- Covers the National Core for Biology at the Advanced Level
- Provides comprehensive teaching material
- Includes hundreds of sample questions – all with model solutions
- Highly interactive
- Helps build confidence that is vital for success
Suitable for AS and A2 level students, The Times Education Series A Level Biology is an interactive CD-ROM prepared by biology teachers and university lecturers which supports the National Core for Biology at an Advanced level.
The program’s divided into eight chapters and covers molecular biology, cell ultrastructure, the “genetic code”, variation and inheritance, energy and living organisms, transport systems (i.e., the body’s “plumbing”) homeostasis, and ecology and ecosystems. As each chapter appears on the screen, it’s also read out aloud–a technique which can help keep wayward minds focussed on the task in hand. Chapters are divided into different sub-headings (the energy chapter for example, contains sub-sections covering adenosine triphosphate, photosynthesis and respiration) and each includes a button underneath the main screen which will take you to quick questions, designed to give students the chance to brush up on what they’ve just learned, and ‘Exam questions’ which mimic the more formal style of question you’re likely to find at the end of the course. (Those who just love a test can jump straight to both sets of questions from the main menu as well).
As you work through the chapters you’ll find plenty of tables and diagrams to support the text–on occasions there are also some natty 3-D animations (for example, explaining how semi-lunar valves prevent blood from re-entering the heart once it’s been forced out into the arteries)–but really, given the subject matter, it would have been good to see more.
Like other programs in the series, the uncluttered interface is easy to understand; you can skip through chapters using the tabs at the top of each screen or use the buttons beneath to jump to the beginning or end of a chapter, and chapters can also be printed out. Finally, by clicking on the Information button on the main screen you can get printable summaries of both the AS and A2 Level Biology courses.
In terms of content, this is an excellent and supportive study aid though it’s hard to understand why more multimedia elements weren’t included.–Rob Beattie