The Best AP Physics 2 Review Books of 2019

By January 18, 2019 October 16th, 2019 AP Book Reviews
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Whether you’re a stressed AP Physics 2 student or the concerned teacher or parent of one, everyone knows physics is a tough subject to conquer. That’s why it’s important to be aware of what are the best AP Physics 2 review books available to help in scoring a 4 or 5.

By now, you might have already heard about the low scores in the most recent AP Physics 1 exam. The good news is that the scores of the AP Physics 2 exam seem a lot better 63.1% of those who took it managed to get a score of 3 or higher. And, compared to the 30.8% that got a 1 in the AP Physics 1 exam, only 7.75% got that low of a score in the AP Physics 2 exam.

However, you must not be too complacent if you do not want to be part of the 7.75% that got a 1. You still have to do your part and prepare for the AP Physics 2 exam with the best AP prep materials and review books you can find on the market.

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for AP Physics 2 prep book here.

Anyways, here are our top picks:

Our Favorites (the best AP Physics 2 review books)

Sterling Test Prep AP Physics 2 Review: Complete Content Review for AP Physics 2 Exam

If you want a review book that gives you a complete content review of the topic covered by the AP Physics 2 exam, then this is your best bet. Sterling Test Prep, a leader in the industry, developed this review book that was specifically made to give you a content review and nothing else.

While that might not sound like it’s a good thing, there is always something good about a material that only specializes in one thing and excels at it. This book is not as complete as all of the other competitors in the market but it gives you everything you need to know about the topic without skimping out on any detail that might be important. It is completely dedicated to its craft.

The good part about this top AP Physics 2 review book is that it does not seem like a heavy read. It is actually organized in a way that is easy to understand and comprehend. It gives you all of the foundational theories and important principles physics in a way that seems simple enough to jog your memory and make you remember everything you learned in your past physics courses.

Priced reasonably, Sterling Test Prep is arguably the best book when it comes to pure content review alone. It certainly should be at the top of your list as all of those that have read and used this review book found it easy to understand and really helpful when it comes to helping them learn and recall the fundamentals of physics.

What makes it unique:

  • It focuses entirely on content review.
  • The book has a way of helping you form relationships between two or more topics, theories, or principles.

Why choose this book:

  • Go for this book if you want something that focuses on content review alone and without all of the other details that might distract you.
  • It goes well with a companion book that has practice questions and all of the other helpful stuff such as tips and strategies.


Sterling Test Prep AP Physics 2 Practice Questions by Sterling Test Prep

As you might have already guessed, this book was made to accompany any other book that focuses mainly on content review because this one specializes in practice questions. Another masterpiece by Sterling Test Prep, you will surely master the practical applications of the topics covered by AP Physics 2 by answering a book that is dedicated entirely to practice questions.

This book contains over 760 practice questions that all mirror the same questioning style used in the AP Physics 2 exam. In a sense, you will be encountering hundreds of different questions that will make you feel like you are answering actual AP exam questions. All of these questions were designed with the goal of helping you master the application of the concepts and principles you learned during your studies.

The questions all have their own answers and explanations that are detailed enough to already serve as a review. That said, reading through the explanations and step-by-step solving procedures will not only help you work on improving your mistakes and weaknesses but will also help you recall the concepts you learned in your classes and courses.

Solving problems and equations has always been an important part of physics or math-related exams, and that is the exact reason why Sterling Test Prep developed a book that is dedicated to practice questions. Its typical price seems reasonable considering that there are no other review books that rival the volume of practice questions that the material has.

What makes it unique:

  • The book focuses only on practice questions.
  • It explains the answers in a manner so detailed that you can already feel like you are reviewing the concepts and principles of AP Physics 2.

Why use this book:

  • Practice is an essential part of reviewing for the AP Physics 2 exam, and this book will never be short on delivering practice questions.
  • It works well in conjunction with other books that are dedicated to content review or have sections and chapters that give a comprehensive review of the topics in the College Board’s outline.


Cracking the AP Physics 2 Exam by The Princeton Review

Once again, The Princeton Review has produced a book that belongs to any list of the best AP Physics 2 review materials. This one prides itself at providing you everything you need to get a score of 5 in the upcoming AP Physics 2 exam. It is essentially a complete book that has a far more holistic approach compared to the ones that specialize only on one aspect of the review.

Cracking, like any good review book, contains a content review that is quite comprehensive and updated to fit the topics in the exams outline. The good part is that it is easy to understand because of how it uses charts and illustrations to help you digest the information in a visual approach. Each chapter also ends with activities and questions that can help you gauge how much you have learned.

Not done yet, this book gives you tips and strategies that can help give you the edge on the day of the exam. These techniques are proven to work and are expertly designed to improve the way you approach and answer different types of questions such as multiple-choice and free-response.

Probably the best part of any Cracking review book is the practice test. This book contains at least two full-length tests that are designed to challenge you and make you feel like you are actually taking the real AP Physics 2 exam or even something tougher than that. The goal is to have you get used to the pressure and difficulty of the exam so that you won’t be surprised by what you will see when you take the actual test.

On the lower end in terms of its price, this review book is one of the more affordable ones on the market and is much more valuable and helpful than the price would say. It has always been one of the favorite review books among those who aced the AP Physics 2 exam and Amazon feedbacks often say that it was their most helpful tool in getting a score of 5 in the exam.

What makes it unique:

  • It has a holistic approach to aiding you during your review.
  • The book has at least two practice tests that can be quite difficult or even more challenging than the actual one.

Why choose this book:

  • It is a complete book that has a content review, practice questions, tips and strategies, and practice tests.
  • You should go for this material if you want practice tests that can challenge you.



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The Runners-Up for Best AP Physics 2 Review Books (still good but a little lacking)

AP Physics 2 Essentials by Dan Fullerton

A lot of people regard this book as one of the best AP Physics 2 review books on the market because it is pretty engaging and easy to read for high school students and kids. It was also specifically designed not only for the AP Physics 2 exam but also for any other physics class including the AP Physics 2 course. This makes it a versatile book that can be easy to read for any teenager.

This book contains a content review that goes directly to the point and weeds out any unnecessary detail without skimping on the most important principles and concepts. The information tends to be concise and easy to understand. That is why those who have bought this book were able to understand the laws and principles of physics better.

Because the author knows for a fact that nobody will ever master the principles of AP Physics 2 just by reading, this book contains over 400 problems with their own corresponding solutions. Those problems can serve as your practice as you aim to master the practical applications of the concepts needed to get a 5 in the AP Physics 2 exam.

With a cheaper price, it is an affordable book considering the quality it provides. Nevertheless, it was not able to crack our list of favorites it hasn’t been updated since 2015. But that still doesn’t take away the fact that it is an excellent material to use and is one that has already proven itself effective at helping students get a 5 in the exam.

What makes it unique:

  • Its versatility makes it usable for both the AP Physics 2 course and exam.
  • The book contains a comprehensive content review that is written in an easy-to-understand way.

Why choose this book:

  • It is the perfect choice for anyone looking to understand the topics covered by AP Physics 2 better.
  • This book is comprehensive and detailed enough to be used in high school physics classes and the AP Physics 2 course.


Barron’s AP Physics 2 by Kenneth Rideout, Jonathan Wolf

Barron’s has always been one of the leaders when it comes to high-quality review books. This book for the AP Physics 2 exam is by no means an exception because of its holistic approach in helping you get a good score. In a sense, it has everything you need in a complete study material or preparation tool.

This book starts out by giving you pointers and tips on how to study for the exam as well as strategies you can use throughout the review process and on the day of the exam itself. Then, it will have you go through a diagnostic test that is designed to help you know your weak areas so that you will be able to focus on improving those weaknesses.

The content review part of this book is comprehensive and complete while also staying true to the topics in the College Board’s outline. Each chapter has practice questions that have their own answers and explanations to help your retention. This part of the book can be quite easy to understand because of how well-organized it is.

Like any book that has a holistic approach, Barron’s contains two practice tests that were designed to boost your confidence and exam-answering skills. And its typical price fits its value as a review book. Nevertheless, it is only a runner-up because of Cracking seems to be the slightly better complete study guide.

What makes it unique:

  • It is a complete a review book as any other because of how it helps you review for the AP Physics 2 exam in more ways than one.

Why choose this book:

  • This book is the best AP Physics 2 review book for those who prefer review materials that offer the complete package.
  • It can work well in conjunction with other review books that have their own specialties.


The Best Value for Your Money (good and affordable)

5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based by Christopher Bruhn

Complete and affordable, 5 Steps offers you the whole package you will be needing to get a 5 in the AP Physics 2 exam while staying true to the same five-step procedure that has made this line of review book one of the best-selling prep materials on the market.

The book follows the same format as the usual 5 Steps to a 5 books and also guides you through a step-by-step process that is both systematic and holistic. It helps you in making your own study plan while also giving you tips and strategies you can use on the day of the exam. You will also go through a comprehensive content review as you eventually end the process by taking the full-length practice exams.

On top of all of that, the book contains multiple-choice and free-response questions that are difficult enough to make you feel like you are answering real AP Physics 2 exam questions. The book also allows you to assess yourself in two ways as you progress through the entire five-step program.

Typically less than others listed here, it is the most affordable book on this list. Its value and quality are both more than what you will be paying for, and that alone makes it the best value for your money. Go for this material if you want something that is affordable, complete, and effective.

What makes it unique:

  • It has a systematic approach that makes you go through a five-step plan that guarantees you a high score.
  • The material allows self-assessment.

Why choose this book:

  • It is the most affordable yet complete review material you can find on the market.
  • The book can contend well with the other materials on this list but comes with a much cheaper price tag.



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Summary of the Best AP Physics 2 Review Books

We’ve gone over a lot today. Here’s a helpful table to consolidate every AP Physics 2 review book we went over:

ProductList PriceNumber Of Pages
Sterling Test Prep AP Physics 2 Review $25.95 408
Sterling Test Prep AP Physics 2 Practice Questions $25.95 351
Cracking the AP Physics 2 Exam, 2018 Edition $18.99 384
AP Physics 2 Essentials: An APlusPhysics Guide $16.99 336
Barron's AP Physics 2: With Bonus Online Tests $22.99 288
5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based, 2018 Edition $18.00 352

Because 50% of the AP Physics 2 exam is composed of free-response questions, practice is just as important as knowledge. That said, review books serve the purpose of not only helping you recall your fundamental knowledge of the topics covered by the exam but also with an avenue for applying your practical knowledge of the subject matter. That is precisely why you will never go wrong by choosing one or more of the AP Physics 2 review books we believe are the best on the market.

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