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The Best Online AP Test Prep And Tutoring Programs For 2020

Article by Jane Newsom. Last Updated: Friday, Jan 10, 2020.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams are a great way to get a jump start on the college experience and ensure success for you or your student. Doing well on a College Board AP test can save you a ton in terms of class time and tuition, and free up your first year schedule for more fun (or major-focused) courses.

An AP Exam score that doesn’t qualify for college credit is one of the worst feelings in the world. AP Test Prep classes, tutoring, and videos can make sure you score that 5!

What’s the best way to make sure you’re ready to score a 5 on your exam? As with most things in life… it depends! Some people won’t need anything beyond what your school teacher presents in class, while others will benefit from additional help including things like:

  • AP study guides
  • Comprehensive test prep courses
  • 1 on 1 AP tutoring
  • Pre-recorded instructional videos

Our goal is to help you find the perfect fit for your unique needs! If you’re looking for study guides or flash cards, check out our list of comprehensive reviews in our Advanced Placement Review Guides section. For a detailed look at the best AP Tutoring and Test Prep courses, read on!

Best Comprehensive AP Test Prep Courses

RankTitleFormatPrice
1.Princeton Review: LiveOnline Cram Course6 Hr Live Class$150
2.Kaplan: AP Exam Rapid Review Live2.5 Hr Live Class$29
3.Study.com: AP Prep CoursesSelf Paced Class$60/Mo

We cover 2 different types of AP Test Prep Courses in this guide. The first, is Comprehensive Comprehensive AP Exam Prep. We define this as courses which include extra quizzes, practice exams, and instructor interaction, in addition to live or recorded video study lessons.

These comprehensive test prep classes generally cost more than the basic pre-recorded ones (without all the supplemental material), but less than 1 on 1 tutoring options.

For most students, we think the value to price ratio for comprehensive test prep courses make them the best option. If you don’t feel like you need extensive 1 on 1 help, and have a bit of money to spend, then go with one of these great options!

1) Princeton Review: LiveOnline Cram Course

  • Price: $150 (includes Princeton Study Guide for your class)
  • Format: 6 Hour live instructor led classes (two 3-hour sessions)
  • Pros: Focused deep dive that’s great in the months leading up to the exam.
  • Cons: Price is a little bit higher than other options on this list.

The Princeton Review LiveOnline Cram Course is our top pick for best comprehensive AP Test Prep Course, and our top recommendation for most students who aren’t sure if they should go with tutoring or a course.

The course is 6 hours long (two 3-hour sessions), and consists of instructor led live class given 1-2 months before the exam (check site for class listings). In addition to course access, you’ll also get the very excellent Princeton Review Guide for the class, which are typically excellent (see our AP Study Guide reviews for more info).

The course is perfectly geared for those who are in the final stages of prep for the exams. They cover the most tested content from prior tests, and come packed with great test-taking tips.

2) Kaplan: AP Exam Rapid Review Live

  • Price: $29 for 1 class, or $49 for unlimited
  • Format: One 2.5 hour live test prep session (with option for on-demand later)
  • Pros: Relatively inexpensive, while still including live instruction.
  • Cons: Class is only a single 2.5 hour session, so less in-depth than our top pick.

The AP Exam Rapid Review Live class from Kaplan is our runner up choice for best comprehensive AP test prep class.

It includes one 2.5 hour review course with live instruction from top AP teachers in subjects like math, science, history, and english, as well as interaction with other students. Being able to ask questions in real-time is a major reason to choose one of these courses, but you can also watch it on demand later.

This class is shorter than our top pick, but the price is quite a bit lower if that’s a concern (especially if you’re taking more than 1 class/test). Overall we feel the Princeton course above is worth the extra cost, but Kaplan’s affordability can’t be ignored.

3) Study.com: AP Prep Courses

  • Price: $59.99/month
  • Format: Pre-recorded video instruction with additional quizzes, practice tests, apps.
  • Pros: Access to all AP test material for 1 fee, good supplemental / review tests.
  • Cons: No live instructor-led component.

Rounding out our first category is AP Prep Courses from Study.com. It includes pre-recorded video instruction sessions you can watch on your own time.

Unlike the top 2 entries in this list, there isn’t a live instructor component for this one. However, there are plenty of strong supplemental test prep materials like quizzes and practice tests that make it very worthwhile.

The pricetag falls somewhere in between our top picks, but you get access to 79,000+ videos for a multitude of subjects along with the fee. For most people, we’d recommend either of the choices above, but if you’re studying for a bunch of subjects or things other than AP exams, this one is definitely worth a look.

Best AP Test Prep Private Tutoring

RankTitleFormatPrice
1.Princeton Review Private Tutoring3 Hour Blocks$167/Hr
2.Kaplan: AP Exam Tutoring6 Hour Blocks$133/Hr
3.Wyzant / VarsityTutorsPay as You GoVaries

AP Test Prep private tutoring is the most expensive option on our list, but also the most highly tailored to your needs.

Most AP test prep tutoring programs will have you complete an assessment ahead of time to allow the tutor to identify weak areas. Once done, they form a unique lesson plan that will address your knowledge gaps and maximize your gains!

If money isn’t a huge concern, or you need a whole lot of help, give AP Exam Tutoring a close look!

1) Princeton Review Private Tutoring

  • Price: $167-190/hr
  • Format: 1 on 1 tutoring
  • Pros: Custom-built apps for easy management of student progress, communication, and scheduling.
  • Cons: Sold in pre-set packages containing a specific number of hours.

For those students looking for extensive help or a highly tailored study plan, 1 on 1 tutoring is your best bet. Our #1 pick for this category is, once again, from Princeton Review.

Students can contact them for packages ranging from 3-18 hours at a time with a dedicated tutor. They offer a satisfaction guarantee with the 18 hour package, and will make sure you’re satisfied with the tutor they match you with.

There’s a robust custom app to communicate with your tutor and track your progress. While the price tag might seem steep, if you weigh that against the cost (in both dollars and opportunity) of having to take the college course again, the math can definitely work out.

2) Kaplan AP Exam Tutoring

  • Price: Packages Starting at $799 ($133/hr)
  • Format: 1 on 1 tutoring
  • Pros: Tons of great quizzes, practice exams, and other supplements.
  • Cons: Available only in 6 or 12 hour blocks.

Our runner up choice for online AP Exam tutoring is Kaplan. As with the above, you get a set number of hours 1 on 1 with a dedicated tutor.

There’s a 3 step process when you start out:

  • Step 1: Tell them about your academic background, study style, and goals.
  • Step 2: Once they understand your needs, they’ll select the right tutor for you.
  • Step 3: Your tutor will create a study plan that fits your needs and schedule.

Everything in this package is highly dedicated to your specific needs, and that’s a huge benefit over the class style options in this list.

If the cost isn’t prohibitive, then this is one of the most surefire ways to guarantee success on your AP Exam.

3) Tutoring Directory Services

Rounding out our list of tutoring options are a couple of the best directory services around. They can connect you with professional tutors in your area or around the country to assist with your prep.

3.1) Wyzant

  • Price: Varies by instructor.
  • Format: 1 on 1 tutoring
  • Pros: Pay only for the time you need, not sold in large blocks.
  • Cons: More variance in tutor quality than the options higher up the list.

Wyzant is an online tutor directory that can connect you with quality instructors around the country.

Unlike the Kaplan or Princeton options, billing is done per-hour rather than in blocks of 3-10 hours. There’s also a wide range of prices, so it can be easier to find something in your budget.

Since the Directory just connects you with individual tutors, there’s less guarantee that you’re connecting with someone of a high caliber in the subject you’re seeking help for. The review system does help with this, but it’s a bit more hit and miss than the branded tutoring programs above.

3.2) VarsityTutors

  • Price: Varies by instructor.
  • Format: 1 on 1 tutoring
  • Pros: Pay only for the time you need, not sold in large blocks.
  • Cons: More variance in tutor quality than the options higher up the list.

Another tutoring directory service with dedicated AP course listings is VarsityTutors.

As with Wyzant, the main draw here is the pay as you go pricing. They also have local listings, so if you prefer in-person over online sessions, this may be a good fit.

As with all tutoring directory services, the quality control is less strict than you might find with a branded program, but going with a well-reviewed tutor should ensure a good fit.

Best AP Test Prep Video Courses

RankTitleFormatPrice
1.Udemy.comSelf Paced Video$0-$50
2.The Khan Academy AP Exam ReviewsSelf Paced VideoFree
3.Edx AP Course AuditingSelf Paced VideoFree

Our final category of AP test prep resource is pre-recorded video classes. These are similar to the list of comprehensive online courses above, but don’t usually come with extra bells and whistles or options for instructor help. On the bright side, these options are generally cheaper (and some are even free!).

If budget is your primary concern, or you’re just looking for a little bit of extra review material to help you finalize your prep, these are a great option!

1) Udemy AP Video Courses

  • Price: Varies by class
  • Format: On-demand video sessions
  • Pros: Most classes are competitively priced
  • Cons: Supplemental materials are often non-existant or low quality

Udemy is an online video course marketplace where you can learn just about anything from real world experts for a low price.

There are many great AP exam review videos for most subjects, and prices are mostly inexpensive. The platform contains a course rating system you should definitely pay attention to when making your choice.

Overall, we tend to recommend the comprehensive review courses in the first section above, but Udemy is still a good option. Especially if you’re cost-sensitive, it might be an option worth considering. Some classes aren’t great, but there are also some real gems!

2) The Khan Academy AP Exam Reviews

  • Price: Free
  • Format: On-demand video sessions
  • Pros: Good quality material, especially considering the free price.
  • Cons: Not all subjects are covered in extensive detail.

Odds are good you or your student has already heard of The Khan Academy. If not, you should know that it’s a huge non-profit education company dedicated to providing world-class instruction to students around the world (for free!).

In 2017 they announced their partnership with the AP program, to provide video courses, practice questions, and other materials to help students succeed on the AP Exams.

Even if you go with another option on this list, since Khan Academy is free, it doesn’t hurt to sign up and have a look!

3) Edx AP Course Auditing

  • Price: Free
  • Format: On-demand video sessions or instructor led.
  • Pros: Good quality material, especially considering the free price.
  • Cons: Limited number of classes

EdX is another non-profit created by founding partners from Harvard and MIT. EdX offers a vast array of AP Courses to choose from, provided by some of the country’s most prestigious colleges.

Since these are actual college courses, the number of classes included is somewhat limited, but many of the most popular subjects are covered.

As with the Khan Academy above, you can’t beat the price tag (free!). We still recommend the guided courses or 1 on 1 tutoring for most people, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to review some of these videos too!

How To Pick The Best AP Test Prep For You

There’s no doubt about it, prep classes and tutoring can definitely help increase scores and make sure that whole year of study didn’t go to waste. How do you know which option is right for you? Read on for some of the most important factors to consider when choosing between AP Test Prep Classes, Tutoring, or Video courses.

The Format

The first thing to consider is the format of the resource. Do you thrive in 1 on 1 sessions? Do you need to be able to ask occasional questions in a classroom like setting? Or are you usually ok with self study?

Each of these options are available, so take a few minutes to reflect on what your strengths are.

The Cost

Once you’ve identified how you prefer to study and prepare, the next (and often more important) factor to consider is the price tag. 1 on 1 tutoring can be highly customized to your specific needs, but it’s also usually pretty pricey. If you’re on a tight budget, maybe you can get by with the more affordable video courses.

Overall, make sure you consider the cost of the college credits at stake and the opportunity cost of not having to take an intro course. While a $100+/hr tutor might sound like a lot, a full semester of class time plus tuition fees is a pretty big price to have to pay if you don’t get those high marks.

Time Available

Another thing to consider is how much time you have before your exams. If you’re starting early, you might do well with self-guided video instruction. As the test gets closer, if you feel like you still have big knowledge gaps, you can then switch to more costly options like interactive cram courses or tutoring.

Remember, you don’t have to just pick one option and stick with it. Especially with the free resources on this list, you should consider trying them out to see what works best for you.

Conclusion

Spending a little extra time and money to score high enough to skip an intro college course is almost always worth it.

We’ve presented some of our favorite options for exam prep resources for AP classes above, in the hopes that you’ll find something that works great for you.

Whether it’s tutoring, online classes, or video courses, these options are well worth your consideration. Study hard, and good luck!

Other Great Resources

Here are some other additional AP exam prep resources that didn’t quite fit in our list:

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