By Zoe Taylor
It can take a lot of years of learning to really discover what study method suits you best. There are three main categories of learning styles, and these are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. We’ve compiled a whole lot of information on the three types and have come up with a test that can help you discover your best learning style. You can take the test here.
Once you’ve completed the test, you’ll get a result of either a visual learner, an auditory learner or a kinaesthetic learner. This will give you a better idea of the type of learner you are, and you can come back to this page for a list of learning methods that might work for you.
It also helps to find a study buddy that has the same learning style as you, so you can combine your study methods and work with someone that understands how you learn. Share this test with your peers and see if any of them learn the same way you to.
DISCLAIMER: this is just an indicator, designed to help you find out the best way for you to study in order to retain information. It’s not a definitive test!
Visual learners tend to remember what they see and prefer to read and write, not listen. Before beginning a project, they prefer to have an overall view and purpose for it. They need to see things to learn them, and can even tune out when they’re trying to pay attention if they’re forced to learn by listening.
Some methods of learning that work best for visual learners are:
- Create graphics such as mind maps, venn diagrams, graphs, charts or pictures with the information you need to retain
- Use a lot of colour in your notes
- If you’re listening to someone teach, or watching a video, take notes so that you can set them out in your own way
- Find Infographics on the topic, or create your own!
- Find or create flashcards on the topic
- Putting posters up around your room (or house) with key points on the topic (and images that relate)
Auditory learners can absorb information easily by listening, and have difficulty retaining information they read. Long bodies of text are mundane to them. They are very good at speaking and presenting, but find it difficult to interpret body language or facial expressions.
Some methods of learning that work best for auditory learners are:
- Reading the information aloud
- Using mnemonic devices such as creating a rhyme or funny sentence that incorporates the information
- Record yourself reading the information and listen back to it, or ask a friend or family member to read the information out to you
- Listen to the right kind of music while you study
- Talk it out with a teacher or study buddy and ask them questions. This is possible even if you’re studying online thanks to Skype
- Listen to audio recordings or videos on the topic
Kinaesthetic learners are active people. They learn best through hands on activities, and often find themselves doodling whilst listening or reading. They express themselves through movement and have a good sense of balance and hand-eye coordination.
Some methods of learning that work best for kinaesthetic learners are:
- Skim through reading material before you read it in detail to get the bigger picture
- Walk around whilst reading the information aloud – undertaking a physical activity at the same time helps too, for example bouncing a ball
- Study in short blocks – organising breaks by doing 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off works well
- Come up with examples for the information given
- Literally ‘walk through’ the information – lay it out in steps around your study area and move to each spot, reading the information out loud as you get to it
Do you think your test result is accurate? You may find that traits from all three learning types apply to you, which is common. On the most part, though, people tend to favour one more than the others, and it can be helpful to know which one that is so that you can start to use learning methods that best apply to you.
For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!