The Best AP United States History Books

Exam Info And Course Content

The AP US History exam consists of 2 sections, but 4 parts. The first part is 55 multiple choice questions. It lasts 55 minutes and makes up 40% of your exam score.

The second part is 4 short answer questions, and it lasts 50 minutes. (20% of your exam score)

The third part is 1 document based question that lasts 55 minutes. (25%)

The last part is a long essay that lasts 35 minutes and makes up 15% of your exam score.

Next Exam Date

Friday, May 11th 2018

Last Time The Exam Changed

The course was changed for the 2014-2015 school year, so we recommend you to use one of the textbooks below to study.

The Best AP US History Books in 2018

Book CoverDescriptionOur RatingPrice
The Best AP US History TextbookAmerican History:
Connecting with the Past
15th Edition

Alan Brinkley

(Best AP US History Textbook)
4.9View Price
AP US History 2017 2018 BarronsBarron's AP US History
3rd Edition


(Best AP US History Review Book)
4.7View Price
Best AP US History Prep BookCracking the AP
US History Exam
2018 Edition

The Princeton Review

(Best AP US History Prep Book)
4.6View Price

Best Textbook ~ American History: Connecting with the Past, 15th Edition

The Best AP US History TextbookUS History is generally well covered in most American school districts, all throughout high school. That said, American History is quite rich and depending on what electives you took in your later years, you may not have learned about some of the very critical events that happened in the past.

American History: Connecting with the Past, 15th Edition, is touted as the very best AP US History Textbook to prepare you for the AP exam. There are many great history textbooks available on the market but only this one is 100% guaranteed to cover everything you will encounter on the real exam.

If you are serious about getting a 5 on the US history exam, which is one of the most popular, then you will do well to pick up the best AP US History Textbook.

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Best Review Book ~ Barron’s AP US History, 3rd Edition

Best AP US History Review BookBarron’s APUSH book is the highest recommend AP US History review book on the market.

It is incredibly detailed, and it is updated to comply with the standards set by the new exam format.

The text is formatted according to the Key Concepts provided by College Board, so you can be sure that the book has everything you need to know for the exam.

It also has 2 full-length practice tests with all questions answered and explained.

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Best Prep Book ~ Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam, 2018 Edition

Best AP US History Prep BookWe almost recommend you to get the Princeton Review AP US History book as it has summaries of every major historical event that you need to know for the test which is perfect for a quick review the night before the exam.

The Princeton Review book also explains how your essay will be graded which is important because it’s a big part of your overall grade.

The book also offers 2-full length practice tests and drills at the end of each chapter for targeted review.

This combination of Barron’s and Princeton Review’s prep books is bound to get you a 5 on the exam.

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Self-Study Tips

The AP US History exam is a hard one to self-study for as there is a lot of content on the exam, and it is hard to self-grade and practice essay writing specifically for the test.

However, it is still a doable feat if you start studying the summer before the exam.

We recommend buying the American Pageant and reading through the whole book. It has not been changed to comply with the new APUSH exam, but it will give you enough background information so you can start preparing for the exam using other books later.

Then get Barron’s book and read it cover to cover, doing all practice questions and exams.

You can also watch John Green’s US History videos to make sure you understand the underlying reasons for what happened in history.

When the AP exam is getting close, you can start going through the Princeton Review book to brush up on the old material and make sure that you can get a 5.

College Board provides free example test questions, so click here if you want to check them out.