Best AP Chemistry Test Prep Books

The AP Chemistry exam is comprised of 2 different sections that make up the entire AP Chem test.  These two sections include a 60-question multiple choice test plus a 7 question free response section. Each section makes up 50% of the AP Chemistry test and lasts 90 minutes and 105 minutes, respectively.  You will be required to understand chemistry topics including quantitative and qualitative transformations, analyze lab result data, grasp an understanding of experimental design, review molecular and atomic views, and follow a logical path to solve a problem in Chemistry.  Free example questions are available from the College Board for AP Chemistry, but these are the best AP chem books to use when studying for your AP Chemistry exam.

2018 AP Chemistry Exam Date: Monday, May 7th, 2018

Best AP Chemistry Textbook


AP Chemistry is best learned by the experts that wrote Chemistry, 10th Edition by Steven Zumdahl, Susan Zumdahl and Donald J. DeCoste. This book teaches you the primary principles of Chemistry and is our choice for the best AP Chemistry textbook to study for the AP Chemistry Exam. We love how readable this book is and it contains several insights into chemistry that are easy to understand and work through. As a trusted AP Chem textbook, Chemistry teaches you to think like a chemist, allow you to create clear problem solving skills that will help you achieve a 5 on your AP Chemistry test. Reviews of Chemistry 10th Edition include comments about the book “being a great value”, “reading the book was far better than the lessons from your teacher,” “The notes created from the Chemistry book were better than my teacher gave me in my AP Chemistry prep class.”

Chemistry, 10th Edition by Steven Zumdahl, Susan Zumdahl and Donald J. DeCoste

Best AP Chemistry Review Book


Cracking AP Chemistry Exam is one of the best AP Chemistry Review books for this the year. Many reviewers on Amazon noted that their real Chemistry book was not aligned well with the content for the AP Chemistry test and using a book like Cracking AP Chemistry Exam helps them understand chemistry in a broader sense that is needed for the test. The practice questions in this AP Chemistry review book have been rated as highly correlated to the questions on the exam. The multiple choice practice questions were correlated as well and provided good insight into how to study for the test. The Princeton Review AP Chemistry book provides a good explanation of Big ideas and small minute topics that will be covered on the exam. Reviewers noted that this year’s edition is much better than previous year’s editions. This is a top rated AP Chemistry review book with some of the most correlated test questions and practice questions. Utilize Cracking AP the AP Chemistry Exam to score a 5 on your AP Chemistry Exam.

Cracking AP Chemistry Exam, 2018 Edition, Princeton Review

Best AP Chemistry Test Prep Book


Crash Course AP Chemistry is the highest rated AP Chemistry Prep Book that is being offered this year. As a highly rated prep book for AP Chemistry, expect no errors in this book and a high correlation of questions and examples in the book that will show up on the AP Chemistry test. This book covers the material properly and thoroughly for the AP Chemistry Test, in fact it’s one of the more comprehensive test prep books that we’ve seen on the market. Test taking strategies are covered well in this book and you can put your test taking skills to the test by taking a free practice test for AP Chemistry online which includes answers and explanations. Reviewers on Amazon say that this book covered MC and FRQ sections well and is perfect for learning and reviewing content that you already know. Many students reported that when they used this book to prepare for the AP Chem test, they scored a five.

AP® Chemistry Crash Course, 2nd Ed., Book + Online (Advanced Placement (AP) Crash Course)

3 Study Tips from students that scored a 5 on the AP Chemistry exam

Understand the AP Chem Exam Format

Understanding the important aspects of the AP chemistry exam will help you score at five when you take it this year. The most important thing to understand is the format of the exam, which we have highlighted above, but you should know that the exam takes about 3 ½ hours, and includes a multiple-choice and free response section. Your multiple-choice section has 60 questions, while the free response question as a mixture of seven short or long essay questions.  It definitely makes sense for you to use a practice test before taking the AP chemistry exam, we have highlighted a few books below that will help you and studying for the exam.

What is on the AP Chem Test

Knowing what is on the exam and what is not on the exam can help you hone in on the topics that you should be spending your time on when you are studying before taking the AP chemistry test. You will not need to know things like the assignment of quantum numbers two electrons, phase diagrams, calculations of molality, percentage of mass in percent by volume, and knowledge around specific crystal structures. Other topics that will not be on the test but will be important for you to review for a better understanding of chemistry include an extensive overview of organic chemistry, molecular orbital theory, and nuclear chemistry.    It is important for you to learn how to draw connections between different concepts, and with most chemistry test that you have probably taken, you’re going to realize that recalling facts and calculations is what you have been tested on. The AP chemistry test is much different than previous tests, you really need to connect different concepts in chemistry and explain some of the data being used in those concepts.

AP Chem Free Response Study Tips

Answering the AP chemistry free response questions requires some amount of knowledge but really requires a lot of understanding in a few key skill areas. Those skills include experimental design, quantitative and qualitative translation, creation or analysis of atomic and molecular views to explain different observations and being able to make predictions and justifying phenomenon that are being seen. It is critical that you are clear and specific when you make statements in the AP chemistry free response questions. Which of the section is based on scientific language, so make sure that you use appropriate language that does not leave any questions to the reviewer as to the depths of your understanding of chemistry concepts. And finally, make sure to review your numerical answers to make sure that they are logical. It’s pretty easy to go through free response questions, answering in depth, without doing the required analysis to make sure that what you are stating makes sense.

AP Study Books Review
Review Date
Reviewed Book
Chemistry, 10th Edition Steven S. Zumdahl Susan A. Zumdahl Donald J. DeCoste
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star