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When it comes to revision, we need the facts straight away and to the point, without having to wade through endless bits of boring twaddle just to learn one simple point, right? Well this is the job that GGP revision guides aims to undertake, and they have done so very well indeed.
WHY PICK CGP REVISION GUIDES?
CGP is known for its succinct, entertaining and professional technique in delivering knowledge to its readers. When compared with other revision guides, I have found CGP to be far more entertaining to read, with pictures and illustrations here and there, and plenty of colour. It also includes some jokes at the end of the page. These jokes aren't exactly going to knock Peter Kay out of the limelight, but they're somewhat entertaining nonetheless. Occasionally, one feels some jokes should be omitted, as it diverts from the revision in hand. It does, however, provide a welcomed break at the end of lengthy, studious revision.
WHAT IS THE AGE RANGE?
CGP provide revision guides for the following age groups:
CGP also provide revision guides for further
education (CLAIT courses) as well as Standard Grade papers. Age range isn't stated for these, and so I presume you can take these exams regardless of age.
Revision guides are in plain, easy to understand English language. Certain books are available in Welsh too.
WHAT SORTS OF REVISION GUIDES CAN I GET?
I am currently working at GCSE, but I know that this company has a MASSIVE range of revision books to choose from for all age ranges. Usefully, the Revision Guides are geared specifically towards certain exams i.e. Edexcel exams will have their own special revision guides in Science, English etc as will AQA and OCR.
Not only do CGP provide detailed revision guides, they also provide workbooks, practice papers, text guides and complete plays.
For details of the kind of revision guides you can obtain, take a look at the impressive CGP website at http://www.cgpbooks.co.uk . You may also view the complete book list at http://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/booklist3.htm . Please note though, books tend to be far cheaper when ordered through a school or college, so try to get your education centre to get them first.
HAS IT HELPED YOU THEN?
Certainly. I used only 1 revision guide in Key Stage 3, and that was for my Science SATs exam. I managed a Level 7, which is fantastic, and I owe a lot of it to the revision guide I used. I can thoroughly remember some of those pictures, with villi lining the small intestine here for maximum blood absorption..... and cell membranes there to control what goes in and... etc.
I think the use of pictures in the revision guides is excellent, although not all subjects can do this, e.g. Mathematics can't really be illustrated. Nevertheless, it is very colourful, and there are questions at the end of each topic to test your knowledge.
I have noticed there isn't too many jokes in the Mathematics revision guide, but I've also noticed that this is pretty hard stuff, and that you need to focus on what's important rather than too many lapses in concentration due to a few lame jokes here and there.
I am using the Mathematics revision guide more and more now, and as a class, we are now encouraged to bring the guides with us to lessons. As it was ordered through the school, I must have only paid £2.00 or £2.50 rather than the RRP of £4.50. I find the revision guide helps me in homework as well as class work, as I can refer to the many topics of Mathematics quickly by using the book's index.
I also have a Food Technology revision guide. I haven't used this too much yet, but as the exams loom even closer, I shall begin to use it more and more.
IT SOUNDS GOOD. ANY OTHER CRITICISMS?
Unfortunately, yes. Not with the content as such, more with the way it is presented. CGP has a bad habit of underlining, italicising and making bold anything and everything it feels is important. At such a high level of education though, you soon discover that nearly whole paragraphs are important, and it can be hard to understand the main points of the paragraph. This isn't too much of a problem, but it makes the extra focus on keywords near useless, which is a shame.
Also, it has another annoying, though probably useful way of asking you to copy out the stuff again onto a piece of paper without looking at the sheet. Though this would probably embed the knowledge into your head, it's quite a tedious thing to ask do, and its annoying being told to do this at the end of every page.
However, these are two common yet relatively minor flaws in the guides.
I hope this review has helped you understand more about these lovely revision guides. What I like best is that they are written in an easy to understand style, and they are relatively good value for money (especially when ordered through the school).
Thanks for reading.
------------------------------------------------------ Benjamin Riches (wbafcben) :) ------------------------------------------------------
I used loads of these at GCSE and I'm currently using them for AS level too! Great review. Jules x
scuba_angel 16.08.2005 05:14
im 20 and studying marine bio at uni, and still use my a level biology guide. Probably nt suposed to but ive found that for my basic bio modules when i need to illustrate presentations theres usually a good simple image i can annotate and even for writing reports these do provide a very good base before i wade in to the uni librarys 'boring' books section (also known as the science library) for my detail and totally confuse myself. Sadly im not good at revision and dont think i used the book when i was supposed to be revising (hence i suspect that i only got a c when i was predicted an a)