Do you know what kind of learner you are? Visual? Auditory? Kinaesthetic? A mix? A lot of us are a mix of two or three of the styles, although some people do favour one a lot more than the others. And why does this matter? When it comes to remembering what you’ve done in lessons or revising for exams, if you know what type of learner you are, you can adapt your study technique to suit you, and you will be able to retain far more information that way. It might be that you feel you are working very hard and not getting the results, so you think you need to work harder, but maybe you just need to work smarter. And this will help you to do that.
Would you like to find out which learning style(s) you or your child favour? Do this quick quiz to find out!
So now you know your style(s), here are some tips to help you:
You are the type of learner who doesn’t remember things they are told, but once you see them on paper or on a screen, you are able to retain the information better. And if someone is talking to you, but they have a piece of paper in their hand or on their desk, you’re likely to be more focused on reading what’s on the paper than what they’re saying. Does that sound familiar? Those are typical characteristics of a visual learner. Here are some tips for learning:
- Take detailed notes to review later.
- Make sure to look at visual study materials as much as possible (ie. charts, maps, notes and flashcards).
- Sit close to the front in class to avoid visual distractions.
- Try closing your eyes and visualising concepts to help you remember them.
- Try to keep your surroundings neat and tidy.
- Try incorporating visuals, such as charts or pictures, to help you understand what you are learning.
- Use different colours to highlight important sections to remember.
You normally take in information quite easily in class when the teacher or someone else is talking, as long as they’re explaining it in a way you can understand. You remember people’s names and what was said in conversations, and find that talking things through really helps you to get things clear in your head. All typical characteristics of auditory learners. Here are some tips that are likely to help you:
- Make sure you are sitting in a place where you can easily hear your lessons.
- Record lessons and play them back to help fill in gaps in your notes.
- Try repeating things you hear back to yourself out loud to help retain the information.
- Make an audio recording of your study notes and listen to it while you are walking, at the gym, driving or on the bus, for example.
- Say things in different voices or sing them, to help you remember them.
- Talk things through with people, ask each other questions and practise explaining concepts yourself verbally.
- Try writing and reciting poems/songs to help you remember important concepts.
Kinaesthetic / Tactile Learners
You are the type of learner who may have been told off at school for fiddling with something a lot during lessons, or getting fidgety, or doodling. You don’t like to sit still for too long, you like to keep moving around and be very active. It helps you when you’re building things, or using physical items to help you understand concepts. These are all typical characteristics of Kinaesthetic Learners. So what things are likely to help you learn better?
- Try creating something to help you remember lessons (ie. a scrapbook with different parts/concepts).
- Try to be active and take frequent breaks.
- Activities such as cooking, construction, engineering and art can help you to perceive and learn.
- Trace words as you are saying them.
- To learn facts, try to write them out several times – you will find having scrap paper around useful for this.
- Do lots of practice questions and quizzes. This will really help you to retain information.
Whatever type of learner you are, it’s worth being aware of how you learn best, so that whatever you’re learning, whether it be at school, university, work or in other courses, you can work smartly and make the most of your time. It’s something we use to tailor our tutoring sessions to the individual student. If you’d like to find out more, have a look at: https://www.tutordoctor.co.uk/bristol-west/