Mind mapping

Of all of the different learning styles, the visual learning style is the best suited to traditional exam revision methods, such as mind mapping. Visual learners will respond well to these colourful summaries of the content. This is not to say that auditory learners and kinaesthetic learners shouldn’t use mind maps; they can actually be pretty effective for you too.

A bad mind map is useless and ineffective. It’s important to know how to develop them properly, or they’ll just be a waste of time and paper.

Here are some tips to help you learn how to mind map so that you don’t waste time or paper.

Firstly, gather your tools. You will need:

  • Sheets of plain paper (A3 if you can get it, otherwise A4 will do)
  • Black marker
  • Black pen
  • Different colour pens OR highlighters OR pencil crayons
  • Sticky notes

The most important thing to remember about mind mapping is that it is a way to see the main ideas/components of a section at a glance, and how those ideas are connected.

Start by reading through the section you want to summarise, and making a note of the main ideas.

 

Draw your mind map with these ideas in mind.

Now, read through the section again. For each of the main ideas, you should identify related ideas.

Using a black pen, jot these down on your mind map.

Now, set aside your textbook or notes and focus on what you know or remember about the content. Using different colours, make notes for yourself, write examples that illustrate the point, draw doodles that help to explain things and connect different ideas. You can also use sticky notes to add more examples or to test yourself.

 

Your mind map is now complete! If you are a visual learner, you can simply use your mind maps as visual reminders of the content. If you are an auditory learner or a kinaesthetic learner, use your mind map to explain the content to a friend or helpful parent or sibling.

 

Tips for kinaesthetic learners

This is the last post in a three-part series, where we explore study techniques for the three main learning styles. If you aren’t sure what your unique learning style is, click here to find out. If you are a visual learner, click here for study techniques to suit that learning style. And if you are an auditory learner, click here.

So you’ve done the quiz and you’ve figured out that you have a kinaesthetic learning style.

To recap: People with a kinaesthetic learning style learn best when they are able to manipulate, engage with or actually do the thing that they’re learning about. If you find that you’re unable to fully grasp content unless you can touch and explore it, then you’re probably a kinaesthetic learner.

Here are some study techniques that you could try. These techniques help kinaesthetic learners to make sense of content and concepts by making sure that your brain engages with information in a way that it can process.

Do something while you study

Because you are easily distracted, it’s a good idea to do something while you’re studying. Fidget spinners are the latest trend but a good old-fashioned stress ball or simple elastic band will also do the trick. You could also take your notes to the gym, and try to get some studying in while you’re walking on the treadmill. You could also just pace up-and-down wherever you are studying.

The point is that your attention needs to be on your study notes, so calm your inner fidget by giving it something to do while your brain focuses on the important stuff!

Practise HIST (High Intensity Study Intervals)

Because you are easily distracted, it’s no use trying to get a straight four hours of studying in. You will only end up frustrated. Rather study in short but effective bursts. This gives you an opportunity to focus on the task at hand, knowing that a 5-10 minute break is coming up.

Set a timer for 25 minutes and use the 25 minutes to give your revision all of your energy and attention. Once the buzzer goes, set another timer for 5-10 minutes (no longer!). Use this time to do whatever you like – make a sandwich, make a call or take a quick swim. Then go back and do another round. Do this until you’ve hit your study target for the day.

Prepare a presentation

Pretend that you are the only person in your class that has received the study notes. It is your responsibility to teach the content and skills to the rest of your class. Prepare a presentation on what they need to know. Use any presentation aids that you choose: PowerPoint, flipcharts, flash cards, etc. The act of putting the presentation together will help to solidify the content in your mind.

Take a look at this post: Tips for auditory learners, where we discuss putting together a study club. A study club is the perfect audience for a presentation like this. And, best of all, you’ll be helping learners with different learning styles (like an auditory learning style) at the same time too!

Watch videos and tutorials online

Long written descriptions will probably bore you, and you will end up not fully grasping complex content and concepts. Use YouTube and other reputable educational websites to find explanatory videos. This will go a long way to helping you decode the content.

It is also a good idea to look for online tutorials on DIY projects. This method won’t necessarily suit all of your subjects but you may be surprised how many fun and interesting projects there are online to help you with your learning. An example might be to build a DNA model to help you understand the helix structure (Life Sciences).

Here is a good example of this type of project: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Model-of-DNA-Using-Common-Materials

(We have a full post on study techniques using technology coming up on the blog so look out for that.)

Use rhythm and rhyme

(This study technique is also suitable for auditory learners.)

Mnemonics (pronounced ni-mon-iks) are a great way to remember lists of facts or information, and are ideal for kinaesthetic learners because the act of making something up yourself often makes it easier to remember. Have fun making up your own mnemonics to remember certain facts.

For example, a good way to remember the three main learning styles might be to remember this rhyme: Vuyo Kicks Ants. (V = visual, K = kinaesthetic, A = auditory)

TIP: Try not to depend on mnemonics too much as a study technique, as you may end up forgetting which mnemonic to use!

How to use your Ace it! study guide

Hopefully this post has given you some good ideas about study techniques to use when you’re a kinaesthetic learner. Don’t forget that the Ace it! study guides have all the content you need to know for your exams.

Here’s how a kinaesthetic learner can use the Ace it! study guides to their best advantage:

  • Use the practice exam questions. Practice exams are a great tool for kinaesthetic learners.
  • Prepare your own quiz based on the content in the study guide.
  • Use sticky notes to remember which mnemonic to use for which section. And sing/chant your mnemonic out loud with actions and clapping for maximum impact!