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How to bridge the gap

ACCESS TO ADVANCED LEVEL MATHEMATICS. By D Butcher and S Megeney. Stanley Thornes Pounds 6.99.

This book aims to provide a bridge from the intermediate tier of GCSE to A-level mathematics. The style promotes independent study, encouraging students to check their own understanding and to decide for themselves which sections are appropriate. They are assumed to be familiar with the content of the intermediate tier of GCSE, but care is taken not to dent their confidence.

The explanations are simply expressed and should be accessible. If a student doesn't understand the explanation, then worked examples and short tasks may help them to find an alternative approach. Answers are provided for each task, and these sometimes include helpful comments.

The book is quite compact and a conscientious student will gain much from working through it over a few weeks. Some features will be of lasting value as the student progresses through an A-level course: for example, the glossary will continue to be a useful reference.

Access to Advanced Level Mathematics could be a very helpful support, not only for many Year 11 students and those in the first year of an A-level course, but also for mature students who are considering whether to try A-level mathematics.

Peter Johnston-Wilder is senior lecturer in mathematics education at De Montfort University, Bedford

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