities, Math & Sciences, and Languages & Culture.
The AP prep course you go for should offer the AP subject you are interested in taking as you prepare to take the corresponding AP exam.
Whether you are taking an AP course to earn high school credit or doing it to prepare for the AP test, it is crucial to find a course that offers some flexibility in its class schedule.
Flexibility will come in handy if you need to take a class late at night or if you need to take a weekend class because you are unavailable on weekdays.
Study Resources Offered
Besides the video lessons, pay attention to the other preparation material a test prep company provides.
The best AP courses will offer a suite of resources ranging from video transcripts and books to articles and practice exercises to work on in your spare time.
It particularly helps if a course offers some form of downloadable or hardcopy content ideal for offline use, such as when you are on a plane, for instance. In some cases, you might even be able to download the video lessons for later reference.
Best AP Prep Courses FAQs
How Much Do AP Prep Courses Cost?
AP prep course costs can vary widely, ranging from $100 to as much as over $1,000.
There are plenty of variables that influence this pricing, such as live vs. recorded lectures; AP prep books vs. summary notes; the course’s access period, etc.
How Many AP Classes Should I Take?
You should take between 4 to 8 AP classes in your junior and senior years.
Ideally, it is recommended that you take at least one AP class in any of the courses, which include English, Math, Science, History, and Foreign Languages. In addition to that, it is also recommended to take a few additional AP courses matching your intended major.
For Ivy League and other such competitive, highly selective schools, you should aim to pass between 7 to 12 AP classes.
What AP Classes Do Colleges Like The Most?
Nearly all colleges expect you to take whichever AP courses are closely related to the major you intend to study.
For example, if you are passionate about medicine and express the same in your admissions essay, then the board will expect you to have taken AP Biology in high school.
Highly selective colleges expect you to take the most challenging AP courses to prove that you can handle a challenging workload. It also shows them that you made the most of your educational opportunities as a high school student.
At the same time, if you intend to apply for scholarships, keep in mind that scholarship boards will want evidence of your willingness to take challenging courses and not just that but your ability to pass them as well.