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Textbook edition importance

JuvenisJuvenis Registered User Posts: 853 Member
For classes such as BSCI 110 & CHEM 220, does the edition of the textbook matter? Earlier editions cost much cheaper than the editions the school lists, and I'd obviously rather save my money. The only problem I can think of from getting an older edition is different end-of-the-chapter problems, and I'm talking about a 1-edition difference.

Replies to: Textbook edition importance

  • PancakedPancaked Registered User Posts: 3,355 Senior Member
    It's impossible to say-- this is different for every single textbook. Most of the time, the previous edition is practically identical. However, there are certainly times when the back of the book has different/rearranged problems. I've even bought a previous edition that was missing an entire chapter from the newest edition. While on the subject, international textbooks also have the same issue-- very frequently, the problems are rearranged or changed.

    Chem 220 doesn't even have homework out of the book, but sometimes professors will recommend certain problems to study/practice with.

    It's a risk to get the older edition, but sometimes it's justified by the price difference. I would check with a friend's textbook before doing any homework. Personally tend to seek out gently used textbooks from websites like Half.com or Amazon Marketplace and then sell the book directly to Amazon for credit at the end of the year.
  • LakeWashingtonLakeWashington Registered User Posts: 9,305 Senior Member
    You need to investigate to determine the differences between the assigned version and the previous edition. Sometimes Amazon reviewers speak on this subject when talking about a specific textbook. More than once I read a review for a STEM textbook that said 'there's no significant difference, so buy the previous version.'

    Lake Jr. used previous versions and International Editions for his STEM classes. For an engineering class a friendly professor provided copies of assigned problem sets for students who used the older edition. Lake Jr. did very well on the final exam in that class.
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