Know Your Learning Style

A good study tip is to identify your personal learning style. This will affect the techniques that work best for you.

As students, we tend to operate on a ‘one size fits all model, assuming that there is only one effective way to study. We might decide to take inspiration from the more successful students and try to adapt their study habits and techniques, only to find that what works for them certainly does not work for us.

learning styles

 This leads to disappointment, frustration and a deep-set belief that we are simply not clever enough to achieve the same sort of results.

 Yet this may be far from the truth.

 We all have the ability to learn and to succeed, but we need to use methods that suit our own personal learning style. Without this, we will continue to work hard, yet see minimal results.

 As Einstein so rightly pointed out:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. “

Find Your Learning Style

There are 4 main learning styles:

Auditory – these people learn by listening.

Verbal – verbal students learn best through reading and writing information

Visual – as the term suggests, visual students learn best through seeing

Kinaesthetic – these students learn through hands on activities

Take our Learning Styles Quiz and discover your personal style.

Auditory Learners

  • Listen to podcasts, Youtube explanations, discussions
  • Explain things to others
  • Say the information out loud as you learn it
  • Record yourself saying the information and frequently listen to the recordings
  • Music may help you to concentrate
  • Turn information into rhymes or songs
  • Work with friends and quiz each other
  • Try to minimise or eliminate background noises

Verbal Learners

  • Read the information as well as listening to it
  • Frequently write out the content
  • Turn diagrams into paragraphs
  • Use flashcards with key words
  • Make written notes and summaries
  • Re-word information in a number of ways
  • Learn specific vocabulary
  • Create mnemonics
  • Create word patterns

Visual Learners

  • Close your eyes to help you remember
  • Write words on the desk or in the air
  • Use highlighters and colours
  • Turn words and paragraphs into diagrams
  • Use graphic organisers
  • Use emojis, symbols and icons
  • Watch videos
  • Use doodles and illustrations
  • Make your study area and workbooks aesthetically pleasing
  • Use headings, subheadings, boxes, shapes etc to break up information

Kinaesthetic Learners

  • Create models or physical representations
  • Act things out
  • Re-create scenes or events with props
  • Immediately put information into practice
  • Engage as many senses as possible
  • Take regular study breaks
  • Use a stress ball or fidget spinner to stay focused
  • Walk around as you learn
  • Use exercise as a way of consolidating information
  • Create games with the information

So what does this all mean and what are the implications for our study habits?

This level of metacognitive awareness will help you better understand what works for you and what doesn’t. This will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run, helping you study smarter, not harder.

Unfortunately, school lessons, different subjects and certainly assessment tasks don’t always lend themselves to different learning styles. But you can study and revise in whatever method suits you best.

It is important to note that just because you are more inclined towards one style of learning, this does not exclude your from using other study techniques. In fact, if you have been struggling to get good results, this may be the perfect opportunity to explore some alternative methods.

As Einstein said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.’

You will naturally gravitate towards certain learning styles, but different subjects may lend themselves better to others. remain open minded and vary your study habits so that you can use the best methods in the right circumstances.

Play around with different learning styles to see which work best for you. The best study techniques use a range of different learning styles. This way you can access more areas in your brain and form more connections and neural pathways which embed the information more deeply.

Remember, when it comes to studying, there is no one ‘correct’ way to do things. Pick a method that works for you.

For more help for students, check out our Youtube videos of study tips.