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What’s the Best Review Book For AP Calculus AB?
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Last Updated On: May 7, 2021

You've recently enrolled in a calculus course for the advanced placement program, and now you find yourself wondering what's next. First, let's get you a good study companion so you can build a solid foundation on the subject.

The AP Calculus AB course is equivalent to first-semester college calculus, and you'll need the best materials for that.

Together with my team of academic experts, I compiled the top-rated AP Calculus AB books to create a list of the best AP Calculus AB review books.

6 Best AP Calculus AB Books in 2021

1 - 5 Steps to a 5: AP Calculus AB 2020 Elite Student Edition (Editor's Choice)

5 Steps To A 5 AP Calculus AB

The 5 steps to a 5 prep book introduces an easy-to-follow multi-platform approach when studying for the AP Calculus AB exam. This feature makes it one of the best Calculus AB review books for your calculus review.

Based on our review, the five-step study plan may help you build the skill, knowledge, and test-taking confidence needed when taking the exam. As one of the best AP Calculus AB books today, it includes 4 full-length practice exams, two in the book and two online, with complete explanations of answers. You can use these practice tests to gauge your progress along the way.

You also get access to the entire cross-platform for the Calculus AB book. We particularly like the interactive AP planner app that can be customized so you can organize your time correctly.

You'll also find flashcards, games, and useful tools that might help boost your memory while you review.

Pros
  • Comprehensive study guide
  • Includes useful strategies and tips
  • Enough practice tests
  • Well-written and easy to read
  • Affordable price tag
Cons
  • Not for late-minute studying

2 - Multiple Choice Questions To Prepare For The AP Calculus AB Exam: Calculus AB Exam Preparation Workbook

Multiple Choice Questions To Prepare For The AP Calculus AB Exam: Calculus AB Exam Preparation workbook

Another prep book that caught our attention is the Multiple Choice Questions to Prepare for the AP Calculus AB Exam book. Rita Korsunsky, an award-winning teacher, wrote the book.

As per our interview with students who have previously used this study material, most find it helpful since the book mimics the pattern of multiple choice type questions in the actual AP Calculus AB exam. This feature made it stand out among the best AP Calculus AB review books.

It includes five multiple-choice type question practice tests plus an answer key. For your reference, additional formulas and theorem are included. You'll also find several tips on preparing for the test.

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Includes a practice test
  • Good analytic questions
  • Well-organized
Cons
  • Does not provide solution to answers

3 - Cracking the AP Calculus AB Exam 2020, Premium Edition: 6 Practice Tests + Complete Content Review

Cracking the AP Calculus AB Exam 2020, Premium Edition: 6 Practice Tests + Complete Content Review

Cracking the AP Calculus AB Exam by Princeton Review offers a thorough review of the Calculus AB exam, including practice tests and target test strategies.

The Princeton Review book has five full-length practice books and six practice tests with complete explanations of answers to questions.

You can also get free access to the guide's AP online portal for additional online practice tests. Many consider it a handy guide for key calculus formulas.

One good thing about this review book is that the price is 20% lower than other practice books while offering most of the practice tests that its competitors offer. This is one of the main reasons we consider it one of the best AP Calculus AB books.

Pros
  • Plenty of practice tests
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • Includes some printing mistakes

4 - Barron's AP Calculus, 14th Edition

Barron's AP Calculus, 14th Edition

The AP Calculus Book by Barron’s offers both calculus AB and calculus BC review materials. This comprehensive test prep manual is designed to reflect the new curriculum framework for the new AP exams, making it one of the best AP Calculus AB  review books today.

Barron's AP Calculus includes 4 practice AP Calculus AB exams and free response questions for calculus AB preparation, modified to reflect the new exam format. All test question answers have detailed explanations for each topic of Calculus AB and BC.

In this AP Calculus AB prep book, you'll also find tips for efficient use of the Calculus AB and Calculus BC graphing calculator.

You'll also get free access to additional online full-length practice tests to help you prepare better for the AP exam.

Pros
  • Includes a CD–ROM for more study options
  • Comprehensive review of the subject
  • Includes multiple-choice and free-response questions
Cons
  • Practice questions are harder than actual exam
  • Not a standard textbook

5 - 320 AP Calculus AB Problems

320 AP Calculus AB Problems

The title itself gives away all you need to know about the book. The 320 AP Calculus AB Problems review book contains 320 practice exams with detailed explanations. We think it should be part of our list of the best AP Calculus AB review books with this feature.

Based on our research, it is arranged according to topics and difficulty levels. It aims to improve your mastery of the subject through constant problem-solving.

Each question includes detailed answers so you can determine how to attack a problem and properly formulate the answer based on the information before you.

The AP Calculus AB prep review book is a bit expensive than most of its competitors, though. Also, we do not recommend this book if you're looking for a comprehensive review material.

Pros
  • Ample amount of practice problems
  • Includes detailed answers
  • Aims to improve mastery of the subject
Cons
  • Not for comprehensive review
  • A bit on the pricey side

6 - AP Calculus AB Lecture Notes: Calculus Interactive Lectures

AP Calculus AB Lecture Note

Another book from Rita Korsunsky, the AP Calculus AB Lecture Notes is a compilation of Rita's lectures that she uses during her AP classes.

The author claims that 90% of the students who take her classes get an exam score of 5 in the AP exam.

Each topic is discussed thoroughly. We also noticed that for every lesson, there is are corresponding examples to illustrate the concepts, making it easy to learn and digest.

We like how the practice exams include a step-by-step procedure to make it less confusing.

Since the review book explains the AP Calculus AB fundamentals, we think this is ideal as a textbook supplement.

Pros
  • Written by an AP Calculus AB teacher
  • Contains helpful lecture notes
  • Includes problem illustrations
Cons
  • Not for last-minute studying
  • Ideal as a supplement only

AP Calculus AB Exam - Brief Overview

The College Board AP Calculus AB Exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long. As per the College Board, it has two sections - multiple choice and free response.

Section 1: In this section, you will find multiple choice type questions. Section 1 is divided into two parts:

  • Part A - 30 questions and 60 minutes long to solve the problems. Calculators are not allowed.
  • Part B - 15 questions and 45 minutes. A graphing calculator is required.

Section 2: In the free-response section, you're given 1 hour and 30 minutes to solve six problems.

  • First part - 2 questions and 30 minutes long. Use your graphing calculator.
  • Second part - 4 problems and 60 minutes to solve. Calculators are not allowed.

Note: You can now take the AP Calculus AB and Calculus BC exam within the same year.

As a quick test preparation tip, we recommend you do your research on what to bring to the exam and what to leave at home to avoid the hassle during the examination day.

Related Posts:

What's The Best AP Calculus AB Review Book? We Choose...

Based on our extensive review and interviews with previous test-takers, we recommend the 5 Steps to a 5: AP Calculus AB 2020 Elite Student Edition as the best AP Calculus AB review book. It discusses the concepts in detail so you can grasp each lesson and hold on to them come exam day.

If you want the best AP Calculus AB study guide that comprehensively prepares you for the multiple type choice questions, then you may want to consider this study material as your main study companion.

Aside from being highly-rated by both students and teachers, we are impressed by the helpful strategies and study tips we found. The book is easy to read, and the price is right.

If you're looking for more Calculus AB and BC review materials that include full-length practice tests, you may also check out Princeton Review - Best AP Calculus AB Review Book.

5 Steps To A 5 AP Calculus AB

Our #1 Recommendation

5 Steps to a 5: AP Calculus AB 2020 Elite Student Edition

  • Comprehensive study guide
  • Includes useful strategies and tips
  • Enough practice tests
  • Well-written and easy to read
  • Affordable price tag
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of June
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About the author

William Cohen

William Cohen

William is an electrical engineer whose great passion is helping promising students achieve their goals and dreams. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring learners from all over the world.

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