7 Mind Mapping Uses for Students

By ThinkBuzan | Posted 9/7/10 | Updated 5/22/23

We get it: you want to know what this Mind Mapping technique is, and why students would use it. Well, we have seven ways students can start Mind Mapping to get better results, improve their memory and spend less time actually making notes — surely that's worth a read!

1 | Making Notes

Firstly, Mind Maps are a great way for students to make notes on all of the information they receive. Do you ever feel like, as students, you are being told a ton of facts and figures and have no way to get it all down and remember it?

Mind Maps help students to note down only the most important information using key words, and then make connections between facts and ideas visually — keeping all of your topic thoughts together on one sheet. This makes note taking easier and more rewarding for students, as it makes sure you actually understand what you are writing down and condenses pages of notes into one usable single side of paper. Having one visual resource to refer to makes everything easier. Then, when you come back to review your notes, you will remember the information more readily — quite a feat!

2 | Planning an Essay

Students get it all the time — your teachers are asking you to create an essay plan. But do you just not know where to start? Or, when you make a plan, do you find it hard to stick to? By creating a Mind Map to plan your essay, you generate more ideas quickly and, with the radial structure, you can quickly see the connecting topics, main paragraphs and structure.

Mind Maps will help you make a realistic plan for your essay, and create a logical structure for the introduction, main sections and conclusions. Mind Mapping focuses your mind on the message you want to get across and the key information you want to include, making you less likely to go off topic or start rambling — a great tool for making sure you hit the marking criteria.

3 | Studying for Exams

Speaking of exams, how many students hate studying for exams? Having to go back through piles of notes, forgetting what they were about in the first place! With Mind Mapping, studying and exams don't have to be scary. Simply review the notes you have made on each subject, and Mind Map the key information you need to remember.

To check that you have memorised this information, you can create a new Mind Map with only the main topic branches, and then fill in the rest from memory. You will find that you will have remembered more, and maintained the connections between ideas — ideal for answering exam questions!

4 | Creative Inspiration

Mind Map ExampleHave you every tried to write a story, paint a picture or plan an essay but had no ideas to start with? Mind Mapping sparks billions of creative ideas, for students to turn into the next great novel or artwork! Mind Maps work in the same way as your brain, meaning that when you have a thought — this could be an image, a word or a feeling — this instantly sparks off hundreds of connecting ideas.

Mind Maps are just a way of representing this process on paper, so start Mind Mapping and you'll find thousands of ideas flooding out. Plus, Tony Buzan, the inventor of Mind Mapping and all-round smart guy, says that when you start Mind Mapping students should note down any ideas that they have — no matter how crazy or random! This is where the best creative plans come from — so don't be afraid to be off the wall…

5 | Problem Solving

If you have a tough equation or obstacle you need to overcome, Mind Mapping can help you to see things clearly. Students should know that the ability to problem solve is looked for by universities and future employers — Mind Mapping will get you ahead of the pack! When you encounter a problem, your instinct is to panic, meaning your heart starts beating faster and you feel stressed. Instead of 'forcing' your mind to find a solution, Mind Mapping helps to open up many possibilities and options to solve the problem.

When you Mind Map for a solution, you can add any ideas or resources you can think of, and the nature of Mind Mapping means that you spark off more possibilities from your original thoughts. You can then refine your Map for the most practical or realistic solutions available. For students, by Mind Mapping a solution to your problem, you should become focused on the many options you have, and then choose the quickest/easiest/best one for your problem.

6) | Making Presentations

Making presentations at school, college or university can be daunting for students, but they are a great way of showing that you know the subject well and are confident to talk about it.

With Mind Maps, presenting is a breeze for students. Reading from sheets of notes is boring for students — with Mind Mapping you only have keywords and images to stimulate your memory, so you automatically present in a more conversational way as you keep eye contact with your audience. When you make your presentation Mind Map, you only keep the most interesting facts and information, and you lay it out in a clear structure. You can even add numbers to order your talking points.

7 | Group Study

Group study can be a really fun way for students to share their knowledge, and Mind Mapping can help you to get the best out of a brainstorming session. First, you should make an individual Mind Map of your thoughts on the topic, as this will focus your mind on your own ideas and opinions — not all the other students'! Then when you join together, you can combine your ideas with your friends', without losing your personal insights on the topic, creating a new Mind Map with everyone's ideas.

©2010 by ThinkBuzan. All rights reserved.

BuzanTony Buzan (1942-2019) was the world-renowned inventor of Mind Maps, inspired by techniques used by Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Joseph D. Novak's "concept mapping." ...