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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best book...
I use this book for my A-Level and I can say this book, whilst being useful, isn't completely in-line with the spec and has quite a lot of errors with formulae and other un-needed information. The book itself isn't bad at explaining the A-level content, but doesn't explicitly tell you what you need to know, and isn't the best at preparing you for your A-level Physics...
Published on 11 Mar. 2010 by A

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, maybe a bit too detailed but also incomplete
This book is the AQA exam board's approved support text for the A2 section of its A level physics course. It is written by one of the stalwarts of physics textbook writing in the UK. As such it is very detailed and solidly mathematical as well as thoroughly descriptive. Formulae and algebra leap out of every page alongside solid sections of text. Not surprising, since A2...
Published on 6 Sept. 2010 by Dr. Keith A. Moseley


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, maybe a bit too detailed but also incomplete, 6 Sept. 2010
By 
Dr. Keith A. Moseley (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book (Paperback)
This book is the AQA exam board's approved support text for the A2 section of its A level physics course. It is written by one of the stalwarts of physics textbook writing in the UK. As such it is very detailed and solidly mathematical as well as thoroughly descriptive. Formulae and algebra leap out of every page alongside solid sections of text. Not surprising, since A2 courses are meant to be more advanced in this respect than the preceding AS courses. However, the author's joy of deriving one formula from another can tend to take over a bit and a lot of this material is rarely directly tested in the actual exam papers.

The AQA A2 course consists of two examined units (4 and 5) and an Investigative Skills Assignment or ISA (unit 6T/X), which is an experiment followed by the test paper. The book covers the whole of unit 4, offers advice for unit 6 and covers the core of unit 5. However, unit 5 has topics, namely Astrophysics, Applied Physics, Medical Physics and 'Turning Points'(i.e. famous experiments/discoveries). None of these are covered in the book and materials have to be downloaded from a Nelson Thornes website called 'Kerboodle'.....and it isn't free. Having shelled out the thick end of [...] for this book it may come as a shock to discover that it is incomplete. To be fair, Kerboodle offers a lot more than just the topics as it has support materials for the whole book. It can also be argued that, as students only need to choose one topic for the exam, three quarters of the topic materials will be dead weight. Nevertheless, it feels unsatisfactory to have a book which is truncated this way.

Few books as technical as this one get away with errors and this book, unlike the companion AS textbook, has quite a few niggly typos which can cause a bit of damage, such as formulae and nuclear equations with bits missing or incorrectly placed. On request, a colleague got photocopies of several pages with handwritten corrections, from Nelson Thornes....but we're still spotting more and it is annoying that we had to extract the errata sheets rather than them being spontaneously offered. However, readers must not panic too much as tens of pages can go by without a single problem.

A decent textbook, aligned to the AQA course. I reserve a higher number of stars for truly great A level textbooks like Advanced Physics (Advanced Science)...but that tome is now touching [...]. Textbooks are really pricey thesdays.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There are better books out there, 7 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book (Paperback)
Despite my teacher's best advice, I still went ahead and bought this textbook as its the official AQA one for a start! To be fair, this book does contain some good explanations and diagrams to help with the more difficult topics in the course, but that is where the good points stop. There is a lot of unneccessary stuff in here. For some chapters there are 3 real world topics that do not teach you any of the essential physics that you will be tested on - it is like they are just trying to bulk up the book. Secondly, IT IS INCOMPLETE. There is nothing in here to teach you the option topics, which is absurd as they are one of your exams! I would 100% recommend getting the CGP "A2 Physics AQA Student Book" (it is nothing like the GCSE ones that are full of awful and pointless jokes) or the two books from Collins Education (there are seperate books for Unit 4 and Unit 5).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor standards set by AQA, but the only book 'endorsed' by this course and used by my center. :(, 22 April 2012
By 
NVR (Bucks, England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book (Paperback)
Grammatical errors such as "...where m is the of liquid..." (should say mass between the and of) has crept into this book, as has mistakes in the answers at the back for the summary questions. My tutor agreed that they are incorrect. This kind of standard is unacceptable in a course such as this, where the actual standard for pupils writing the exams are relatively higher.

Additionally, there is no section for the optional modules of the course, which are required to be known for the exam. How can AQA endorse a book for their course, if it does not contain all the modules in its course?

I'd advise using more than this book as revision material for the course. Maybe online resources, or another book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nelson Thornes AQA Physics, no more than a revision supplement, 18 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book (Paperback)
Through my A-Level course I have had both the AS and A2 versions of this book and neither have satisfied me.

They are both usable but anything other than well written. Text is written in long hand english, which tends to waffle and make little sense. I found myself reading paragraph upon paragraph over and over. The ACTUAL exam-style questions have no answers and the summary question answers follow no consistent form.

This could go on . . .

Overall, I quote my teacher when I say "A wealth of textbooks is invaluable". So, if you're buying this book; to avoid misunderstanding purchase the CGP and Letts revision guides too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just dreadful - the cover will leave you having nightmares for weeks, 31 Jan. 2015
This review is from: AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book (Paperback)
There are so many mistakes in this book. Apparently Uranium-238 is a fission product of Uranium 235 - NEWS TO ME!
Just the writing style is incredibly poor. It does not fill you with confidence and a lot of time it is difficult to read and understand.
The answers to the practice questions are not in the book! They have decided to put them online! Why can't there simply be a couple of extra pages containing the answers? I don't know. Not many 17 year olds are going to be bothered to open up kerboodle and go through all the complicated stuff just to get the answers.
The book doesn't really point out key definitions and doesn't even give some of those required. A lot of the information is also simply unnecessary and seems to be aimed at scaring people into feeling as though they don't understand.
The most scary thing about this book however is the cover! It appears to be a young boy on a skateboard (I assume they couldn't find anything more physics-y). However, on closer inspection, we find that the hand nearest to us is a grown mans hand and the one furthest away appears to be that of a female mannequin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars worrying omissions, 22 May 2010
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This review is from: AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book (Paperback)
This textbook covers most of the course in sufficient detail, but bizarrely does not cover the optional topics that make up part of the A2 exam. This is a serious flaw, made all the more inexplicable by the fact that this is the official course textbook recommended by AQA. As a result, I am finding my revision rather difficult.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best book..., 11 Mar. 2010
This review is from: AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book (Paperback)
I use this book for my A-Level and I can say this book, whilst being useful, isn't completely in-line with the spec and has quite a lot of errors with formulae and other un-needed information. The book itself isn't bad at explaining the A-level content, but doesn't explicitly tell you what you need to know, and isn't the best at preparing you for your A-level Physics. However I can say the book is still good at doing it's job and has proven very useful for my A-level Physics, and I'm unaware of another book for this spec, so in that respect, it's a must buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book came to my attention because a student reported ..., 5 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book (Paperback)
This book came to my attention because a student reported the following painfully elementary error in it: "line of force or field line: a line followed by a small mass in a gravitational field (or a small positively charged object in an electric field or a free North Pole in a magnetic field) acted on by no other forces than the force due to the field." This is on p. 263 of the 2008 edition. Wow. If this is typical in a government-approved book, then it doesn't say much for the state of science education in the UK.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Useless in places, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book (Paperback)
The notes are okay if not a little too detailed in places. The problem is it has questions which require written answers every 2 pages and it doesn't give the answers in the back.. It only has answers to the numerical questions. Also there are 'Practice/Exam Style questions' at the end of each unit which also have no answers. (have to look online - student room).. Finally it doesn't have Unit 5 Section B notes and I tried looking on 'kerboodle' the website being used where 'notes and support materials are available' and shock horror it's completely dead end website. A very frustrating textbook to use for questions.. for notes it's okay (For unit 4 and 5A)
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor, 22 Dec. 2013
This review is from: AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book (Paperback)
Good points:

Diagrams and unit 5 explanations are good

Bad points:

Too much information in the book that is not needed
explanation of the unit 4 topics is very poor
Misses/doesn't explain some of the topics well enough
Too much information is given on how to derive the equation (which is not needed for the exam) and not enough on applying the equations to harder questions/calculations
Doesn't include the optional modules for unit 5 (and you NEED to take one of them)

Summary: I wouldn't recommend getting this book
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AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book
AQA Physics A A2: Student's Book by J Breithaupt (Paperback - 21 Nov. 2008)
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