Review: "A-Level Mathematics Challenging (Learn By Example)" By Thomas Bond, Chris Hughes

This is the second book by Thomas Bond and Chris Hughes, designed with a different purpose in mind compared to the other book I reviewed earlier: Challenging Drill Questions.

This book costs approximately S$21, which isn't too costly.


• Each chapter is divided into two sections: “Fundamental Examples” and “Standard Problems”. The fundamental examples allow students to recap basic concepts by reading through the step by step solutions before attempting the standard problems (full solutions provided).

• The solutions provided come with a detailed marking scheme, as such students can obtain a clearer idea as to how their answers would be graded. However every school adopts a possibly different marking scheme so do take the scheme provided with a pinch of salt.

• Sufficient problems for students to practice: 10 – 20 per chapter.


• Not all the “examples” are actual practice questions. Some of them are merely formulas required for memorization, yet they cited them as “examples” anyways to increase the question count (kind of cheating in my opinion).

• As I have mentioned previously for their “Challenging Drill Questions” book, the topics could be further sub-divided in accordance to the local teaching syllabi of junior colleges and IP schools.

• This book is not useful for H1 students because many topics examined for the H2 standard aren't covered within the H1 standard. H1 students might experience difficulties extracting relevant questions for practice on their own. There is no explicit indication of whether a particular question is suitable for a H1 student.

Targeted audience:

• Students who find it rather difficult when it comes to attempting tutorial questions on their own and as such require more solved problems to “read through” to become properly acquainted with things.

• On the contrary, students who have attained a certain level of mastery of most topics may not find the book too useful. They are better off using the “challenging drill questions” book instead.

This review was first published over at the blog of Mathematics tutor Mr Ang Wei Cang on 25 February 2015. It is reproduced with permission.