Do you know how to study based on your learning style?

Did you know that by using your learning style you can optimize how you study? 

Here are some valuable study strategies for visual, auditory/verbal, and kinesthetic or tactile, hands-on learners.

Each student learns a little differently, and learning styles provide a broad classification for students to identify if it’s easier to learn via visuals, sounds, words, or action.

Some students may even find that they prefer more than one learning style and can, therefore, benefit from several different study techniques.

If you don’t know your learning style, the edutech platform, OneClass, offers an interactive feature where answering a few questions will reveal your learning style.

Using the study tips below, you can leverage the academic strengths of your learning style to get better grades.

How Should Visual Learners Study?

Visual learners prefer images, maps, graphs, and diagrams.

Typically, visual learners will naturally take class notes that have lots of highlights and arrows.

how to study based on your learning style

However, visual learners can benefit from note-taking that doesn’t include paragraphs of text at all.

The practice of visual note-taking can include process diagrams, cause and effect charts, mind maps, and more.

These image-based notes don’t need to be works of art, but the process of visualizing information can help visual learners be more engaged in class and improve memory retention.

For some visual learners, these concept drawings can come after class while studying. Rather than sketching concepts, students can use color-coded highlighters and sticky notes. You can even collage photos into your notes.

For example, instead of studying for a history exam with a list of presidents’ names, adding a photo can provide the visual that helps retention.

How Should Auditory Learners Study?

Sometimes called conversational learners, listening and talking helps auditory learners absorb and retain information.

The best class style for auditory learners is lecture classes with Q&A discussions. Written notes are less beneficial than audio notes, so students who have their professor’s permission can record the audio from lectures and then play it back prior to exams.

Even though taking written notes during class can be a distraction for auditory learners, students can turn to online resources to supplement their audio notes. For example, the OneClass academic community could have written lecture notes shared by one of your classmates.

Before an exam, auditory learners should use sound-based studying as much as possible. Join a study group so you can have conversational study sessions where you explain the material to one another.

Additionally, rather than using written flashcards, you can record yourself reciting the class material. Then, study by playing it back to yourself.

How Should Verbal Learners Study?

Verbal learners learn best through language. In class, students should focus on the language of what the professor is saying and take detailed notes with strong descriptions about the lecture material.

Many language-based study tools can help verbal learners. Mnemonics can help you remember a series of things. A classic example is “Roy G. Biv,” which is an acronym for the colors of visible light waves: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

Word association and rhyming are also helpful techniques, as in the example, “‘I’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c.’”

How Should Kinesthetic Learners Study?

Learners who prioritize activity and hands-on experiments are kinesthetic learners.

Lecture classes can be difficult for these students since class time typically requires that student to sit still. To counter this, students can engage during class by using index cards with written keywords.

Then, physically arranging the concepts on their desks can add spacial physicality to the learning material, helping students absorb new information.

Kinesthetic learners don’t benefit from spending class time by taking detailed notes because the note-taking becomes a distraction rather than an asset.

Instead, kinesthetic learners can write down the main points and pair their outline with detailed notes that have been shared by a classmate on the OneClass platform.

When studying for an exam, kinesthetic learners should make the information tactile and concrete. This can be done by building models, running experiments, or using the concepts in action. For example, instead of sitting at a desk, even pacing or taking a walk can be a helpful way to add movement and action to the class material.

Jack Tai is the CEO of OneClass. All types of learning styles face classwork challenges. Find out why 2.2 million students have used OneClass to get better grades.

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