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Get extra revision support with recommended revision guides

Collins Student Support Materials for AQA, for AS and A2 

CGP Biology Revision Guide for Edexcel, for AS and A2

CGP Biology Revision Guide for OCR, for AS and A2

CCEA Biology Revision Guide, for AS and A2


These textbooks and revision guides are recommended for their layout, content and ease of understanding by most biology tutors and students alike. However, not everyone learns the same, so by any means if you are unsure of the best book for you, head for the local book store and flip through all textbooks to see which ones suit you best. Alternatively, order online quickly and easily.

Some tutors recommend having two different textbooks if possible, because they tend to cover the areas of the specification differently to various extents. Also, they have different case studies and experiments outlined, so it's best to read through everything. As you know, the exams are often based on case studies that the examiners hope you don't know much about!

Important features to look out for in a textbook

  • Thorough coverage of the specification (all books recommended comply)
  • Comprehensive descriptions and explanations as well as definitions
  • Full of diagrams, photographs, tables, charts and graphs
  • Organised clearly by topic, with progress check questions
  • Past exam questions by topic and unit (unfortunately, textbooks don't tend to include the mark schemes, so make sure to check them here).

Important features to look out for in a revision guide

  • Only brief notes
  • More emphasising of diagrams and key scientific terms and principles
  • Reminders of common mistakes (a.k.a. Examiner tips)
  • Practice questions that are exam style, with answers

Make sure you choose your books right, because you will be spending lots of time going through them, and at the end of it, you don't want to regret buying the wrong book (like some students do), or blaming it for not covering the specification. After all, a book must be enjoyed!
Recommended textbooks below

AQA Nelson Thornes' Toole and Toole for AS and A2

Edexcel A Level Biology for AS and A2

WJEC Study and Revision Guide for AS and A2