What kind of learner are you?

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Have you ever failed to understand something quite basic that other people have understood straight away? It could be because the information was delivered in a way which didn’t suit your learning style. There are three main types of learning styles: auditory, visual, and kinaesthetic. Everyone has their own unique learning style and some people will find that more than one approach suits them.

Whilst there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to learn – if you can pin down which learning style suits you best, you can cut down the time it takes for you to process and understand new information.

Does this sound like you?

  • You find it hard to learn by reading information in books
  • You love listening to music and often sing/hum to yourself
  • You don’t normally take notes when a teacher or tutor is talking
  • You enjoy discussions, debates and talking with others
  • You prefer oral presentations to written reports

If you’ve answered “yes” to most of these questions, you’re probably an auditory learner because you learn best by listening.  Here’s some tips to make the most of this learning style:

  • Ask your tutor to talk you through areas you don’t understand
  • Take yourself somewhere where noise won’t distract you
  • Watch videos linked to what you’re learning
  • Create a study group with friends to discuss what you’ve learnt
  • Download and listen to revision podcasts
  • Carry a Dictaphone to record key information from your tutor

Does this sound like you?

  • You learn best by seeing images linked with information
  • You love drawing, scribbling and doodling
  • You create pictures in your mind’s eye when you read
  • You’re good at reading maps, diagrams and charts

If you’ve answered “yes” to most of these questions, you’re probably a visual learner because you learn best through what you see.  Here’s some tips to make the most of this learning style:

  • Look for handy graphics on the subject you’re studying
  • Watch video demonstrations online
  • Create a poster of your chosen topic
  • Use brightly coloured pens to highlight key information
  • Copy down relevant diagrams
  • Create mind maps to help you learn

Does this sound like you?

  • You tend to fidget if you stay still for too long
  • You excelled at school in practical demonstrations, such as science/drama
  • You enjoy doing sport
  • You would rather go for a run or walk if something is bothering you, rather than sitting at home

If you’ve answered “yes” to most of these questions, you’re probably a kinaesthetic learner because you learn best when you discover things by “doing” them.  Here’s some tips to make the most of this learning style:

  • Try going for a walk or run while listening to audio recordings
  • Engage your fingers whilst studying by typing up notes
  • Take frequent breaks from sitting down when you study
  • Create flashcards and flip them over
  • Tap a pencil or squeeze a stress ball to keep yourself occupied whilst you study
  • Take your revision notes or flashcards to the gym

It’s important to remember that many people do not fit neatly into the boxes outlined by these three main learning styles. There are, in fact, many different sub levels and variations of these styles and it may take a while for you to find the combination which suits you best. However, once you know what approach works best for you, studying will become much more enjoyable and you’ll never look back!


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