The Best AP Chemistry Books

Exam Info And Course Content

The AP Chemistry exam consists of 2 sections. The first one is a multiple choice section with 60 questions that lasts 90 minutes and makes up 50% of your final exam score.

The second section is free response. It has 7 questions, lasts 105 minutes, and makes up 50% of your final exam score. There are 3 long and 4 short free response questions and they make sure you understand experimental design, understand quantitative or qualitative transformations, can analyze lab data, analyze molecular or atomic views, and follow a logical pathway to solve a problem.

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

Next Exam Date

Monday, May 7th, 2018

Last Time The Exam Changed

The AP Chemistry exam was last audited in 2013, so if you have a book published later than that, it should adhere to the new standards. However we recommend that you buy one of the books below to increase your chances of getting a 5.

The Best AP Chemistry Textbooks for 2018

Book CoverDescriptionOur RatingPrice
Best AP Chemistry TextbookChemistry, 10th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl
Susan A. Zumdahl
Donald J. DeCoste


(Best Textbook)
5.0View Price
Best AP Calculus Review BookCracking the AP
Chemistry Exam
2018 Edition


The Princeton Review

(Best Review Book)
4.7View Price
AP Chemistry Crash Course Book With New Content And Online TestCrash Course AP Chemistry

Adrian Dingle

(Best Prep Book)
4.5View Price

Best AP Chemistry TextbookIn order to get a fundamental understanding of the core principles you will be tested on, there is no better AP Chemistry Textbook than Chemistry, 10th Edition by Steven Zumdahl, Susan Zumdahl and Donald J. DeCoste.

This textbook is an extremely readable and detailed text that contains both the fundamental framework of chemistry as well as a multitude of practice questions to ensure you understand the concerns. It is widely regarded as the #1 AP Chemistry textbook on the market, and is taught in thousands of schools across north America.

Before you look at any review or exam prep books, be sure you have a copy of Chemistry, 10th Edition.

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Best AP Calculus Review BookPrinceton’s AP Chemistry review book is also a great option as its content is organized as Big Ideas which is how the exam questions are created.

We recently picked up the latest edition and definitely recommend it over last year’s edition. They corrected a number of mistakes that were pointed in out by the college board forums and other online reviews.

The practice questions also reflect the new test format, and the book has 2 practice tests which is important because the Crash Course book only has one.

If you purchase both books and go through them cover to cover, you’re guaranteed to get a 5.

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AP Chemistry Crash Course Book With New Content And Online TestCrash Course AP Chemistry is the best structured course book for the exam hands down.

It is one of the only AP chemistry review books out there that has no errors in it and covers the new material properly. In fact it only covers the information that you need to know for the exam, so you don’t have to worry about figuring out what you need to know. If it’s in the book, you need to understand and know it.

They also give you test-taking strategies specifically for the AP Bio exam which tremendously helps most students.

After going through the book you can take a free online practice exam that has very in depth explanations of answers, and it will even automatically analyze your score to help you figure out if you need to study more or not.

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Self-Study Tips

AP Chemistry is a fairly tough subject to self-study as there is a lot of material, but it is definitely possible to get a 5 if you start studying at least 2 or 3 months before the exam.

You should spend your first 2 months going over all of the content in Princeton’s Cracking AP Chemistry book and watching Khan Academy chemistry videos on topics you don’t quite understand. You should also do practice questions for the specific sections you’re covering each week.

At the beginning of the last month you should take the crash course practice test and see what you still need to learn. Use the crash course book to brush up on the topics you’re foggy on, and take as many practice tests as you can.

You can also look over the labs found on this site to make sure that you understand them.

Other Study Resources