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Heads down, tools at the ready

The Practical Guide to Revision Techniques. By Simon Percival. Network Educational Press, pound;4.95. 14-plus. www.networkpress.co.uk

This concise pocket-sized book is more inspiring than it sounds, and certainly practical. It combats the anxiety and inertia that can besiege students who know they ought to be revising, but are not sure how.

It is easy to use and navigate with creative, active revision techniques split into colour-coded chapters. It caters for a range of learning styles with songs, pictures and word games and emphasises the importance of varying techniques, revisiting revision and thinking about where it takes place.

Many of the techniques can be found elsewhere but they are brought together usefully here.

Rev-pods for GCSE Business. Supporting Success Ltd Student CD with 50 audio files for PC or MP3 player. pound;18 for individuals, see website for schools' programme details. Post-14. www.rev-pods.co.uk

The flexibility of using Rev-pods on an MP3 player is likely to be the attraction for pupils. The material is clearly laid out and easy to navigate with a good structure of topics and sub-topics.

The narrator's voice is easy to understand, although at times lacking in expression. Subject content is concise but accurate; it covers essential knowledge and ensures that students can revisit important points.

However, Rev-pods' strength as a portable audio revision tool is also its biggest weakness. While case studies make theory memorable, the revision is largely passive, except for five end-of-topic questions.

This interesting product would be enriched by offering resources for visual or active learning when used on a PC or MP4 player.

Robert Davies is subject leader for business and enterprise at King Edward VI Upper School, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

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