If you have a hard time studying, you may be going about it the wrong way. Everyone grasps material in slightly different ways. Identify how you learn best to enhance your study time. Why is this important? Think of it as a superpower—if you know what yours is, you can utilize it to your advantage!
There are countless ways to learn, but there are three main types of learning categories you can fall under. Don’t worry if you don’t fit perfectly under one type—most students are a combination of learner styles.
1. Auditory Learner
These learners absorb information best when it’s spoken to them. This type of learner benefits most from lectures and audiobooks. If it’s been said, it’s easier for these learners to remember it.
How do you know if you’re an auditory learner? Think about any class where your professor lectures to you. Do you find it hard to keep pace, or are you tracking with them? If you miss class one day, is it hard to understand lecture notes? Do you like study groups where everyone discusses the topics and gives feedback verbally? Then you may be an auditory learner.
2. Visual Learner
These learners learn best if imagery accompanies a professor’s lecture and if they’ve seen it before. Therefore, graphs, pictures or any source of visual information are crucial for them to understand the material.
How do you know if you’re a visual learner? Think about a class where the professor uses a lot of imagery to prove a point. Do you find yourself remembering the pictures during a quiz or an exam to answer the question? Do you like to draw or write things out to visually see how it all fits together? Then you may be a visual learner.
3. Kinaesthetic Learner
These learners prefer to grasp material in a physical way. For example, most learners in this category like to write the material down and read it later. Writing the material down enables them to focus on what’s being written. These learners also like to do the work themselves. Let’s say they’re learning how to make a mixture in chemistry class. In this case, they prefer to perform the experiment rather than listen to a lecture on that subject.
How do you know if you’re a kinaesthetic learner? Do you find yourself wanting to do what you learned in class on your own? Are you completely lost when the professor lectures? Do you prefer lab or discussion-type classes because you can learn about topics from a hands-on standpoint? Then you may be a kinaesthetic learner.
Test these learner types by focusing on a class where the professor teaches in a manner you find helpful—whether it be visual, auditory or hands-on. Then, complete a review packet or an assignment. When you focus on either the auditory, visual or hands-on aspect of the teaching, did it help you learn the material better than before? This is helpful because if you know the type of learner you are, you can maximize your study time with habits that benefit you—and get rid of tricks that don’t work! Use your superpower so you have an easier time studying and learn course material better in the long run.