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Our recommended Psychology text books

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

Before our students start their A levels, we share our recommended reading lists with them so that they can be better equipped with their study and revision.

This is the reading list we suggest for AQA Psychology textbooks that we use in class. We have included the ones we think are the best for our students. We all review lots of books when we are planning our courses and the advice that we always give is to use multiple titles so that you can find the best evaluations and explanations. This list is compiled by our psychology tutor.

The main books I suggest are the companion series of books by Cara Flanagan and Mike Cardwell. Psychology A level Year 1/AS (OUP, 5th edition), sometimes referred to as the cat book, has great outlines and the fifth edition shows students how to make evaluations, so this is the main text that we use in class. The A level or Year 2 book has a good selection of evaluations, and is a pretty robust selection of material that can be used for exam preparation.

Neither books are without their flaws, however. In lessons we tend to pick and select the appropriate ways to deal with these.

If you want to get them on Kindle as this is a great way to have them open on a tablet while you make notes. I would advise buying them; many students prefer the Kindle editions as it saves their backs when carrying the books around.

Next in the list of books are the ones by Illuminate Publishing. These are known as the girl with the green hair and the girl with the pink hair books by students and teachers. While I do use these, sometimes I find that they have far too many distracting images. They also have less evaluation than you need for the exams, especially the AS edition, which could be an issue for some students if they solely used these textbooks. However, they are good companion pieces to the main textbooks we use.

Interestingly, Illuminate’s revision guides have better evaluations than the main textbooks. We use the A level revision book a lot in lessons, selecting the favoured evaluations for exam preparation.

A final book worth mentioning is the book. This has great sections for Social psychology, Memory aOxford University Press Psychology Year Onend Attachment. We use these sections heavily in our revision sessions.

A lot of the books have good sections on research methods but we tend to use our own notes and techniques to cover everything. However, for those unsure about the Maths components of the AQA syllabus for psychology, I would suggest Essential Maths Skillsfor AS/A level Psychology by Molly Marshall.

Of course, it’s worth mentioning our study skills book Active Study Skills to help with planning and exam preparation.

Recommended reading

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