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I mostly got away without buying new textbooks after first-year - there were a couple of classes where I needed them, but in a lot of cases I knew people who'd taken it before and lent me the book / the prof had kept with the old version (or in some cases gave old as well as new question/page references), but I've found that it's the first year courses where they mix up the books the most.

My own personal experiences have been with archaeology texts where the chapter-end studies were replaced with a different culture, physics texts where the figures within the questions were changed and maths texts where the questions were the same but reordered. Yeah, you can learn the same stuff from the textbook's main content, but if you get assigned a list of questions to complete and those questions don't match with this years' then buying the previous textbook is essentially useless. In my later years, the homework was never "do these questions from the book", so the texts dated less.




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