Len Pollock reviews this well presented study guide
David Acaster and Lawrie Ryan
Cambridge: CUP 2009 | Pp242 | £16.95 | ISBN 978 0 52 174604 5
Intended for students studying the new 2008 A2 OCR specification for examination in 2010, this well-presented book is divided into 17 chapters. Chapter one is revision of topics covered at AS-level. Chapters 2-10 cover organic chemistry, extending topics met at AS-level and introducing new ones. Chapters 11-17 focus on inorganic and physical chemistry.
The chapters, which are subdivided into topics, make for easy reading with the text, diagrams, pictures and tables, attractively and colourfully laid out. At the end of each topic there are self-assessment questions (SAQs), which are intended to help students review their learning and extend their understanding. Each chapter includes worked examples and an item on 'how science works'. At the end of each chapter there are summaries and questions from earlier examination papers. The answers to the SAQs are given at the end of the book, but the examination-style questions are left unanswered. Other features include two appendices, a Periodic Table, and a list of standard electrode potentials, together with a glossary and index.
The accompanying CD-ROM gives free access to Cambridge OCR advanced sciences website, which features a range of pop-up windows containing in-depth objectives and extension material, and interactive PDFs. The CD-ROM also provides hints and answers for the SAQs and end-of-chapter questions.
In addition to supporting the study of the A2 OCR specification, this resource will be useful for students following the specifications of other examination boards, and will provide a useful basis for higher study. An excellent addition to any school library, teachers may also find the book a useful source of ideas for creating more interest in their teaching.