Nobody can escape memory work. Students, most especially, have to tick off a long list of names, dates, and even figures to pass high school and graduate from college. However, memorizing is seldom a fun task. Indeed, it can be nerve-wracking, especially when you’ve got loads of stuff to memorize. Well, fret no more.  A mind map can help you memorize even the longest of lists, says AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center Teacher Yvette Ruiz.

Ruiz discovered mind mapping as a student at the University of the Philippines two years ago. It not only helped her memorize information, it also helped her earn good grades.

“My professor found my work creative and unique,” she says.

“My classmates had cue cards which sometimes got lost. I had just one piece of paper with my keywords.” Her work so impressed her teacher that she got a 1.25 in her report on teaching English.

A mind map gives you a mirror image of what you’re thinking, says AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center Teacher Yvette Ruiz. Here’s how to make one:

1. Get a blank piece of paper with no lines. Ideas flow freely when there are no visual barriers to hold them back.

2. At the center of the paper, draw an image, ideally colored, which represents the concept you want to memorize. The mind processes information while you’re drawing.

3. Draw thick, wavy lines from the central idea. These lines represent the main points of the central idea. Write a keyword or draw an image for each point; write the keywords in capital letters. The word or image should be the same length as the line. It’s a good idea to use different colors for each of the main points.

5. From the main points, draw thinner lines representing supporting ideas. Again, write a keyword or draw an image for each supporting idea.

6. The more color you use, the better.

7. You may write numbers on each point if you want to memorize sequences like steps for solving a Math equation or events leading to the hostage crisis at Rizal Park.

Mind maps help improve memory because they’re heavier on images, says AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center Teacher Yvette Ruiz. Images not only open up association, they’re also easier to recall. Who says memorizing ain’t fun?

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