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GCSE A-level

The Internet is an excellent vehicle for revision, and this site seems to be going the right way. Its front page states several lofty aims, although at this stage in its relative infancy (it was launched two weeks ago) it falls some way short of the comprehensive coverage offered by services such as BBC's Bitesize.

The Revision Guides section of the site offers free online versions of the paper study guides so prominent in the bookshops at stressful times of the year. Site authors Nick Rose and Jordan Mayo wrote their own paper versions while in the sixth form at Manchester Grammar School (they are now first-year undergraduates at Oxford) and had them taken up by Oxford University Press.

They have so far assembled material on biology, chemistry, physics, maths, religious education and geo-graphy.

There are discrepancies between the extent of the coverage between areas. For example, hile the biology coverage seems pretty comprehensive the geography section contains material on only one area (glaciation). That said, the material that is there seems to be good, solid stuff - lots of bullet points, sensible headings and manageable chunks.

There are online tests as well, but I wonder about the value of these, at least where more than the straight regurgitation of factual knowledge is required. Most students have more problems organising their thinking and writing. The process of multiple-choice tests could be just as easily provided by two students testing each other.

There is likely to be better value from some of the other features on the site. The discussion groups have great potential for students who want to air their concerns and get some ideas from fellow users. It is not clear whether any of the subject experts behind the materials on the site will also contribute to these discussions.

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