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.