AP Environmental Science


My daughter is incoming freshman high school student, planning to self-study AP for Env Science.
Any recommended material to prepare for this subject?

Also, there are other relatively easier self-study AP courses - Psychology and Human Geography. Looking for experiences from others who have opted for these courses.


Don’t self study - take the class. That’s what colleges want to see.




Some schools don’t offer that class. I would hope a college would give credit to a student willing to take the initiative and do the work to prepare for the test on their own.

The kid is two nanoseconds out of 8th grade. She doesn’t yet know how to find the bathroom, let alone know which colleges give credit. She should adjust to HS first before expanding her academics

The OP specifically asked for easier courses to self study. Nobody views that as taking initiative.


Wow. I don’t think asking for study guides to help prepare for a test shows a lack of initiative.

I expect the student’s time would be better spent:

  1. adjusting to HS life and focusing on the classes scheduled;
  2. finding EC activities that are fun/interesting and investing time and energy in those;
  3. spending time with friends and family.

FWIW colleges will not be impressed by self-studying the easier APs. They are typically more interested in how students perform in a class than if they can cram for an exam.


This is amazing that not a single commenter answered the question! Let the OP and their daughter decide what is best for her.
I recommend finding a reputable tutor on wyzant and having a weekly session to ensure your daughter makes good progress.

1 Like

I noticed that too. Happy to answer the question: AP ES is not offered at my daughter’s school. She took the initiative and self studied and got a 5. The book she used was Barron’s AP Environmental Science Premium with 5 Practice Tests. Best of luck to your daughter.

FWIW colleges will not be impressed by self-studying the easier APs. They are typically more interested in how students perform in a class than if they can cram for an exam.

*My daughter has taken every single science course offered at her school. Since she has exhausted the curriculum and loves science, she self studied (not crammed) for the test. Not sure why a college wouldn’t be impressed with a student independently furthering their education.

Many argue that there are better uses of a student’s time than self studying APs. If a student has exhausted all their science courses, they could be developing their ECs more deeply, working, volunteering, etc…

1 Like

Trust me, she does all that too. Works, multiple clubs and volunteering for over 5 years with 2 different organizations. Anyway, not sure why everyone is so down on someone taking an AP class independently. Whether a college gives her any bonus points, or not, it doesn’t really matter. This one thing isn’t going to tip a college decision either way. At the end of the day, she loves the subject, learned a lot and scored a 5.

Furthering one’s knowledge (which BTW does not require an AP exam) because they have exhausted their HS curriculum is one thing. And a totally different thing.

However, this situation does not apply to the OP’s daughter, who has yet to set foot into a HS classroom. The fact that she does not yet know how much she does not yet know, combined with the fact the she is looking for the easiest AP’s to self study, is why I am not jumping up and down to provide suggestions, which BTW are easily found via Google as they’ve been asked a million times already. When she’s completed the most demanding science courses in her HS, I’ll be happy to suggest resources for quantum physics. :grin:


Let’s focus on the OP’s daughter and not your daughter’s situation. The OP’s daughter has not set foot into HS yet so I stand by my advice for her at this point in time.


If you look at colleges’ lists of AP subject credit or advanced placement, you may find that the easier-to-self-study AP tests are the less likely ones to give useful subject credit or advanced placement.


Actually I think I’m the only one who answered the OPs question. She asked for recommended study material and I provided that. She did not ask for opinions regarding whether or not she should take the test.

I feel my advice could be useful to the OP. The OP (not you) can feel free to take or leave any advice offered on CC. Since debate is not allowed on this site I suggest we stop here.

1 Like

To quote Chris Rock:

I’m a big proponent of focusing on the OP in threads such as these, but sometimes an OP does not know the right questions to ask. In such cases, users will try to discern more information to make better suggestions, which is why questions such as Why, How, How much often come up.

The user has been asked many follow-up questions, but has not returned. But I will ask some more and then limit my future responses to the OP

Does her HS offer Environmental Science as a class! If so,will the HS register her for the test? If not, does she know how to register for the test, and when? Because it’s not like the SAT where you register yourself online; the student needs to find a test center which will register her, and most don’t take outside students.

1 Like