Do you know what your go-to learning styles are? Understanding and applying different learning styles to your studying can transform the way your brain processes information. In turn, this can help you perform better on exams. Training your brain to take advantage of different styles of learning can help you retain information in new, creative ways.
When it comes to learning styles, just remember VARK
Acronyms always help me remember things, so here is an acronym to help you remember the different learning styles: VARK. It stands for visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic/tactile. Let’s look at what each style has to offer with regard to study strategies.
Visual input engages sight and brings attention to the eyes. This is when you’re more encouraged through visual imagery rather than word-based information.
- Drawing pictures, diagrams, or graphs in notes
- Color code notes with bright colors
- Come up with funny mnemonics or acronyms
- Visualize notes during test-taking
Auditory input engages hearing and brings attention to the ears. This includes the use of sounds.
- Read notes aloud
- Teach and explain steps to a friend
- Join a study group
- Listen to your favorite music
Read/write input is word or text-based learning. This is for students who prefer to pair reading and writing together.
- Prepare by reading the textbook before class
- Write organized notes
- Make flashcards
- Annotate and go over notes
Kinesthetic/tactile input engages touch and movement. This learning style is for those who enjoy activity and are connected with the sense of touch.
- Incorporating models or figures
- Having a stress ball or sensory toy on hand
- Move around during your time studying
- Stand and write on a board
Here’s what happened when I explored other learning styles
The learning style that comes most naturally to me is reading and writing. I like to take notes and read information multiple times. This helps my brain process the information in a way that will be easy for me to remember.
While I am comfortable with that learning style, I also wanted to seek out different methods to engage other parts of my brain. I found that kinesthetic/tactile learning paired well with my previous style because it allowed me to move around and use my sense of touch. Simply walking around and writing on a whiteboard helped me visualize the information on a grander scale.
In addition to those two learning styles, I also used visual inputs. Drawing diagrams on the whiteboard and using mnemonics or acronyms was very effective when it came to recalling information for my exams. Being able to clearly picture the visuals I wrote on the whiteboard engaged another part of my brain that I wouldn’t have accessed if I had only stuck with my go-to learning style. Overall, I discovered that involving different senses can make studying easier.
Try out these different learning styles and see how your studying habits transform! By changing how the brain processes information, you might find that you have an easier time studying, earn better grades, and retain knowledge more effectively.