7 Best AP Biology Books

best ap biology book

3.95 lakh students enrolled in AP in 2022 for the numerous benefits that it offers.

But one needs to be wise in choosing AP classes as there are hardest AP and easiest AP classes depending on some factors.

And AP bio is considered hard. Very few students study the subject and pass the exam. In 2022 only 15% of the enrolled students scored 5 while 68% of students passed the exam. But AP Bio can boost one’s GPA immensely.

Studying AP Biology becomes easy and effective if you have the proper resources. Here is a list of the 7 best AP biology books to help you prepare and score a perfect 5 in the AP Biology exam.

Top 7 AP Biology Books: 2023

1. Princeton Review AP Biology Premium Prep

  • Publisher: Princeton Review
  • Year of Publication: 2021
  • Number of Pages: 448
  • Rating: 4.6/5

Princeton Review AP Biology Premium Prep is one of the most recommended books for aspirants to prepare for the AP bio test. Like all other Princeton books, this book has also maintained the standard of providing in-depth insight into the subject.

This book helps to score a perfect 5 because it thoroughly covers all essential materials. It also comes with a chapter on the study strategies and tactics for the course.

What the Book Contains

  • Five full-length practice exams, 4 of them with the book’s print copy and 1 available online
  • Four full-length practice tests in the book with detailed answer explanations
  • Two full-length practice tests online with detailed answer explanations
  • End-of-chapter key term lists to help more in your studying

Pros and Cons


  • The study guide is up to date to address the changed pattern of the recent AP Bio exam
  • It contains vast numbers of practice questions with explanations
  • The book includes 2 online practice tests
  • It shares tips and strategies for tackling recent exam patterns


  • On purchasing old books, some pages may appear to be missing
  • This book is one of the most expensive books on the list

2. Barron’s AP Biology

  • Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series
  • Year of Revised Publication: 2022
  • Number of Pages: 456
  • Rating: 4.5/5

Barron’s publication has shouldered the fame of publishing books for concise and beneficial study for 80 long years. This AP Biology book is no exception. It includes an in-depth, topic-oriented substance.

What the Book Contains

  • It has 5 full-length practice sets; 2 in the book and 3 more online.
  • It covers all units of the AP Bio Exam.
  • The book contains multiple-choice and short and long free-response practice questions in each chapter that helps reflect on the exam questions.

Pros and Cons


  • Easy to understand explanations
  • Includes tips for taking tests for the actual exam
  • Additional CD-ROM or flashcards are also available as study material


  • Additional CD-ROM comes with extra charges
  • Some units are outdated as the exam standard has changed


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3. Sterling Test Prep AP Biology Review

  • Publisher: Sterling Test Prep
  • Year of Publication: 2018
  • Number of Pages: 592
  • Rating: 5/5

Written by the best authors, Sterling Test Prep AP Biology Review is an excellent aid for preparing for the AP bio test.

As AP Bio is considered hard, one must have the best resources to understand the subject and score high. Sterling Test Prep can be the choice for its to-the-point discussions covering all the units of the exam.

What the Book Contains

  • The book thoroughly reviews each topic tested on the AP bio exam
  • Sterling Prep covers foundational principles and theories to answer in the test
  • It contains a scientific analysis of the topics to help the students build concepts on the subject matter

Pros and Cons


  • Reading this book guarantees a high score on the exam
  • It has an easy-to-read language
  • The book contains a detailed review of the units


  • The book contains no practice questions
  • Not all sections are updated in the new format of the AP Bio exam

4. Kaplan AP Biology Prep Plus

  • Publisher: Kaplan Test Prep
  • Year of Publication: 2020
  • Number of Pages: 648
  • Rating: 4.4/5

Kaplan AP Biology Prep Plus is a comprehensive study guide for many students. It has been revised recently to match up with the newly changed AP Bio test. This new edition has many new additions. Let us know what those additional data are.

What the Book Contains

  • The new edition features hundreds of practice questions in the book
  • It includes complete explanations for every question, and a concise review of topics to boost your confidence
  • In the book, test-like practice comes in 3 full-length exams with pre-chapter quizzes and post-chapter quizzes
  • Customizable study plans help you make the most of your study time

Pros and Cons


  • The Prep Plus includes test papers and questions with detailed explanations
  • The online test has a scoring tool to convert the raw score into an AP scale


  • The book has many oversimplified questions


Do you know what are the essentials you must carry to AP exam?

Go through What to Bring to AP Exam to find the answer.

5. Campbell Biology

  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Year of Publication: 2017
  • Number of Pages: 1488
  • Rating: 4.4/5

Campbell Biology is a great study aid for students to structure their learning and go forward. This well-designed, in detail, study-oriented book makes one exam-ready in no time.

What the Book Contains

  • The Study Guide provides concept maps, chapter summaries, and a variety of interactive activities such as multiple-choice, short-answer essays, and graph-interpretation questions.
  • This study guide can build a conceptual framework for the study of biology.

Pros and Cons


  • Each book chapter has a sample paper and quiz section at the end
  • The textbook is well structured and condensed to help out the students


  • It is one of the most expensive books available for AP Biology
  • The book includes a few explanations and problems

6. CliffsNotes AP Biology

  • Publisher: Cliffnotes
  • Year Publication: 2020
  • Number of Pages: 336
  • Rating: 4.8/5

Cliffnotes caters organised ideas of AP Biology. It provides a review with an explanation of formatting and enables students to approach the subject and exam with a clearer view. It gives you exactly what you require to score a perfect 5.

What the Book Contains

  • Cliffnotes include concise chapter reviews on every AP Biology subject, in-depth laboratory investigations, and full-length model practice exams.
  • Moreover, it features a guide focusing on what AP Biology test-takers need to score high on the exam.
  • It has two full-length model practice sets for the AP Biology exam.

Pros and Cons


  • Every chapter consists of review questions with answers for better understanding
  • It contains all laboratory investigations with detailed explanations


  • Some students find it difficult to understand the organisation of the book

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7. AP Biology Crash Course

    • Publisher: Research and Education Association
    • Year of Publication: 2020
    • Number of Pages: 256
    • Rating: 4.6/5

The crash course is a prerequisite in the list of books while preparing for the AP exam.

What the Book Contains

  • The book includes strategies to face one of the hardest AP.
  • It also consists of mini-tests.

Pros and Cons


  • The book is written by AP Biology experts


  • The book needs to be better for intense preparation


Can I self-study AP Bio?

If you know how to prepare for AP and have all the study guides and practice tests with you, you can easily self-study AP Bio.

Is AP Biology the hardest?

Yes. AP Bio is hard. The subject of AP Biology is easy to study, but it becomes difficult to score in it due to tough questions. 68% of students pass the AP Bio exam in 2022, with 15% having a perfect 5.

Do colleges accept AP Bio?

The answer to the straightforward question is yes. Approximately 2068 colleges accept AP Bio scores. Among them, 192 colleges accept a score of perfect 5.

Which is the easiest AP?

The easiest AP depends on a few factors. According to the pass rate, the easiest AP is Physics C: Mechanics, and as per students, the easiest AP is AP Computer Science Principles

Is AP Biology worth it?

Of course, AP Bio is worthy of pursuing. Taking the subject can boost GPA helping in earning college credits. It makes admittance to colleges easier as it is accepted in a number of colleges.

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The first element required for preparing for any exam is a bunch of good books. In the case of AP Bio, it is not exceptional.

Learn all the best books you need to ace your AP Biology exam. You can boost your preparation more by enrolling in an online class. Get help from experts and keep studying.

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