Mind-maps for exam revision

When people think about making mind maps, they generally associate this with planning a piece of writing.  This kind of brainstorming or gathering of thoughts is used to structure an essay.  But mind maps can also act as a revision tool, a succinct way of taking notes in class, and a method of capturing key points from reading.   You might want to memorize a classic mindmap which is very visual and uses imagery, or you may want to try this technique for condensing notes.

Exam revision

This is a very useful technique for students with a good visual memory.  The trick to making really effective mind maps for exams, is to condense all the information you need to know into a single A4 sheet of paper. 

The next most important step is to make sure that the content is colourful, includes images if appropriate, and is set out in a way that can easily be recalled.  The aim is to re-create this mind map in the exam – you could re-write or re-draw it at the back of the answer booklet. 

But won’t this use up valuable time?  It shouldn’t take any more than 10 minutes, and you then spend far less of the exam time trying to ‘remember’ information.  You can add to the mind map during the exam.  Here are some examples:

4 columns, 4 headings in each column, one research example for each heading (in red).  If you can recall this structure in the exam you should be able to recall the content……

Use abbreviations, remember the number of abbreviations you have used, ‘picture’ or visualise the page in your mind’s eye…..

Try using pictures, arrows and numbers, these are ‘memory joggers’…………