Good books for A-Level Biology & Chemistry - OCR A Specification (NEW)

Watch
pasta92
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
I'm going to be starting A2 Biology and Chemistry this September. I only used my CGP revision guides last year and got D's in my AS exams. i want to get at least a B or above in my final exams, but I'm not sure what other books I should use.

Can anyone who is/has studied Biology & Chemistry under OCR's new spec, please recommend some books that helped them to get good grades?
0
reply
Blue_Cow
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 years ago
#2
(Original post by pasta92)
I'm going to be starting A2 Biology and Chemistry this September. I only used my CGP revision guides last year and got D's in my AS exams. i want to get at least a B or above in my final exams, but I'm not sure what other books I should use.

Can anyone who is/has studied Biology & Chemistry under OCR's new spec, please recommend some books that helped them to get good grades?
If you got a D grade despite using the CGP Revision Guide, then it isn't the textbook's fault. It's probably your exam technique.

You should try and get a photocopy of your script so you and your teachers can look through it and see where you made mistakes. Chances are it's not using specific keywords in answers resulting in no credit being given despite the science being correct.
0
reply
BULL14
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 years ago
#3
Watch YouTube revision videos
0
reply
S.G.
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#4
Report 3 years ago
#4
(Original post by pasta92)
I'm going to be starting A2 Biology and Chemistry this September. I only used my CGP revision guides last year and got D's in my AS exams. i want to get at least a B or above in my final exams, but I'm not sure what other books I should use.

Can anyone who is/has studied Biology & Chemistry under OCR's new spec, please recommend some books that helped them to get good grades?
I did so both for OCR.

The endorsed textbooks are the ones you should get, specifically those by Oxford University Press
0
reply
Lapis.Lazuli
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#5
Report 3 years ago
#5
(Original post by Blue_Cow)
If you got a D grade despite using the CGP Revision Guide, then it isn't the textbook's fault. It's probably your exam technique.

You should try and get a photocopy of your script so you and your teachers can look through it and see where you made mistakes. Chances are it's not using specific keywords in answers resulting in no credit being given despite the science being correct.
When used alone, the A Level CGP revision guides will only help to pass so it's not the exam technique. Just a lack of depth/detail in the answers I assume. I'd recommend the OCR endorsed books or even the full CGP textbooks. The revision guides are made for just that: revision when there's an understanding already.
0
reply
Blue_Cow
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#6
Report 3 years ago
#6
(Original post by Lapis.Lazuli)
When used alone, the A Level CGP revision guides will only help to pass so it's not the exam technique. Just a lack of depth/detail in the answers I assume. I'd recommend the OCR endorsed books or even the full CGP textbooks. The revision guides are made for just that: revision when there's an understanding already.
Schools should provide the officially endorsed textbook anyway.

I hardly used the official textbook and relied on CGP and past papers - I got an A at AS.

Doing the past papers improved my exam technique tenfold. And therefore my grades.

I struggle to believe that a D grade was down to not using a particular book.
0
reply
S.G.
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#7
Report 3 years ago
#7
(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Schools should provide the officially endorsed textbook anyway.

I hardly used the official textbook and relied on CGP and past papers - I got an A at AS.

Doing the past papers improved my exam technique tenfold. And therefore my grades.
My sixth form didn't even provide exercise books, never mind £40 textbooks. 😂

I also agree with the above information, especially for a subject like biology where you need to include key words.
0
reply
Blue_Cow
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#8
Report 3 years ago
#8
(Original post by SGHD26716)
My sixth form didn't even provide exercise books, never mind £40 textbooks. 😂

I also agree with the above information, especially for a subject like biology where you need to include key words.
What?! They didn't provide books??
Doing past papers and using mark schemes effectively should provide all of the keywords you need. Probably more efficient than a textbook too.
0
reply
S.G.
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#9
Report 3 years ago
#9
(Original post by Blue_Cow)
What?! They didn't provide books??
Doing past papers and using mark schemes effectively should provide all of the keywords you need. Probably more efficient than a textbook too.
Nope. 😂

Very stingy. They gave you the option to buy them from the department (crap quality) or bring in your own.
0
reply
Lapis.Lazuli
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#10
Report 3 years ago
#10
(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Schools should provide the officially endorsed textbook anyway.

I hardly used the official textbook and relied on CGP and past papers - I got an A at AS.

Doing the past papers improved my exam technique tenfold. And therefore my grades.

I struggle to believe that a D grade was down to not using a particular book.
I agree on the past papers, those really are essential in getting a good grade. However, "hardly used" is different to not used at all. Can't underestimate the endorsed materials.
0
reply
Blue_Cow
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#11
Report 3 years ago
#11
(Original post by SGHD26716)
Nope. 😂

Very stingy. They gave you the option to buy them from the department (crap quality) or bring in your own.
Our school bought them, gave them out (on loan for the year) and takes them back in when the course is finished, and then distributes them out to the next cohort.

Your school does sound a bit stingy. Education cuts have hit hard in certain areas then😂
0
reply
Lapis.Lazuli
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#12
Report 3 years ago
#12
(Original post by SGHD26716)
Nope. 😂

Very stingy. They gave you the option to buy them from the department (crap quality) or bring in your own.
The school should use its funding to purchase the subscription to access the online version. You could suggest it for A2.
0
reply
Blue_Cow
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#13
Report 3 years ago
#13
(Original post by Lapis.Lazuli)
I agree on the past papers, those really are essential in getting a good grade. However, "hardly used" is different to not used at all. Can't underestimate the endorsed materials.
Definitely depends on the subject when it comes to endorsed. The AQA Biology one was decent, but the AQA endorsed CS textbook was a lump of ****

When I say hardly used, I mean probably for the first week of September.
0
reply
S.G.
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#14
Report 3 years ago
#14
(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Our school bought them, gave them out (on loan for the year) and takes them back in when the course is finished, and then distributes them out to the next cohort.

Your school does sound a bit stingy. Education cuts have hit hard in certain areas then😂
Indeed. They were selling them for 2 for 50p so it's not like the books were that expensive either.
(Original post by Lapis.Lazuli)
The school should use its funding to purchase the subscription to access the online version. You could suggest it for A2.
Their theory was that you've chosen to be here for sixth form so you'll have to pay for most things.
0
reply
S.G.
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#15
Report 3 years ago
#15
(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Definitely depends on the subject when it comes to endorsed. The AQA Biology one was decent, but the AQA endorsed CS textbook was a lump of ****

When I say hardly used, I mean probably for the first week of September.
Lol. I've heard stories about the AQA CS book 😂😂😂
0
reply
Blue_Cow
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#16
Report 3 years ago
#16
(Original post by SGHD26716)
Lol. I've heard stories about the AQA CS book 😂😂😂
Revising from that thing was impossible. The only available revision guide was the exact same *****y textbook, but with some diagrams and explanations removed. Meaning it had the same contradictions and mistakes.

The only way to get through those exams was by using common sense lmao.

This year's bonfire should be fueled exclusively by that ****
1
reply
S.G.
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#17
Report 3 years ago
#17
(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Revising from that thing was impossible. The only available revision guide was the exact same *****y textbook, but with some diagrams and explanations removed. Meaning it had the same contradictions and mistakes.

The only way to get through those exams was by using common sense lmao.

This year's bonfire should be fueled exclusively by that ****
Was there no other textbook to revise from?

OCR biology and chemistry had 3!

I've heard most CS teachers tend to be **** as well so I guess that wouldn't have helped.
0
reply
Blue_Cow
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#18
Report 3 years ago
#18
(Original post by SGHD26716)
Was there no other textbook to revise from?

OCR biology and chemistry had 3!

I've heard most CS teachers tend to be **** as well so I guess that wouldn't have helped.
Nope. The only alternative textbook was not provided as it was not AQA Approved, and it was released mid-way through the A2 course.

CS just isn't a popular A-Level.
0
reply
S.G.
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#19
Report 3 years ago
#19
(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Nope. The only alternative textbook was not provided as it was not AQA Approved, and it was released mid-way through the A2 course.

CS just isn't a popular A-Level.
Well I hope you passed in that case.

Similar story with my Edexcel GCSE history as they changed the spec slightly for my year and the textbook didn't come out until January of Y11 but of course GCSE has less implications than A level
0
reply
Blue_Cow
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#20
Report 3 years ago
#20
(Original post by SGHD26716)
Well I hope you passed in that case.

Similar story with my Edexcel GCSE history as they changed the spec slightly for my year and the textbook didn't come out until January of Y11 but of course GCSE has less implications than A level
I got an A thankfully!

Which year did you do Edexcel GCSE History? I did it in 2015 and all I did was memorise the dates in the textbook.
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

Do you have the space and resources you need to succeed in home learning?

Yes I have everything I need (407)
56.22%
I don't have everything I need (317)
43.78%

Watched Threads

View All