4 Best AP Latin Prep Books (2020)

Best AP Latin Study Books

If you’re serious about acing your AP Latin exam, getting a 5, and receiving that college credit, you need to prepare properly. And that means you need the best AP Latin prep books. AP Latin prep seems like it would be a narrow, niche market, but there are actually several options available. How do you know which one to choose?

Luckily, we’ve done the work for you, examined the market, and narrowed it down to the four best AP Latin prep books. Follow along as we break down each individual book, answer some frequently asked questions, and then deliver our final verdict.

Best AP Latin Prep Book Reviews

First, let’s break down each of our picks of the four best AP Latin Prep Books, including the pros and cons of each one:

1. AP Latin: Vergil Exam (REA Test Preps) 2nd Edition

Publisher: Research & Education Associates

Year: 2010

Pages: 640

Our Grade: A+

A comprehensive review of the grammar sections of the AP Latin Exam, AP Latin: Vergil Exam was written by a former high school teacher with decades of experience teaching AP Latin.

REA Test Preps’ AP Latin: Vergil Exam is the most comprehensive AP Latin grammar prep resource available. While other prep books may focus on one area specifically, this one takes a holistic approach to exam prep.

AP Latin: Vergil Exam gives step-by-step advice on how to get mentally ready for the exam, breakdowns of the concepts tested, and two full practice exams based on real AP Latin exam questions, with full explanations of every answer.

Pros:

  • Holistic approach to preparation
  • Two detailed practice exams
  • Written by a teacher with decades of relevant experience

Cons:

  • A bit pricier than some competitors

2. Vergil’s Aeneid: A Fully Parsed Vocabulary Guide for the AP Latin Exam

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Year: 2016

Pages: 132

Our Grade: B+

A vocabulary guide for the AP Latin exam, this resource features fully parsed selections from Vergil’s Aeneid, along with detailed grammatical and historical notes.

Vergil’s Aeneid: A Fully Parsed Vocabulary Guide for the AP Latin Exam is another prep resource designed by an expert: a University professor who spent years grading the AP Latin Exam and advising high school Latin teachers on their syllabi.

The resource takes a unique approach to the Aeneid, rearranging Vergil’s poetic prose into a more natural order, one more accessible to students. That is designed to help students process the vocabulary and grammar they will need to learn to ace the exam. Those are placed alongside the original prose, so students have access to both.

Pros:

  • Unique arrangement of Vergil’s classic, designed to be more accessible for students
  • All forms fully parsed
  • Guide designed by AP Latin exam expert

Cons:

  • No practice exam questions

3. A Hackett Test Prep Manual for Use with AP Latin

Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Year: 2020

Pages: 496

Our Grade: B+

Written by a retired Latin teacher, A Hackett Test Prep Manual for Use with AP Latin is perfect for students on a budget who still want a wide-ranging study guide with practice exam questions.

A Hackett Test Prep Manual for Use with AP Latin is a systematic approach to preparing for the AP Latin exam, with resources that will help students who are just starting the course, and students whose exam is right around the corner.

The manual offers full coverage of the current AP Latin syllabus, reviews and explanations of vocabulary, syntax, and literary figures, as well as clean text of the Latin syllabus for reading practice. It also features examples of previous free-response questions and analysis thereof, on top of practice multiple choice and free-response exam questions.

Pros:

  • Systematic coverage of AP Latin course
  • Practice exam questions with explanations
  • More budget-friendly than some competing options

Cons:

  • Not as extensive as the REA Test Prep manual

4. Caesar’s Gallic War: A Fully Parsed Vocabulary Guide for the AP Latin Exam

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Year: 2016

Pages: 130

Our Grade: B

A vocabulary guide for the AP Latin Exam, this resource contains fully parsed selections from Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico.

Designed in conjunction with the vocabulary guide for Vergil’s Aeneid, Caesar’s Gallic War: A Fully Parsed Vocabulary Guide for the AP Latin Exam is an excellent resource for learning Latin students.

The guide features comprehensive vocabulary lists and annotated grammatical and historical notes for each section of the book. Grammatical information for each vocabulary term is fully parsed. The creator of the guide spent years informing AP Latin syllabi around the country and grading AP Latin exams and designed the guide with the express purpose of helping students score well.

Pros:

  • All forms fully parsed
  • Comprehensive grammatical and historical annotations
  • Guide designed by AP Latin Exam Expert

Cons:

  • No practice exam questions

FAQ

Now that you know about the four best AP Latin prep books let’s take some time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the topic.

What’s the Most Important Thing to Look for in an AP Latin Prep Book?

The answer to this question depends on what stage of the studying process you’ve reached. As the exam draws closer, you’ll definitely want some practice exam questions, with explanations on right and wrong answers.

These are useful not only to familiarize yourself with the material, but also to help you gain a greater awareness of what, specifically, the exam is looking for on its open-ended questions.

However, earlier in the process your priority should be familiarizing yourself with Latin content, vocabulary, and grammar. For these students, one of the fully parsed vocabulary guides would be ideal.

What Other Test Prep Strategies Should I Know?

Being prepared for the content of the exam is a significant step, but it’s not the only thing you need to do to get the best score possible. Many students have trouble with the pressure on exam day, and make avoidable mistakes.

A great way to prepare for this is to simulate the environment of the exam when you take your practice test. Rather than working on it in the comfort of your own home, try taking it at your local library; that will prepare your brain for working on a test in a quiet environment, with other students moving about.


The Bottom Line

All four of the AP Latin Prep Books on our list are strong resources, depending on what you need; you’ll notice that none of them received a grade lower than a B. However, if you’re looking for the best of the best, we recommend that you invest in AP Latin: Vergil Exam, 2nd Edition.

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Brett Gordon
 

Founder of ExamCave.com