AP® Chemistry Crash Course Book + Online (Advanced Placement (AP) Crash Course)

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  • the most concise AP Chem book out there, packing quite a punch of informative content per page
  • the lack of practice content and mock exams makes it inappropriate as a standalone study resource
  • best suited for students who’ve enjoyed a great AP Chem teacher all year long

Crash Course’s AP Chemistry title takes the prize for the briefest of the top test prep books, at just under 275 pages. Yet the advantages of this lean-and-mean approach to gearing up for the recently modified exam aren’t unequivocal. Busy students will beam at the book’s quickly paced chapters yet may see their enthusiasm dip over its less substantial features.

The main strike against Crash Course is the dearth of practice content, limited to just a handful of mildly stimulating questions per chapter and the complete absence of a full practice test offered within the book. (Publisher REA does offer an online practice test, albeit one that suffers from awkward structural choices and that has yet to be updated for the latest AP Chem curriculum.)

But the book does skillfully cover particulate diagrams and detailed illustrations, two features expected to dominate the newly updated exam. It also includes thoughtful, detailed summaries of the sixteen AP Chemistry Labs that students must master to raise their chances of a four or five score. Students with the luxury of prioritizing concision over comprehensiveness — those who’ve been spoiled by a particularly gifted AP Chem instructor or class — should find Crash Course to be a worthwhile if wafer-thin workout leading up to exam day.