10 Life-Saving Resources For High School AP Students
If you’re reading this post, you’re either preparing for AP classes to begin, or have realized that you’re going to need a little extra help in them. Both are completely okay and normal; it’s why I wrote this post!
AP classes are not easy. They are college-level courses that move at a quicker pace than other high school-level courses, and you are expected to keep up with them without the constant reminders from teachers.
Additionally, you should not be completely dependent on what your teacher shows you in class; much of the information you’ll have to learn on your own.
In this post, I’ll reveal the 10 top resources (in no particular order) that truly helped me when I took AP classes in high school. Be sure to save this post so you can reference it later! Let’s get started.
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Barron’s Review Books
Barron’s Test Prep books are one of the most popular in the United States, and for good reason! Barron’s books are highly informational and applicable, and include many practice questions and tests for the students to take.
If you’ve read my other post, How To Succeed In High School AP Classes, then you already know the importance of taking practice tests. If you haven’t, here’s a quick rundown:
College Board tests (SATs, AP tests…) are nuanced, and their questions are more than simple knowledge questions. You often have to identify the question’s purpose first, then find the answer choice that fully and correctly answers it.
To be able to do this quickly and effectively (which you definitely want to do by the time AP exams roll around), you need to do more practice. And the Barron books are a great place to get both useful information and relevant practice!
AP exams are scored out of 5 points, and the name “Fiveable” is a play on that fact. This website will help you (hopefully) get a five on your exam!
Fiveable is a free website that provides students in all AP classes with various study resources such as articles, videos, study guides, trivia, review slides, and more.
As the AP exam approaches during the school year, the Fiveable team also hosts “cram sessions” where students can attend a live review session to review everything they’ve learned this year.
In addition to these study resources, Fiveable also has a “Study with Hours” branch. Hours by Fiveable is a platform to create and join virtual study sessions. If you are an online student who struggles with staying productive by yourself at home, try out Hours!
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As mentioned before, practice is crucial for AP classes. Another way to effectively practice is to find past released FRQs for AP exams.
AP exams consist of 2 parts: multiple-choice questions (MCQ) and free-response questions (FRQ). Multiple choice questions are not publicly released by the College Board, but the free-response prompts are.
By searching up “AP [class] past released FRQs” online, you can head to the corresponding page. For example, here’s the AP biology past FRQs.
The College Board not only releases the prompts, but also sample answers and how they scored. I suggest that you take time to practice answering the prompts by yourself (remember to time yourself and simulate a real testing environment!) before referencing the sample responses.
By doing more official practice and then scoring them according to the official rubric, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what the College Board expects and how to reach those expectations.
Another place to find official practice questions is AP Classroom, a College Board resource just for AP students like you. Note: you must receive a login code from your AP teacher before you can actually use its resources (your teacher will probably provide this at the start of the year).
Once your teacher logs you in and unlocks the resources (he or she will probably do this as the year continues, not all at once), you can find practice questions (both MCQ and FRQ) for each unit.
If your teacher assigns them, you can also access Daily Videos in which College Board teachers (also AP teachers from various schools in the nation) cover a topic. You can also find these on YouTube.
AP Classroom is a great place to do multiple choice practice, as it’s the only place where you can find real College Board questions. So take advantage of this free resource and study with it often!
Heimler’s History (YT)
The following few resources will be YouTube channels! YouTube is a great place to find instructional videos from individuals or private organizations. Let’s start with Heimler’s History.
Heimler’s History specializes in high school AP history classes: AP World History, AP US History, and AP Government. Steve Heimler’s videos cover each unit and each topic in detail, giving you a quick but useful rundown of what you must know.
In addition, Steve Heimler has created videos that specifically teach you how to write effective history essays (LEQ, DBQ, SAQ). You’ll learn about these in class, but if you need extra help, check out this channel!
Bozeman Science (YT)
Bozeman Science is a student favorite channel for AP sciences, especially AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and AP Environmental Science. Mr. Anderson (the man featured in the videos) is a great teacher, covering each topic and concept in great detail.
In his videos, you can generally see animated drawings and diagrams that he uses to make a concept easy to understand. I highly recommend referencing Bozeman Science for any trouble you have in your AP science classes!
The Organic Chemistry Tutor (YT)
Don’t let the channel name fool you: this channel specializes in science and math. In fact, I referenced this channel most often for math classes like calculus.
According to the channel description, The Organic Chemistry Tutor covers organic chemistry, general chemistry, physics, algebra, trigonometry, precalculus, and calculus.
Like Bozeman Science, this channel’s videos feature whiteboard drawings and written equations to make sure you understand what’s being told. Check out this channel if you need any help with specific math concepts!
Marco Learning (YT)
The last YouTube channel I’m going to recommend is Marco Learning, a channel that provides tutorials about a variety of topics: standardized testing and college applications, AP English Language, AP English Literature, AP Human Geography, AP World History, AP European History, AP US History, and AP Government.
As you can see, this channel covers a lot of classes and topics. While I still recommend Heimler’s History for AP history classes (and various other channels for college applications), don’t hesitate to watch this channel for additional help!
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In addition to all these online resources, don’t forget to reach out to the people around you! Your teacher, especially, will likely be able to answer a lot of questions specific to you.
During class, don’t hesitate to ask about topics you don’t understand. After class, you can also hang around for a reasonable amount of time (try not to make yourself a bother by taking up all of your teacher’s break) and ask questions.
Especially after tests, it’s a good idea to talk to your teacher. If you got a question wrong and you don’t understand why, your teacher may be able to tell you why! Your teacher is easily accessible, so make sure to take advantage of this resource!
Last but not least, your classmates and friends are also a great resource! I highly recommend holding study sessions often, either in-person or virtual (on Zoom, Discord, etc). Here is a post of mine that covers study sessions in detail:
Study sessions are a great opportunity for students to discuss with others, share ideas, ask questions, answer questions, teach others, fill in holes in their knowledge, and make new connections.
The things I just mentioned are all great ways for you to further understand what you’ve learned, as well as remember them for longer. So start talking to your classmates!
And that’s it for this post! I hope you found it helpful, and I wish you good luck in your AP class(es)! Leave a comment with which resource you’d like to try!
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