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Last Updated On January 5, 2021

What’s the Best AP Lang Review Book? Composition Books for 2021

Editor's Choice
5 Steps to A 5 AP English Language
5 Steps to a 5Check Current Price
#2nd Best Choice
Barron's AP English Literature and Composition, 7th Edition: with Bonus Online Tests
Barron's AP English Literature and CompositionCheck Current Price
#3rd Best Choice
Cracking the AP English Literature & Composition Exam, 2020 Edition: Practice Tests
Cracking the AP English Literature & Composition ExamCheck Current Price

AP English Language and Composition or simply AP Language may sound like an easy class to pass, but the truth is, it's difficult to get a 5 on the AP Lang test.

Since it's an introductory course to college, you'll learn complex topics like rhetorical arguments, analysis of claims and evidence, and argumentative reasoning, to name some.

With this in mind, it pays to get a head start. We recommend you get a good grasp of the concepts through the best AP Language review books. After spending more than 30 hours browsing through several collections, we finally created a list of the highly-rated ones below.

5 Best AP English Literature and Composition Book in 2020

1 - 5 Steps to a 5: AP English Language 2020 Elite Student edition (Editor's Choice)

5 Steps to A 5 AP English Language

Most students we've talked to consider the 5 steps to a 5 AP English Language review book as one of the best AP Lang books today. With its multi-platform approach and easy study guide, this study material aims to give you that extra boost of confidence come exam day.

Aside from its textbook format, the 5 Steps to a 5 AP English Lang book is also available in digital format for easy access. It contains 6 full-length practice tests with answer explanations and impressive analytics to assess your test readiness.

We like how it comes with a customizable and interactive AP planner app for more effective time and goal management. We think the book's flashcards and games also make learning more enjoyable.

Pros
  • Comprehensive and organized approach
  • Comes with an AP planner
  • Ideal for improving writing and reading skills
  • Includes 6 full-length practice tests
  • Includes flashcards and games
Cons
  • Not for last-minute studying

2 - Barron's AP English Literature and Composition 7th Edition

Barron's AP English Literature and Composition, 7th Edition: with Bonus Online Tests

Barron's AP English Literature and Composition also made it to our list of the best AP Language review books due to its comprehensive discussion of the core concepts of the course.

The updated manual includes extensive features like a complete overview of the subject and 5 full-length practice tests to gauge your progress along the way.

We like how the review book also includes individual instructions for answering the multiple choice questions to help beginners.

You'll also find test-taking tips and strategies for writing a more targeted and well-organized response to every question.

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Includes 5 full-length practice tests
  • Ideal for free-response questions
  • Includes instructions for answering questions
Cons
  • Not suitable for multiple-choice section of the AP exam

3 - Cracking the AP English Literature & Composition Exam 2020 Edition

Cracking the AP English Literature & Composition Exam, 2020 Edition: Practice Tests

Cracking the AP English Literature and Composition Exam review book is an AP Language prep material produced by the Princeton Review team.

It provides comprehensive discussion of the concepts and offers expert strategies for your AP English preparation. Most students find the structure easy to follow and understand.

It is mostly focused on the review of literary devices and rhetorical analysis.

Aside from 2 full-length practice tests, practice drills are included at the end of every chapter to gauge your exam preparedness.

You may also connect to the online AP portal for more useful information and exam updates.

Pros
  • Ideal for pre-college review
  • Structure is easy to follow
  • Includes test-taking strategies
  • Includes practice drills
Cons
  • Difficult to access the DMR protect book

4 - The Language of Composition - Reading, Writing, Rhetoric

The Language of Composition - Reading, Writing, Rhetoric

Produced from scratch by a team of English experts, The Language of Composition review book aims to teach you how to think and write like a college student in preparation for the AP English exam.

One of the best things we've noticed about this book is it's engaging and interesting approach when explaining the core concepts of the subject.

If you'll be using this as a review book, we recommend that you read it months before the exam as the content is long.

The book contains a thorough discussion of the English language so it is ideally prepared for a student that has a lot of time to spare.

Pros
  • Comprehensive discussion of AP English Language
  • Can be used as a textbook or review book
  • Fun and interesting approach
Cons
  • It is quite expensive
  • Not for last-minute studying

5 - CliffsNotes AP English Language & Composition, 5th Edition

CliffsNotes AP English Language & Composition, 5th Edition

CliffsNotes AP English Language and Composition is another effective study guide for the AP English Language exam.

While it may not be as popular as most of its AP English counterparts, this review material contains most practice tests than any if its competitors.

It is mostly focused on teaching test-taking strategies that you can use to address each exam question. It also contains 4 full-length practice tests to test your skills at the end of every chapter.

Based on our research, this is more ideal as a supplemental review material since it does not provide a full discussion on the concepts. It rather aims to give you a thorough introduction on what to expect during the AP exam.

Pros
  • Includes 4 full-length practice tests
  • Ideal as a supplemental review material
  • Includes test-taking strategies
Cons
  • Does not contain an in-depth review

Exam Information

The College Board AP English exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long and has two sections - multiple choice and free-response sections

  • Section 1: Covers the multiple choice questions with 52 to 55 questions answerable in 1 hour.  You can score 45% in your AP exam for this section.
  • Section 2: Covers the free-response section with 3 questions answerable in 2 hours and 15 minutes. You can score 55% for this section.

Final Words : AP English Book

Preparing for the AP English Language exam doesn't have to be cumbersome. With an ideal studying approach and the right prep material, it's easy to pass the test with flying colors.

For a more comprehensive approach on the subject, we recommend the 5 Steps to a 5 AP English Language Review book as it includes a multi-platform coverage for easy access.

If you're after the most effective test-taking tips and strategies, you may also check out the Princeton Review - AP English Language & Composition Book.

5 Steps to A 5 AP English Language

Our #1 Recommendation

5 Steps to a 5: AP English Language 2020 Elite Student edition

  • Comprehensive and organized approach
  • Comes with an AP planner
  • Ideal for improving writing and reading skills
  • Includes 6 full-length practice tests
  • Includes flashcards and games
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of January
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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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