mind maps for revision - learning a language mind map example
mind maps for revision - learning a language mind map example

Using Mind Maps for Revision – The Ultimate Guide for Students

Discover how to use mind maps for revision with our guide.

Using mind maps for revision is an incredibly powerful tool. While some of us can learn and remember information that seems unconnected, many of us can not. 

We need to understand how the information relates to each other in order to properly understand it. And that’s where revision using mind maps comes in.

This powerful tool isn’t just about getting your coloured pens out and unleashing your creative side during a study session. Mind mapping is a scientifically-backed method to enhance learning and supercharge your cognitive capabilities. 

Mind mapping, or any revision technique TBH, can also help prevent exam stress and protect your overall wellbeing — which is SUPER important.

In this guide:

mind maps for revision - learning a language mind map example

What is a mind map?

They’re a visual diagrams that represent concepts, thoughts, or tasks around a central subject, using branches to show connections.

The concept is generally attributed to British psychologist Tony Buzan and dates back to 1970. His book Mind Map Mastery: The Complete Guide to Learning and Using the Most Powerful Thinking Tool in the Universe is worth a look if you’re interested and is available from Amazon. (Check out our Amazon student discount to see if you could save some money).

Tony Buzan headshot - British psychologist

Benefits of Mind Maps

Not only do they look pretty, mind maps are revision powerhouses. They’re cognitive enhancers that sharpen your learning prowess. 

Here are the key benefits:

  • Boost Memory Retention: By organising information visually, mind maps help in etching content into your memory.
  • Cultivate Critical Thinking: Bridge ideas together and level up problem-solving skills by visualising connections.
  • Stir Up Creativity: Allow your brain to think outside the box with non-linear brainstorming sessions.
  • Dissect Complex Concepts: Break down intimidating topics into digestible chunks for a clearer understanding.
  • Streamline Your Studies: Organise your study material effectively and transform how you learn.

There’s an in depth list of benefits on Tony Buzan’s website.

Step-by-Step Creation

1. Pinpoint the Core Idea

Begin by centralising the theme or subject of your study session. Think of this as the sun in your mind map solar system. Nail the topic and everything else will revolve around it.

2. Branch Out

From the core idea, stretch out branches for the primary subtopics or themes intrinsically linked to your main idea.

3. Grow Your Ideas

Further extend your map with smaller, secondary branches stemming from each main branch. These will hold the details, facts, or instances that back up your larger themes.

4. Keywords and Symbols

Try swapping long, complex sentences for simple keywords or images. These symbols act as mental triggers, making your map a quick reference point.

5. Connect the Dots

Join together related concepts with lines or arrows. This will help you see the network of connections across different concepts and perspectives.

6. Reflect and Refine

Take a step back and look hard at your map. Are there any gaps? Are there any overlaps? Do any areas need to be re-organized?

Your map should be a living thing – refining and fine-tuning will only make it better.

7. Add Color and Flair

The fun bit. Make sure your map has a palette of colours, diverse typefaces, and shapes to differentiate themes and highlight crucial points. Just don’t spend the whole session on design.

8. Engage with Your Map

Interact with your creation. Review it regularly to solidify knowledge and harness it as a tool for quick memory retrieval during exams or discussions. Pick a branch – can you name other lines that connect to it?

9. Collaborate and Share

Be brave. Share your map with peers. Sharing ideas and seeing how other people join up concepts will unlock new levels of understanding.

Mind maps for revision

That’s because this method not only declutters information but also mirrors the way our brains naturally organise and connect concepts. And that makes it easier to retrieve information during tests and exams.

If you’re a visual learner, you’ll probably strongly relate to mind maps. 

Incorporating mind maps into your revision strategy also encourages active learning. Instead of passively reading notes, you actively construct and organise your knowledge.

Engage with your mind maps by quizzing yourself on different sections or using them as a basis for explaining concepts to peers. 

If you’re really up for a challenge, incorporate memory techniques such as creating a memory palace and ‘walk’ through your mind map.

Mind maps are just one technique, however. There are plenty of revision methods that you could try. Check out the best revision techniques to help up your study game.

Use technology carefully

While technology is a blessing, it can also be a curse. There’s a lot to be said for keeping it simple and creating a mind map using just pens and paper.

While tools like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Miro are all more than capable of creating a mind map, you should only use them if you’re confident and comfortable with the software.

They all come with a steep learning curve and the danger is that you spend more time learning how to use software to create mind maps than actually doing the work and revising.

mind maps for revision - english example

Technology like Miro can be great for creating mind maps – but it can have a steep learning curve.

Mind map examples

The internet has no shortage of examples of mind maps. You can use them for inspiration, but here are some of our favourites.

an inspector calls mind map example

This mind map for the play An Inspector Calls brings together key characters, quotes, and themes such as capitalism and socialism.

macbeth mind map example

Here’s a mind map for Shakespeare’s Macbeth looking at key characters like and quotes.

photosynthesis mind maps for revision

Educational resource PMT offers students this mind map on photosynthesis.


Mind mapping is great for active learning. It transforms the grind of studying into an creative experience.

Remember. There’s no such thing as a perfect mind map. Just dive in instead of striving to make something beautiful.

You’ll always have that friend who creates the most beautiful mind maps. But if that’s not you, don’t worry – a sheet of paper with pencil scrawls is just as valid. It’s a revision tool – not something you’re framing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are mind maps?

Mind maps are visual diagrams that represent concepts, thoughts, or tasks around a central subject. They use branches to show connections.

How do you make a mind map?

Start with a central idea, then draw branches outwards to represent related topics. Use keywords, images, and colors to enhance memory and understanding.

Are mind maps good for revision?

Yes, mind maps can significantly improve revision efficiency by organizing information visually, making it easier to recall.

How can I use mind maps for revision?

Use them to summarize subjects, connect ideas, and visualize relationships between different pieces of information to aid memory recall.

How do I create a mind map for revision?

Identify your central topic, add branches for main themes, and further branch out to details, using keywords and symbols.

What should I include in a revision mind map?

Include key themes, important facts, connections between topics, and any visual elements that help recall the information.

Do mind maps work for everyone?

While highly effective for many, mind maps may not suit every individual’s learning style; experimentation is key to finding what works best for you. If mind maps aren’t your thing, then check out how to use flash cards for revision to see if that suits you better.