According to a recent Microsoft survey, school students these days are more likely to spend time on computers at home, than school, particularly when studying. Microsoft showed 37% of secondary pupils used computers for study every day at home. Fig 1: Section of a Biology mind map before colour and graphics have been added
At this time of year school students and their parents are thinking (and often worrying) about exams but it can be difficult to know how to best assist them with their studying.
The paper-based Mind Mapping technique has been around for thousands of years, and was popularised last century and now it has been enhanced even further by using MindGenius Mind Mapping Software.
It is used extensively within schools and universities; here are our tips on how it can be used in the home by kids at exam time:
One of the biggest problems can be the breadth of information that students need to review and revise. Everyone knows the old technique of re-writing notes to try and “cram” it into their heads. A different approach to this is having kids map out their subjects, using only the keypoints from their notes. This process of summarising information into the map format is the first step towards understanding and recall. Being able to create a visual representation of a subject allows the pupil (and parent!) to ‘size’ the study task and quickly identify those areas of a topic that they understand and those areas that require more work.
Once it has all been mapped out in MindGenius, pictures, colours and graphics can be added to aid and stimulate memory recall. This can also be done via a hand-drawn mind mapping technique but when a map has been created using MindGenius, kids can edit or re-arrange their map at any time, for example if they realise they have more information to add, or they make a mistake, they don’t have to recreate the map again from scratch.
Having the whole topic mapped in one place and having the ability to easily navigate through the topic, focusing in and out on particular sections as required is for more efficient than summarising a topic in paper based notes. Categories can be used to mark and indicate your understanding and confidence level on each section, allowing you to identify and concentrate on those areas requiring the most work.
MindGenius can then be used to test their knowledge and recall ability. One way to do this is to focus in on an area using Map Explorer, and alter the branch levels so only the key topic is in view.Once a branch has secondary level branches appearing, a plus or minus sign appears next to it. A plus sign appears when branches are hidden, and a minus when the branch is open to full capacity. They should then test their own knowledge around this topic. This method is a fast and easy way to reinforce learning.
Fig 2: Revision Notes for an English literature topic
If you do not have MindGenius Education at home, we are offering the opportunity to purchase a copy of our Academic version for just £40,* that’s a 40% discount on the usual list price. This offer is valid until the 28th February. Simply enter the code, MGSTUD at the online checkout.
MindGenius Education was created by and with those in the Education field and contains education specific resources. Purchase MindGenius Education.
*$63.86/€46.32. All prices exclusive of VAT where applicable.
Fig 1: Section of a Biology mind map before colour and graphics have been added