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Black, white and grey;Secondary;Reviews;Science;Books

NEW PERSPECTIVES IN ADVANCED BIOLOGY. By Martin Hanson. Hodder amp; Stoughton. pound;15.99.

There is a marked contrast in visual appeal and text difficulty between Morton Jenkins's Complete GCSE Biology (see left) and this A-level textbook: gone are the colour, designer pages, the multiple photographs on each page and exam questions and answers.

In come lots of fine black and white line drawings and a text which would be a challenge for all but the most able of A-level candidates.

Six sections are divided into 42 chapters, each of which specifies its learning objectives and ends with straightforward questions and answers.

Scattered throughout the text are grey boxes, some marked "clear thinking", where the author tries to correct supposed misconceptions (for example, the link between the tracheal system and size of an insect) while others contain supplementary explanations.

It is claimed that each chapter ends with a summary, but these are not always present. Practical investigations are mentioned in the text to illustrate points.

There are two appendices: one covers basic principles from the chemistry part of science GCSE syllabuses:the other deals with statistics and covers some very elementary ideas such as line graphs and the like, but goes on to more useful ones, like central tendency, normal distribution and comparison of means.

My advice is to look carefully before buying.

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