Barron’s AP Chemistry, 7th Edition

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  • will seriously disappoint those who purchase this on Barron’s brand name recognition
  • a glut of irrelevant, too-difficult content that makes the prep process unnecessarily laborious
  • only valuable for students who don’t mind plodding through nearly 800 pages for months leading up to the test

Barron’s was never one for slim pickings, but their seventh AP Chemistry title breaks the scale without building students’ confidence. The book is weighed down by an indulgent, fatty amount of content that the newest AP Chem curriculum has rendered irrelevant for current students, and much of that content is pitched at a difficulty level unreasonable for the latest exam.

Written and structured more like a collegiate textbook than information prep source for high school students, Barron’s AP Chemistry will require students to learn nearly three times as much as they’d need to for an excellent score on the test.

And an uncomfortably large portion of the book is riddled with typos so egregious subtle that most inexperienced students would be hard-pressed to spot them. That Barron’s has yet to mount a corrective website to address this is yet another strike against this title. Tempting many less knowledgeable readers by brand name recognition alone, only students who’d enjoy slogging through more content than is necessary — and for months on end, at that — would find much fun or value in parsing through Barron’s obese title here.

In brief, this book’s more than 750 pages are simply chemistry overkill.