AQA Approved Textbooks - are they really worth it? Watch

surendrarana
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Hey, I have an avid love for textbooks - they are so useful to me and I'm in Year 10 (the mock exams for GCSE are coming up for me in January). I often use them to verify my revision and a lot more, and I've been considering to wish for of these AQA Science approved textbooks for my science course (triple science, hope to get 8's and a 9 in physics) for Christmas (world's biggest bookworm here).

Recently, I've wondered whether these chunky textbooks with the message on the front that essentially says "AQA like this book, buy it plz" is really worth it at all, especially for the prices (they're a lot higher in price than I imagined). They do help me a lot, but does that mean I should spend a load of money on them, or is there a middle ground between grades and investment?

Advice is much appreciated!
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LukeT333
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Do you know which certified book you're referencing, I'm aware of the student book because my school use them but they're waaaaay to long winded and give lots of information that's not useful or barely even on the specification. I use cgp textbooks (the "complete gcse course" ones with like the pictures of seeds in soil for bio, space for physics and ph paper for chem) because they specifically reference the spec in every chapter and it's very nicely concise with the odd "tip" on the side of the page that can be really helpful and not found in any other textbook.

But it's up to you, if it is the student books your talking about I'll also remind you that they don't actually have the answers to their questions in the textbook itself, which can be a little annoying at times.
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Zaratomaa
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(Original post by surendrarana)
Hey, I have an avid love for textbooks - they are so useful to me and I'm in Year 10 (the mock exams for GCSE are coming up for me in January). I often use them to verify my revision and a lot more, and I've been considering to wish for of these AQA Science approved textbooks for my science course (triple science, hope to get 8's and a 9 in physics) for Christmas (world's biggest bookworm here).

Recently, I've wondered whether these chunky textbooks with the message on the front that essentially says "AQA like this book, buy it plz" is really worth it at all, especially for the prices (they're a lot higher in price than I imagined). They do help me a lot, but does that mean I should spend a load of money on them, or is there a middle ground between grades and investment?

Advice is much appreciated!
In my opinion, not really. When I use other forms of revision I find things that are required by the spec that are not as significant/ not even mentioned in the class textbook! The ones I have are the 3rd edition oxford ones that weigh a toNNe.

I'd recommend the CGP AQA science books (there's 3- one for each science) they have the complete course and its written based on the spec, so as long as you read it, nothing unknown/unfamiliar would come up. Also, as a year 11 student, I've found freesciencelessons the best form of revision, so watching his videos can help you learn the spec too! Some people argue that it only gets you around 5/6 but I've used it since year 10 and I'm predicted 8/9.
Last edited by Zaratomaa; 7 months ago
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surendrarana
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(Original post by LukeT333)
Do you know which certified book you're referencing, I'm aware of the student book because my school use them but they're waaaaay to long winded and give lots of information that's not useful or barely even on the specification. I use cgp textbooks (the "complete gcse course" ones with like the pictures of seeds in soil for bio, space for physics and ph paper for chem) because they specifically reference the spec in every chapter and it's very nicely concise with the odd "tip" on the side of the page that can be really helpful and not found in any other textbook.

But it's up to you, if it is the student books your talking about I'll also remind you that they don't actually have the answers to their questions in the textbook itself, which can be a little annoying at times.
Oh, I was talking about the books by Oxford, Collins etc. that are quite large but are recommended for GCSE standards by AQA on their website.

I've bought one of these recommended books from Geography and it helped me get an 8 (one mark away from a 9 because I made a silly mistake) and I was like "wow this is cool" on one of my large topic tests in class. I've tried those kinds of textbooks (complete GCSE ones) for English and I think it isn't useful for me, so I'm not sure about getting one of those books.

I can get that feeling of annoyance, especially when a textbook can drown you with information that sounds like it's coming from an alien's mouth. I normally get revision guides to sort that out and do lots of condensing with notes and flashcards for keywords.

Thanks for the tips
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surendrarana
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(Original post by Zaratomaa)
In my opinion, not really. When I use other forms of revision I find things that are required by the spec that are not as significant/ not even mentioned in the class textbook! The ones I have are the 3rd edition oxford ones that weigh a toNNe.

I'd recommend the CGP AQA science books (there's 3- one for each science) they have the complete course and its written based on the spec, so as long as you read it, nothing unknown/unfamiliar would come up. Also, as a year 11 student, I've found freesciencelessons the best form of revision, so watching his videos can help you learn the spec too! Some people argue that it only gets you around 5/6 but I've used it since year 10
and I'm predicted 8/9.
Yup! The Oxford ones are precisely the ones I want, mainly because they do let you access the entire world of possible questions that may crop up in the test. Also, freesciencelessons is a living legend, whenever he talks about the required practicals it sorts out so much for me. It's great knowing someone else watches his videos other than me, lol.

I've got the revision guides (the school got them for my triple class for physics, biology and chemistry) and as much as they are simplistic and straight to the point, I suppose CGP is everyone's go-to choice. I've always found they do miss bits out and I really want to know the curriculum to a high standard, so I could one day do Physics and Chemistry in my A-level.

I'm pretty sure the books that you have of Oxford have the AQA recommended label with them and those are my first choice wish for Christmas (it also gets me a £10 voucher on Waterstones, may use that on a Stephen Hawking book).

Thank you for the advice too.

So, do you use those 3rd edition oxford books often? (I've seen them too, they've worked amazingly well for others and me) Are they effective and are they worth the price by any chance?
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Zaratomaa
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(Original post by surendrarana)
Yup! The Oxford ones are precisely the ones I want, mainly because they do let you access the entire world of possible questions that may crop up in the test. Also, freesciencelessons is a living legend, whenever he talks about the required practicals it sorts out so much for me. It's great knowing someone else watches his videos other than me, lol.

I've got the revision guides (the school got them for my triple class for physics, biology and chemistry) and as much as they are simplistic and straight to the point, I suppose CGP is everyone's go-to choice. I've always found they do miss bits out and I really want to know the curriculum to a high standard, so I could one day do Physics and Chemistry in my A-level.

I'm pretty sure the books that you have of Oxford have the AQA recommended label with them and those are my first choice wish for Christmas (it also gets me a £10 voucher on Waterstones, may use that on a Stephen Hawking book).

Thank you for the advice too.

So, do you use those 3rd edition oxford books often? (I've seen them too, they've worked amazingly well for others and me) Are they effective and are they worth the price by any chance?
Yeah, we do use those oxford ones at school, pretty much every single day- but when it comes to a personal choice I don't tend to use them XD they have decent questions and there are examples sometimes but they are quite limited when it comes to higher aiming questions. The CGP books I mentioned are actually proper textbooks, not the revision guides, and I just noticed that the person who commented first recommended them too, it has everything you need. Tbf, the Oxford ones are the go-to for first time learning, but they do tend to ramble and its hard to see what you need to know, and what is insignificant, however, each one contains a practice paper 1 and 2 and that's pretty useful.

Overall, if you want a vast set of practise questions Oxford is a good choice, as they have these follow on books for like £5, precisely for exam questions (I have the chem one and its pretty good) but theres also freesciencelessons workbook that just came out for chem (today!!) and I think those are worth a look too!

Also if you're talking about subjects as a whole, for maths and english none are really useful in my opinion XD it's all about past papers and practice questions for those.
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