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Mind Maps: Creative Study Tools

Have you ever created a mind map for a study tool?

You should consider it! Mind maps are effective, and can save you stress and time. They also can provide some variety in your study process.

A mind map is a visual method of representing, learning, memorizing, arranging, brainstorming, and understanding information.

Studies show mind maps increase productivity, creativity, memory, and comprehension during studying and other academic tasks.

Creating a mind map reflecting course content helps students understand and recall material.

It provides variety in the study process.

By creating a mind map, using colours, lines, and images to display relationships, students absorb and remember material more quickly. 

A mind map is interesting, because it encourages readers to scan a page in a non-linear fashion.

In the designing of a mind map, students compress large quantities of writing. This is efficient, because when it’s time to review course material, readers can consume the information quickly and easily. This is ideal for studying, when students need to master great amounts of course content.

Here are a couple more examples of detailed mind maps.

Here’s how to make a Mind Map:

  • start with a blank page. 

  • be prepared, with many coloured pens, markers, and highlighters.

  • think of a web. Visualize your information/content in the form of a web.

  • start in the centre. The main topic goes in the middle of the mind map.

  • from the middle, branch out in different directions from the centre. These branches are for sub-topics.

  • from each of the sub-topics, branch out again. You be the judge of how to create the map.

  • use images, symbols, and codes throughout your mind key words to represent topics or important ideas.

  • connect the lines, from the central topic.

  • use many colours, for visual stimulation and encoding or grouping.use “radial heirarchy,” or outlines, to keep the mind map clear and easy to understand.

  • this is free flowing, very personal, and a reflection of your own style and creativity.

  • practise this process.  It may take time to develop your own style.  Be patient, and enjoy it!

Try creating mind maps the next time you’re preparing for a test or exam!

Make your studying as interesting and varied as possible!

For more information on creating mind maps, there’s a ton of information online.

Read about Tony Buzan, the British popular psychology and television personality and author who invented mind maps in 1974.  He was nominated for a Nobel prize for honing this process; however, the origin of these visual maps of information goes back to Porphyry of Tyros, a noted thinker of the third century.  Porphyry created graphics to illustrate Aristotle’s concepts thousands of years ago.

For more information about Tony Buzan’s Mind Maps, go to his website, or  check out this video.

For more tips on exam preparation, study tools, and math prep, check out my blog!

For time management guidance, check out my videos herehere and here.

And, for suggestions about test day strategy, read this.


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