In this blog post we explore some of the main learning styles and how you can use these to study effectively. We all learn differently. For some students, taking detailed notes while in class works best, for others, perhaps they get more joy from watching an online tutorial such as the Video Solutions to Past Exam Papers offered by ExamCast.ie.
Knowing your most effective learning style is very important and will really help you achieve exam success. You may be familiar with the VARK model of learning styles, which holds that different students learn best through visual, auditory, reading/writing, or kinesthetic interactions. We now break these down and discuss each learning style in detail.
Visual learners are those that best internalize and synthesize information when it is presented to them in arrows, charts, diagrams and other visualizations of information hierarchy.
Might you be a visual learner? Look out for these clues ….
- You learn a lot from watching how-to-do videos
- Like information presented in front of you
- Find it easy to follow diagrams and photos in a set of instructions
Auditory learners prefer listening to information that reading or writing. They may not take notes and give the impression to teachers that there not as not as engaged as others, but nothing could be further from the truth as they feel they will take more from the lessons by giving their full attention to listening to what is been said.
Might you be an auditory learner? Look out for these clues …
- Take more from a class when you listen only rather than read or take notes
- Find success in group activities where you are given the opportunity to discuss course materials vocally with fellow students
- Prefer to read your work out loud to yourself to help you think it through
Reading/Writing learners work best when taking plenty of notes during class. They also benefit from conducting research online and through books as this content tends to be text heavy.
Might you be a reading/writing learner? Look out for these clues ….
- Find that you do not remember information unless you make written notes during class
- Enjoy reading in your spare time
- Do better in written exams than in more practical ones
Kinesthetic learners are those that need to be actively engaged in their learning. Kinesthetic learners are not ideally suited to classroom learning and tend to be at their best when they use movement, testing, trial and error and a non-traditional learning environment to retain and recall information.
Might you be a kinesthetic learner? Look out for these clues …
- Like finding out how things work yourself
- Learn skills better than concepts
- Prefer participating in workshops rather than classroom style learning
The answer is in fact, yes you can! Many students benefit from a mix of learning types. People who fall into this category are called ‘multimodal learners’. Multimodal learners perform best when learning with a combination of two or more modalities.
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