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What Are the Best AP French Textbooks and Prep Books?

4 min readseptember 29, 2021


Sander Owens


Charly Castillo

AP French  🇫🇷

Bookmarked 920 • 51 resources
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Are you preparing for AP French Language & Culture this year and trying to figure out which textbooks and prep books to use as you prepare? Do you want to know which ones are worth paying for and which ones would probably be better off in la poubelle? Well, then, this post is you for! Below, you can find a list of the best resources, from traditional textbooks to online prep, that you can use to réussir l'examen in May.

Textbooks 📚

The College Board doesn't recommend specific textbooks for this class, which is why we took the time to compile a list of the best ones used in AP French classes around the nation and rank them.

#1: Best Content (Tied) & Best Overall Value

Thèmes AP French Language and Culture, Student Edition


  • The book has a digital format that you can access upon purchase 💸, which includes practice activities, audio, videos, and assessments.
  • If you have an iPad, you can open the online platform that can be used on that (finally, an iPad friendly textbook!)
  • It is in-depth 🤔, yet still easy to follow.
  • This book only covers AP-level content, which is good for students who already have a solid foundation, but a con for those who need to review earlier topics.
  • The Student Edition is available in multiple formats, including hardcover, online vText, and a downloadable eBook.


  • Although it is not updated for the 2020-21 examination, the textbook covers most of the required topics.
  • It can be more expensive than the other textbooks on this list, depending on whether you buy a new or used copy.

Image Courtesy of Vista Higher Learning

#2: Best Content (Tied)

Le Monde en Français Coursebook: French B for the IB Diploma (French Edition), 2nd Edition


  • It has practice questions that you can use to review the skills you've learned in the previous chapters and improve your writing skills ✏️
  • This textbook is more of a bargain at around $56 for a new copy, but that might still be too much for you.
  • It is written completely en français 🇫🇷, which will keep you immersed in the language as you learn. However, it may be more difficult for nonnative speakers and weaker readers, since it is written completely in the target language and uses advanced vocabulary.


  • This textbook is actually meant for International Baccalaureate (IB) students, but it covers a lot of the topics seen on the AP exam.
Note: The authors of this textbook have written a workbook to go with the content taught in the book. If you're interested in buying that too, you can find it on Amazon for a great price (anywhere from $9-$18 😱).

Image Courtesy of Amazon

#3: Easiest to Read & Best Price

French 4 Years: with AP Component (French Edition), 1st Edition


  • It's the least expensive textbook on this list and sells anywhere from $35-$44, depending on whether you get a new or used copy.
  • Each chapter has exercises that you can complete to practice the skills you learned and build on older ones from your previous French classes.


  • The book is written in a mix of English and French. This can be a pro ✔️ or a con ❌ depending on how comfortable you are with reading in the language, but there isn't enough French content for it to be immersive.
  • Because this book came out in 2006, its "AP component" is very outdated. 😬
  • Most of the topics covered on the 2021 AP French exam are not covered in this textbook, but some like family and the press are described in detail.

Image Courtesy of Amazon

Prep Books 📖

#1: Best Price, Best Value & Easiest to Read

AP French Language and Culture with Online Test & Downloadable Audio (Barron's Test Prep), Third Edition


  • This book comes with three practice tests (two paper and one online), which you can use to evaluate your French skills and identify your strengths 💪 and weaknesses.
  • After purchasing the book, you can download audio files from it and use them to practice your listening 👂 and speaking 🗣️ skills in French.
  • The authors included AP French-specific test-taking strategies throughout the book (talk about helpfulness).


  • It isn't updated for the 2021 AP French exam, but because it was published recently in 2019, some of the topics included are on the new test.

#2: Best Content

5 Steps to a 5: AP French Language and Culture with MP3 disk, 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition


  • Like the Barron's book above, this one also comes with three practice exams, which is great! (We'd recommend doing one during your first week of the course, the second one halfway, and the last one the week of the AP exam.)
  • This book is updated for the 2021 exam 🙌 and has the correct information about the new format and topics.
  • There's a nice mix between teaching the test content, exam format, and test-taking tips in all of the chapters.


  • As of right now, this book is only available for people with Kindles or the Kindle app, which is not very efficient 🙁
And that's it! By using the textbooks and prep books above to study, along with other resources, in-classroom learning, and immersion, you'll be prepared for the AP French exam in no time. Have fun studying and bonne chance 🇫🇷
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