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The Best Free Resources to Study for AP tests

Written by Haley G. | Wednesday, September 15

The Advanced Placement, or AP, exams are tests offered at the end of the year after taking an AP class and are graded on a one to five scale, one being the worst and five being the best. A three or higher is considered a passing score. They are administered by the College Board, and can be exchanged for college credit at most universities. As the school year starts up again, many students are already feeling the pressure to do well on their AP Exams, a constant challenge made even harder when they don’t know how to study or what to use. Most people first think of AP review books, such as those made by Barron’s or the Princeton Review, and while they are useful resources they are also expensive and sometimes difficult to find, especially as testing season draws nearer. Luckily there are plenty of free resources, such as those listed below that can be just as, if not more, useful than the books. 

1. Youtube 

Youtube has countless educational videos catered towards AP students and study material on the AP Exams. They have many channels for each subject, all varying in depth of content, length, and difficulty. Navigating so many channels can be intimidating and difficult, so I have listed some of my favorites below.

  • Heimler’s History
    Heimler’s History is a channel for AP History classes. Heimler has several videos on the writing styles expected for the AP tests, which are the same for AP World, APUSH, and AP Euro, as well as individual videos on the different topics on the tests. He also has hour-long live review sessions everyday the week leading up to each exam that reviews all the content and allows the students to send in their questions and get direct answers. He has finished playlists for AP World, APUSH, and AP Euro. He is also currently producing videos for AP Gov which he posts a couple times a week. 
  • Flipping Physics
    This channel has videos on the subjects that come up most often on the various AP Physics exams, and videos on testing strategies, but the most useful videos on this channel are the Free Response Question(FRQ) videos. In these videos he walks you through the FRQs, following several different trains of thought. This is particularly helpful because the video not only explains what mistakes could lead to the wrong answer, but also shows several different ways to get to the right one.
  • The Organic Chemistry Tutor
    This channel is not specifically intended for AP studying, but that doesn’t make them any less helpful. These videos are set up much like Khan Academy videos, except they work through more example problems which is great practice for the actual AP exam.
  • Crash Course
    Crash Course is probably one of the most widely known educational channels on youtube, and one of the most entertaining. They have videos on almost every subject imaginable, and though they are not catered specifically to AP they are an invaluable resource.
  • 3 Blue 1 Brown
    3 Blue 1 Brown deals with much more theory than the rest of the channels and his calculus series (The essence of calculus)  is very different from the way calculus is taught in classrooms, and most other videos. I highly recommend these videos if the way you are learning calculus in class is not making sense to you.

2. College Board FRQs & Example Responses

Though the College Board unfortunately does not release its multiple choice questions, they do release their free response questions, along with the answers. I highly recommend making use of these because they are the best way to prepare for the FRQs that you will see on your tests. Additionally, they provide examples which are extremely helpful when learning how to do the FRQS for the various AP tests.

3. Khan Academy

Khan Academy is one of the best study resources of all time, and it offers resources for many different AP Courses. They are a fantastic resource if you want to get ahead of your class during the summer of the school year and also one of the few places to get free multiple choice practice online for the AP tests.

4. College Board Course and Exam Descriptions

The College Board Course and Exam Descriptions are invaluable when you are studying because they tell you exactly what you are going to be tested on. This is extremely helpful if you only have a couple weeks to study because it helps you to streamline the process and cut out unnecessary information from your schedule. They can be found online as free pdfs.

5. AP Classroom

AP Classroom is run by College Board and is the best place to find multiple choice questions for AP Practice; however, it is almost impossible to get access to if you are homeschooled or self-teaching yourself the subject.

6. Libraries

Libraries are a great place to go for AP studying for several reasons. If you still want an AP review book, libraries usually have a couple for the more common subjects, and may also have AP textbooks that you can also get practice out of. Additionally, they are great places to find books to read for AP history, english, or foreign language practice.

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