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Revision Express AS and A2 Religious Studies

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£12.70 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
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Genre: Education / Author: not specified / ISBN: 1408206668 / Publisher: Pearson Education / Publication Date: 2011

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      23.08.2011 20:14
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      A concise revision guide that is very helpful for anyone who needs a boost!

      My A-level in Religious Studies was the only the A-level I took that I felt a conventional revision guide was needed. During Year 12 I was doing alright in the subject but it wasn't my strongest as I averaged in B/C grade in mock tests as opposed to the A my teacher claimed I had the potential to reach. Therefore, halfway through the year I decided to use up some Amazon vouchers and purchase this guide by 'Revision Express', because it had no negative reviews, was revised for the new RS syllabus and written by the same people who wrote our textbooks. The RRP is a hefty £14.99, but you can now get it off Amazon for £7.94 which is much better value.

      The 'Revision Express' series is, of course, a series of revision books run by the publisher Pearson in popular A-level subjects such as English Literature, Mathematics, Modern History and even General Studies (why!?). They are recognizable from the yellow and black coloured borders and font on the front of their books with a mostly white background, which I think is quite eye-catching despite its simplicity.

      The actual content of the Revision Express guides focuses on covering all the topics possible in short, easy to memorize sections for quick revision. Each topic in the Religious Studies guide is on a two-page spread (sometimes four-page). These are broken down into subtitled sections packed with key points and quotes. Along the margins are background notes, checkpoint questions on certain terms and reasoning, terminology (especially useful for the philosophy part of the course) and "grade booster" tips, all in different coloured boxes. At the end of the topic is a timed 'test yourself' question, which you can answer and then see if your answer is one that fits with the examiner's opinion at the end of the section.

      I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this guide and found it invaluable for actually memorizing the key points for my exams. Firstly, the layout is easy on the eyes but also puts the most important information in its main bulk with those tips that help get extra marks are still noticeable in the margins. Secondly, the book covers all the topics under every examination board with a Religious Studies A-level; there is even a specification map listing which exam boards will have questions on each topic. Furthermore, the book is useful in that it not only tells you what you need to know but about exam techniques as well. For example, some of the 'New Testament' topics warned me not to simply retell the biblical passages or parables relevant to a certain question but focus on explaining how they help prove my point, and this was something my teacher didn't stress until close to the exams.

      However this book is not something you can completely depend on to pass your exams. Whilst it covers a broad range of topics they aren't in a huge amount of detail. Answering a Religious Studies A-level question requires more detail than the few quotes listed here and the outlined arguments, so it's best used in conjunction with a good teacher and/or your textbooks. Regardless the Revision Express guide is still useful because it's so concise, and so it's best used for when you're making your own revision notes or flashcards. It won't guarantee you an A*, but for me the outlining of details and presenting the basic facts and quotes in a way I could easily remember them helped push my grades from B's and C's to a proper A- something which I'm very pleased about.

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