Concept maps are a great way to make your study time more efficient . . . that is, they help to learn more in less time. And the learning you do will be deeper learning than simply memorizing facts!
Also known as mind maps, these tools are simply a way to visualize a concept.
Although visual and kinesthetic learners will adapt most easily to this method of learning, anyone can benefit from it.
Concept maps are diagrams that relate different elements of a concept to each other and/or to the main idea. These diagrams can be simple or complex --depending on your own style of learning and what helps you understand the concept best.
For example, you can draw your own diagram of how blood flows through the cardiovascular system that makes sense to you--maybe quite different than something you may see in a book or online. It could be a simple figure 8, labeled with different sections like heart chambers, valves, systemic arteries, systemic arterioles, capillaries, and so on.
Or a flow chart, where a main idea is placed in a box at the center of the page and all the concepts related to the main idea radiate out from the central box. Then you could draw lines between the boxes to connect related concepts (maybe labeling the connecting line with how they relate to each other).
For a more complete explanation of how to make and use concept maps, including examples and links to more resources, visit Concept Maps in the Lion Den now.
You'll also want to download the FREE concept map creation tool called FreeMind . . . and start playing with it.
If you want a nice, short book that lays out how concept maps unlock your mind to organize, understand, and learn just about anything, check out the book How to Mind Map: The Ultimate Thinking Tool That Will Change Your Life.