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4.5 out of 5 stars61
4.5 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2010
A worry for all book buyers, this book is the correct book for the AQA A2 Biology exam and exactly the same one as was in my school.

There doesn't seem much point in reviewing this book, because, quite frankly, if your are doing the AQA exam, you simply have no choice in the matter. I would strongly discourage buying any other book without reading this one. The questions and syllabusss featured in this book are exactly what will appear in the exam. This is very important when it comes to specific figures such as in the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) temperatures as well as correct terminology of enzymes and processes (e.g. the exact sequence, and enzymes, involved in the transcription and translation of DNA).

The book doesn't come with the answers for the exam style questions but my teacher had this so it wasn't a problem. However there is a whole plethora of questions on virtually every page which do have answers in the back of the book. In my case i found these questions tedious but it was worth the effort doing some of the more tricky questions as revision.

All in all the book is essential if you are doing this exam. I used this book exclusively to both study and revise from and i managed to get an A* overall this June. Of course people are different and hard work is key, but without this book I struggle to see how anyone will be able to achieve a high grade.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2010
First and foremost, I have recently completed A2 Biology and used this book throughout the course.

This book is officially endorsed by AQA for their new Biology specification. As the specification is new, there is limited literature available and this book seemed like a logical starting point because of its endorsement by the examination board. It contains a vast amount of information about each topic and contains bullet points at the start of each chapter addressing the learning objectives from the specification; in addition, the book contains a large number of summary questions and examination-style questions at the end of each topic.

However, the book has a couple of fundamental flaws:

1. Too much information. If you want brief, quick-fire points then look elsewhere. There is a lot of waffle that won't necessarily be tested in the exam (this was confirmed by an AQA examiner in a talk we received).
2. No answers to the examination-style questions. In my opinion, there's no point doing questions that you can't check whether you're right or not. If you want the answers to these, you're going to have to seek them out yourself by siphoning through past AQA exam papers.

Overall, the book is comprehensive and contains all of the information (perhaps too much) required for you to succeed but it could be vastly improved by incorporating the answers to the mock exam questions within the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2009
I bought this for my daughter and she said "it has everything in it i need, thanks dad".Hopefully she passes her exam with flying colours.Would definitely recommend.
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on 20 July 2011
I've sat the Human biology exam not Biology, at least not yet. Because biology is my favorite subject I had to indulge myself also into this syllabus. While studying for my summer exams I noticed that the UNIT 5 content is covered even better than in our textbook UNIT 4 (they are reversed).

The book explains the individual topics so well that it's a wonder. I've personally used this book in preparation for AQA Human biology and also used it in tutoring a fellow student who came out of the exam feeling very strongly about it. (I will update this with his test score if you wish once it's out)

I've personally tried the BIOLOGY papers and I've always scored very well in all of them. Some might tell you that AQA is bad and that they ask questions that are not contained in the syllabus but I beg to differ. I often make provisional mark schemes with my teacher and most of the times I'm right on spot and my knowledge mostly comes from these textbooks. AQA twists the questions so much that they may seem outside the syllabus but they are always within its boundaries.

You will find out that the people who complain about this textbook did not know biology, the amazing thing about AQA is that it tests your UNDERSTANDING and not how much you can cram in your head (though that's also required). When you use this book you must try to understand what it tells you, apply it and avoid simply memorizing it because frankly you will fail if you do so. If you want a challenge pick AQA, an A/A* in biology in their syllabus will mean that you truly mastered the subject up to A level standards. If not I advice WJCE...

I scored 92% with AQA in Human biology and I'm predicted an A*, I've nothing to complain about a part from the fact that they don't include answers to the PAST PAPER questions. However the simplicity of this book overshadows these details.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2010
No problems whatsoever, book is really clear, well laid out as its split into Unit 4 and 5 so nothing is muddled. Great purchase which is going to help LOADS for my exams coming up. Definately worth buying :)
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on 8 May 2011
This book is the official textbook for th AQA biology course, and it covers all the areas neccessary. IT IS NOT A REVISION GUIDE. It give a comprehensive and precise description of everything that you need to know. It is designed so that you can know all that you will possibly need to for your A level, and is not an easy read. However, with proper teaching and patience this book is brilliant. As i said before though, it is not a revision guide and 9 times out of ten, it will not give you a general round up of all that you need to know, as it uses much detail.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2009
Highly recommended: besides the fact it's the 'official' textbook for AQA, its clearly laid out with flawless science and very good diagrams for complex matters such as respiration and photosynthesis.
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on 8 August 2014
Although I have no problem with the book itself, this used "good" condition copy was covered in layered highlighter pen and underlining to the point that I could barely read the text in places. There were also spillages inside the book in a couple of places. As this was only £5 cheaper than a brand new copy, I expected a lot more and had to return it.
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on 9 September 2015
Great quality, just right for my course. A lot of text, I suggest getting another book that help condenses the course a bit more, since this one is a bit wordy, and explain things a bit long winded. But it does the trick, and tells you everything and gives examples. Just a good standard textbook for any student doing Biology A2 with the exam board AQA
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on 1 April 2011
I would and alreay have recommended this to anyone who wants a good biology book.
On every page there are boxes with extra bits of information, and there are easy to understand diagrams and charts.
I used it to revise for my recent biology exam and i got the top marks, which is saying something for me because its my hardest subject!
Buy this book!!
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