This article will describe how learning styles help improve grades in school for students of all ages and you can take the free learning styles quiz here .
Learning styles are defined as a type of preference for the way you learn and remember new information. There are three basic learning styles – visual learning styles, auditory learning styles, and kinethestic learning styles.
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 quickly recall the information.
There is great truth to the saying that one picture equals a thousand words.
If you have a more visual learning style preference, you will 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 CEO’s are high visual too as 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 caters to highly visual learners, those with visual learning styles and thus they tend to get the best grades. The reason is that students with visual learning styles learn and remember quickly in pictures, tend to sit still in their seats, turn in neater and more organized papers, etc. When it comes test time, they have learned the material and changed it into images in their mind, and those images are very easy to recall and turn into the words needed on the test. In other words, their natural visual learning style matches the visual learning environment in school.
Auditory Learning Styles
Those folks who have auditory learning styles learn best by listening and then repeating what they heard when they want to recall information. This takes a bit longer to do than to recall a picture, however, people with auditory learning styles make great story tellers and can easily recall what you said to them months ago.
In school, auditory learning styles are very useful 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 because they heard words in their mind as they studied.
On the test, reviewing words in your mind simply takes longer according to neuroscience studies of the brain, than does recalling a picture, so auditory learners may do very well in school, however, take longer on written tests.
Kinesthetic Learning Styles
Students and adults with kinesthetic or tactile learning styles want to experience what they learn. They are hands-on learners and 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 they don’t like the structure. They want to move around more, tend not to be especially organized, teachers report they don’t turn in neat papers, and these learners do not make pictures in their mind when they read.
When it comes 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 are not very smart, but more because the method of learning and recall does not serve them 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 are often found on the high school or college sports teams. Learning styles really play an important role in what you do in school and in life.
How To Use Learning Styles To Improve Grades In School
It is very important to know that everyone uses all learning styles at one time or another. 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 very helpful to add some visual learning style traits to your auditory or kinesthetic learning style, as this shows you how to use learning styles to your advantage in the visual world of school.
In other words, 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 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 your other two learning styles.
Learning styles are our gift of making sense of the world in our own particular way. Remember to take the free Learning Styles Quiz use all three learning styles.
She teaches at California State University, East Bay and is known as America’s Most Trusted Learning Expert. She helps children and adults solve learning problems with her Amazing Grades Study Skills System and is an expert in learning styles.
Take the free quiz and find out your preferred learning styles.