Are you a reluctant learner?
you daunted by the amount of studying you have to do?
Chances are you are not storing and retrieving
information, data, facts, and figures as quickly and effectively as you
have the potential to do.
This may be because of:
- lack of
of bad study habits
and anxiety about pressures of time and amount of study
‘Operations Manual’ for your Brain
Your fears and feelings of negativity are something
entirely rational and totally unnecessary. I know exactly how some of
you feel. I left school at 15 and felt I was really stupid because I
just couldn’t learn at school.
Why is this?
Well up until now, most of us have been
taught all sorts of facts, data, information, STUFF! i.e. WHAT to
What we haven’t been taught is HOW to learn!
“Learning HOW to Learn is life’s most important skill”
What can you do?
Use the Buzan Organic Study Technique
(BOST), which allows easy and effective access to the world of
knowledge in a manner that encourages your brain to learn more and more
easily as it learns more.
The core elements are:-
- Speed Reading
charging your Memory
We need to learn how our memory works, how to read
effectively and how to get the information out of our head and onto
This was the key I was missing. When I came across
Buzan’s books in 1997 while struggling through part time university
course, it was the key that opened up my potential.
I know it will do
the same for you.
Have fun learning
Hints and Tips
Here are some Hints and Tips, extracted from The Buzan
Study Skills Handbook by Tony Buzan, to get you started.
Use the Buzan Organic Study Technique (BOST®) to
develop strong study habits.
It is divided into:-
The Browse - Browse
through material you are going to study
Amount – Decide on periods of study time you have and what you
will cover in each period.
Mind Map Jotter – Jot down
everything you know about the subject to get your brain primed – 5 mins
Questions and Define Goals – what do
you want to get from the book.
Overview – Don’t
start at page 1 – approach it like you would a jigsaw puzzle – find
edges, corners and fill in bits as you go
Preview – skim
read the text first to discover the core elements
Inview – Fill in
those areas left – difficult areas or areas where knowledge is not
reconsider those sections you marked as noteworthy – less han 70% will
actually be used. Cover any further information to achieve your goals.
Three skills areas you need to develop to study
effectively are Speed Reading, Memory and Mind Mapping. Here are some
Tips on how to improve all three.
Reading – Address
the common reading ‘problems’ by:-
in your brain – hear the words in your head and SHOUT important words
finger or pointer to guide your eyes as you read – will make your eyes
feel much more relaxed and efficient.
the habit of back-skipping. Re-reading material has been shown to make
no difference to levels of understanding.
The problem is not your power of concentration,
it is the direction and focus of that concentration.
Memory – Supercharge your memory
The core memory principles are:
– The more you stimulate and use your Imagination, the more
you will enhance your ability to learn. This is because your
Imagination has no limits; it is boundless and stimulates your senses
and your brain.
See the information you are learning in your mind’s
eye. Close your eyes every now and then to imagine/daydream what you
– Associate the information you are learning with something
else that is already fixed and known to you. Association works by
linking or pegging information to other information such as numbers,
symbols, order and patterns.
Use the beginning and end of each study session
effectively for revision and planning. We are more likely to remember
things that happen or that are introduced:
beginning – the Primacy Effect
At the end
– The Recency Effect
Make things stand out and associate with something we
already know. We find it easier to remember things that are:
- Associated with items or thoughts that are already
stored in the memory.
- Outstanding or unique – as this appeals to the
Your brain is more likely to notice and recall
something that has strong appeal. So link things to:-
– taste, smell, touch, sound, or sight
The more we learn, the more we remember.
The more we remember the more we learn.
The Ten Core Memory Principles are
Rhythm and movement
and see patterns
Thinking and Images.
Mind Maps – The Swiss Army Knife for Your Brain
Maps are a graphic, networked method of
organising, storing and prioritising information (on paper or
computers) using key words and images.
Mind Maps stimulate both sides of your brain by using
Left cortical skills (logic, words, lists, lines, numbers, analysis)
AND Right cortical skills (imagination, colour, daydreaming, spatial
and Gestalt (the whole picture)
Use Mind Maps for your note-taking because:-
- The central
idea is more clearly defined.
relative importance of each idea is clearly identified.
important ideas are immediately recognisable at the centre of the Mind
between key concepts are immediately identifiable – via key words
encouraging association of ideas and concepts and improving memory.
- Review of
information is effective and rapid.
structure of the Mind Map allows additional concepts to be added
- Each Mind
Map is a unique creation – which will in turn aid recall.
Mind Maps will help you think pictorially and think in
colour – the adage that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words is true’.
A Mind Map is a picture of what you have studied and the points you
want to get across in your essay or exam.
If you would like a cool Mind Map on the Laws of Mind
Mapping and a one page overview of How to Mind Map, then email
firstname.lastname@example.org to request a pdf at no charge.
How to Mind Map a Textbook
Using BOST is a sure fire way to blitz that textbook
Browse the book and create the central image of the
Mind Map (10 Minutes)
Set time and targets for amount to be covered in each
session (5 minutes)
Mind Map existing knowledge on the subject (10
Define and Mind Map your goals (5 minutes).
– using the table of contents and elements as you read
Overview – Add main Mind Map branches
Preview – Add first and second levels
Inview – Fill in the Mind Map details
Review – and complete the Mind Map.
Mind Mapping for Essays
Here are seven steps to do that essay.
1. Identify the essential
elements of your topic in a Mind Map then use it as a road map to write
your essay in a linear format.
2. Start with a central image
representing the subject.
3. Add Basic Ordering Ideas
(BOIs) as your major branches/subdivisions. Pay close attention to what
the topic or question is asking you to do. The wording of the essay
topic usually suggests what the BOIs need to be.
4. Let your mind range freely,
adding items of information or points you wish to make. Add key points
as you read using a colour code to cross reference.
5. Next, edit and re-order your
Mind Map into a cohesive whole.
6. Now sit down and write the
first draft of your essay, using the Mind Map as the framework. Write
as quickly as you can and skip over any areas of difficulty – creating
a much greater flow.
7. Finally, review your Mind Map
and put the finishing touches to your essay, adding cross references,
supporting your argument with more evidence or quotations and modify or
expand your conclusions where necessary.
|Take breaks from studying every hour. Juggle or do
something different for 3-5 minutes to let your brain absorb the
information you have been learning.
Where to from here
have a number of training programs
coming up that will help you with your study skills – check them out
Grab a copy of Ultimate book of Mind Maps,
The Speed Reading Book, Buzan Bites on Memory, Speed Reading, Mind Mapping or Mind Mapping for
Kids from our secure
eStore on mindwerx.com