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TOEFL iBT Skills - Mind-mapping

Mind-mapping is a type of creative graphic organizing technique, developed by British educationist and author Tony Buzan. It enables users to represent, integrate and connect large amounts of information around a central idea. Because it is holistic rather than linear, it enables you to utilize both sides of your brain and thus, unlock your brain’s potential.

You can create mind maps to summarize the contents of a single lecture, or an entire year-long course. Therefore, mind maps can be used effectively to study, summarize, organize, think, brainstorm, make decisions or solve problems, in personal, academic or professional life.

You can use mind mapping techniques to help you brainstorm ideas in the independent writing section of the TOEFL. Since you have only five minutes to plan your essay, you may find this technique faster and easier than traditional outlining methods. Creating a mind map will allow you to add ideas as they crop up, rather than in any particular order. You can then decide which position you wish to adopt and quickly check whether you have sufficient supporting ideas to develop your chosen viewpoint.

You can also use this technique to make effective notes whenever listening is involved.

The best way to learn mind mapping techniques is to read one of the many books on the subject by Tony Buzan himself, or others. These include: