How to figure out your learning style
One of the biggest reasons why people don’t do good while learning something is not doing it the right way. But what is the right way, you may ask. The right way is different for different people, and these different ways are what we call “learning styles“. If you’re not following the proper learning style for yourself, you will most possibly find it very hard to learn something new, or fail at it completely.
One question that may arise with this is how many learning styles are there. I mean, if it’s different for each person then there must be thousands of styles. Maybe. But we categorise them into fewer basic styles. According to some educational experts- there are 4 learning styles, according to some 7. But everyone agrees that all of these can be accumulated into 3 basic learning styles- Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic.
They’re all pretty self-explanatory, but for your benefits, we will discuss them along with their characteristics.
- Visual Learning:
Visual learning is for people who learn better by visualising, or seeing things. If you prefer diagrams and images over explanations, remember things better when someone writes something down for you instead of listening to them, have trouble remembering spoken directions and take notes a lot- you probably fall under this category.
- Auditory Learning:
Auditory learning is where you prefer to listen. It’s easier for you when someone else is reading something out loud to you. You remember voices more than images, do far better at following spoken directions, and maybe you’re a pretty good spokesman yourself. If so, your learning technique is auditory.
- Kinesthetic Learning:
Kinesthetic learning is based on physical activities- touch, sense. People who learn better this way find practical experiences far more helpful than theoretical explanations when learning something.
A classic example of these three learning styles can be a person cooking with a new recipe. Someone who does best in Visual Learning style will prefer reading out the recipe, the ingredient list- probably note it down themselves. Someone whose learning style is auditory can do it simply by taking instructions from someone else, or listening to a video. Someone with kinesthetic learning style will observe, experiment, and do it themselves at least once until they learn the recipe by heart.
It’s pretty easy figuring out which one is your learning style if you pay a little bit of attention. Besides, there are numerous little tests and articles on the Internet now-a-days that can accurately let you know your own learning style.
But the question is once you figure that out, what do you do next?
Here are some of the tips for each learning style that might help you.
- Take notes. You probably already do it, but if not, this is one of the best tools for a learner like you. Writing information down will help you remember them better.
- Watch. Videos, demonstrations- anything that helps you visualise what you’re studying.
- Diagrams, figures, flow charts etc. will work excellent for you. If you find anything too difficult to remember, break it down into steps and note it down as diagrams.
- Try to resort to similar types of written notes when you’re studying. Since you’re better with visualising, it’s always better if you either remember your handwriting, or some other font from your books. Don’t study from too many different places, that ends up confusing you.
- Colour. Bright Colours have a great impact on visual memory, so using highlighters, underlining important features- these tasks will bring the best outcome for you.
If you’re an Auditory Learner:
- Pay really good attention when you’re learning something in a classroom. It’s going to help you more than 5 hours of study marathon in your table can.
- Say it out loud. When you need something memorised, make yourself listen to it- by saying yourself or making someone else do it for you. Watching videos is a good tool for you too, along with audio books.
- Repeat to yourself. Best way to memorise anything for you is repeating to yourself.
- Discussing your lessons with others is a great way of enhancing your learning technique if you’re an auditory learner.
- Try to study somewhere where you won’t be distracted easily by loud noise.
If you’re a Kinesthetic Learner:
- Your physical posture plays a great role in learning. Maybe you learn better if you pace, or use your hands to describe things. Try that and see what works best for you.
- One of the bad sides of being a kinesthetic learner is your concentration is very easily disturbed. That’s why, try to study for short times at once, with breaks at intervals.
- Try participating in practicals or case studies as much as you can. Try learning through problem solving or role playing- anything that involves you physically, to learn better.
- Help others learn. This is a sure way of helping you learn your thing if you’re a kinesthetic student.
I hope these steps help you a bit to get started on changing your learning style if you think you’ve been following the wrong one all along. Remember, like everything else, learning can also be personal, and despite the traditional advices we usually follow- maybe all of them are not for you. That’s all for today.
Aysha Tehnan is a student of Adamjee Cantonment College (HSC batch 2022). She passed SSC from Shaheed Bir Uttom Lt. Anwar Girls’ College in 2020, and is now acting as the General Manager of Set to Success. She worked with literature clubs and debate clubs of her institutions during her high school and college tenure. She’s a passionate writer, and likes to fiddle with art and crafts in her free time.