The Student Room Group

What A level textbooks to get??

Hiya 😊
I'm a current yr 11 student and was wondering what kind of textbooks e.g CGP are a good investment for A level.
Sixth form will obviously recommend certain guides but I want some advice, so I know what to look at online to buy.

I'm planning to do biology, chemistry and maths a level (if that helps - exam board wise isn't determined yet)

Also does anyone know any good free revision/youtube channels for these a level subjects? As for maths a level (on youtube - my yr12 friend and I couldn't find any good ones).

Thank you in advance xx
Reply 1
Original post by Trickia
Hiya 😊
I'm a current yr 11 student and was wondering what kind of textbooks e.g CGP are a good investment for A level.
Sixth form will obviously recommend certain guides but I want some advice, so I know what to look at online to buy.
I'm planning to do biology, chemistry and maths a level (if that helps - exam board wise isn't determined yet)
Also does anyone know any good free revision/youtube channels for these a level subjects? As for maths a level (on youtube - my yr12 friend and I couldn't find any good ones).
Thank you in advance xx
Good luck in your a levels for these subjects i’m just finishing this combo and it’s defo not easy! as for textbooks I do AQA and the CGP books were good for recapping content but i found online exam question banks way more useful for revision . For youtube I would definitely suggest TL maths and Allery Chemistry to help with understanding the content.
Reply 2
Original post by fatou.xx
Good luck in your a levels for these subjects i’m just finishing this combo and it’s defo not easy! as for textbooks I do AQA and the CGP books were good for recapping content but i found online exam question banks way more useful for revision . For youtube I would definitely suggest TL maths and Allery Chemistry to help with understanding the content.

Thank you so much!
A coincidence my friend does AQA maths a level so I will recommend that to her 😊
Original post by Trickia
Hiya 😊
I'm a current yr 11 student and was wondering what kind of textbooks e.g CGP are a good investment for A level.
Sixth form will obviously recommend certain guides but I want some advice, so I know what to look at online to buy.
I'm planning to do biology, chemistry and maths a level (if that helps - exam board wise isn't determined yet)
Also does anyone know any good free revision/youtube channels for these a level subjects? As for maths a level (on youtube - my yr12 friend and I couldn't find any good ones).
Thank you in advance xx

CGP I am finding much better than my schools A Level textbooks currently as they are more visual and easy to find information from.

However, to find more accurate exam style questions I would recommend either going on official exam board sites or questions from your schools provided textbook.
Reply 4
Original post by kitty15
CGP I am finding much better than my schools A Level textbooks currently as they are more visual and easy to find information from.
However, to find more accurate exam style questions I would recommend either going on official exam board sites or questions from your schools provided textbook.

Okay thank you xx
I will probably invest in cgp 😊
Reply 5
Original post by Trickia
Hiya 😊
I'm a current yr 11 student and was wondering what kind of textbooks e.g CGP are a good investment for A level.
Sixth form will obviously recommend certain guides but I want some advice, so I know what to look at online to buy.
I'm planning to do biology, chemistry and maths a level (if that helps - exam board wise isn't determined yet)
Also does anyone know any good free revision/youtube channels for these a level subjects? As for maths a level (on youtube - my yr12 friend and I couldn't find any good ones).
Thank you in advance xx

Collins' Bridging GCSE and A-Level Maths by Mark Rowland is an excellent textbook for stepping into A level maths due to its short, concise nature.

As for youtubers, Black Pen Red Pen is always amazing for maths as he has plenty of short videos going over pretty much everything and anything maths related.
I’m currently in Year 13 and take the same subjects! My exam board is AQA for all 3 subjects.

I have not used the CGP revision guides as the teachers at my sixth form have said they are not useful. Instead, my school invested in Uplearn for all students, which I have been using and is super helpful as it breaks down each topic in videos, quizzes you on the videos and has exam style questions to practice. However, it is costly and not necessary an essential tool to get a good grade.

For Biology, though I personally don’t watch her often, my classmates have found Mrs Estruch on YouTube very helpful. She breaks down topics and explains in detail what you need to know according to the spec. She has practical videos as well which are useful to watch before doing them in school. Another good resource for Biology are the Biology with Olivia Notes. I believe they are around £50 for the total A Level course, so maybe ask your college/sixth form to buy these for you. They are extremely helpful, they follow the spec and easy to revise from. Physics and Maths Tutor has exam questions that you will definitely need to practice, not just for biology but for every subject. Biology content is easy to learn imo, but the questions are quite difficult to answer as mark schemes tend to be very specific.

For Chemistry, there are so so many resources. Firstly, there’s a website called chemrevise, which has notes on everything you need to know. Just by memorising it you’d be able to get a good grade. They are free and I would 100% advise to print them out and compile them into one fat booklet - again, ask your college/sixth form if they could do this for you. Chemguide is another good website - I normally use this to break down a topic I didn’t quite understand in lesson or if I need to recap any explanations. YouTube has many great chemistry channels - I personally watch Elliot Rintoul and Allery Chemistry. Again, use Physics and Maths Tutor for practising exam questions - they have 100s of them!

For Maths, we have a website called MEI which has notes/examples, a range of exercises, section tests and overall topic assessments. I’m not sure if it is something you could buy personally though? But even without MEI, this is the only subject I would recommend getting the CGP textbook for. Again, my school did buy these for us - but you could definitely get it second hand for a bit cheaper. It’s called “Mathematics for A Level: The Textbook” - it isn’t exam-board specific but contains everything you need to know for each topic. It has explanations and examples of how to answer questions for every single topic, then exercises that you could do. Answers are at the back- the only downside is they don’t have exam solutions, only the answers. On YouTube, TLMaths is absolutely amazing, and so is Bicen Maths. I would recommend them 101%.

Hope this helps!
Reply 7
Original post by Oli.bx
Collins' Bridging GCSE and A-Level Maths by Mark Rowland is an excellent textbook for stepping into A level maths due to its short, concise nature.
As for youtubers, Black Pen Red Pen is always amazing for maths as he has plenty of short videos going over pretty much everything and anything maths related.

Thank you for your advice xx
Reply 8
Original post by madzzzzina
I’m currently in Year 13 and take the same subjects! My exam board is AQA for all 3 subjects.
I have not used the CGP revision guides as the teachers at my sixth form have said they are not useful. Instead, my school invested in Uplearn for all students, which I have been using and is super helpful as it breaks down each topic in videos, quizzes you on the videos and has exam style questions to practice. However, it is costly and not necessary an essential tool to get a good grade.
For Biology, though I personally don’t watch her often, my classmates have found Mrs Estruch on YouTube very helpful. She breaks down topics and explains in detail what you need to know according to the spec. She has practical videos as well which are useful to watch before doing them in school. Another good resource for Biology are the Biology with Olivia Notes. I believe they are around £50 for the total A Level course, so maybe ask your college/sixth form to buy these for you. They are extremely helpful, they follow the spec and easy to revise from. Physics and Maths Tutor has exam questions that you will definitely need to practice, not just for biology but for every subject. Biology content is easy to learn imo, but the questions are quite difficult to answer as mark schemes tend to be very specific.
For Chemistry, there are so so many resources. Firstly, there’s a website called chemrevise, which has notes on everything you need to know. Just by memorising it you’d be able to get a good grade. They are free and I would 100% advise to print them out and compile them into one fat booklet - again, ask your college/sixth form if they could do this for you. Chemguide is another good website - I normally use this to break down a topic I didn’t quite understand in lesson or if I need to recap any explanations. YouTube has many great chemistry channels - I personally watch Elliot Rintoul and Allery Chemistry. Again, use Physics and Maths Tutor for practising exam questions - they have 100s of them!
For Maths, we have a website called MEI which has notes/examples, a range of exercises, section tests and overall topic assessments. I’m not sure if it is something you could buy personally though? But even without MEI, this is the only subject I would recommend getting the CGP textbook for. Again, my school did buy these for us - but you could definitely get it second hand for a bit cheaper. It’s called “Mathematics for A Level: The Textbook” - it isn’t exam-board specific but contains everything you need to know for each topic. It has explanations and examples of how to answer questions for every single topic, then exercises that you could do. Answers are at the back- the only downside is they don’t have exam solutions, only the answers. On YouTube, TLMaths is absolutely amazing, and so is Bicen Maths. I would recommend them 101%.
Hope this helps!

Thanks xx I will try them out in the future 😊

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