Discover Your Learning Style and Master Your Studies
Everybody learns in different ways. Some ways will benefit some people a lot more than others because at the end of the day learning is quite an individualistic process. That’s why things like school and university can be difficult, especially if they don’t use your learning style. However, when it comes to revision and studies outside of the university, you’re mostly in control and you can use this to your advantage. That’s why it’s important to know which learning style suits you best. Knowing this will help you learn in the way that is most effective for you and will eventually help you achieve the university grades you’re aiming for. If you want to know more about how to work this out, keep reading!
So, there are actually 7 different learning types but 4 which are the most common and well known. You could also fit into more than one category for example you learn visually and alone or you learn auditory and with a group. It’s good to understand which is right for you so you can get the most out of your learning experience. Helping you to improve your degree marks overall!
1. Visual learning
A great way to know if you’re a visual learner is if images stick in your head. For example, when you’re reading a text do you find that the diagram alongside it is easier to remember? Is the diagram or the picture what helps you understand the topic? A lot of visual learners find colour coding effective when making notes, or even making charts or diagrams to plan things out rather than just writing them down. If this sounds like something you resonate with then visually is probably how you learn best. Here are some things you can use for the studies that might benefit you the most:
- Mind maps
- Colour coding (even just by highlighting certain pieces of information!)
Give these a try and see if it makes any difference with what you learn and remember. If you think it’s working well then keep up with it! It might be that you’ve been looking for and after all, visually pleasing material is great to look at in general, right?
2. Auditory learning
Auditory learning essentially means you learn through sound. This could be anything from audiobooks to music but either way, it’s what you listen to that sticks. This can often mean you like being in a class where someone is talking you through something rather than showing you or leaving you to work it out for yourself. A lot of auditory learners find it easier speaking out loud when they are learning like while they are reading for example. Here are some ways you could implement auditory learning practices:
- Listening to others (in class, audiobooks, podcasts etc.)
- Speaking through topics out loud to someone
- Group discussions
- Rhymes (created with information you want to learn)
- Repetition out loud by yourself
3. Verbal Learning
You may hear verbal learning and assume it references the spoken word, which is true, but it also relates to written words. Readers are usually some of the biggest verbal learners because they retain information and memorise it as they read, alongside writers who see it on the page as they write. A lot of people like to make written notes but only you know whether it actually works for you or it’s just something you do to convince yourself you’re actually working! Here are some study techniques you could try out as a verbal learner:
- Reading information
- Re-writing notes multiple times in different formats
4. Physical learning
Kinaesthetic learning is the last of the four main ways to learn and it fits perfectly with those that just can’t sit still. They often rely on movement and being active in their learning to stay focused. Maybe being talked at, shown or asked to write something just doesn’t engage them the same way. You might find that you fidget a lot in lectures as a physical learner because they can be quite long in length and it’s easy for you to switch off. Using physical objects is a great way to learn as a physical learner and it’s also a good idea to move about as you learn. Here are some things you could try:
- Flashcards (something to flick through)
- Experience days (virtual or in person)
- Creating models
Physical learning can often be one of the most difficult to explore as you spend a lot of time in classrooms or lecture halls but it’s definitely something you can implement outside of this. Try some of these and see how well you absorb the information.
5. Logical learning
Logical learning is far more about using reasoning to get to the answer. It helps if the information adds up to an answer for them to understand it. This learning style particularly resonates with mathematicians and not so much those interested in English! To know if this is you, it’s a good idea to look into what you’re studying a little closer. It will make sense to you if there is a process in the topic that will help you reach the end result. If you like logical learning then here’s how you could try approaching things:
- Identifying patterns
- Using charts and graphs
6. Social learning
Social learning sounds quite explanatory, and it is! It means you enjoy learning around other people. As expected, as a social learner you are more likely to be outspoken and maybe even take a leadership role in a group. The idea of a group project might be quite appealing to you as you get to share responsibilities and talk your ideas through with other people. You might find that being alone is hard to concentrate, and that’s ok too. Here’s how to work as a social learner:
- Study in groups
- Conduct presentations
- Undertake group discussions
- Get feedback on your work
- Engage in discussion forums
- Ask family or friends to quiz you on your work
It can sometimes be frustrating as a social learner to study at home because you might not be around those who you think can help you. Using your friends and family is a great way to keep that learning progressing, no matter the circumstances.
7. Solo learning
Again you can probably figure out what this means in itself but you may not have realised it applies to you. If you’re somebody who finds it difficult to concentrate when working with other people or you feel easily intimidated by other peoples presence then you might be a solo learner. Learning in quiet spaces without others to distract you would probably sound appealing. You might find you like to take the time to think about information alone rather than being vocal about it. Here are some ways solo learners can improve their learning:
- Reflect on topics
- Study in quiet spaces
- Journal/write your thoughts down (this will be helpful with reflective writing!)
- Plan out your work by writing lists etc.
- Set individualistic goals
These are the learning styles you need to know when it comes to studying. As mentioned, you might not fit directly into one category but it’s important to use the ones you do to your advantage. If any of these describe you then follow the advice and see if they make a difference in your ability to take in information. It might be the difference between a first-class grade and a lower one! If you identify with any of these learning styles, let us know in the comments below!