Do you have a specific study method?

  1. One of my interests is in learning and study skills/methods, and I was curious as to what specific study methods you use, or have found useful. My own method has developed from reading lots of books, with a specific interest in those by Tony Buzan and his MindMapping/MMOST techniques. I've used various forms of this method for the past 10 years and they have served me very well. Here's basically what I do - What do you do?

    1. Day before class: Read the chapter that we are going to be covering in class or lab. Highlight important facts and concepts.
    2. During lecture/lab: take notes
    3. After lecture/lab: Produce a mind-map from a combination of my class notes and the stuff I highlighted in the text book.
    4. 24 hours after the class, I review the mind-map (takes about 10 minutes)
    5. 48 hours after the class I review the mind-map again
    6. 1 week after the class I review the mind-map
    7. 2 weeks after the class I review the mind-map
    8. 3 weeks after the class I review the mind-map
    9. 4 weeks after the class I review the mind-map
    10. I then review the mind-map at 6, 8, 12 and 16 weeks after the class
    11. I then review the mind-map at 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, & 18 months after the class, even if I have finished that class and passed the exam - just to keep what I've struggled to learn IN there LOL!
    12. Starting about 1 week before an exam, I review any of those mind-maps that I'm having trouble memorising.

    A set schedule like this means that I'm reviewing work constantly, and so there is no cramming for exams. Also, as the mind-maps only take about 10 minutes to review each one, I can review several mind-maps in one study session, while taking a 5-min break in between. This fits in with the fact that you remember the most information at the beginning and end of a study session - so if you do one long study session, you only have two periods of high recall, whereas if you break it down into several smaller bites, then you get many more periods of high recall. I have a code for each lecture or lab of each class, and I label each mind-map with that code (i.e. 204/1JUN04 would be microbiology 204, class of 1st June 2004). I then enter that code in my planner on whatever days the map needs to be reviewed.

    Works for me anyway!
    Paint.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Nurse-o-Matic
    What is a mind map? I have never heard of this.
    Last edit by Nurse-o-Matic on Jun 1, '04
  4. by   HyperRNRachel
    What is a mind map?

    The way I study is very similar...I just do not know if I am making 'mind maps'.

    Your method is a good one. In fact, it is the way our nursing instructors recommend for new nursing students to study. Thank you for posting the information because it will be very useful to plenty of new students.
  5. by   TLC RN
    I read a book like that about learning styles. Mine was one where the mind maps would be helpful....the problem I always had is I am not creative. Mine always came out looking like one topic in the center with a bunch of arrows coming out. I stressed on how to do drawings since I can draw nothing more than a stick figure. I tried it for my AnP class. I drew a stupid looking bone...

    Paint- what do your mind maps consist of? Is there anyway you could show us an example?
  6. by   LauraLou
    I think mind-maps are great if you are a visual learner. I am more of an auditory learner, so I like to read my notes outloud. Sometimes I "teach" the dogs whatever topic I am trying to learn. It seems to help me retain information if I pretend to teach it to someone else. I sound silly instructing the dogs on fluid and electrolytes or nutrition, but it works for me.

    I am also a big fan of flash cards for memorization. I can sort them into piles like: "Know this", "Sort of know this", "Don't know this at all". It helps me narrow down what information I really need to focus on. Flash cards are what got me thru A&P!
  7. by   SCmomof3
    I did a search on Tony Buzan from the OP post and the site is http://www.mind-map.com/EN/index.html It looks interesting
  8. by   purplemania
    I do concept mapping too, but I do not read the chapters verbatim. Usually I take notes in class, review them later and highlight important concepts, create the concept map, then look up the concepts in the text. Near test time I review the notes and the concept map.
  9. by   studentnurse74
    I took English Comp. (writing papers ) last fall, and they taught us how to mind map in there. We wrote the subject we were writing about on a piece of paper, then drew lines going out from it in different directions. At the end of each of the lines, we wrote something different about the subject.
  10. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from LauraLou
    I think mind-maps are great if you are a visual learner. I am more of an auditory learner, so I like to read my notes outloud. Sometimes I "teach" the dogs whatever topic I am trying to learn. It seems to help me retain information if I pretend to teach it to someone else. I sound silly instructing the dogs on fluid and electrolytes or nutrition, but it works for me.

    I am also a big fan of flash cards for memorization. I can sort them into piles like: "Know this", "Sort of know this", "Don't know this at all". It helps me narrow down what information I really need to focus on. Flash cards are what got me thru A&P!
    Don't know this at all? Why write 'em up then??
  11. by   RNNoMore
    MindMaps are not the same as concept maps - with concept maps you use arrows leading to whole phrases, often contained in boxes, but with mindmaps you use just one or two keywords actually written ON the lines - with lots of symbols, colours and diagrams to try and make each keyword exciting and memorable. It takes some time to actually create, but once done they are a lot quicker to review than normal linear notes or text, so that's where you save on time. There are now computer programs for mind-mapping, which I use extensively. I use one made by a company called Mindjet, which makes the actual map-making a lot quicker than by using paper and pen - and you never run out of space on your paper either LOL! MindMapping is now taught in many schools in England, and is more widely known about there than here in the US I think, especially as it often gets confused with concept mapping, which is commonly taught in US schools. If you look at the website http://www.mind-map.com and click on 'MindMaps' and then 'How to MindMap' you will soon see the difference.

    I use flash-cards for some things, usually stuff like definitions that you just have to memorise.

    Sometimes I will use the patio doors and windows in my house as substitute white-boards and draw all over them with dry wipe markers. I had the Renin-angiotensinogen system scribbled all over my patio doors for weeks once...

    I've never tried to teach my dog Algebra, A & P, or anything else (other than a good sit-stay LOL!) - but that sounds like fun, I'll have to give that one a try .

    I also use a lot of mnemonics, visualisations, and something called the 'Major System' for memorising numbers: Each number has a corresponding 3 or 4 letters of the alphabet (consonants only), you can combine them with neutral vowels to make a word that is more easily recalled than a number, and if you have lots of numbers to remember then you can make the words into silly phrases (It's how those memory magicians remember long lists of telephone numbers etc.). So If I have to remember that the atomic weight of carbon is 12, I would use the major system to convert 12 into 't' and 'n', use the first vowel sound that made a word: 'tan' and then visualise sitting in front of big charcoal (carbon) fire, burning my skin to get a tan.

    Best wishes, Paint
  12. by   LauraLou
    Quote from mariedoreen
    Don't know this at all? Why write 'em up then??
    I make out flashcards for all the terms/concepts I need to learn. I then go through them and as I learn the term, I pull the card out of the stack in put it into a separate pile. I then go through them again and pull out the ones I think I know, but am a little shaky on and put them into another pile. That leaves me with a pile of cards that I haven't memorized yet. This is easier for me than having one big pile of cards, some of which I have learned and others I haven't.
  13. by   lanitra
    Quote from LauraLou
    I think mind-maps are great if you are a visual learner. I am more of an auditory learner, so I like to read my notes outloud. Sometimes I "teach" the dogs whatever topic I am trying to learn. It seems to help me retain information if I pretend to teach it to someone else. I sound silly instructing the dogs on fluid and electrolytes or nutrition, but it works for me.

    I am also a big fan of flash cards for memorization. I can sort them into piles like: "Know this", "Sort of know this", "Don't know this at all". It helps me narrow down what information I really need to focus on. Flash cards are what got me thru A&P!
    I have always relied on flash cards, but found it difficult when studying for A&P. LauraLou, how do you use them for A&P when they're only helpful for "specific" information and not when you're needing to know the entire process? For example, they only help me when I need "bulleted" info, but not how an entire "system" works.....(please tell me this makes sense ).

    L
  14. by   j4nice
    I think the referred method mind mapping is OLD STYLE medical practionieurs language with starting to learn real base methods, and if I'm not mistaken with your intent gown membriance motion, crazy what you can dig-up if you try hard enough. And I'm sure that at tha start is where we can derive more for study so, I'm prepared to let you, doctors,(with no ill will) everybody, in on a little secret I have for just that www.junctionism.0catch.com and for more envolved subjects www.rejectionism.0catch.com ,the darker commodity of every day writing also historical www.patoo.0catch.com . These are writing block tool web pages I authored are free and readily availiable to college friends, friends, if you like reheaseal gabbys of yours. -Whatever my treat. Just print it for some rainday. I come off kind of as a boulevard stand seller on this which case i'm sorry-to yours. please email as would like.
    Last edit by j4nice on Jul 13, '04 : Reason: e-mailing advice,more referrance

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