The thing about revision books is that all students question whether they are really something we should use.
Lecturers often tell us to avoid them; however, many of us still buy them each academic year. The thing about revision books is that they are easy to read and easy to understand. Never more than 300 pages of sectioned notes, they are hard to resist. Especially at the price of around £12.99 when most law books hit the £50 mark.
Which revision guide?
Choosing your revision book is personal. If you browse in a bookshop you will find several different series including Concentrate from Oxford University Press, Optimize from Routledge and Law Express from Pearson. Have a look inside and see which books suit your own learning style.
Some revision guides are packed with information and you might be tempted to use them because they cover a lot. Less is more in my opinion. Your revision book does not replace your textbook and case reading - it is best used alongside your reading and to provide clarity when you are stuck.
As a 1st-year Law student, I was drawn to Law Express and I have used them ever since. Law Express is more concise than some of other revision books and they make things clear. I also like the fact that they are readily available in a consistent format across all subjects – and we all like consistency!
Why I use Law Express
Each section of the book gives you key cases. It will help you understand what the case's initial facts are and the outcome held in a succinct manner.
Each book is full of detailed mind maps, which helps put cases into perspective. They aim to give you a snapshot of the ideas and arguments you should be forming in a fast and effective way.
Each book likes to ask questions to keep your mind creating new ideas. This helps to extend your answers so you are not just answering the question, but thinking about the next steps and analysing the cases in order to achieve those higher marks.
Sample questions are dotted throughout the books, which aim to give you an idea of the type of question you may be asked on this topic. In some cases it may be a problem question and in others it may be scenario. Attempting these will help you maximise your marks and you can even then go online and submit them to be marked.
It is clear to see that Law Express is an effective way to help guide your revision in a more simple and succinct manner. This isn’t to say you should forget reading those hefty compulsory textbooks, though!
I always try to use the Law Express books as a starting point. They help you understand the topic before you get down to the fine details needed to get those higher grades. Try and revise in sections by taking all the small detail from the Law Express books and then add to it by using the core textbooks, before moving on to the next revision topic.
Law Express is:
- Easy to use
- Good value
My top tips
- Use Law Express throughout the year! If a lecturer talks about a complex case, 9 times out of 10 it is explained simply in Law Express!
- Use it as an extra and not on its own, as you don’t want to lose the substantive material that lectures and textbooks give you.
Shannon Stewart is a Law student at the University of Liverpool.