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Core Maths for Advanced Level
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on 1 December 2004
I am a mature student and we are using this book as part of the course and taking exercises from it.
To be honest, i was quite disappointed with it. I find its certainly more a revision book and aimed at people who understand the topics involved. If you are confident with maths, then it could perhaps be a really good book.
However if its been a while since you've studied Maths and like me your still missing some of the basics, then i wouldn't purchase this book. I'm looking at alternatives that are more descriptive and are more aimed at students learning on their own.
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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 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 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 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 9 October 2000
Core maths is an outstanding maths book which covers all the necessary topics for students taking A levels. It approaches mathematical ideas with clear and structured layout and explains all fundamental concepts with clarity. This book is amongst the best of its kind and is higly recommended by teachers in High School, Colleges and Universtity Lectures. This is a valuable aid for anyone taking mathematics.
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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 1 January 2011
I can recomend this book to anyone self-teaching maths to around A-level standard. Plenty of clear and simple explanations for all the basic techniques of maths above GCSE level. I particularly like the way the exercises deliberately confront a lot of the "common mistake" scenarios. For this reason, you can expect to get a minimum of around 10% of the answers wrong at first cut (if you get them all right then you don't need this book in the first place). I found a small handful of errors in the answers and some typos in a few places but thankfully, they were all obvious. This book does not touch the subjects of matices and limits. The classic old chestnut of maths books - equations and techniques just popping on to the page out of hyperspace without explanation - isn't a problem here., I think I found a couple of minor examples of this but I can't offhand remember what they were. Excellent. If only all maths books were as understandable and friendly as this.
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on 21 November 2012
Rather than having to purchase between two and four text books to cover the A Level Maths Core Syllabus this book is hangover from the traditional and probably soon to return Linear approach. Not only does this save money but it provides a more cohesive approach allowing students to step forward and have a look at up coming related topics but also back to remind themselves on topics for which they may have already been examined on but which they may need to re-read to help them with the current topic they are on. I picked this book based on the reviews in Amazon and the consensus was that it was consistently one of the easiest A Level Maths text book to understand. Not perfect but far better than most A Level Maths books.
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on 11 February 2012
This book is one of the best I have seen on the subject. The topics are arranged beautifully, with eacch concept being built over the previous. Makes learning a joy, especially with very few mistakes (they are inevitable) in the print. From a GCE (AS/A2) perspective, it covers Edexcel's C1, C2, C3 and C4 quite comprehensively. You might even be able to skip a few exercises (as they are not in the Edexcel syllabus), but if you have the time, I would strongly recommend that you go through every chapter and exercise. There's only an upside to this: you will walk into the exam hall with a great sense of confidence - you will have learnt more than enough for the core subjects. If you are thinking about buying this book, stop thinking. Just buy it.
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