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Thread: Is Cambridge Extension 2 Textbook Extraordinarily Hard?

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    Is Cambridge Extension 2 Textbook Extraordinarily Hard?

    I am currently doing the Cambridge textbook and I feel like it is amazingly hard. Some questions, I struggle to do but I get the hang of it after some explanations. Is this normal? What is the stereotypical experience of the textbook?

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    Re: Is Cambridge Extension 2 Textbook Extraordinarily Hard?

    Glad to see I'm not the only one! From my experience with that textbook I am finding it really hard
    We had to do 2.4 for homework and I can basically do none of the questions ahaha


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    Re: Is Cambridge Extension 2 Textbook Extraordinarily Hard?

    Are you talking about the 4U Cambridge book by Arnold & Arnold? If so, don't worry if you found it hard - the questions in it weren't really exam style questions in my opinion but the information there was nice.

    In terms of difficulty, I found that the first few questions of the Cambridge exercises started off pretty easy but then gradually became harder and much more challenging to the point where I just gave up doing them - so if you were doing the last few questions in some exercises and found them difficult then I shouldn't worry too much.

    However, in order to feel most prepared, just read up the explanations and theory in the Cambridge book or some other book like Fitzpatrick or Terry Lee and then do past HSC questions. I found that was the best way
    Last edited by captainhelium; 11 Nov 2017 at 9:40 PM.
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    Re: Is Cambridge Extension 2 Textbook Extraordinarily Hard?

    <3 I am no longer being consumed by depression where I cannot even complete some of the questions. But, it is still I fact that I cannot really accept; not being able to complete the textbook.

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    Re: Is Cambridge Extension 2 Textbook Extraordinarily Hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by ElizaBan6 View Post
    <3 I am no longer being consumed by depression where I cannot even complete some of the questions. But, it is still I fact that I cannot really accept; not being able to complete the textbook.
    Then use that as motivation to keep trying!
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    Re: Is Cambridge Extension 2 Textbook Extraordinarily Hard?

    Cambridge is relatively challenging for newcomers. If you want something that's more user-friendly, you can try Fitzpatrick (it's the textbook I recommend to people who prefer self-studying, and rely more on reading over classes for understanding). Though I do recommend Cambridge for when you're more familiar with the topics.

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    Re: Is Cambridge Extension 2 Textbook Extraordinarily Hard?

    Even after reading it over 50 times, I sometimes discover a point that I have overlooked. I have explained to my 4U students that the Cambridge 4U is not an easy book to follow. Even for me - after my 10th reading I find something that has escaped me. One way of explaining the difficulty is: this book would have been an excellent and easy-to-follow text were it 3 times as thick!

    The book has been distilled to the bare essentials - hardly any user-friendly explanations. Each paragraph could do with another 2 or 3 paragraphs explaining the underlying concepts more fully. Each sentence is pregnant with facts. Not an additional word conceded by way of explanation. I have a copy of the American text: University Physics (Young & Freedman; originally Sears & Zemansky) that has 1500 pages of fine prints; were this done in the Arnold & Arnold style, it'd be no more than 500 pages. This textbook is so comprehensive and explains things in a very clear and helpful manner. The illustrations, like many American texts, are just outstanding. The Cambridge text is terse, written in the spirit of texts prior to the 1960s. Keeping the text slim may also have been a priority, to keep the cost of publication down.

    To answer the question: Yes, Cambridge Extension 2 is a very hard textbook for self study for the vast majority.

    Because it is a widely-adopted text for 4U, I suspect no small number of Maths Ext 2 students have been driven to seek the help of coaching centres and private tutors.
    Last edited by Drongoski; 11 Nov 2017 at 10:14 PM.
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