Everyone is different- which is a good thing. Everyone learns in a different way. Some like to see things and are probably visual learners. Other like to listen, and are audio learners; whilst other like to be doing and are kinaesthetic learners. If you know your learning style then you can find ways that suit your style. Many of us are a combination of learner. Take a test, either online or on paper and then check out some suggestions you might like to try to help you learn.
What Type of Learner are You?
Before you start a revision plan check out what kind of learner you are. This will then direct you to the best way for YOU to revise. Find your learning style
Characteristics of a Visual Learner
- Scans everything; wants to see things, enjoys visual stimulation
- Enjoys maps, pictures, diagrams, and colour
- Needs to see the teacher’s body language/facial expression to fully understand
- Not pleased with lectures
- Daydreams; a word, sound or smell causes recall and mental wandering
- Usually takes detailed notes
- May think in pictures and learn best from visual displays
Make your Learning Style work for you– Visual Learners:
- Have a clear view of your teachers when they are speaking so you can see their body language and facial expression
- Use colour to highlight important points in text
- Illustrate your ideas as a picture and use mind maps
- Use multi-media such as computers or videos.
- Study in a quiet place away from verbal disturbances
- Visualize information as a picture to aid learning
- Make charts, graphs and tables in your notes.
- Participate actively in class—this will keep you involved and alert
- When memorizing material, write it over and over
- Keep pencil and paper handy so you can write down good ideas.
Characteristics of an Auditory Learner:
- Interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances
- Prefers directions given orally
- Seldom takes notes or writes things down
- Prefers lectures to reading assignments
- Often repeats what has just been said; talks to self.
- Auditory Learners: Make your Learning Style work for you!
- Think aloud and talk to yourself
- Participate in class discussions/debates
- Make speeches and presentations
- Read text out loud—especially when proofreading or when tired
- Create musical jingles and mnemonics to aid memorization
- Use a tape recorder
- Discuss your ideas verbally with a friend or small group
- Use verbal analogies
- When doing math computations by hand, use graph paper to help you keep your columns aligned
- Recite information over and over to better memorize material
- You may want to sit near the side or back of the classroom where there is less visual stimulation
Characteristics of a Tactile/Kinesthetic Learner:
- The “Do-er”
- Needs to touch, handle, manipulate materials and objects, especially while studying or listening
- Counts on fingers and talks with hands
- Good at drawing designs
- Often doodles while listening, thus processing information
- Good at sports, mechanics, using appliances and tools
- Often adventurous
- May find it hard to sit still for long periods
- May become distracted by their need for activity and exploration
- Make your Learning Style work for you! Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners:
- Take frequent study breaks and vary your activities
- Make studying more physical—work at a standing desk, chew gum, pace while memorizing. read while on an exercise bike, mold a piece of clay, squeeze a tennis ball
- Use bright colours to highlight reading material
- Dress up your work space with posters and colour
- Play music in the background while you study
- When reading, first skim through the whole thing to get a feel for what its about, then read the chapter carefully
- Use spatial note taking techniques such as mind mapping
- Visualize complex projects from start to finish before beginning—this will allow you to keep the big picture in mind.
Characteristics of a Read/ Write Learner
- lists, notes and text in all its formats and whether in print or online.
- If this is your learning style you will prefer to use the printed word as the most important way to convey and receive information.
If you have a strong preference for learning by Reading and Writing (R & W) learning you should use some or all of the following:
To take in the information:
- readings – library
- notes (often verbatim)
- teachers who use words well and have lots of information in sentences and notes
- manuals (computing and laboratory)
SWOT – Study without tears
To make a learnable package:
- Convert your “notes” into a learnable package by reducing them (3:1)
- Write out the words again and again.
- Read your notes (silently) again and again.
- Rewrite the ideas and principles into other words.
- Organize any diagrams, graphs … into statements, e.g. “The trend is…”
- Turn reactions, actions, diagrams, charts and flows into words.
- Imagine your lists arranged in multiple choice questions and distinguish each from each.
To perform well in any test, assignment or examination:
- Write exam answers.
- Practice with multiple choice questions.
- Write paragraphs, beginnings and endings.
- Write your lists (a,b,c,d,1,2,3,4).
- Arrange your words into hierarchies and points.
You like this page because the emphasis is on words and lists.
You believe the meanings are within the words, so any talk is OK but this handout is better.
You are heading for the library.
IDEAS for VISUAL learners
Use coloured highlighter pens to mark your revision notes. You should identify key words (these may be names, dates, places, etc.) You could even use different colours for different types of information. In the margins of your subject note-book, draw sketches or cartoons that relate to that particular topic or paragraph. These will not only help you to locate that particular section but will also make it more memorable.
Learn to MindMap
Pay attention to the layout of your revision notes. You might find it useful to use flow-charts (in science, history, English and other subjects to keep track of events) or diagrams (in science, gegraphy , maths and other subjects.) Use the “Roman Room” memory system.
IDEAS for AUDITORY learners
You might find it helpful to play soothing music as you revise. Experts suggest that some types of music (particularly that with a tempo of 58-60 beats per minute) can help to generate relaxed-but-alert Beta brain-waves – which can help you learn more effectively. However, music at a faster tempo or music with a strong lyric can have a distracting effect.
Record key points on tape and play them over, especially just before going to sleep.
Having identified key points from your revision notes, try making these into a rhyme, rap or song. This will make them more memorable.
Explain what you have learned to someone else, perhaps to your parents. They usually go on about how important it is to revise properly – so why shouldn’t they suffer as well!
IDEAS for KINAESTHETIC (PHYSICAL) learners
Learn the “Body-pegs” memory technique and use it to learn key points.
Use the “Sticky-notes” memory technique.