In this article, I’m going to show you how study skills systems use learning styles to help improve your grades for students of all ages.
Before using learning styles to improve grades, you need to find out the learning style that describes you best.
To check which learning style describes you best, you can take the free learning styles quiz here.
Your results will read out on the screen at the end when you hit submit results.
From there, you can read more about your personal learning style and how to optimize it.
Now That You Know Your Learning Style, Let’s Take a Look at How You Study Best
Learning styles are a type of preference for the way you learn and remember new information.
There are three primary learning styles:
- visual learning styles
- auditory learning styles
- kinesthetic learning styles
You can use this information to improve your grades and test-taking skills.
I’m going to break down each of these learning styles for you in a little more detail – so let’s take a look at our 3 primary learning styles.
What Are the 3 Learning Styles?
1. Visual Learning Styles
People with visual learning styles prefer to learn and recall new things in pictures.
In other words, they are reading new material, looking up, and making a mental picture of it.
Then, when those with visual learning styles want to recall that information, they mentally call up the picture they made in their mind and can quickly recall it.
There is great truth to the saying that one picture equals a thousand words.
If you have a more visual learning style preference, here are a couple of things that might describe you.
You might be very good at organizing things, tend to be neater, usually are good at drawing, and may enter fields like architecture, or art.
As it turns out, many CEOs are highly visual, too.
They can easily “see” the long-term and use many smaller details to plan out the whole for a company.
School and its written tests cater to highly visual learners – those with visual learning styles – and thus, they tend to get the best grades.
The reason is that visual learners learn and remember quickly in pictures, tend to sit still in their seats, turn in neater and more organized papers, etc.
When it comes to test time, they have learned the material and changed it into images in their minds.
Those images are very easy to recall and turn into the words needed on the test.
Just like when you go to the movies and can easily recall what you saw on the screen, visual learners recall via a movie in their mind.
Their learning style matches the visual learning environment in school.
Plus, the visual learning style is a match for how neuroscience says the brain learns best, and fastest – in images.
2. Auditory Learning Styles
This takes a bit longer to do than to recall a picture.
However, people with auditory learning styles make great storytellers and can easily recall what you said to them months ago.
In school, auditory learning styles are instrumental when it comes to recalling what the teacher or professor said.
However, when it is time to take a written test, those with auditory learning styles have to work just a bit harder than the visual learners.
This is because they heard the words in their mind as they studied, rather than visualized them.
On the test, reviewing words in your mind simply takes longer according to neuroscience studies of the brain than recalling a picture does.
Thus, auditory learners may do very well in school but take longer on written tests.
3. Kinesthetic Learning Styles
Students and adults with kinesthetic or tactile learning styles want to experience what they learn.
They are hands-on learners.
Rather than read directions when putting something together, they will simply feel their way through the process.
Kinesthetic learners have a tougher time in school because there’s a mismatch between the structure and their learning style.
They want to move around more, are sometimes disorganized, teachers report they don’t turn in neat papers, and these learners do not take pictures in their mind when they read.
When it comes to test time, they recall more how they “felt” about new material, and this hinders them when taking the written test.
It is more difficult, not because they aren’t intelligent, but because their preferred method of learning and recall isn’t compatible in the highly visual environment called school.
Those with kinesthetic learning styles love to enter fields that allow them to move, such as sports, building, sales where they can drive around to their clients, etc.
When they find themselves in a constrained office environment, they don’t feel it is a good fit for them.
When it comes to sports, though, the kinesthetic learners tend to perform the best and often excel in the high school or college sports teams.
Learning styles play an essential role in what you do in school and in life.
How Learning Styles Help Improve Grades in School
We “see,” “hear,” and “feel” during different experiences.
Where learning styles information comes in handy is understanding how you process and recall information in a visual place called school.
Once you know which learning style you prefer the most when you read and recall new information, it is beneficial to combine learning styles to round off your learning.
Then, add some visual learning style traits to your auditory or kinesthetic learning style.
This shows you how to use learning styles to your advantage in the visual world of school.
You will perform better both when learning new information and when recalling it for the written test if you do this while making and recalling pictures in your mind.
The question is how to add visual learning styles.
The answer is very simple:
When you read, stop for a minute, literally look up above eye level and turn the words you read into a mental snapshot or draw that image on paper.
Over time, you can create visual picture images in a “mind-map” on paper, which you then hold up above eye level to study.
You will find it works much better, instead of relying on a maze of yellow underlined passages in a book.
It really is that simple.
Never change who you are, or how you prefer to learn, but if you want to know how to improve your grades in school, add the visual learning style, and keep using your other two learning styles as well.
Learning styles are our gift of making sense of the world in our particular way.
Remember to take the free Learning Styles Quiz to find out which combination of learning styles best describes you.
And now I’d like to hear back from you!
Which learning style are you?
Did you relate to any of these passages describing the learning style strengths?
And do you now know how to use learning styles to improve grades?
Pat Wyman is the CEO of HowtoLearn.com and an internationally noted brain coach known as America’s Most Trusted Learning Expert. She has helped over half a million people in schools and corporations such as Microsoft, Intel and Google improve their lives with her learning strategies, learning styles inventory and courses, such as Total Recall Learning™.
Her superpower is helping people learn, read and remember everything faster. Pat is the best-selling author of more than 15 books and is also a university instructor, mom and golden retriever lover!
[ Updated – October 23, 2020 ]