Heinemann Baccalaureate: chemistry standard level

Catrin Brown and Mike Ford 

Oxford: Pearson Education 2008 | Pp539 | £22.50 | ISBN 978 0 43 599425 9

Reviewed by Simon Harvey

Book cover

It is a shame that this book was not available two years ago when the new International Baccalaureate (IB) chemistry specification for 2009 was published. Its competitors published at that time were mainly black and white, this more student-friendly textbook features colour throughout and provides a better transition from the current GCSE texts available. 

Appropriate for standard level students, the book covers all aspects of the core specification, including each of the option topics. There are also valuable sections on internal assessment, theory of knowledge and the extended essay, which are key parts of the IB programme. Practice questions from past IB examination papers are included at the end of each chapter and answers are provided at the back of the book, which makes these questions useful for students but not a resource to use for homework. As seems to be the case with other IB texts, there is no practical or worksheet resource pack available to support this publication. 

For me the cost of this book is a major issue. There are cheaper alternatives that cover material for the standard and higher levels in one volume. A copy of the higher level companion to this book will cost you £39.99. I will be using this book and its higher level equivalent as a library resource. However, if budget is not an issue and you have not bought a student book as yet, then this is a strong contender.