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Novare Chemistry for Accelerated Students: A review (sort of)


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I know there has been a lot of interest in Novare's Chemistry for Accelerated Students, and I think we are one of the few families who are actually using it. I get PMs regularly asking me about the text/program, and I always answer the questions. I kept planning to start a thread with an actual review, and never seemed to get around to doing so. Well, if I wait until I have time to do a proper, thorough, review I will never get it done.  :glare:

 

So this is, rather than a thorough review, a collection of thoughts about the text.

 

PROS:

 

It is a challenging text. I don't have a bunch of other texts to compare it to, and I can't tell you what AP topics are missing. It is certainly more rigorous than the one my older boys used in their private school. I will feel fully confident sending my son to a college chemistry course after finishing this book.

 

We like the layout. It does not suffer from the overly busy layout of many high school textbooks. There is an ipad version if that appeals. I bought one hard copy and one digital copy. I wanted the digital copy for traveling, but it has been a good way to buddy-read. (Although I would prefer my copy to be physical, I have made do with the ipad version  :tongue_smilie:

 

The review problems at the end of each chapter are awesome. 

 

Customer support is superb. I have exchanged several emails with Novare, and they are very responsive and helpful.

 

You get a solutions manual, quizzes, and tests. Hooray for that.

 

 

CONS:

 

There is a small amount of religion in the book. Just enough to annoy those who do not want religion in their science texts (that would be us), but not enough to satisfy those who want a Christian-based text. Really, most chapters have no mention at all of God or the creator or Christianity. It is super duper easy to skip over, but I find it irksome. I read that there is a secular version, but I have not seen it.

 

My student could not self-teach with this book. Yours might be able to, of course. 

 

The solutions manual only gives answers to quantitative problems. And there are some thought provoking questions that do not have numerical solutions. Sometimes, I have to think hard :tongue_smilie:

 

And there are too many errors in the solutions. The errata is still being updated, and it is available online. There are enough errors that a new edition of the solutions manual would be welcome. Errors in the text itself are not much of an issue, though.

 

We have sometimes needed routine problems, and those are lacking.  For example, when it was time to balance equations, ALL of the problems are word problems (e.g., "Butane burns in oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water..."). Once he got the hang of balancing equations, I thought these problems were great. But I had to find balance-this-equation problems elsewhere - I have used Chang's General Chemistry for those.

 

I will try to answer any questions, and I will come back and post about labs later. I am out of time right now!

 

HTH

 

 

Edited by Penguin
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Thanks for posting. I have been very interested in their books. I think especially like the lack of clutter in the text, and that's going to make these strong contenders for my dyslexic dd.

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