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on 10 March 2011
By the hallowed authors of Bostock & Chandler (who wrote maths text-books for schools & colleges back in the 70s). This one, like the others, is excellent for 'drilling it in' to ensure you get the grade. Unlike one or two of their books, however, it goes overboard to make everything crystal clear - a great help for those getting to grips with post-GCSE maths, for the first time.

Unlike modern text-books it isn't colour-illustrated which may make the chapters appear austere, but with a book of this quality it hardly matters!

The consolidation exercises are excellent. These provide summaries of key sections, multiple choice,mixed-exercise and exam questions from years gone by, when the standard was higher (information is given about exam board/year with answers at the back of the book). The latter is a nice touch for those interested in past-papers or for students aiming at a higher standard than what's expected of them today, whilst the former is excellent for rapid revision.

The book caters well for helping with the transition to A'Level from GCSE, by developing the skills needed in Algebra and Geometry. Bostock & Chandler should be commended for this. Although having 'Core' in its title, the 1994 book also contains most of the Statistics needed for an 'S1'-module.

If there is a downside, it is that the brightest students might fall asleep at the prospect of doing the first half of each exercise! Also, a summary sheet at the end of each chapter (rather than each section)covering key points, would have been most welcome, but is not present.

The real pity, however, is over Chapter 39 (vectors). It no longer cover vectors in planes, as this was removed from the 'Core' syllabus. The pre-1994 versions, however, did and offered the clearest, most easiest-to-understand explanations that you'll ever come across, with plenty of worked examples and exercises. It also introduced complex numbers. This a real bonus to anyone going on to do a maths-related course at univetsity, such as Engineering. It really is tragic that it was removed in favour of yet more Statistics.

Secondhand it is a bargain replacing upto five text-books (four 'Core' and one Statistics). If you're studying A'Level Maths, on a limited budget, you really couldn't ask for more!

Particularly recommended is a clean, 1990-93 example for those wanting a good introduction to vectors. These are often even cheaper, so you'll never get better value! Which ever one you opt for, brilliant and 100% recommended! Buy,buy,buy,buy!!
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on 13 June 2010
Having taught maths for 40 years, I have witnessed the dilution of Maths content in modern books and found it very frustrating from the students point of view. Many modern books appear to be written for specific syllabuses and with the view, in my opinion, not to teach maths as a subject, but to teach maths for the purposes of passing an exam. While that in itself is a very good objective, the points brought across and examples used are often too narrow, that a number of students fail to be able to stand on their own two feet, they fail often to spot the same question asked in say 5 different ways. I DO NOT put the above book in this category. I have always found something enlightening in all the B&S books, in particular the words used to help the student understand why something is being said. Books are still difficult for students to follow, that is why a good teacher is irreplacable but this B&S book spans not only GCE maths, but also a number of foundation degree syllabuses too. It is, relatively speaking, an excellent book for students. It may lack real life examples that might be useful for people gouing on to study egineering and science for example, but I do not want to offer any criticism on that basis, as there is only so much one can include as an author. I have not given 5 stars, only because that might indicate it is so excellent that it can never be improved, but I do regard it as an excellent book. My own little tests for a book at this level is to look at particular areas and see how they are covered, this usually indicates the thought that has gone into the subject area as well as how much the authors are thinking of the students (e.g can we give the students a method that they they understand and that is efficient and instructive as well. The areas of trigonometric equations, partial fractions (i.e. the 'cover-up' rule) and points of inflection are 3 examples where a number of modern books do this badly, B&S do it very well in my opinion. I would recommmend this book to any student doing A level maths and 1st year maths in engineering topics, but also as an excellent reference book with many varied examples for all students studying maths at A level and beyond.
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on 21 June 2002
This is a superb book, and if you were to own just one text for the pure component of A Level Maths, this would be it. The explanations are as simple to understand as is possible and typical A Level questions and solutions are shown throughout. The two colour concept, which is new to the third edition can be handy, as can the formula summaries at the end of each section. Without doubt, brilliant...!
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on 24 August 2002
Since handing back my text books after completing 'A'-level maths, I was searching for a single book which would cover everything from my past two years of lessons to help me at University - this was the book I chose. It fulfils this purpose excellently proving an essential reference when searching for some technique you haven't used for a long time.
All aspects of pure maths are covered well with ample examples and practise questions - all with answers. The layout and content are easy to understand and will guide you through any problem with which you are challenged from calculus to coordinate geometry.
An excellent bible on 'A'-level mathematics. Buy it!
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on 5 November 2006
Back in the early 1990's I received a grade C in GCSE Maths. I wanted to study A-level, but the teachers didn't want to let me; somehow I convinced them to give me a chance. I decided to invest in some books, and picked up a few that I thought looked good, one of those being Core Maths. Most A-level books were pitched at a higher level that I could understand, whereas Core Maths bridged the gap. I started working through the exercises at the start of the book (in my own time), and gradually from being the weakest Mathematician in a class of 30, I worked my way up to the top 2. I eventually received a grade A in A-level Maths, and also a C in Further Maths. I know have an honours degree in Maths and Statistics, and I don't believe I'd have it if it wasn't for that book.

My advice to anyone using the book, is to read the introductions, work through the examples, then practice as many questions as have you have time to, and check your answers in the back of the book. It was the actual 'doing' rather than the 'reading' that made all the difference for me.

I'm very grateful to the authors of this book!! Thank you!
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on 10 February 2011
Unfortunately this was the book chosen for my course and I found it left me behind from the start with not enough wordy explanations and too brief a recap of GCSE level.
With these two books Maths: A Student's Survival Guide: A Self-Help Workbook for Science and Engineering Students and Engineering Mathematics I feel like I can learn on my own and build confidence rather than having questions with seemingly unexplained answers spat at me.
More of a text or revision book than a book to learn from.
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on 2 July 2004
This is a very good overall textbook. The design is very pleasant: the pages are all set on a white background and headings are highlighted in a light blue, and are very clear. Each topic is well explained and is substantiated by several example problems, and about 20 or so exercises. All the answers are in the back. There are also additional questions taken from actual examination questions, and mixed questions at the end of each chapter. The book starts out with foundation algebra and progresses through to calculus, covering as the title suggests, the core material for an a-level course.
It's not really the right textbook for someone who wishes to be challenged by further mathematics, since there really is none available. It's more of a revision textbook really, but a very good one. Every topic in fact is explained in a couple of pages at most so it's not really suitable for someone who wishes to learn a-level maths from scratch (unless they're a quick learner!). But it's perfect for someone who is already quite proficient at mathematics and wants to have a substantial supplementary textbook that provides him with all the necessary foundation material.
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on 24 December 2009
I bought one of those home learning courses for a couple hundred pounds, it was very hard to follow so I bought this book as backup. This book is so good I basically ditched the course and began learning from here instead. Anyone considering paying for A level maths home learning course, dont. You can learn everything you need from this book and pay for you A level exam yourself, which you have to do even if you pay for the home learning course.
Every subject has plenty of examples before giving you a series of questions, admittedly there are a lot of questions per subject and it will take up a lot of time but it reinforces what you have learnt brilliantly.
I definitely recommend this book, since studying from it I have started maths at degree level.
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on 24 September 2000
This has got to be one of the best books for basic math understanding ever! It teaches all the basics and explains step by step the origins of rules you take for granted. I have used this book to gain an understnding for more complicated work, and I have used it to refresh my memory once i had not used maths for a long time. This has got to be the one maths book you cannot be without.
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on 8 October 2008
I have been using this book for self study to patch up holes in my maths after coming to england where you are expected to have done the A level syllabus.

I reccomend going through a topic from beggining to end, reading it, making sure you understand the examples and doing the questions. If you do this, you are almost guaranteed to have a thorough understanding of the topic. If not, you probably have to go back to a previous topic. I have found this method more effective than any teacher or lecturer I have ever known.

It covers quite a wide range from basic to advanced, and I think the two-star reviewer needs to reconsider his/her study methods or put more work into it rather than blame the book.
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