Book Review: The Leading Edge HSC Biology

Publisher: Leading Edge

Publication Date: 2004


I borrowed this from my local library a few weeks ago – it’s so rare that we  see HSC Biology books NOT published by Excel or Macquarie!

So how does it compare?

The Leading Edge HSC Biology is a questions based book on the HSC Biology. It includes:

  • 150 practice multiple choice questions
  • 75 practice short answer questions
  • 2 practice exam papers

All of the above come with answers, solutions and marking guidelines.


This book doesn’t contain any theory.

Activities and Questions:

With HSC examination styled questions, this is quite a good book to use AFTER you’ve finished learning all the modules and BEFORE you have your trials/HSC. In particular, I think the multiple choice answers (complete with reasoning) and marking guidelines will be really helpful.

However, one of the major problems in this book is that the 150 multiple choice and 75 short answer questions include the core modules and ALL the elective modules mixed together. This means that you can’t actually do all the questions. Yet the book hasn’t separated out the elective module questions – they’re all mixed in with the modules!

So what ends up happening is that you look at a question and wonder: is the reason I can’t answer this question because…I’ve forgotten the answer, or because it’s in an elective module that I’m not doing?! This is quite annoying and frustrating.

Should I get it?

I would not buy this book. It’s actually quite badly structured (see above) and this frustrates your ability to go through it.

Nevertheless, the 2 practice exam papers (which ARE structured with the electives separated) may be good practice. In that case, do what I do – simply borrow the book.

2 comments for “Book Review: The Leading Edge HSC Biology

  1. Kym
    December 6, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I don’t own any The Leading Edge books for this reason also.

    I have textbooks, revision guides and past HSC papers and answers instead. 🙂

    • tutortales
      December 9, 2009 at 9:08 am

      Which revision guides do you use? Currently, I’m tutoring with Excel, Macquarie and Excel Revise Core. I’m also using Success One for papers.

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