Having been really disappointed by the boring concept-led approach of the other AS Physics book from Edexcel (the red one), I decided to buy this book and I have not been disappointed. I really enjoy the context-led approach, it is much more interesting and stimulating.
Of course, if you do not like reading a lot about your subject and want a book that goes straight to the point, this book is definitely not for you. But if you like reading about applications of physics to everyday life, this is a really good book. It is quite long and has a lot of information that will not be tested, but still remains very interesting.
In combination with the Edexcel revision guide, it is a really good preparation for the exam and can help you to get high grades.
This is the book our school make us borrow from them for Physics. I'm glad it's a loan and not a purchase. This book does not explain anything in any useful detail, it's full of spelling mistakes and some sentences just end; An example is in an explanation box which describes the hardness of bones, it says something along the lines of: "Measuring the hardness of a material can be done several ways and" The box just ends.
Every single student moans about how crap this book is. The teacher agrees with us also. But because they've already bought them there's no going back. I'm not sure the people who wrote this book have any real understanding about what they are writing about, but it seems to just be a raw copy and paste from a selection of answers from Yahoo answers.
Do not buy this book. Just get any other one apart from this overpriced waste of wood and ink. And another thing, the answers to the in book questions are often incorrect and do not explain the process of getting to that wrong answer.
This book only qualifies as a textbook in the fact that it is a book that contains text. Seriously, do not buy this book. It was rushed through both the creation stage (How else do you get an asparagus trace table?) and the editing phase (How else do the myriad of errors make it to print?). In most lessons, we end up refering to the revision guide! It contains more useful information in half of it's pages than the entire textbook.
Also, they have taken the whole "context based" to a whole new useless level. TWO WHOLE PAGES are given over to chocolate (and no chocolate is given away with the book to prove this) with a brief note at the end of the second page and the top of the third to actually explain the science of viscocity.
I may as well get straight to the point. Afterall this is why I am writing this review is it not? Reviews are to express opinion on an item of consumer product and to help potential customers make up their mind for that product based on their own personal experience *blah* *blah* *blah*...
That was a taster of the content of this book: straight OFF-topic information on how to pass your physics exam! (wait, what?)
This is seriously one of the most ridiculous books I've ever read. And I've read alot - can you tell? :) probably not.. anyway:
If you want to read up on how chocolate is made or find out what the difference between "crunchy" and "chewey" is ( and you don't, it's really not that interesting...) then go ahead and waste your hard earned EMA money on this. If you actually want to pass your Edexcel physics exam then buy the Student Book coupled with the revision guide which are both endorsed by Edexcel that are a world of difference apart from each other.
I think that this book was made for those who want to read on the application of the physics principles that they are learning. But it does very very little to prepare you for your exam AND it contains a lot of errors. It has an overall "rushed" feeling in that sometimes it will not explain something correctly or adequatley enough but waffle on and waffle on about completely off topic subjects. And it has the cheek to put an "acheivements" table at the end of eah chapter "Oh yes Mr Examiner, I learned about the hardness of subtances and I actually learnt some long-ass equation for the BHN! (which is actually printed wrong) What? I don't need to learn it? in fact I don't need to know anything about BHN?! Then why did they act like I did :( (refer to above ramblings why they do).
The only thing that saved this from 1 star was that it contains quite a few questions and explains the answers with workings. Other than that I strongly recommend the other student book Edexcel have published as that is actually really good for this exam.
The information you actually need to know for the exam is buried among so much pointless context - want to know about how tasting panels test chocolates? No, neither do I - it's practically impossible to find the useful stuff. A bit of background info is fine to help illustrate what you are actually learning, but this book seems to take the opposite approach and focuses so much on real life applications that the key facts that will actually be tested in the exam are barely mentioned, and are sometimes even missed out. Buy the revision guides instead; they cut out all the waffle and will actually help you to learn some useful physics so you can do well in the exam.
How to write your own review Chapter one - The magic of writing a review
As I sit with my fingers perched softly upon the keyboard. The gentle music of my tapping filling the room, but not my thoughts. For my head is filled with similes, personification and alteration. Words crafted from a mind that vainness might describe likeness with that of Oscar Wilde or Jane Austen. My masterpiece being woven before my eyes, communicated through my body and stitched to the screen. Lives and hearts crushed or saved, they are at the mercy of my words, my thoughts. The curious misled or helpfully guided, that it for me to decide and me alone.
When people write reviews they also do so with the intention of capturing the readers interest.
Do you see what I mean? perhaps 1 (2,3 for slow readers) minute(s) of your time has been taken to read that text of which 5 seconds contained the information you would actually hope to find in an instruction guide titled as such.
If you were to scale that up to this text books size you would find about 0.1% (Maybe) contained the information you were actually looking for and needed to learn for your exam. The rest being the 99.9% absolute rubbish. (Pardon me for my poor literacy skills early).
Only the other day I found myself in a physics lesson reading, oh! The most thrilling bungee jumping tale ever (Yes, just about as thrilling as my passage on the magic of review writing) Oh I definitely feel persuaded to try it! Wait, What? What do I know about the change of energy? From Gravitational Potential to Kinetic and Elastic potential? Wha... Oh that's right it's a Physics text book, not the life and adventures of Evel Knievel.
If you are an AS physics student, I strongly advise you do not buy this book.
The endless off-topic dribble makes it hard to concentrate on letting the actual information for the exam sink in. This text book is the definition of dull. I recommend using the CGP book coupled with the revision guide endorsed by Edexcel.
And yes... There really is 2 pages dedicated to chocolate which no, isn't in the syllabus for AS Physics.