What's your learning style?
Bevan McPherson returns with more advice to help you get the most from your studies. This month he looks at different learning styles.
Each person thinks and learns differently. Some people remember written information really easily while others find learning easy if they listen to someone talking. Still others prefer to physically try things out.
You may have a mix of styles or find that you have a strong preference for one style. There is no right or wrong style or mix of styles. Discovering more about your learning preferences can help you discover more efficient and fun ways to learn.
In this article you’ll learn about:
• Different learning styles
• What your learning preferences might be
• How knowing your learning style can help you study.
Different learning styles
There are lots of different ways of looking at learning styles, however this section will focus on one of the most commonly used ones – VAK – which stands for Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic.
Visual learning style
Visual learners like to use their eyes to take in information. If you are a visual learner you may really like reading books, looking at pictures and diagrams, or find lots of colour really helpful when you study. You might like to draw diagrams to help explain things to others and remember things by ‘seeing’ them in your mind.
Auditory learning style
Auditory learners like to use their ears to take in information. If you are an auditory learner you may really like listening to people talk, listening to music, or talking with others. You may find you remember things more easily when you have to talk about them to other people, and might really enjoy playing a musical instrument or singing.
Kinesthetic learning style
Kinesthetic learners like to use their bodies to take in information. If you are a Kinesthetic learner you may really like hands-on activities, playing sport or dancing. You may find you remember things more easily if you’re moving around and might use your hands a lot when you talk to people.
Study tips for visual learners
If you have a visual learning style you might like to try some of the following when you are studying:
• Using highlighter pens to colour your readings or notes
• Drawing diagrams or pictures to illustrate your notes
• Studying in a quiet place away from noise and distraction
• Using mind maps to take notes
• Watch videos of what you are studying where possible
• Create colourful posters of information to hang on your walls.
Study tips for auditory learners
If you have an auditory learning style you might like to try some of the
following when you are studying:
• Read out loud
• Listen to podcasts or radio programs on your subject
• Talk to other people about what you are studying
• Listen to music while studying – try music without lyrics to start
• Make up a jingle or word rhyme to help you remember things.
Study tips for kinesthetic learners
If you have a kinesthetic learning style you might like to try some of the
following when you are studying:
• Move around when you take breaks
• Spread your notes on the floor so you need to move between them
• Use post-it notes on your desk or walls
• Chew gum or drink water while you are studying
• Listen to podcasts or radio shows on your subject while exercising
• Make the most of any practical exercises by doing them.
More on learning styles
There are lots of good resources on learning styles if you’d like to learn
more. Try checking out these resources.
Learning styles quiz
Overview of learning styles
Learning styles inventory