By Jennifer Olvera
Studying and learning styles vary from person to person. It doesn’t mean one approach is right and the other wrong, but it does mean it’s important to know what works for you, what doesn’t and understand ways to capitalize on your strengths. If you don’t already have a sense of what your learning style is, a good place to start is taking a learning quiz, which can help you identify the most productive ways to retain information.
Next, get to know the main learning styles to understand your individual approach and how to make it work for you.
Perhaps maps, images and colors resonate with you. Maybe it’s easy for you to visualize objects, plans and outcomes, and your sense of space is spot-on. If this sounds like you, incorporate diagrams, pictures and hues into everything you do. By creating a visual “journey” or story to memorize content you can’t “see,” it’s more likely to stick in your mind.
If sound, rhymes and music help you memorize things, you have an auditory approach to learning. Sound recordings may be helpful if you need to visualize a topic, while using rhythm and rhyme set to a jingle or song may help you retail essential details.
When written and spoken words are your best friends, you no doubt have a verbal study style. That means you may find it helpful to use tongue twisters, rhymes, limericks to help memorize information. It may also be beneficial to role-play with others, script information and set key details to a rhyme, song or rhythm.
In the event you use touch to learn about the world, odds are your learning style is physical in nature. If this sounds like you, incorporate action, movement and a hands-on approach to learning. Also consider using flashcards to study, and mull over the physical features of things so they stay top of mind.
Logical learners take a mathematical approach to information retention. If you’re part of this group, it’s important to understand the reasons behind your content and skills and the links between things. Note that it’s often helpful to make lists and identify logical associations.
Those who communicate well with others have a social learning style and may get a boost from learning in groups or classes or when in direct contact with an instructor. Try to form a study group, role-play and share your thoughts and observations with others.
In the event you’re introspective, independent and able to concentrate even in difficult situations, you may be a solitary learner. If that’s the case, it’s important to set goals, objectives and plans for yourself. It’s also key to generate an interest in a topic in a way that allows you to visualize the topic and, perhaps, find ways to relate learning to your self-image.