Best Prep Book for AP English Literature

I know AP English literature is a class where skills are honed through practice (you can’t really “cram” any material) but I was curious which prep/review book has the best tips, most accurate practice tests, etc.


Probably McGraw-Hill, but none of them are very good tbh @bookworm13579

I agree with @marvin100 - they all suck, and as the OP correctly states, this is one AP exam where cramming does not help anyway, IMO.

I looked back at my Amazon orders and saw that I ordered the Cracking the…2018 edition Princeton Review book, around $11. I’m looking at the book now and it does go a lot into what to expect on the test and how to approach the MC and FRQs/essays. How accurate the content is, I don’t know. The pages look pretty worn, so it seems my kid looked at the book quite a bit (he did get a 5 but not sure if the book really helped him, I’ll have to ask). Most of the time, the prep books I buy for him are a waste of money, they hardly get used.

The course and test is all about agonizing analysis writing, lots and lots and lots.

Which the AP teacher should cover in class and/or the student can get examples from the CB. In both instances, they will save $11. I’m not one who is penny wise and pound foolish, but in the scheme of AP prep books, there are subjects in which the money is well spent; AP Lit is not one of them, IMO.

FWIW my kid said that there was nothing in the Princeton Review book worth spending money for. Everything in there he knew already or was covered by the teacher.

I definitely disagree with this. I’ve prepped 20-50 kids a year since '02 for the AP Lit exam and 80%+ have gotten 5. And I do mean “prepped”–I don’t make students read books or anything like that; it’s test-prep, not high school AP Lit education.

While it’s hard to make huge gains in MCQ sections, the essays are absolutely crammable with the right instruction and enough practice.

@marvin100 Where have you been hiding??? Welcome back.

I’m not disagreeing with you, but you are describing one-on-one (or small group) sessions where the OP is asking about learning from a prep book, which was the basis for my statement. My experience (and that’s all I’m offering up) is that one can’t get that (easily anyway) from a book for AP Lit (or AP Lang for that matter). So my fault if I was unclear in my explanation.

Well, I’m describing classes of 14-25, but sure :slight_smile:

I do agree that just studying from one or more of the available prep books isn’t particularly helpful.

Thanks for the welcome back, btw. I got a little burned out on the site & busy buy busy in my actual job doing this stuff for a living haha. Doubt I’ll be around much, but I may pop in from time to time.