7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
OK could be better, 15 Dec 2008
This book does covers the A level syllabus. It is very thorough and if competed and understood will cover the first year of most degree courses. Even though not explained in the book the subject matter has practical uses and is used in Science, Engineering and Finance, so it is well worth the effort in doing the work in the book.
This book also has some weaknesses that you need to be aware of when using it. Much of the content has to be tackled in the order of chapters in the book. This is because the techniques used in earlier chapters are not identified or cross-referenced so you have to know them from earlier in the book. It is not possible to dip in and out of the book. The exceptions being the chapters on permutations and combinations and vectors, which can be taken in isolation. The index is poor and many of the terms and not explained i.e. real number, integer, and order of equation. The book needs a glossary. The examples in the book do not explain what is going on i.e. diving by a common factor or by 2 or rearranging an equation. If you find mathematics difficult then you will have to spend hours figuring out what is going on for yourself. The best way to read this book is to start at the beginning. Read and make notes very slowing i.e. one page per hour or less. Do every example, missing nothing out and go to the end of the book. This will take about a year and a half to do. It is necessary to also have a good teacher with this book to explain what is going on. I would recommend that you buy anther 2 books i.e. Pure Mathematics: A First course and A Second Course 3rd Edition series: Longman, authors: John K Backhouse / Peter P Houldsworth / Bay E Cooper / Peter Horril. Pure mathematics was the forerunner to this book and retains a personal approach. This series is aimed at self taught students and has answers to all the questions. The books might not be available on Amazon.