Finding the Right A-level Maths Textbook

In summary: We'll start with In summary, the speaker is 16 years old and currently only reads basic maths at the standard level. They want to start reading A-level maths, which is the UK maths level for 17-18 year olds. They are also interested in studying pure maths at university. They are looking for a comprehensive A-level textbook and are asking for recommendations. The other person suggests reading general interest mathematics books instead of textbooks. They also recommend looking at online notes from MIT's calculus classes. The speaker is worried about being able to handle the online classes at their current level but is also reading general interest maths books.
  • #1
right, basically, i am 16, and currently only read maths at the standard level for people my age (granted i find it easy as, and best in school and all sorta, by anyways, that enough ego boost for now hehe). and i want to start reading A-level maths (A-level is the UK maths level for 17-18 year for those who don't know the uk qualfiications). eventually ill be studying pure maths at uni probs.

I want to read some A-level stuff cause, firstly, I am interesteed in it and want to know it lol, secondly, i doing maths and further maths next year too so a head start will be uber useful specially since i doing more A-level than i should be, and thirdly, I am finding that when i am doing (well trying and reading up on) problems I havn't covered or seen the maths required :S kinda frustrating cause it means it real hard to get doing harder problems.

anyways, enough of me, I need a textbook for A-level stuff, as comprehensive as possible, and I'm asking here because I am guessing you guys will know the good from the bad lol

thnx for you help :D:D
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  • #2
There is no such thing as a good A-level textbook. They're all equally crap. Instead try reading some general interest mathematics books by Simon Singh, Ian Stewart, Marcus de Sautoy. You'll get far more out of them than dull textbooks that try to teach you yet more formulae. If you really want an A-level textbook, then I suppose the red "Advanced Mathematics" book available in Waterstones et al is fine. About the only content in A-level is differentiation, and they don't do that properly (sigh) - they just teach formulae again. If you're lucky you'll get a teacher who explains what is really going on. If I were you, I'd look at the online notes from MIT's first/second year calculus classes if you want to get ahead in 'doing problems'.
  • #3
do you rekon that i could handle those online classes at my current level?

baring in mind I've started to look up on problem solving without looking at A-level stuff but get confused on notation i havn't covered, and loads of other stuff.

and yeh ill be reading general interete maths on top of this :D

thnx for the advice,
  • #4
Yes, you can handle some first year courses at MIT. The US education system suffers from no streaming, and all universities, including MIT offer some surprisingly simple catch up courses. MIT have (apparently, I've never checked personally) a very laudable philosophy of making all course materials freely available.

1. How do I know which A-level Maths textbook is right for me?

To find the right A-level Maths textbook, consider your learning style, the content covered in the textbook, and its level of difficulty. Look for reviews and recommendations from other students and teachers to help you make an informed decision.

2. What should I look for in an A-level Maths textbook?

Look for clear and concise explanations, a variety of practice problems, and a good balance of theory and application. Also, make sure the textbook aligns with the syllabus and exam format.

3. Is it necessary to buy the most recent edition of an A-level Maths textbook?

It is not necessary to buy the most recent edition of a textbook, but it is recommended. The latest edition will have updated content and may also include additional practice problems and resources.

4. How can I save money on A-level Maths textbooks?

You can save money on A-level Maths textbooks by buying used or older editions, renting the textbook, or purchasing digital versions. You can also ask your teacher if there are any recommended textbooks available for free online.

5. Can I use more than one A-level Maths textbook?

Yes, you can use multiple textbooks to supplement your learning. However, make sure they cover the same topics and align with your syllabus to avoid confusion. It is also important to prioritize one main textbook for consistency in your studying.

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