on May 10, 2008
This is my first year teaching using this book.
The good things about the book:
1. For AP Chemistry (College level chemistry taught in High School) it is one of the top three in use along with Chang and Brown Lemay.
2. All the topics that need to be covered are covered well
3. There are many problems for student practice.
4. I believe we will have good success on the AP exams using this text.
Things that could be improved upon:
1. It's huge. My students must read through over 900 pages between September and the middle of May.
2. I get quite a few "What does that mean?" questions. The text could be written clearer.
3. Most of the questions are math problems. The few conceptual problems are often not answered in the solutions manual AND they are quite convoluted.
4. The test generator is terrible. It is difficult to use, the key is often wrong and the questions are unlike the problems in the chapter.
on February 7, 2007
This book is very thick and contains disturbingly little information. The pages are large and colourful, with plenty of diagrams and pictures. There is plenty of prose, but it is neither dense nor clear.
Coverage of some tougher topics, such as thermodynamics, are totally inadequate. I think that this book concentrates on numbers and equations, which can be dry, without explaining the core ideas behind things. I don't like the order of topics--it doesn't seem natural to me, because it doesn't motivate the material enough before presenting things (like moles and concentration, all the numerical stuff) that students often find both difficult and tedious.
Overall, the level of this text is too low to justify its use at the college level, but it is not clear enough to be used at the high school level. For a book this thick and wordy, the material should be a lot better motivated than it is.