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23 January 2010

Mail Time: 5 Steps 2005 vs. 2010 edition

Linda Hoover writes in with a pertinent question:

My oldest son, Daniel used your "5 Steps to a 5 AP Physics B&C" 2005 lime green edition to study for the AP Physics B exam in 2007. He really enjoyed using your book and he in fact, scored a 5! Thank you!

Glad it worked.  Awesome.
My youngest son, Mike is currently taking AP Physics with the plan to take the AP Physics B exam this May. We still have our 2005 version of your bookthat we could use for the review but I noticed that you have 2 later versions, 2008-9 and 2010-11.
Question 1: Have the typos/errors in the [previous versions] been fixed in the latest 2010-11 version?

Yes, as far as I can tell. I don't know whether most of these were my fault or the typesetter's, but the current edition's editor was extremely thorough and (most importantly) knowledgable about physics. I've found one small mistake already that I mentioned and fixed on this blog, but I don't think anything major. (And, I think folks online have exaggerated the frequency of errors. But, whatever, errors are annoying, to readers and to me.)

Question 2: How different is the 2010-11 version from the earlier 2005 copyright?  Should we just use the book we already have (2005) or buy the updated 2010-11 version?

Well, I've made a good deal of editorial changes to the text to make it more readable; plus, we've reordered things to emphasize what's truly important. After the first edition sold well, McGraw-Hill listened more attentively to me about some issues. The figures have been redrawn professionally, the layout is much clearer...

That said, much of the content is similar, and the exams themselves haven't changed. The 2005 book won't hurt, and will save you the 20 beans. If you buy a new one, however, I think I get 25 cents in royalties! :-)

Good luck... let me know if you have comments about the 2010-11 edition.


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