Categories: Learning

Study Technique – Mapping 

By  Lysette Offley

As you know, I’m a great fan of efficiency and expediency, especially when it comes to fitting your Financial Services revision around your business commitments. And so I’d always say, where you can, organise keywords into patterns that your brain can easily relate to.

However, we all know that there are times when some information just will not ‘stick’. Those are the times to go to town on your notes – do something different – spend a bit more time, go to a bit more effort – and make that information go into your head.

And stay there!

Here’s one of those special techniques:


Any time you can map what you want to remember to an activity you’re already very familiar with, you stand much better chance of remembering it. You will need to check you still know it by revisiting it as per the Learning Cycle. There’s no short cut there.

So have a think about the things you’ve already learned to do and how you could use each stage of this activity, to remember new information, as I have below.

It could be anything, from a Karate move, to making a cup of tea, to getting dressed in the morning. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

The important thing is that once you’ve decided on an appropriate activity that has the right number of steps, you must link each of those steps to each part of what you need to learn. And by ‘linking’, I mean making associations, hanging each element of the new stuff you’re learning, onto the old stuff you already know like the back of your hand.

Here’s an example, and I’m making a meal of it!

Study Technique - Mapping - diagram of mapping technique


Critical illness and Making an omelette (The list I need to remember is in bold. Notice my associations, my links)

  1. Break eggs Heart Attack Broken, malfunctioning heart
  2. Stir  Stroke Stirring, stroking – similar movement of the hand
  3. Add salt & pepper Cancer “Peppered with cancer”
  4. Chop peppers Surgery Chopping & cutting in surgery
  5. Add Ham Major organ transplant Major bit of pig’s leg prepared for, but not transplanted
  6. Add Mushrooms eg Kidneys Look like kidneys

As long as I make associations between the information I want to learn, and the information I already know, it’ll stick (just like the eggs to the pan! Ha ha!), and be easy to recall.

Give it a go, and see for yourself.

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Lysette Offley

Genius Maker & Founder of Genius Material and The Genius Principles. Working with professionals who need exceptional academic & professional development.

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