Generally how good are those books for a student to use as a study guide?
They are good for doing well in the exams, but not good enough if you want to get some deep understanding.
I've got the Applied physics. It's an easy read, and a good review, but I wouldn't want it as a primary text.
They are quite good "to get your hands dirty". I have almost the entire series of everything that has to do with physics, electronics, engineering and chemistry and they all work along the same principle: learning by doing. Theory is reduced to the bare minimum, just enough to make sense of the problem-solving algorithms that are presented, then a series of detailled worked-out problems ("case studies" if you like), and then a set of similar problems, but with only the final answer to check if you got it or not.
As said before, they don't give you deep insight in the theoretical aspect of the matter (and thus not a very deep understanding) - you better get that in parallel elsewhere. But they give you a very robust set of problem-solving skills in the matter. Don't think that these are "cheap tricks", no, you get a systematic education in problem solving which is really really useful.
The best use for the Schaum series is:
- as a practical complement to a theoretical course
- when you have learned some material long ago, remember that you understood it, but you've a bit lost your practical skills, to get you up and running again.
Separate names with a comma.