The Best AP European History Review Books of 2019

By December 27, 2018 April 7th, 2019 AP Book Reviews
Spread the love

AP European History is tough exam. It’s hard to pass without a study aid. In this article, we detail the best AP European History review books available to help you score a 4 or 5 on the exam. Check out our table of contents to skip ahead to our favorites, runner-ups, and best picks for value for the best AP Euro review books.

For two years in a row, the scores for the Advanced Preparation or AP European History exam have increased. There have been more students that scored 4 or 5 in those past two years. However, this does not mean that the exam is getting easier and easier every year.

Like any test, the upcoming AP European History exam will be quite unpredictable. Whether or not the increasing exam scores trend will continue is something out of your hands. But the thing that is within your control is how high you will score in that exam. Preparation is key and you might just get a 5 of your own if you consider using these top AP European History review books.

If you prefer a video summary, check out the summary section of this guide. If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for AP European History here.

Our Favorites (the best AP European History review books)

Cracking the AP European History Exam by The Princeton Review

There has always been something about The Princeton Review and their AP exam review books. Cracking helps maintain The Princeton Review’s standing as one of the best in its respective field by producing a quality review book for the AP European exam.

This exam review book boasts itself of being able to provide you with everything you need to equip yourself with to achieve the highest possible score you can get. Of course, that is a common marketing ploy for most review books but Cracking really does back its words up with a material that is quite comprehensive and complete without being too wordy and heavy.

Cracking contains a coverage of what will come out in the multiple-choice questions and the short-answer questions of the AP European History exam to help you know the topics that will be covered by each portion of the exam. This already gives you a clue on what to study for and how to approach each question that will come out in the actual test.

The review book then guides you comprehensively on how to answer and approach the document-based questions and essay portions of the exam to help you know what essays you need to come up with depending on the question and what skills and knowledge you need to equip yourself with for those types of exam questions.

Each chapter has a comprehensive review of the topics that will be covered and they all end with questions that are directly related to what you had just read. There are also interesting and quite engaging activities you can use to assess what you have learned and how prepared you are for the exam.

One of the best parts of this book is that it teaches you techniques and strategies that have actually worked in past exams. Depending on what type of question you are facing, you can use any of The Princeton Review’s tips to pace yourself in preparation and during the actual exam.

Another great asset of this book is that it has challenging practice tests that are aimed at helping you know what it feels like to answer the actual AP European History exam. These tests were designed to be just as difficult or even more challenging the real thing. That alone helps you adjust to what kind of a pressure you will be feeling on the day of the actual exam.

The Premium Edition of this book costs a little more than the standard one. Those are good prices to pay for a book that Amazon reviewers say is an essential part of the self-review process as it contains all of the information and details you should know for the upcoming AP European History exam.

What makes it unique:

  • The book explores in detail how to answer different types of questions that will come out in the exam.
  • It has challenging practice tests that help you shape up for the actual exam. The Premium Edition has four ones while the standard edition contains two practice tests.

Why choose this top AP European History review book:

  • It does not only help you learn all of the necessary details and topics that are in the College Board’s outline but it also helps you understand how to approach each question differently.
  • If you want one of the best AP European History review books that covers everything you need to know while challenging you with difficult questions and practice tests, you can’t find one better than Cracking.

Barron’s AP European History by Seth A. Roberts

If you have already studied for an AP exam in the past and have purchased review books, there’s a chance that you have come across Barron’s and have been benefited by how great of a review book it is. The same can be said about this line’s material for AP European History. It is just as great and as well-researched as any other Barron’s book and will certainly help you get that 5 you are aiming for.

Barron’s is one of the most well-organized AP European History review books you can find on the market. It is easy on any student’s eyes and is quite understandable and digestible because of how pleasingly organized everything is. But that is not only the area where this review book excels at.

A good well-rounded material itself, Barron’s contains all of the necessary information you will be needing to equip yourself with for the upcoming AP European History exam. The topic review part of the book is intensive and extensive to the point that it covers everything on the College Board’s outline without having to be too heavy or wordy.

The book also contains practice questions after each chapter to help you digest what you had just read quicker. This allows for a more targeted review on every topic that will come out in the exam. Then, to help you retain all of the necessary information, there is a comprehensive chart that summarizes all of the important events in Europe’s history.

Like all good review books, Barron’s even has practice tests and questions that are designed to help you adjust to the pressure and the atmosphere you will be facing when you will be taking the actual AP European History exam. These questions and tests are all answered and explained in great detail to make you understand where you need to improve on.

Barron’s is quite a good book for both students and teachers as said by one of the satisfied customers because it lays out all of the themes needed to understand European history as well as an overview of what will come out in the upcoming exam. It really is a comprehensive review material that’s worth every penny.

What makes it unique:

  • It has one of the most comprehensive review portions without having to become too heavy of a read. This makes it good for intensive study periods and quick cramming sessions a few days before the exam.
  • The book contains quick but extensive charts that summarize the important events in the history of Europe.

Why choose this book:

  • It is a versatile review book in the sense that either those that have a lot of time left on their hands for studying or those that are cramming for the exam can use it.
  • This book is very easy to read because of how well organized everything on it seems to be.

5 Steps to a 5: AP European History by Jeffrey Brautigam

Published by McGraw-Hill Education, 5 Steps is another one of those review books that have been known to deliver a quality review experience for anyone taking an AP exam. In this case, the exam we are talking about is the AP European History exam. That said, this review book always promises to help you get a 5 in your upcoming exam.

Like any other 5 Steps book, this review material follows the same five-step plan that is well-researched and certainly organized enough to make any student want to commit to following and trusting the process. It starts out by helping you map out your own study plan. It then tests you out with a diagnostic exam, which is followed by tips and strategies you may want to use to get the edge on the day of the exam.

The topic review part of this book contains the necessary terms and concepts you will be needing to master in the upcoming AP European History exam. This part comes with a section about how certain historians think and also a part that helps you use information in context while also formulating your own arguments based on the evidences presented before you.

Rounding up the five-step plan are confidence-building full-length practice exams that are designed to help you test out your preparation and how well you have already mastered everything you need to know for the AP European History exam.

5 Steps to a 5 is a really affordable book that contains a lot of the necessary things you need to know to get a 5 in the exam. It certainly is one gem of a material especially if you are more interested in review books that guide you through a step-by-step process.

What makes it unique:

  • The sections about how historians think and on how to use certain information to fit the context of the situation are quite unique to this book.
  • It comes with a planner app that you can access through your mobile device.

Why choose this book:

  • Go for this review book if you want a material that helps you get a high score using a step-by-step procedure.
  • It contains a little bit of everything in the sense that it is quite well-rounded and balanced in the review experience it provides.

The Runners-Up for Best AP European History Review Books (still good but a little lacking)

Freiler, AP Achiever Exam Prep Guide European History by Christopher Freiler

Also published by McGraw-Hill Education, the same publisher as the 5 Steps line of review materials, this book by Freiler was designed for both the AP European History course and the exam. It is a material that was written based on what the author has experienced regarding the changes in the AP European History exam as well as on his knowledge and research on the topic.

This book contains detailed information on the new outline of the course as well as the updated format of the exam. That said, it fits both the AP European History course and exam when it comes to its updated overview and information.

Because it also works well as an AP European History review book, this material provides updated strategies and tips that you can use to successfully get a high score in the exam. To bolster that success, every chapter comes with AP-styled questions that are designed to test you out in the same manner as real AP exam questions do. The book also comes with practice exams that would help you test your knowledge and skills out for the actual AP European History exam.

At a price a little steeper than others listed here, this is usually an expensive book, especially if you are planning to use it only for review purposes. That is why it is on our list of runners-up. And, for a book that prides itself at giving an up-to-date overview, it isn’t updated for the upcoming 2019 AP exams. Nevertheless, it is still a quality material that certainly has its own appeal and strengths.

What makes it unique:

  • This is a versatile material in the sense that it doubles as a course book and as an exam reviewer for AP European History.
  • The questions in this book follow the same style that AP exams use.

Why choose this book:

  • If you are taking the AP European History course and are also planning to take the exam, then this is a book that fits both of your needs.
  • It can be quite expensive but it is as comprehensive as any other textbook that’s made for the AP European History course and exam.

Sterling Test Prep AP European History: Complete Content Review for the AP Exam by Sterling Test Prep

Sterling Test Prep prides itself at producing review books that a thorough and comprehensive review of the topics that will come out in the upcoming AP European History exam. As the title of the book suggests, this is a material that focuses entirely on content review rather than helping you out by giving strategies as well as quick overviews and sample tests.

While this review book seems like a one-trick pony, it does a heck of a job at what it does best. It provides you with a curriculum-oriented review that is so thorough and comprehensive that you probably won’t need to read another book’s topic review. It delivers such an experience while focusing on the “Key Concepts” that will always come out in the AP European History exam.

The information and the details in this book are presented in a clear and concise manner that is easy to understand and quite digestible for any kind of student. It also allows you to have a more focused review on one Key Concept or on one European historical period if you want to completely understand and internalize everything you need to know them.

This review book also helps you develop the necessary critical skills and analytical thinking that you would need for the upcoming AP European History exam. It does so by allowing you to connect the relationships between one concept to another or between one historical period to another.

Sterling Test Prep is more expensive than other review books even though it is not as complete a package as they are. Nevertheless, it as complete a content review as they come and it will probably make you think that you won’t need to read any other textbook or content review after getting your hands on this material.

What makes it unique:

  • It focuses purely on content review as it delivers it in a clear and understandable manner that’s perfect for anyone trying to internalize all the facts and details necessary.
  • Despite focusing more on content review, it helps you develop certain skills needed for the exam.

Why choose this book:

  • If you need a comprehensive content review, this book is your weapon of choice.
  • It can work as a complementary material to other books in the sense that it can be your main resource for content review as you use other books for their sample tests and questions.

The Best Value for Your Money (good and affordable)

ASAP European History: A Quick-Review Study Guide for the AP Exam by The Princeton Review

If Cracking was not good enough, The Princeton Review has another book that completes the entire review experience. Serving as a review material for those looking for quick reviews, ASAP presents you with a content review that has all of the essential concepts and details you need to know while presenting them in a quick and concise way so as to save you time and effort.

In a sense, this study material is a content review-only book that completely locks in on only things you need to know to get a 5 in the upcoming AP European History exam. That said, it acts like class notes that help you master the concepts, facts, and details that will surely come out in the exam. It might not be as complete a review material as Cracking but its content review is one of the most complete yet concise ones on the market.

For it’s price, it is a very affordable book that isn’t too heavy on both your wallet and on your brain. Yet, it as complete as they come when it comes to delivering a thorough content review that hits every essential detail you need to know.

What makes it unique:

  • It focuses purely on content review to allow you to lock in on what needs to be learned and understood for the exam.
  • The book allows you to know everything you need to know without having to waste any of your time.

Why choose this book:

  • This is the book of choice if you want a review material that is both quick and affordable.
  • It can work in conjunction with other review books that have practice exams and sections on strategies for the exam. It is best used together with Cracking as they both come from the same publisher.

Summary of the Best AP European History Review Books

Here’s a summary of the best AP European History review books we went over:

ProductList PriceNumber Of Pages
Barron's AP European History $23.99 656
5 Steps to a 5: AP European History 2019 $18.00 320
Freiler, AP Achiever Exam Prep Guide European History N/A 416
Sterling Test Prep AP European History $25.95 568
ASAP European History $11.99 256
Cracking the AP European History Exam 2019 $25.99 512

As 60% the AP European History exam will be composed of document-based, short-answer, and essay questions, it is important for you to completely know and understand the important concepts covered by the outline. That said, you need to have any of your top choices of review books that not only help you grasp all of the facts and details but also develop your analytical skills so that you can answer document-based, short-answer, and essay questions like a seasoned historian.

Did you find this guide on the best AP European History review books helpful? If so, share it with a friend!

Looking for more reviews of AP study guides?
Check out our archives for other AP History & Social Sciences, AP History & Social Sciences, or our general Advanced Placement section.


Spread the love