100 Free and Useful Tools for AP Students and Teachers

High school students who opt to take AP classes may do so to become more prepared for college, to try to gain admittance to a top-notch school, or to get college credits and save both money and time on their education. These students and their teachers strive for a deeper level of education and understanding of the material they are studying. Luckily, there are plenty of free tools ranging from AP test prep to online courses and open courseware classes to student organizers to reference materials to research tools and beyond.

AP Test Prep

These tools and resources will help students prepare for their AP tests.

  1. AP Potential. This tool for educators can generate a roster of students who may make a 3 or higher on specific AP tests based on PSAT/NMSQT scores.
  2. AP U.S. History. Search by keyword to find note cards with information to help you prepare for the history exam. Study tips included.
  3. Course-Notes.Org. Find notes, outlines, test prep, forums to discuss courses and testing with other students, and much more.
  4. SparkNotes AP Subject Test Center. Select from ten different subjects to get study help and practice tests for individual subject exams.
  5. HippoCampus. Get everything from multimedia lessons to entire courses here where you are sure to find help with your AP test prep.
  6. Free-Response Questions. CollegeBoard offers sample free-response questions from past exams here.
  7. AP: Foreign Language. Get tips on how best to prepare for the foreign language AP exam here.
  8. AP: Math & Science. Find exam-day strategies to help you ace the math and science tests.
  9. AP: History & Social Science. If you are taking history or social science exams, be sure to check out these hints.
  10. 4Tests High School Exams. This site offers three practice tests for AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP US History.
  11. Cliff’s Notes AP Tests. This site offers tons of AP test articles to help you get ready.
  12. Top AP Strategies for Success. Kaplan offers several helpful tips to ensure you do your best on your AP exams.
  13. Annenberg Media Learner.org. Find awesome free teaching programs for students through college level here.

Online AP Courses and Resources for AP Courses

Students can take these online courses prior to testing or use these resources to learn about other online resources.

  1. University of California College Prep. California students and teachers have free access to the free college prep courses and tools available through the University of California.
  2. Consumers Guide to Online AP Courses. This guide is prepared specifically for the parents, students, and educators in a consortium of nine western states, but offers helpful information for anyone with assistance finding and learning about online AP classes.
  3. Advanced Placement (AP) Courses from the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education. Get seven online AP courses from MITE including calculus, environmental science, physics, US government, and US history.
  4. Advanced Placement Biology. From the University of Georgia, this course includes an outline, lab information, exams, and more.
  5. AP Biology On-line Syllabus. This course offers links to online activities as well as chapter assignments and lecture outlines.
  6. BBC Languages. Get help learning a variety of foreign languages with these BBC classes.
  7. The First World War Poetry Digital Archive The Tutorials. These tutorials combine to provide an excellent course on literature and World War I.
  8. Highlights for High Schools. MIT offers materials and courses for teachers and students at the high school level to help prepare students academically for college. Included here are specific tools for AP Biology, AP Calculus, and AP Physics.
  9. National Repository of Online Classes. This repository has an entire section devoted to AP courses available for free.

Open Courseware Materials

Open courseware classes are free college level classes from some of the most prestigious schools and offer an excellent opportunity for students and teachers to utilize the material for advanced learning.

  1. MIT OpenCourseWare. Teachers and students can access 1900 college courses that can be implemented into their studies and curriculum to help support AP students.
  2. UC Berkeley Webcasts. UC Berkeley offers audio recordings of several of their classes being offered each semester. Classes change each semester, so be sure to check out past semesters, too.
  3. NotreDameX. The courses offered here span many disciplines, but have an emphasis on liberal arts classes.
  4. The UMass Boston OpenCourseWare. University of Massachusetts Boston provides courses in the sciences, math, social sciences, and more.
  5. TU Delft OpenCourseWare. With classes focusing on engineering and technology, these free courses focus on plenty of math and science.
  6. Tufts OpenCourseWare. Tufts University offers a variety of courses with an emphasis on life sciences.
  7. Utah State OpenCourseWare. Utah State University offers a good selection of free online courses across several disciplines.
  8. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health OpenCourseWare. These free public health courses range from topics in infectious diseases to health policy to global health.
  9. Stanford Engineering Everywhere. Computer science, artificial intelligence, and electrical engineering are the focus of these classes from Stanford.
  10. Open Yale Courses. Yale offers introductory courses for their free classes and topics range from astronomy to psychology.
  11. Open UW. University of Washington offers a handful of classes that are mostly history and literature.
  12. Open Learning Initiative. Carnegie Mellon provides several classes ranging from French to biology.
  13. Harvard Medical School Open Courseware Initiative. Aspiring pre-med students will find plenty of classes from the prestigious Harvard Medical School here.

Student Organizers

These organizers will help busy students keep up with grades, time management, schedules, and more.

  1. HiTask. This task management tool provides students with easy scheduling, organizing, and sharing of tasks.
  2. Notely. This organizer especially for students has a to-do list, calendar, schedule, and homework planner.
  3. ASAP: A Student Assignment Planner. Receive a detailed checklist with links to ensure you stay on track to complete your assignment on time.
  4. GradeMate. This student organizer helps manage grades, assignments, notes, discussions, and more.
  5. Tasks Jr.. This task manager allows students to organize and prioritize projects for class.
  6. MyNoteit. A note-taking and organizing tool for students, MyNoteit will keep notes, assignments, and tasks organized and is also shareable.
  7. Gradefix. Learn to manage your time better at this site that organizes your homework schedule for you.
  8. StudyMinder Lite. This tool organizes assignments, prioritizes tasks, and records study times to help students stay on track.
  9. CollegeRuled. Students can create schedules and lists, manage notes for specific classes, and create message boards to facilitate communication between classmates.

Reference Materials

From dictionaries to online books to an interactive periodic table to a graphing calculator, these tools will help students expand their knowledge base.

  1. Project Gutenberg. Find tons of free books online here, including everything from classics to text books.
  2. Bartleby.com. You must bookmark this site that offers access to a huge list of reference books as well as fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
  3. Online Etymology Dictionary. Discover the origins and history of many words and phrases with this amazing online tool.
  4. Internet Public Library. This amazing tool provides reference material on a wide range of topics such as arts and humanities, law and government, business, education, and science.
  5. Dynamic Periodic Table. This awesome periodic table is easy to use and offers detailed information by hovering your mouse or clicking on specific elements.
  6. Fact Monster. Not only will you find several reference resources on this site, but you can also access facts on a variety of topics.
  7. Federal Resources for Educational Excellence. This government database provides information on everything from math to music.
  8. refdesk.com. No matter what you are seeking, this site offers facts, quotes, news, and searches for a variety of information.
  9. Dictionary.com. Look up definitions as well as use other tools that help with grammar and style, word FAQs, and other dictionaries.
  10. Graphing Calculator. Use this simple online graphing calculator for any of your calculus classes and more.
  11. Awesome Stories. Find original sources from national archives, libraries, universities, museums, and government databases.
  12. Library Spot Grammar/Style. Get links to sites that provide tutorials, how-tos, and style guides to ensure you are always using proper grammar and style.
  13. Searching for Stuff. This simple search site will help find words, information by topic, and websites for education.

Research and Writing Tools

AP students will definitely need to learn advanced research and writing skills, so teachers and students alike can use these tools to help students learn and practice new skills.

  1. Purdue Online Writing Lab. This online lab provides an enormous amount of writing and research information for students from middle school through college as well as for professional writers.
  2. Research, Reports and Presentation Support. Find help on everything from the mechanics of writing a paper to how to research controversial topics on this site.
  3. A+ Research and Writing. Especially designed for high school and college students, this site steps you through the process of creating a well-researched and written paper.
  4. Research and Documentation Online. Use this tool to learn how to evaluate the quality of information, cite online material, and find reliable information on the Internet.
  5. EasyBib. This tool will help you easily create a bibliography in MLA style for books, journal articles, and more.
  6. Ottobib. Enter the ISBN from any book and automatically get a bibliography in one of many style forms.
  7. Info Zone Research Skills. This site walks you through six steps of research and provides helpful links as you go along.
  8. Teaching Organization in Writing. Get a simple overview of how to write a well-organized paper here.
  9. University of California Berkeley Library General Guides. Find out about the different citation styles as well as other helpful research information from UC Berkeley.
  10. A Research Guide for Students. Learn how to do research, how to correctly write your research paper, and get links to reference materials often used in research.

Time Management and Productivity Tools

From to-do lists to note-taking tools to highlighting and bookmarking tools, these free tools will help with time management and productivity for busy students.

  1. Remember the Milk. This popular to-do list keeps your tasks organized, reminds you when something is due, and works with Google Calendar and your iPhone.
  2. Evernote. This popular note-taking tool allows you to capture notes from any format, synchronize them across your devices, and share with others.
  3. Google Notebook. Keep all your notes together with this tool that provides you with tons of features.
  4. Zotero. This Firefox app helps you collect, organize, and cite research sources while you do Internet research.
  5. Stickies. Stickies are virtual Post-It notes that will help you keep track of your information on your desktop.
  6. Wizlite. Wizlite lets you highlight text online and share with others.
  7. Diigo. Highlight portions of web pages, create sticky notes, and have access to your notes from your cell phone with Diigo.
  8. UberNote. UberNote allows you to bookmark, email, or IM notes and provides access to these notes from your desktop or your mobile phone.
  9. Wired-Marker. This tool permanently highlights specific sections of websites and automatically bookmarks your selection so you know exactly what was important when you go back to a site.
  10. VUE. Created at Tufts University, this mind mapping tool is designed specifically for teaching, learning, and research and will help you keep your thoughts organized.
  11. Mindomo. Another mind mapping tool, this web-based tool will keep you organized.
  12. Toggl. Online time tracking tool featuring 1-click time tracking and helps you organize your time by project, clients, or team.

Collaboration

Whether students are collaborating with other students in the same physical classroom or via an online course, these tools will ensure they can work together easily and productively.

  1. writewith. Ideal for collaborative writing projects, this tool keeps everyone on the same page with shared documents and tasks, discussions, and more.
  2. Pidgin. Students can use this tool to stay in touch with classmates and friends no matter what type of IM account they have.
  3. LooseStitch. Create outlines, share with others, and keep your changes in one place with this tool.
  4. Campfire. Set up instant chat rooms with your study group or classmates with this tool that can make communicating as a group much easier.
  5. ThinkFold. ThinkFold allows groups to create interactive outlines in real-time.
  6. Springnote. Take notes for yourself or work with others to create a group notebook with this tool.
  7. Thinkfree. The free options with this tool include document creation and sharing, file sharing, collaboration, blogging, and iPhone access.
  8. EditGrid. A tool with tons of features, EditGrid is a collaborative spreadsheet that works great for class projects.

College Planning

AP students will definitely have an eye on college, so use these tools to help them get ready for life after high school.

  1. Xap Student Center. Find test prep, help with selecting a college, tips on preparing for college, financial aid information, and more.
  2. College Board Find a College. Students can learn about colleges that may be worth investigating further when they search by college name, major, location, cost, or other criteria on this site.
  3. Peterson’s College Search. Start your search for the perfect college by entering what is more important to you from choices such as academics, student body, or campus life.
  4. College Navigator. This search sponsored by the National Center for Educational Statistics allows you to search by geographic area, level of degree, or type of institution when seeking information about schools.
  5. College MatchMaker. Answer simple questions on types of schools, location, major, and more to discover what schools may be a good match for you.
  6. My Majors. If you aren’t sure about what major to pursue, take this short quiz to receive five college majors that match your interests and abilities.
  7. Counselor-O-Matic. Answer the questions here and provide information for things like test scores to learn which schools may be of interest to you.
  8. eLearners Advisor. If you are considering an online education, use this tool to help determine if an online education is right for you.
  9. Major Search. Take a detailed look at what what you may study with a particular major and how it could help you begin a career.
  10. FinAid Calculators. Use these calculators to discover costs, savings, loan amounts, family contributions, and more when considering financing an education.
  11. Scholarships.com. This search tool will help students find scholarships and grants for school.