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How to Cater to Your Personal Learning Type


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With the new school year quickly approaching (or perhaps, for your early-starters, already under way), it’s time to get ready for a successful semester. And while you may be revamping your wardrobe for fall, it’s equally important to freshen up your study skills, too.

Have you ever noticed that your study habits are different than those of your friends? Or how you seem to learn faster in certain classes? Some people are quick to blame the professor or subject for their difficulties, but that isn’t always the cause. One thing that many people seem to overlook is their learning type.

The 3 Main Learning Types

Now, you may be wondering what a learning type is and how to find yours. There are three different learning types: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. You can be a combination of learning types, but most people have one type that dominates.

  • Visual learners learn best by seeing. If you seem to easily retain information from pictures, graphs, and videos, you are likely a visual learner.
  • Auditory learners learn best by hearing. If you seem to remember things by hearing them, whether listening to a lecture or repeating information out loud, then you are likely an auditory learner.
  • Kinesthetic learners learn best by doing. If you seem to learn best by working with your hands or testing out what you are shown, you are likely a kinesthetic learner.

So now that you know your personal learning style, the trick is to find out how to use your new-found knowledge to help you in your classes.

Tips for Visual Learners

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  • Pay attention! For visual learners, this is very important (and always respectful). If your professor uses a PowerPoint, observe the pictures they might include and their significance.
  • Take notes by drawing graphs and connecting ideas instead of just copying down a list. This way, your brain will easily connect the different concepts. You can even draw pictures if you find that works better for you.
  • Color code your notes and/or your note cards. This will aid your brain in keeping all of the information separate. You can code by chapter, type of information, or any way that helps you.
  • Download the notes or presentations if your professor makes them available. This way, you can go back over them before an exam and quickly re-read to retain the info.

Tips for Auditory Learners

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  • Again, pay attention! I can’t stress this enough. If you aren’t listening while the lecture is happening, then as an auditory learner, you’re missing out on the easiest way for you to learn without having to make up for it later on.
  • If you think it would help and you obtain permission from the professor, you can record the lecture for future listening.
  • If you find that taking notes distracts you from listening, ask a friend if you can borrow their notes OR directly after the lecture, write down everything you remember.

Tips for Kinesthetic Learners

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  • Guess what the first point is once again? You’ve got it, pay attention! For kinesthetic learners, it’s extremely important that you take notes either by writing or typing, in order to actively engage with information as you receive it.
  • Rewrite notes and reread information. If possible, translate the information into examples. This is something that can help kinesthetic learners retain what they need to know.
  • Visualize! One method that can help kinesthetic learners is to visualize yourself picking up information and putting it into a category. This may sound silly, but in this way you’re “doing” something without actually physically doing it.
  • Take advantage of labs and other class activities. These moments are when you’re at your prime for learning. Concentrate on what you’re learning from the experience and pay close attention to the process that you go through.

What are your thoughts?

What is your learning type? Have you ever heard about learning types before? What study methods do you utilize for your learning type? I’d love to know!

Posted on on August 19, 2012 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , , , ,

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18 Responses to “How to Cater to Your Personal Learning Type”

  1. 1
    August 19th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I am a definite Kinesthetic learner… I have to rewrite my notes many times while being more meticulous every time… Thank you for the extra tips! :)

  2. 2
    August 19th, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I love study tips, I think I’m more of a auditory learner, since I find taking notes always more distracting than helpful :/ I’ll be sure trying this tips next week :)

  3. 3
    August 19th, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I’m a visual learner, and your tips are exactly what I do. The more I re-read or watch something it sticks.

  4. 4
    August 19th, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I gues I’m auditory AND kinesthetic learner. Writing notes distracts me and I’m losing my attention during it, but also when I study for exam I re-write my notes until I feel so desperate that I go to make a cup of tea.. Oh, and it’s coming again!

    No, seriously. Thanks for the tips. I agree nothing is more important than going to lectures and pay attention. It’s half of the work.

  5. 5
    August 19th, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I’m a kinesthetic learner. I however discovered this much later in my student life. But I maximised it and the results were better than I ever dreamed of.

  6. 6
    August 19th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I’m a kinesthetic learner. I however discovered this much later in my student life. But I maximized it and the results were better than I ever dreamed of.

  7. 7
    August 20th, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Check out this site for a fourth learning method and a quiz to help you determine how you learn best.

  8. 8
    August 20th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Elizabeth – You’re welcome! Writing notes over and over is very helpful for kinesthetic learners, just as you said.

    Coni – I find note taking distracting too, even though I’m a visual learner. Organizing my notes as I write them helps me for that. If you’re an auditory learner, definitely try listening and writing down everything you heard right after class!

    Tiara – Exactly! I’m a visual learner and if you show me a movie or picture, it sticks so much more.

    Anka – You’re very welcome! Note taking can be distracting sometimes. Definitely download them if your professor makes that an option. That way you can follow along and rewrite them later without having to during class.

    Audrey – It’s amazing how much something as simple as changing your study tactics can help, isn’t it? I’m so glad you had good results!

  9. 9
    August 20th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Can you make a quiz on which type of learner you are? I’m not sure

  10. 10
    August 20th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I’m a extremely kinesthetic learner. I have a tip for other kinesthetics out there: draw pictures in your notes, even if they’re just doodles. Because you are experiancing something physical (moving the pen or pencil) while you are hearing new information, it can help you remember what was said in class days, weeks, months later. The physical feeling of drawing works as a trigger for other information. In high school my friends used to roll their eyes at my doodles, then be shocked when I got a’s. Oh and another thing: teachers are trained more for auditory and visual learners. Fellow future teachers, please study how to teach all three main types of learners. Thank you college fashion for a very informative article.

  11. 11
    August 20th, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Great post!
    I’ve found that I’m actually an odd three-way cross and I don’t have a dominant learning type. But even for me, all the tips are very helpful.
    Thanks for the help! It’s nice to see that even on this incredibly stylish blog, we get a little more of the college side of College Fashion.

  12. 12
    August 21st, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Totally love this. There’s no learning style that involves goofing off during class! Learning style is not an excuse for not paying attention.

  13. 13
    August 21st, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I am a combination.of all three. I wanted to let everyone know about khan academy. Its free and can help you a lot if you are struggling in some subjects such as math, physics, biology etc. It helped me ace spme finals by explaining and giving examples after watching videos
    It tracks your progress and the best thing is the bids are YouTube videos so u can watch them anywhere!

  14. 14
    August 23rd, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Years ago, my parents had me take a test to determine if I was a visual or auditory learner, ad the results were almost perfectly split – now I know why. I’m a kinesthetic learner! I’ve always learned best by being hands on. I organize information by relating it to things. I write ridiculous amounts of notes. It all makes sense now!

  15. 15
    September 14th, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Just a correction: Your missed the Writing/Reading learner type. It seems you melded this and the definition of Kinesthetic learners here. Just to clarify:

    Kinesthetic learners are those who learn through doing. They apply their knowledge via practical application (i.e.: doing a lab, etc) and using practical examples. They are more hands on.

    Writing/Reading learners learn via reading and re-reading/re-writing notes. Using notes, creating summaries, lists, etc. They are less hands on in the practical sense and more theoretically based.

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