AP Books

Best AP World History Textbook for 2020 (Complete Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

Are you preparing for AP world history exam?

If you're looking for the best AP world history textbook. you're in the right place!

But before you read our reviews of best AP world history textbooks, check out the following information about the AP world history examination:

AP World history exam Information, Dates and Time.

The AP World history exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long. It contains two sections: multiple choice or short questions; and free response. Each chapter is divided into two parts.

Section 1: Part A

Fifty-five minutes are allowed to solve 55 multiple choice-type questions. This section accounts for 40% of the exam score.

Part B:

There are three questions in this short-answer section. You are allowed 40 minutes.

This section accounts for 20% of the exam score.

Section 2: Part A

This section has one document-based question. You have 60 minutes ( including 15 minutes of reading) to solve the problem. This part accounts for 25% of the exam score.

Part B:

This section has one long essay with one question. You are given 40 minutes. The section accounts for 15% of your exam score.

Check out the following table for a quick review of the AP world history textbooks. If you need more information, head to the review section.

pre ap world history textbook

Traditions & Encounters is for students who have a good understanding the AP world history concepts.

Explore the world from the earliest times to the 20th century with the help of this AP world history textbook that offers a fresh approach and explores the system of interaction.

The book presents an alternative to Eurocentric history (Western centrism).

The book represents history by focusing on links and interactions in various societies.

The 6th edition of this AP world history book founded by Bentley offers a global perspective on the past updated AP edition. It is designed to teach you the historical events that will help you in your exam.


This AP world history textbook is the most up-to-date book. It comes with a CD so that you can’t get bored during your reading.


  • A helpful book for the coursework.
  • Free CD.
  • Design and structure of the book are excellent.
  • Well-written book.


  • Price of the book is high, but worth it.
ap world history review

Barron’s offers a revised and in-depth preparation guide for the AP world history exam.

Cracking the world history AP exam is not an easy task because you need to memorize many historical terms and dates.

You won't feel bored using this AP world history test prep guide. It is the best book with an innovative function that makes your study easy.

Here below are the latest features of Barron’s world history book.

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    Revised strategies for answering different question types.
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    Nine historical thinking skills and fundamental concepts at the beginning of each chapter give you an easy and fast way to prepare for your AP world history exam.
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    Shortcut charts for the new units that help to organize a perfect study plan.
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    Two full-length practice exam tests with answer explanations.
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    From the foundation of the civilization circa 8000 B.C.E. to the world culture of the 21st century, it gives you a comprehensive review of world history.

If you want additional practice tests with fully explained answers, Barron’s offers two modes to buy this book.

You can buy it alone, or you can buy it with an additional CD- ROM combo that covers two additional full-length practice tests with answers.

The 6th edition of Barron’s book is the best bang for your buck. And if you want the newer version of this book, check out Barron’s 7th edition for AP world history on Amazon.


  • Best book for long-term study.
  • Recommended by students.
  • Excellent review books.
  • Easy to follow and understand.
  • Excellent book for AP world history test preparation.
  • Best for multiple choice-type questions.


  • Students find it very excessive and the book has a lack of organization.
Cracking AP World History

Cracking AP World History

Princeton Review presents premium practice for the perfect 5 In Cracking the AP World History Exam!

This best-selling AP world history book presents five full-length practice tests. It also offers to an online portal for extra practice for your exam.

Why is this premium practice book recommended?

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    This Princeton Review prep book offers four full-length practice tests with answers.
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    It provides one additional full-length practice test with an explanation. (Available online, you can download it.)
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    It provides relevant key terms, maps and a helpful timeline of significant developments.
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    Exam tests are provided at the end of each chapter to test your historical thinking skill and understanding of the topics.

The 2018 premium edition of the AP world history textbook is up to date as per the latest AP syllabus and exam. It also offers additional engaging activities so you can assess your progress.


  • Easy to read with helpful maps and images.
  • Very thick book.
  • Value for the money.
  • Excellent quality.


  • The book is not entirely updated as per 2018 changes.
ap world history review book

Ways of the World is a highly rated (5 out of 5) best-selling AP world history textbook.

It is the ideal book for your redesigned world history classroom.

Ways of the World focuses on trends, themes and development in world history.

The author of the book provides a thoughtful and insightful synthesis that helps students to understand world history.

This study guide is the best book to score a 5 in your world history exam because it includes all of the essential sources that are  easy to understand and not boring!


  • Affordable.
  • Great book for AP world history test.
  • Well-informed book.
  • Easy to use and understand.


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Final Words : AP World History Textbook 

If you like the reviews, share them with your friends and teachers!

If you are still confused about which one is the best AP textbook for your needs, don't worry.

Check below our Experts recommendation for best AP world history books.

Traditions & Encounters - AP world history Edition is the best AP world history book if price doesn't matter and if you need an exciting and fresh approach to studying for your AP world history  exam.

Best of all, Ways of the World with Sources is the best-selling highly rated AP world history textbook on the market. The prep book is worth every penny.

You are now smart enough to decide which book is right for you.

Have a happy reading and do best in your exams!

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