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The CGP Revision Guide range offers supportive guides for students of all ages, ranging from aged 4 nursery children, to students of 18 studying A level. The subjects vary depending on the age of study, but most books for each age band contain the relevant, vital subjects such as Maths, English and Science.
The books I have come in to contact with in the past were supplied by the school for KS3 SATS and GCSE. I found both books to be of a similar consistency, using the same sort of layout and the same methods of writing. One thing that stands prominent about this book series is the humour- often slipped in to the text is a joke, a play on words, or a jokey cartoon to break up the text and retain the interest of the young reader. Although this is obviously a good method of encouraging children to revise, I have found some of the jokes in the GCSE books to be too juvenile and somewhat patronising, and more suited to the books lower down in the school.
Another problem I have with this book series are the aesthetics. The pages all contain lots of colour, probably too much, which can be very distracting to the eye. The colour scheme (usually some dodgy browns and dank, dark and clashing colours) isn't fantastically encouraging either. The content is also often cramped together and boxed within boxes and becomes complicated to read without going slightly dizzy! I also found the frequently bolded, underlined, italicised and coloured text a little over-bearing. Emphasis on key points is a good thing, however I found too much of this on the pages, making it look cluttered and hard to tell what exactly was important to remember and what was not.
Content wise the books are perfect. Everything contained within the books is simplified to be easily understood, and is up-to-date with relevant diagrams and information directly relating to the syllabus. The revision guides also come with a few questions at the end of topics and chapters relating to what has just been read. These are nice exercises to assure you're on the right track and boost confidence. However, on some of the books I could not find answers to the questions, which is a bit odd.
There were lots of things I wasn't too sure about being taught in lesson, then when it came to revision, I consulted these books and soon things I'd found impossible to understand became clearer. This series of books are well worth picking up as the all-important exams approach.
I had these at GCSE and although they helped, I also found them very confusing to read. The BBC bitesize are much better. Don't use these books for A level because I didn't like the busy layout. Great review xx
thespurs 05.05.2005 16:06
Nice review. I remember these at GCSE. They really did make revision more fun. I loved the comments inside the front and back covers - some real corkers
lora44 30.04.2005 14:09
I had a GCSE French one of these which I thought was great! Lora x