Study Techniques By Learning Style

As a student, your time is valuable. How can you get the most out of your study time? 


Determining your learning style and using appropriate study methods is a great place to start 


What are learning Styles? 


There are 4 main learning styles, according to most research:


Visual - you learn best from looking at diagrams, pictures, charts, graphs, and maps. 


Auditory - you learn best from listening to people talk about a topic and having discussions. 


Kinesthetic - you learn best by doing  - hands-on practice and real-world scenarios,


Reading/Writing - you learn best by reading and writing about a topic

Visual Learners


If you are a visual learner, here are some ways to get the most out of your study time: 


  1. Use the visuals in Your textbook. Make sure that you read and study the visuals that are already provided in your book. Make connections between the visuals and the information in your notes to help you remember.  


  1. Create your own visuals. Use your class notes and textbook to create your own diagrams and pictures of the concepts. Think big picture. If you are taking a literature course, create a diagram of the important characters and themes. 


  1. Use graphic organizers, If you are having a hard time determining what’s important, use a graphic organizer to help you - graphic organizers can help you take notes, organize your thoughts for writing, and synthesize information. You can use concept maps, venn diagrams, or even a simple table. 


Auditory Learners 


If you are an auditory learner, here are some ways to get the most out of your study time: 


  1. Find a study-buddy. If you learn best by hearing and discussing new material, find a classmate that you can meet with once a week to go over the material you learned. Discussing the material and being able to explain difficult concepts to each other will help both of you retain the information better. 


  1. Record and replay lectures. You may need to get permission from your professor or school, but recording and listening to lectures again can help you master material you may have missed the first time around. 


  1. Find videos/podcasts on the topic. While the video or podcast might not be exactly what the professor covers, it can be useful to give you background knowledge or additional information about a topic so that you can understand it better in class. 


Kinesthetic Learners


If you are a kinesthetic learner, here are some ways to get the most out of your study time: 


  1. Make Note Cards. This works well for those who have to do something with the information they have learned. Create different cards for terms and definitions and match them up. Or write a concept on one card and the important features on other cards and match them up. 


  1. Review real-world scenarios. If your textbook has real-world scenarios or problems for a section, focus on those. This will help you apply the information you have learned so that you can understand it better. 


  1. Move around. If you are a kinesthetic learner, pairing movement with your studying can help you retain the information better. Just make sure it’s a movement you can do during a test so that the movement jogs your memory. 


Reading/Writing Learners


If you are a reading/writing learner, here are some ways to get the most out of your study time:  


  1. Summarize your notes. Reread your notes after each class and write a summary of the key points. Each week, reread your key points to help you retain the information. 


  1. Complete all assigned readings and take notes. Taking notes on what you read will help you remember it better. Completing the assigned reading will help ensure that you are able to focus during lectures. 


  1. Research what you don’t understand. If you are having a hard time understanding a concept, do a little research for background knowledge. This can help you both with your assigned reading and in class. 


While this is a good guide to get you started, no one is one type of learner all the time. Experiment with the techniques provided in each section to find out what works best for you! 

Sources: Fleming, N.D. and Mills, C. (1992), Not Another Inventory, Rather a Catalyst for Reflection, To Improve the Academy, Vol. 11, 1992., page 137.

by Stacy Brown

Published September 16, 2021

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