OCR A Biology textbooks you recommend

Watch
simply_a_ Δ
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
What textbook/ student workbook would you recommend to match the 2015 OCR A Biology specification.
A Level Biology A for OCR Year 1 and AS Student Book by Paul Bircher, Jo Locke or
The OCR endorsed book by Sue Hocking
Or the one by Schmit and Fosbery.
0
reply
0799NCB
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
Hi, I also take OCR Biology A.

I would recommend you get the OCR year 1 and AS Student book by Ann Fullick, Jo locke and Paul Bircher. I have both the Sue Hocking and Paul Bircher one and the Paul Bircher is by far so much better. I think the Sue Hocking one is too wordy it contains too much content and a lot of it isn't on the spec. The Paul Bircher one flows nicely with the course it has specification links and study tips throughout and is a more condensed version of the Sue Hocking one. Alongside the Paul Bircher book I also use Collins Biology, Mike Boyle & Kathryn Senior. The book itself is really large but it covers all the A level specifications and is really useful as a point of reference and wider reading.

I hope this helps :-) Good luck !!!
1
reply
simply_a_ Δ
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#3
(Original post by 0799NCB)
Hi, I also take OCR Biology A.

I would recommend you get the OCR year 1 and AS Student book by Ann Fullick, Jo locke and Paul Bircher. I have both the Sue Hocking and Paul Bircher one and the Paul Bircher is by far so much better. I think the Sue Hocking one is too wordy it contains too much content and a lot of it isn't on the spec. The Paul Bircher one flows nicely with the course it has specification links and study tips throughout and is a more condensed version of the Sue Hocking one. Alongside the Paul Bircher book I also use Collins Biology, Mike Boyle & Kathryn Senior. The book itself is really large but it covers all the A level specifications and is really useful as a point of reference and wider reading.

I hope this helps :-) Good luck !!!
OMG thank you for such a helpful response! I was also looking for a book that's useful for wider reading so I'll check the Collins book out :')
Good luck to you too
0
reply
0799NCB
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 years ago
#4
(Original post by simply_a_ Δ)
OMG thank you for such a helpful response! I was also looking for a book that's useful for wider reading so I'll check the Collins book out :'
Good luck to you too
No worries, glad I could help! I would recommend buying the Collins book second hand as I believe its £40 brand new and considering it's only for wider reading.

Thank you
0
reply
simply_a_ Δ
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#5
(Original post by 0799NCB)
No worries, glad I could help! I would recommend buying the Collins book second hand as I believe its £40 brand new and considering it's only for wider reading.

Thank you
That is a very good idea! Just a slight shame that the the cheaper books on ebay are the 2002 edition - hopefully it is not too out of date lol
0
reply
0799NCB
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 years ago
#6
(Original post by simply_a_ Δ)
That is a very good idea! Just a slight shame that the the cheaper books on ebay are the 2002 edition - hopefully it is not too out of date lol
I think I got mine from amazon - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Collins-Adva.../dp/0007267452 and then clicked on the used. The prices seem to go up and down every few weeks so keep checking up and hopefully they will go down to around £22/£23.
0
reply
simply_a_ Δ
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#7
(Original post by 0799NCB)
I think I got mine from amazon - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Collins-Adva.../dp/0007267452 and then clicked on the used. The prices seem to go up and down every few weeks so keep checking up and hopefully they will go down to around £22/£23.
ah thank you!
Do you do Chemistry OCR A as well? If you are, have you bought any textbooks that you'd recommend?
0
reply
0799NCB
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#8
Report 5 years ago
#8
(Original post by simply_a_ Δ)
ah thank you!
Do you do Chemistry OCR A as well? If you are, have you bought any textbooks that you'd recommend?
Yes I do Chemistry as well. I would recommend the same book I recommended for the biology course but obviously the chem version. Again there is a collins book for Chemistry and then Jim Clark chemistry calculations has loads of calculations in it and explains each step by step while also having good revision material in it! So I would recommend that !
0
reply
simply_a_ Δ
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#9
(Original post by 0799NCB)
Yes I do Chemistry as well. I would recommend the same book I recommended for the biology course but obviously the chem version. Again there is a collins book for Chemistry and then Jim Clark chemistry calculations has loads of calculations in it and explains each step by step while also having good revision material in it! So I would recommend that !
Hey!
So I bought myself the biology textbook by Bircher a while back and it's been pretty good - thanks for the recommendation
For chemsitry I've been using a CGP revision guide and it's been ok, but I am trying to find a book that gives examples which require application of knowledge (i reckon alevel exams will test us on application of ideas) in the books - I've been looking at the OCR A chem book by Rob Ritchie but the reviews point out that there are flaws in the book. For £35, I do want to make sure I get a good chem textbook so do you have an update on how you are finding this chem textbook?
I will be getting a collins advanced science (2002 edition) chem book soon so should I bother buying this chem textbook by Rob Ritchie?
0
reply
0799NCB
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#10
Report 5 years ago
#10
Hi!
I am glad you have found the Biology book helpful. I have recently purchased the CGP guide myself but I think it is a little bit too simplified for the course (especially if you are aiming high). There definitely are some mistakes in the Rob Ritchie book (that is expected from 1st editions!!! so annoying that we are doing a new course). However, on the whole I have found it really useful. There are summary questions on each topic and then a double sided page of exam style practice questions (just like the Biology book). Personally, I would recommend the Rob Ritchie book over the Collins advance science only because Collins is great for extra reading and widening your knowledge on topics but the Rob Ritchie book matches our course perfectly and it has just the right amount of information in it. I only use the collins book if I don't get something in the Rob Ritchie book or for extra reading . Also I would recommend MaChemGuy on youtube he has videos on all of our course and they are sooooo helpful especially if you get confused in class. This is the RR book I have https://global.oup.com/education/pro...962/?region=uk (only covers 1st year) The £40.00 covers Y1 &2 Hope this helps :-)
0
reply
simply_a_ Δ
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#11
(Original post by 0799NCB)
Hi!
I am glad you have found the Biology book helpful. I have recently purchased the CGP guide myself but I think it is a little bit too simplified for the course (especially if you are aiming high). There definitely are some mistakes in the Rob Ritchie book (that is expected from 1st editions!!! so annoying that we are doing a new course). However, on the whole I have found it really useful. There are summary questions on each topic and then a double sided page of exam style practice questions (just like the Biology book). Personally, I would recommend the Rob Ritchie book over the Collins advance science only because Collins is great for extra reading and widening your knowledge on topics but the Rob Ritchie book matches our course perfectly and it has just the right amount of information in it. I only use the collins book if I don't get something in the Rob Ritchie book or for extra reading . Also I would recommend MaChemGuy on youtube he has videos on all of our course and they are sooooo helpful especially if you get confused in class. This is the RR book I have https://global.oup.com/education/pro...962/?region=uk (only covers 1st year) The £40.00 covers Y1 &2 Hope this helps :-)
You always send the most helpful replies - thank you I will go for the Rob Ritchie book
I totally agree that MaChemGuy is great. Thank goodness for Youtube... but also the reason for my procrastination lol
0
reply
z33
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#12
Report 5 years ago
#12
the fish book is all you need in life... for all examboards
and it has a key - to show which topics apply to which examboards

it's just bae

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Longman-A2-B...ongman+biology
(you can find it on auction for 50p on eBay... I mean that's how much I got it for x'D)

also
you thought CGP revision guides were the best? THINK AGAIN BECAUSE THERE'S A FECKING CGP TEXTBOOK
DAS RIGHT

old spec: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A2-Level-Bio...+ocr+A+biology

new spec: http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-2015--Le...+ocr+A+biology
1
reply
0799NCB
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#13
Report 5 years ago
#13
(Original post by simply_a_ Δ)
You always send the most helpful replies - thank you I will go for the Rob Ritchie book
I totally agree that MaChemGuy is great. Thank goodness for Youtube... but also the reason for my procrastination lol
I'm glad you find them helpful yes YouTube also is the key to my procrastination so that makes two of us hahaha
0
reply
simply_a_ Δ
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#14
(Original post by z33)
the fish book is all you need in life... for all examboards
and it has a key - to show which topics apply to which examboards

it's just bae

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Longman-A2-B...ongman+biology
(you can find it on auction for 50p on eBay... I mean that's how much I got it for x'D)

also
you thought CGP revision guides were the best? THINK AGAIN BECAUSE THERE'S A FECKING CGP TEXTBOOK
DAS RIGHT

old spec: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A2-Level-Bio...+ocr+A+biology

new spec: http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-2015--Le...+ocr+A+biology
I'll check that longman book out when I get to A2 - it seems promising!
Yh I wish I got the CGP textbook but since I have the revision guide and an up to date OCR textbook, there's not much point now :/

Thank you
0
reply
z33
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#15
Report 5 years ago
#15
(Original post by simply_a_ Δ)
I'll check that longman book out when I get to A2 - it seems promising!
Yh I wish I got the CGP textbook but since I have the revision guide and an up to date OCR textbook, there's not much point now :/

Thank you
there's an AS one too! no for bio you can't only have one textbook m9
and the OCR textbook is so **** it's missed out stuff from the spec that comes up like every year!
i recommend you get at least one other textbook for reference :3
and make your notes from the spec

np
0
reply
simply_a_ Δ
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#16
(Original post by z33)
there's an AS one too! no for bio you can't only have one textbook m9
and the OCR textbook is so **** it's missed out stuff from the spec that comes up like every year!
i recommend you get at least one other textbook for reference :3
and make your notes from the spec

np
Ok well the Longman book is something I'll definitely look into - I just wanna make sure I'm not overwhelmed with too many textbooks as it will feed into my procrastination thus not reading them at all hehe.
Aside from explanations, do you find that the Longman book is interesting and gives you plenty of examples that make you think... what distinguishes it from other textbooks?
0
reply
z33
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#17
Report 5 years ago
#17
(Original post by simply_a_ Δ)
Ok well the Longman book is something I'll definitely look into - I just wanna make sure I'm not overwhelmed with too many textbooks as it will feed into my procrastination thus not reading them at all hehe.
Aside from explanations, do you find that the Longman book is interesting and gives you plenty of examples that make you think... what distinguishes it from other textbooks?
Fair nuff

It covers everything in slightly more detail (which is good in the case of biology when you need to understand concepts in depth), it's all in colour (so not some old black and white overwhelming thing), everything is broken down into little understandable sections with end of chapter questions. But it's also got 'end of section' questions so like every 2 or 3 paragraphs they'll give you a 3 marker on something you just read - which is better than end of topic questions imo because it holds your hand as you go along and makes sure you understand each bit. Answers included obviously. Only thing is it doesn't have a glossary but your actual text book does :3 And it covers everything in the spec, it has little "Did you know..." sections which are nice and add some context, make it more interesting and also make you think about how this topic applies to real life. It explains things to you as if it was a person talking to you and not a textbook going on and on.

are you #sold ?

I can take a pic of a couple of pages and post them up later if you want (from my A2 book since i don't have the AS one :/)
0
reply
simply_a_ Δ
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#18
(Original post by z33)
Fair nuff

It covers everything in slightly more detail (which is good in the case of biology when you need to understand concepts in depth), it's all in colour (so not some old black and white overwhelming thing), everything is broken down into little understandable sections with end of chapter questions. But it's also got 'end of section' questions so like every 2 or 3 paragraphs they'll give you a 3 marker on something you just read - which is better than end of topic questions imo because it holds your hand as you go along and makes sure you understand each bit. Answers included obviously. Only thing is it doesn't have a glossary but your actual text book does :3 And it covers everything in the spec, it has little "Did you know..." sections which are nice and add some context, make it more interesting and also make you think about how this topic applies to real life. It explains things to you as if it was a person talking to you and not a textbook going on and on.

are you #sold ?

I can take a pic of a couple of pages and post them up later if you want (from my A2 book since i don't have the AS one :/)
Don't worry about sending pics of the book.
I'm convinced so I'll add it to my wishlist - thanks for the recommendation :')
0
reply
z33
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#19
Report 5 years ago
#19
(Original post by simply_a_ Δ)
Don't worry about sending pics of the book.
I'm convinced so I'll add it to my wishlist - thanks for the recommendation :'
Alright no problemo
0
reply
simply_a_ Δ
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#20
(Original post by z33)
Fair nuff

It covers everything in slightly more detail (which is good in the case of biology when you need to understand concepts in depth), it's all in colour (so not some old black and white overwhelming thing), everything is broken down into little understandable sections with end of chapter questions. But it's also got 'end of section' questions so like every 2 or 3 paragraphs they'll give you a 3 marker on something you just read - which is better than end of topic questions imo because it holds your hand as you go along and makes sure you understand each bit. Answers included obviously. Only thing is it doesn't have a glossary but your actual text book does :3 And it covers everything in the spec, it has little "Did you know..." sections which are nice and add some context, make it more interesting and also make you think about how this topic applies to real life. It explains things to you as if it was a person talking to you and not a textbook going on and on.

are you #sold ?

I can take a pic of a couple of pages and post them up later if you want (from my A2 book since i don't have the AS one :/)
Do you take chemistry? Any recommendations for that since there doesn't appear to be a Longman book for chem. I wouldn't mind having a few textbooks for chem since I do struggle with it more than biology
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

What support do you need with your UCAS application?

I need help researching unis (21)
13.82%
I need help researching courses (8)
5.26%
I need help with filling out the application form (8)
5.26%
I need help with my personal statement (64)
42.11%
I need help with understanding how to make my application stand out (36)
23.68%
I need help with something else (let us know in the thread!) (3)
1.97%
I'm feeling confident about my application and don't need any help at the moment (12)
7.89%

Watched Threads

View All