4 Best AP German Language & Culture Exam Prep Books (2020)

Best AP German Language Study Books

Preparation is crucial for the AP German exam. If you purchase a prep book that gives you the tools for all types of situations, then this will reduce your stress levels heading into the big day. You need to choose a prep book that suits your study style and provides insights on the best type of answers to the exam. It all comes down to how hard you want to work – the prep book is your vehicle to success.

In this article, we give you valuable suggestions for the best AP German Language and Culture prep books. We highlight the top benefits of each book, but we also list out the areas of improvement. Towards the end of the article, we cover some of the most frequently asked questions by students taking the exam. Our goal is to provide you the critical information to make a solid prep book purchase.

Reviews of the Best AP German Prep Books

1. Practice Makes Perfect: German Verb Tenses

Practice Makes Perfect goes beyond regular conjugation and gives you the tools to become fluent at speaking and writing German, ideal for the AP test.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education, 2nd Edition

Year: 2013

Number of Pages: 320

Our Final Grade: A-

Practice Makes Perfect: German Verb Tenses gives you a full understanding of how to fluently use the various verb tenses in normal conversation or writing. This book provides over 200 interactive exercises that help develop and sharpen your German verb skills. There are also relatable examples that touch on a variety of different topics.

Since the book is designed for constant learning and practicing, it is best to purchase the hardback version so that you can write inside. If you go with the e-book or digital version, the formatting is not as robust and will make it harder to study. Overall, the Practice Makes Perfect: German Verb Tenses serves as excellent supplemental research in your AP German exam prep.

Pros

  • The book contains a vast collection of interactive exercises
  • Everyday examples help you relate to the material and understand it better
  • An excellent resource if you are trying to understand German for the AP exam fluently

Cons

  • If you are a beginner or starting from scratch, this book might be too advanced.

2. German Grammar Drills, Third Edition

German Grammar Drills (Third Edition) is a comprehensive option for people who want to become a master in German Grammar.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education, 3rd Edition

Year: 2018

Number of Pages: 336

Our Final Grade: B

If you are looking to hone all your skills in German Grammar, this drill book will provide you with everything you need to succeed in this part of the AP German exam. Throughout this book, you will find focused practice exercises and full explanations for further clarification. There are over 200 different exercises that touch on various components of the German grammar landscape.

Another great feature of this book is the variety of examples of proper use of German Grammar. It helps to see things used in the original form, which will help with the verbal and written portions of the AP German exam. The review exercises in this drill book reinforce the concepts that you learn as you push through. This book is ideal to combine with a structured course or as a tool for personal learning.

Pros

  • The book contains many unique exercises to reinforce understanding of German Grammar
  • Includes a full answer key for insights on the different concepts
  • The book is structured to help you review and fully master the concepts

Cons

  • Some consumers complain that the format is too complicated
  • The “one size fits all” format of the book may not work for everyone

3. Complete German Grammar (Premium Second Edition)

The Complete German Grammar Book (Premium Second Edition) combines practice and language instruction to help you get familiar with all areas of German Grammar.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education, 2nd Edition

Year: 2018

Number of Pages: 288

Our Final Grade: B-

The Complete German Grammar (Premium Second Edition) provides a simple and straightforward guide for preparing for the Grammar portions of the AP German exam. There are various exercises to help you learn adverbs, adjectives, and present tense regular verbs. You will also find different forms of activities that help you prepare for all situations on the exam.

A reliable publisher in McGraw-Hill backs this product option. There are audio recordings that will stream from the Language Lab if you are trying to study while commuting. You will find engaging quizzes in the Language Lab as well. There is also a dedicated chapter for reviewing all concepts that you went over in the previous sections.

As for the author, Ed Swick has over 30 years of valuable experience teaching German. He also wrote another book called Practice Makes Perfect: German Vocabulary and Practice Makes Perfect: German Sentence Builder.

Pros

  • The book dedicates an entire chapter to review so you can reinforce the concepts
  • McGraw-Hill’s Language Lab provides an extra on-the-go study resource
  • Many examples in the book show all grammatical viewpoints and lessons from a sentence

Cons

  • No CD included with the package
  • The book is one-dimensional and covers Grammar only

4. Practice Makes Perfect German Vocabulary

Practice Makes Perfect German Vocabulary delivers a formidable prep book to help you utilize the German phrases and words for daily situations and exam questions.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill, 2nd Edition

Year: 2011

Number of Pages: 224

Our Final Grade: C+

The Practice Makes Perfect German Vocabulary prep book helps you build and form your German vocabulary. You will find a fun, interactive structure with this product because each chapter is dedicated to a different theme. There are sections for travel, family, food, and more. With upwards of 100 different exercises, you can refine your German-speaking skills for the oral part of the AP exam.

There are interactive exercises, but you also get the benefit of reviewing the full explanations for Grammar. The book also includes a complete answer key to help you get a good understanding of your comprehension levels. Ed Swick also wrote this book, so you know you are getting a credible option because of his 30 years of German experience.

Pros

  • A whole chapter is set aside for contemporary vocabulary
  • Refreshing format with different themes for each chapter
  • Full answer key included checking your knowledge

Cons

  • The book does not communicate the plural version of the nouns.

FAQs

How much do I need to prepare for the AP German exam?

Depending on your previous amount of knowledge heading into the exam, it is smart to set aside at least 1-2 months of preparation time. You should also leave an extra week or two to ask any final clarification questions.

How does the AP German exam test for cultural knowledge?

Students will need to analyze different audio and print texts that demand an understanding of German cultural aspects.

How do students submit speaking examples for the exam?

The student will record their speaking submissions and then upload them to a secure cloud server. These submissions will be made in a private area so that no other test takers can listen in.

Are students able to use a dictionary while taking the exam?

No, students are prohibited from using a dictionary during the AP German exam.


Conclusion

There are many valuable resources for you to invest in to prepare you for the AP German exam. You can utilize prep books that focus on Grammar, written skills, and verbal skills to succeed on the big test day. You must define your ideal study environment and strategies before investing in a prep book that reflects this.

No matter what prep book you decide on, it is critical to outline your goals for the exam and put in the hard work needed. There are no tricks or secrets to earning the score you want, except pure determination and discipline.

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Hannah Young
 

Contributor at ExamCave. Hannah is pursuing a degree in middle school English education at The Ohio State University. Hannah has worked as a writing and math tutor for elementary, middle school, and high school students.