Did you know that different people have different learning styles, even from a young age?
Well, think back to the times when you were studying with your friends. You may recall some of your friends reading out loud, drawing mind maps, tuning in to the Top 40s, quizzing each other, etc… the list goes on.
These are great ways to help learning, but they might not be the right fit for you!
Here are the 3 common learning styles. Can you identify which is yours?
It is as easy as it sounds! Auditory learners uptake information better through listening and speaking. Generally, auditory learners find it easiest to remember audio facts and information rather than reading from a textbook.
Auditory learners often find difficulty studying in a busy cafe or commuting in a train due to their sensitivity towards sounds around them. They would get distracted! If this sounds familiar, you are most likely an auditory learner.
For most auditory learners, group discussions are more effective than studying alone as they are able to pick up information through verbal instructions. The next time you are studying, try reading the words out loud, whether by yourself or with friends. Repeat the sentences several times. In an hour or so, test if you are able to recall them. If that works, then keep using that approach!
Besides audio repetition, being quizzed by friends is also a great way for auditory learners to prepare for tests as it involves loads of verbal communication. Tip – quizzing is a great way of highlighting important information that may appear in tests!
Here is a list from Lincoln Land Community College, to help you identify the characteristics of an auditory learner:
- Likes to talk
- Talks to self
- Loses concentration easily
- Prefer spoken directions over written directions
- Enjoys music
- Read with whispering lip movements
- Good at remembering names
- Likes singing
- Cannot concentrate when noisy
- Likes listening
- Prefers lectures and discussions
- Prefers verbal praise from teachers
Visual learners process information through their eyes. In other words, they prefer seeing compared to listening.
If you prefer reading information from a textbook, watching videos muted, and drawing out your thoughts as compared to verbal explanation, then you are probably a visual learner.
A close friend who is a visual learner cannot seem to remember information even after lengthy explanation. But when I draw a few stick figures and explain visually, she gets it quickly!
Verbal instructions do not cut it for visual learners. And hence, asking for directions on the street can be complicated! Visual learners should use maps to visualise step-by-step directions to get to a destination.
As a visual learner, you can play to your strengths by writing and drawing while learning. Highlight important text, create flashcards, or trace over notes to help retain information. When in a classroom setting, sit toward the front of the room so you can easily see and copy notes on the board.
Here is a list from Lincoln Land Community College to help you identify the characteristics of a visual learner:
- Thoughts may wander during lectures
- Observant but may miss some of what is said
- Well organised
- Likes to read and show intense concentration while reading
- Good speller
- Remembers better by seeing charts, tables, diagrams, graphs, etc.
- Concentrates well
- Needs to see directions, not hear them
- Good handwriting
- Good memory for faces but forgets names
- Plans ahead
- Not real talkative
- Pays attention to details
Kinaesthetic learners are a little different. Visual and auditory learners rely on their eyes and ears to process information. In other words, they process information through a specific organ. However, kinaesthetic learners rely on touch and experience.
In essence, kinaesthetic learners typically process information by the act of doing. If you find yourself tracing words with your finger, drawing, taking notes, or otherwise fidgeting while someone is speaking, then you are likely a kinaesthetic learner. You will prefer hands-on interaction with the information to better retain it.
Being a kinaesthetic learner, you need to keep your body moving while studying; this may include riding a stationary bike, walking on a treadmill, or simply walking around your house. Fidget cubes and spinners are now readily available to help you stay focused while learning. For this group of learners, it is beneficial to take frequent breaks during your revision.
Here is a list from Lincoln Land Community College, to help you identify the characteristics of a kinaesthetic learner:
- Moves around a lot
- Prefers not to sit still
- Moves a lot while studying
- Likes to participate in learning
- Likes to do things rather than read about them
- Does not prefer reading
- Does not spell well
- Enjoys problem solving by doing
- Likes to try new things
- Talks with hands or gestures
- Selects clothes according to comfort
- Likes to touch objects
Now that you have determined which learning style best fits you, why not try out new ways of learning? Here is an infographic that sums up everything for you.