May 5, 2020, by Agnes
In Defence of Mind Maps
Ahh, the dreaded Summer Term. Exam season is upon us and, along with the omnipresent lack of motivation due to that-which-shall-not-be-named, we’re all looking for ways to spice up our revision. Chances are that you’ve already got your favourite revision strategies that are tried and tested and work for you. Trust me, so did I. However, under the current circumstances, I found that my usual revision strategies (writing out notes, revision cards, memorising) became overwhelming and demotivated me from doing any work whatsoever.
I decided to try something new – mind maps. “How have you never tried mind maps before?” I know, right? I’ve always seen them as a bit useless because I thought that you couldn’t convey a great deal of information on them. And even if, I would never find the most perfect way to lay out all the details I need for my Mathematics degree. I will be the first one to admit, I was completely wrong.
The plan was to create a mind map for each of my modules. I chose the first module to tackle and got to work! First, I went through my lecture notes for the whole module and drew a rough spider diagram planning out the placement of each topic and how they connect. It was easier than I expected. After that, it was the case of fitting all the necessary details and information into the limited space of an A3 sheet of paper (which I specifically ordered online for this purpose.) I sharpened my pencils and started noting down every piece of information I deemed key to answering exam questions; definitions, theorems, properties of theorems, diagrams, formulae… I constantly felt like I was running out of space. I made sure everything was legible, but concise and taking as little space as possible. All of these technical parts of creating a mind map turned this task into a creative one, rather than a chore. After all the information was on the page, I had fun choosing the colour scheme for each mind map, rewriting it in pen and making it look beautiful. Wait… I had fun doing revision? Life-changing!