The Best AP Spanish Language and Culture Review Books of 2019

By February 8, 2019 April 7th, 2019 AP Book Reviews
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AP Spanish Language can at times seem like a tough exam due to the high number of native speakers that sit for the exam, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right study tool, it can be easy to get a 4 or 5. In this article, we detail the best AP Spanish Language review books of 2019.

The most recent Advanced Placement or AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam was one of the easiest. The numbers would show that 30% got a score of 3, 34.7% scored 4, and 23.7% earned a 5. In fact, only a total of less than 12% of those who took the exam got a score of 1 or 2. That was how well the students performed in the most recent exam.

However, you still cannot be complacent when taking any kind of AP exam. You might not know when the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam would suddenly become more difficult. In that regard, it is better to be more prepared for the unknown. And the best way to do so is to arm yourself with the following best review books for the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam.

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for AP Spanish Language here.

Our Favorites (the best AP Spanish Language review books)

Barron’s AP Spanish Language and Culture by Daniel Paolicchi, Alice Springer

Barron’s consistently ranks as one of the top AP review books on anyone’s list particularly because of how consistent it is at providing materials that tend to trump the competition in terms of completeness and of overall quality. It comes with a holistic approach that helps you get a 5 in more ways than one.

This book has been updated to reflect the changes in the most recent AP Spanish Language and Culture exam and also follows the College Board’s outline to the letter. Meanwhile, the content review portion of the book includes all of the necessary concepts and knowledge you need to hone your Spanish language speaking skills.

There is a separate portion that aims not only to give you test-taking strategies but to also improve your Spanish language reading comprehension, speaking, writing, and grammar. This unit comes with an avenue for you to practice your skills on so that you will be able to fully master the fundamentals of the Spanish language.

The book comes with two full-length practice exams that are designed specifically to make you feel the pressure of taking the actual AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. All of the questions in the practice tests have their corresponding answers and explanations to help you improve yourself in case you encounter similar questions in the actual exam.

Barron’s AP Spanish Language might seem a little bit expensive compared to other Barron’s books but remember you will also be getting your hands on a high-quality material that does its job really well especially if you are aiming to be one of the many who got a score of 5 in the exam.

What makes it unique:

  • It approaches the review in a holistic manner and equips you with a balanced amount of knowledge and practice.
  • The book has a section that is dedicated to improving your Spanish language speaking, writing, grammar, and comprehension.
  • It comes with an MP3 that you can listen to if you are more of an auditory learner.

Why choose this book:

  • There are not a lot of excellent books on the market. In that regard, this review material ranks high up there together with the select few that made this list.
  • It helps you not only through its comprehensive content review but also by improving the other skills you need to develop to master the Spanish language.


AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam Preparation by Vista Higher Learning

Not one of the more popular books on the market, it is still regarded as a high-quality review material that has a systematic approach in helping you get that 5. In that regard, it contains a lot of information that does not only help improve your knowledge but also hones your Spanish language skills and improves your understanding of the AP Spanish Language and Culture coverage and format.

Like any good review book, it contains the complete coverage of the topics in the College Board’s outline. On top of that, it also comes with audio resources you can use to improve the way you understand, comprehend, and speak the Spanish language as the people over at VHL know that the best way to learn a new language is to actually listen to it.

Another feature of this book is a section that helps you develop your own test-taking strategies that differ and change depending on the type of question you are facing. It also has a lot of sample questions that fit the types of the ones you will be encountering in the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam.

The good thing about the questions in this book is that they are considered to be tougher than the ones in the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. And, as Amazon customers mentioned, the book also allows you to practice your free-response questions skills by letting you compose emails and essays using the Spanish language. It might be a little expensive compared to other AP Spanish Language resources we go over here but it is a good price to pay for an excellent resource material.

What makes it unique:

  • The book gives you access to a website that has a lot of useful content.
  • The sample questions are considered tougher than the questions in the actual test.

Why choose this book:

  • It works great as a material for the AP Spanish Language and Culture course and exam.
  • The book grants you access to a lot of resources online.


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

AP Spanish: Preparing for the Language and Culture Examination by Jose Diaz

This book is one of the more extensive resources you can use to get a good score in the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. It provides you with a comprehensive content review that also comes complete with practice questions that are designed to improve your Spanish language writing, speaking, and composition skills.

The book comes with a digital course that you and a teacher can use to better your understanding of the Spanish language. This digital course has a lot of activities you can use to improve your skills. These activities include essay writing, email composition, and also interpersonal speaking tasks. In short, there are a lot of options for you to use if you want to become a better speaker and writer in the Spanish language.

Amazon ranks it as one of the best resources you can use. This is mainly due to how satisfied customers rave about how useful its digital content is and how they were carefully designed to prepare you for the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. In that sense, it works well as your primary resource and as a workbook. The only knock on it is the hefty price tag it comes with compared to the other best AP Spanish Language review books.

What makes it unique:

  • It gives you access to a wide range of digital media designed to make your review more interactive.
  • The audio files on the internet are downloadable so that you can listen to them wherever you go.

Why choose this book:

  • It comes with a lot of useful media resources that give an added dimension to the review experience.
  • It is one of the best AP Spanish Language resources you can use if you can afford it.


AP Spanish Language and Culture All Access by Veronica Garcia, Bertha Sevilla, Karolyn Rodriguez, Adina Alexandru, Marta Ceron de Calvo

This is REA’s (Research and Education Association) version of the Crash Course book for AP Spanish Language and Culture. However, this does not follow the usual Crash Course format because the authors know for a fact that studying and learning the Spanish language takes more than just a literal crash course.

Instead, the book comes with audio files that you can listen to. It also comes with an access to an online resource that is full of useful tools that were designed to not only improve your understanding of the language but to also personalize your entire review experience while pinpointing the weaknesses in your knowledge and skill.

If you visit the REA website, you can also gain access to two full-length practice tests. The website also helps you assess yourself in three different ways (audio, quizzes, and practice tests). These assessment tools were designed according to the format used by the actual AP Spanish Language and Culture exam.

REA normally publishes books that are on the cheap side but this review material falls into the middle-end of prices because of the additional tools it includes. Nevertheless, all of those tools are as useful as any other in helping you get that 5 you are aiming for.

What makes it unique:

  • The website has three ways of assessing your knowledge and skills.

Why choose this book:

  • It is comparatively quite affordable compared to the other books on this list.


The Best Value for Your Money (good and affordable)

Cracking the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam by The Princeton Review

There is nothing you cannot like about Cracking the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam. It is a book that was designed to make reviewing for the exam easier and more holistic. That said, it contains everything you need to know and more to be one of the many that managed to get a score of 5 in the exam.

Like all of the other books on this list, Cracking comes with extra online media content that was designed to be useful tools in your review. It has an audio disk that you can listen to if you want to improve your listening and understanding skills. There is also an online portal you can access if you want to download other audio files.

Overall, it still follows the same Cracking format that comes with an extensive content review and tips and strategies that were designed to make you work in a smart way. It also gives you the latest updates in the upcoming AP Spanish Language and Culture while also granting you access to an online portal that provides useful tips for pre-college students.

The book normally falls into the middle tier of prices for study guides, but you can buy a used one for typically a third of the cost of a new one. It gives you the best value for your money because you gain access to one of the highest quality review materials on the market for a fairly affordable price.

What makes it unique:

  • It comes with a lot of useful audio tools both in a disk or in a downloadable online format.
  • Even though it has a lot of extra content, it isn’t very expensive compared to the other books on the market.

Why choose this book:

  • It is an excellent and high-quality material that is both affordable and effective.


Summary of the Best AP Spanish Language and Culture Review Books

We’ve gone over a lot today. Here’s a helpful table to consolidate every AP Spanish Language and Culture review book we went over:

ProductList PriceNumber Of Pages
Barron's AP Spanish Language and Culture $26.99 504
AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam Preparation Student Edition $40.76 N/A
AP Spanish: Preparing for the Language and Culture Examination N/A 304
AP® Spanish Language and Culture All Access w/Audio $26.95 396
Cracking the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam $26.99 352

The AP Spanish Language and Culture is quite unique because the free-response portion of the exam has a part where you answer verbally. In that sense, knowing how to speak in Spanish is just as important as knowing how to write and compose different forms of literature.

That said, gaining access to review materials that come with audio tools is important in learning the Spanish language because of how you need to be able to hear the language for you to master it. And when it comes to giving you useful audio tools, no other material can do better than the ones we have listed for you.

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