username1471703
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Reece Sure
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CGP books are pretty good brah. I'm intending to do exactly as you do, my college has got a reputation for being ****ing ****
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Claree
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(Original post by 19ACH98)
I was wondering if anyone could suggest the best books for the following subjects and exam boards at AS level:
Biology - AQA
Chemistry - OCR B
Physics - AQA
Maths - Edexcel
This is because over my time off in the summer I wish to at least begin to learn the AS content, so that I can stay on top of it and I would like to treat actual lessons at school as revision lessons. I feel that this would by far be the best method for me to learn and achieve as highly as possible for myself, so any recommendations would be highly appreciated. Just remember, I don't want books that just review content, but ones that teach it in full.
For biology I found it possible to self-teach quickly a few bits in advance using the cgp revision guide. If you've got more time though reading the nelson thornes textbook instead would be a far better use of time.

Some bits of chemistry at the start of the year I could not understand from the textbook. I read the relevant pages of chemguide (the website) instead over the summer as I found this explained things more/better. (I did AQA not OCR though so don't know what the OCR endorsed textbook is like).

For Edexcel maths if you were actually self teaching the course then I would recommend the Edexcel Heinemann textbooks with the CD rom in the back as they are very clear to learn from and have worked solutions to all the questions. Since you will be later taught at school, it doesn't really matter which textbook you read/work through. I found the Elmwood textbooks good for C1-4.

For physics I read the nelson thorned textbook over the summer. I'd done enough maths mechanics modules early to mean that most the textbook was understandable without further explanation (though otherwise I would have found it difficult to self teach from this textbook - the physics one is not that great). I did read the cgp revision guide too. I went on the hyperphysics website a fair amount too but a lot of that is beyond A level.

An approach some of my friends have used, especially in maths, is to self teach from the textbook of a different exam board and then practise on the relevant past papers over summer as that still leaves all your board's ones left to do in the year and you might have also learnt some other slants on the topics.

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Old_Simon
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(Original post by 19ACH98)
Wow, thank you for the reply! I'll have a look at the resources you've mentioned. So would you recommend learning from various books and online resources rather than just using one textbook?
For Maths the online ExamSolutions is almost mandatory. By far the best learning resource for A level Maths in existence. That plus the Edexcel specific textbooks as recommended and you are set. For depth add "Teach yourself Calculus" and "Teach yourself Trigonometry". If you have spare cash Bostock and Chandler book is first class.
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loperdoper
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I'm very eager to say RELAX OVER YOUR SUMMER!! I'M NOT KIDDING!! but as you appear to have already disregarded that I won't bother. But really, enjoy the summer. In Year 12 you have to go back to lessons after your exams, and there's more pressure for you to get a job at that point, so the Year 11 summer is probably the most laid-back one you'll have.

But for sciences, as above look at CGP. I think they do them for AQA (definitely OCR), but CGP do two types of guides at AS level. You can get a revision guide (~£10) and a student book (~£20). The student book is like a halfway house between the revision guide and the textbook, and is very un-CGP-y (i.e. no horrifically embarrasing jokes). I used the textbook a lot in Biology, but the student book was essentially my life, I would definitely recommend it.
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MATHSPOW!!
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
For Maths the online ExamSolutions is almost mandatory. By far the best learning resource for A level Maths in existence. That plus the Edexcel specific textbooks as recommended and you are set. For depth add "Teach yourself Calculus" and "Teach yourself Trigonometry". If you have spare cash Bostock and Chandler book is first class.
Yeh I plan to use exam solutions to self teach all of C1 this summer, and maybe do a bit of C2 if I'm lucky ! Haha
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Claree
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(Original post by 19ACH98)
Wow, thank you for the reply! I'll have a look at the resources you've mentioned. So would you recommend learning from various books and online resources rather than just using one textbook?
Using just one textbook's fine if you understand all of it and it goes into sufficient depth - for biology that would likely be the case. For the other subjects if you came across something that didn't make sense in the textbook the next step would be to look it up somewhere that explains it more thoroughly.

To be honest for chemistry I would even read the relevant parts of chemguide over reading a textbook as you're more likely to have a deeper understanding of what's going on, which will make next year a lot easier. (It might just be me, but I gave up reading the chemistry textbook over the summer and switched to reading chemguide which turned out to be a much better use of time)
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by MATHSPOW!!)
Yeh I plan to use exam solutions to self teach all of C1 this summer, and maybe do a bit of C2 if I'm lucky ! Haha
You can do C1 in a few afternoons
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Reece Sure
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(Original post by 19ACH98)
Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I used them for GCSE, just curious if they're as good for AS level. Aha, that's the same for me. It might sound weird but even though so many people say 'enjoy your summer' 'relax for a few months' etc. After a few weeks of relaxing I actually want to start learning the content, as learning without an exam date approaching is so much more enjoyable.
GCSE CGP guides are what gave me my grades, I learnt next to nothing at school. Not because of poor teacher per se, more to do with school isnt really my ideal learning environment.. a class full of 30 kids my age, talking an chatting away, surrounded by friends and a teacher who can do nothing but helplessly look over the room to try and appeal to any kids that actually wanted to try to understand what was going on on the board. No chance.

Alot of people have said to relax over summer, I myself have been working for 2 year after dropping out of college in october 2012. Would be going to uni now, but those two years open your eyes mate. You can definitely tell in a work environment those who are university educated and those that aren't.. and after hard graft on minimum wage for 2 years the last thingI want to be doing is just sitting there trying to enjoy my summer but knowing that college is coming up, and that I'm two years out of education. I enjoy going to the library and working, studying some maths etc.. I honestly couldnt agree more with your last sentence.

Since we're of very similar frame of mind, I'd like to provide a piece of advice though.. I've seen the alternative to college and university. It's hard to make a break without an education, not just that but its not about just qualifications either.. education isn't the learning of facts, its the training of the mind to think. Learning at college or sixth form full time, is seriously underrated and I challenge anyone complaining about exams testing the knowledge that they shouldve accumulated, to instead go and work full time in McDonalds for minimum wage. Truly soul destroying ****. For anyone ambitious anyway.. good luck to you bro. Do let me know how things go with regard to finding resourses and starting college/ A levels. Gonna pin this thread in my browser and keep an eye on it
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iloveteddy14
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I would have a look on amazon for cheaper as books and if you have a valid student card you can get discount too


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