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SMC|Academic Programs|Mathematics|Textbook Information

Textbook Information

Where do I find my textbook information?

All information regarding the textbooks required for your math class is posted at: 


What is the difference between "required" and "choose" as listed in the bookstore?

All math classes have material that must be purchased for that class. It is sometimes cheaper for the bookstore to purchase the text as part of a package that contains nonessential items than it is to buy the text only.  For example, the national price for the Math 31 text is about $130, but our package is about $112.  Most packages contain online access codes that allow you to utilize textbook specific online supplements; your individual teacher may or may not actually require the access code. (see below)
  • "required" package - the text, online access code and sometimes other required material are bundled together to reduce the cost.  Your individual teacher may or may not actually require the access code. (see below)
    • Math 18, 20, 31 and 81 packages all contain text, required study skills supplement and an access code.
    • Math 54 package contains text, student solution manual and an access code for portal.
  • "required" listed for multiple items - All items listed as required should be purchased, either new or used.  The department was unable to bundle the books together to reduce costs.
    • Math 54 - the majority of teachers require a TI-84 calculator - you may be able to rent vs buy these.
    • online access codes listed separately - these may be purchased online or through the bookstore.
  • "required" listed for only one textbook  -  No online material is currently available; used books are a great cost saving option.
  • "choose" between a textbook and a package means that your instructor doesn't have a preference of whether or not you buy a used book or a package. To help you make an informed decision, the components of the online systems are listed on the Access Code Information Page.

Is a used book really cheaper?

The answer to this depends primarily on whether or not your teacher requires you to purchase an access code in order to complete online homework.  Since the cost for a stand alone access code averages $80, it is rarely cheaper to purchase a used book if your teacher requires the access code.

Additionally all Developmental math classes require a Study Skills Supplement.  For Math 18, 20, 31 and 81 the Study Skills Supplement and access code are part of the package listed as required.  The Study Skills Supplement can be purchased stand alone for between $6.75 and $25; the access codes can be purchased stand alone for about $98. 

Do I need an Access Code?

To determine if your teacher requires an access code, look for the phrase "Students are required to purchase an access code in order to complete online homework." listed in the paper or html copy of the schedule of classes. 

If your teacher requires an access code and you purchase the text with an access code from another vendor, it is your responsibility to verify that the access code will work with our system. If you purchase a used textbook without an access code, and your teacher requires an access code, it is your responsibilty to purchase the access code as a standalone (averages about $80).


Is a Custom Book really custom to SMC?

Customized can mean one of two things:  the content is identical to national versions but the layout, cover or printing method has been changed to reduce costs OR the book is a merging of multiple texts.  Math 26 and Math 85 text books are truly different than any national versions and extreme caution should be exercised before purchasing either book from a source other than the SMC bookstore.