Error in Marshall Cavendish GCE ‘O’ Level “Chemistry Matters” Textbook – Part 1

Dear GCE ‘O’ Level (as well as IP) students using Marshall Cavendish Chemistry Textbook as reference text,

Please note that there is a printing error in the chemistry textbook (third impression 2008) that many of you did not realised (just like many of my students, until recently).

The error in print is on Page 271 under the Chapter of “Electrolysis” in Chemistry Matters for Pure Chemistry syllabus.

In the Key Ideas which acts like sub-section summary, it states that “OH- ions will be discharged as oxygen gas. However, if a solution is concentrated in halide ions, the halogen gas will be produced.” – At The Cathode! This is certainly not true as we know that The Cathode in an electrolytic cell is always negative charged and Cations (+ve ions) are attracted towards it and will be selectively discharged.

At the anode which is positively charged, Anions (-ve ions) will be attracted to it and be selectively discharged. As such, the information that “H+ ions will be discharged…..” is also incorrect in the Key Ideas.

(Click on image to have a clearer view)

In view that many of you rely alot on the Key Ideas for summarising the chapter, please take note of this glitch when you are revising for your GCE ‘O’ Level Chemistry Examinations.

Hope this information helps.

PS: If you know of anymore errors in print in this textbook (or other chemistry textbook), feel free to share your information here. Readers (mostly students and educators) will be grateful to you.

PPS: We would certainly love to here from you on this!

Updates on 17th Oct: There is another error in the book on Organic Chemistry. Click here to find out!

Related Articles:

Many people talked about teaching Chemistry, I simply LOVE it. I am a passionate Chemistry Coach based in Singapore, Southeast-Asia and aspire to be one of the most dynamic, powerful and humorous speakers in Asia. My 16+ years of coaching experience has equipped me to understand the true reasons why students are not able to perform well in Chemistry, and allow me to structure my teaching methodology to cater to different levels of learners. If you have found this post useful, please share it with your friends. I would really appreciate it! Sean Chua

25 Responses to Error in Marshall Cavendish GCE ‘O’ Level “Chemistry Matters” Textbook – Part 1
  1. Mash
    October 19, 2009 | 10:08 pm

    page 277. mistake?

    Last piece of text:

    The elctrode from which electrons flow out of is the negative electrode.

    Loss of electrons -> Oxidation – Anode -> POSITIVE electrode?


    JM Reply:

    i dont have this textbook, but your concept is correct..
    so it should be wrong..

    actually i realised quite a number of mistakes from this textbook also
    hope new editions will be better ^^


    KR Reply:

    omg.. so all the diagrams in the ‘Simple Cells’ section are wrong? All the mor reactive metals sld b postive electrodes?


    sean Reply:

    Hi KR,

    In Simple Cells, we do not really assign Positive and Negative signs to the electrodes.

    The strategy we use is different from those in Electrolytic Cells.

    Hope this helps.

    sean Reply:

    The assistant editor of publisher Marshall Cavendish are taking down all our information to him.

    They will make the necessary corrections in their next edition of Chemistry Matters.


    sean Reply:

    Hi Mash,

    There is nothing wrong with this one.

    Students are confused with this as they thought the assignment of negative/positive electrodes is the same as electrolytic cells.

    In fact, the assignment is different between Simple Cells VS Electrolytic Cells.

    In simple cell, you do not see words like “ANODE” and “CATHODE” in the textbook if you realised.

    Hope this helps. Let me know your thoughts on it.


  2. Rakshana
    October 20, 2009 | 7:29 pm

    Oh…yeah…never realised it


    sean Reply:


    All the best!


    Rakshana Reply:

    Thx! 🙂


  3. […] the error on Electrolysis Topic that we have posted earlier, there is another error spotted in Organic Chemistry. It is shown on page 393 under “Test […]

  4. Joseph
    October 21, 2009 | 3:48 pm

    but i think this textbook is better last year one,as the last year textbook did not really give an clear explaination of the topics


    sean Reply:

    I can’t agree more with you. It is quite a good textbook, although information is pretty overwhelming for some students.

    Generally, it is a good textbook!


  5. KR
    October 21, 2009 | 10:22 pm

    At page 393, Fig. 22.3, theres a typo.
    The bottommost carbon atom of the main chain sld b a hydrogen atom.


    sean Reply:

    Hi KR,

    Thanks for the information. We have blog about it and has also informed the Assistant Editor of Marshall Cavendish of this error.

    Sean =)


  6. Polprav
    October 22, 2009 | 12:59 pm

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?


  7. natalie
    October 22, 2009 | 3:58 pm

    thanks for the info!(:


    sean Reply:

    Most welcome! All the best to your chemistry exams!


  8. […] Error on Page 271 – under Electrolysis […]

  9. tiara
    October 24, 2009 | 2:13 pm

    is this book even credible? how are students going to study properly if there are errors in the textbook? we would end up studying the wrong things!


  10. Nora
    October 18, 2010 | 6:16 pm

    Hi wod like 2 ask a ques
    wat is negative and positive electrodes?
    i always confuse them with cathode and anode
    can u give a clear definition?
    thank you


  11. Amy
    July 12, 2012 | 3:33 am

    Could you please tell me where I can find the answer key for Marshall Cavendish GCE ‘O’ Level “Chemistry Matters” Textbook


    sean Reply:

    Hi Amy,

    If you are based in Singapore, you can go to any of the Popular Bookstores and ask the staff on the title.

    If not, you can google “Popular Bookstores” and email them.

    Alternatively, you can google “Marshall Cavendish” and email them.

    Hope the above helps. Enjoy.


  12. jaazba lareeb
    October 11, 2013 | 3:37 am

    hi every one i am a new teacher and its my first experience to teach o level i want gce o levels chemistry matters possible
    textbook answers of all chapters if any one can help me out please help me as soon as


  13. maria
    December 13, 2014 | 8:37 pm

    hi i am a new teacher in olevel . i need answers of gce olevel chemistry matters and useful websites for better teaching. help me out ,will wait for your kind reply . thank you.


    Sean Chua Reply:

    Hi Maria,

    Thanks for your comments. I am not sure which country are you from but if you are based in Singapore and you are a teacher in any of the Secondary Schools in Singapore, you should be able to request for a copy of the answers to the GCE O-Level Chemistry Matters Textbook by Marshall Cavendish. You can give them a call or write to them.

    Hope that helps. Enjoy your teaching!

    Sean Chua


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