Study tips: what’s your learning style?

What’s your learning style?

Understanding how you learn can help you to do better in exams. It can also make studying more fun.  

Most experts think that there are three key learning styles: visual, auditory and tactile (kinesthetic).

Knowing your learning style can help you to pick the study technique that’s best for you – and will hopefully improve your marks. Which one sounds most like you?

Visual learner

You stare out of the window when you’re bored.  You probably like art, fashion or design.  You dream in colour.  When someone is speaking you focus on their facial expressions.

Visual Learner

If you’re a visual learner then reading page after page of notes could send you to sleep!

You learn through seeing – images, videos, flashcards, charts, graphs and mind-maps work best for you.

Watch videos. Copy diagrams. Create coloured flashcards. Learn how to mind-map. Turn studying into a colourful, visual experience.

Your study kit: Flashcards, coloured pens, highlighters, sticky notes, A3 paper, videos.

Auditory learner

You hum tunes when you’re bored. You have a great memory for music and lyrics. You’re good at listening to instructions. When someone is speaking you focus on their tone of voice.Auditory LeanerIf you’re an auditory learner then don’t study in silence! You learn through listening. Music, rhythm, wordplay and reading aloud work best for you.

Listen to instrumental music while studying. Write song lyrics about your topic. Create acronyms. Read notes out loud. Record your lectures. Bring your love of music, rhythm and sound into your study experience.

Your study kit: Instrumental background music, lists of acronyms, revision rhymes, podcasts, recording device for lectures, MP3 player.

Tactile (kinesthetic) learner

You drum your fingers or tap your feet when you’re bored.  You use your hands when talking.  You probably like sports, cooking or handcrafts.  When someone is speaking you focus on their body language.Tactile learner

If you’re a tactile learner then get out of your chair!  You learn through doing.  Practical activities, movement, action, exploration and roleplay work best for you. Create large flashcards and spread them on the floor.  Listen to recorded lectures while jogging or cooking.  Fill your study space with posters.  Squeeze a rubber ball while reading notes.  Take regular breaks (but don’t slack off!).  Turn studying into an active experience that you enjoy.

Your study kit: Posters, large flashcards, desk toys, highlighter pens, MP3 player.

If you’re not sure what your learning style is then try a variety of study techniques to see what works best for you. Remember – there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to learn.  If you’re having fun then you’re probably on the right track!

You might also like: 5 things you tell yourself to avoid studying, 6 secrets to writing a great essay and 5 dream study spaces.

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