Most people tend to use a combination of learning styles rather than having an overall preference for one in general. Think about how you find it easiest to learn new information, and read the following descriptions to see which learning styles you use. Each section has some hints for you to try.
Visual | Auditory/Verbal | Tactile/Kinesthetic | Logical
Find your learning style
The Visual learning style has 2 subcategories:
- Visual-linguistic (learns best through written language, finds it easy to remember things which are written down, even after just one reading)
- Visual-spatial (does best with charts, demonstrations, videos, and other visual materials)
If you are a visual learner, you may:
- Learn through seeing; watching the instructor write something on the board, body language, facial expression and non-verbal cues
- Find in-class demonstrations, illustrated textbooks, diagrams/maps/charts, videos/documentaries make information easier to remember
- Write your notes in different colors
- Use images, pictures, colors and maps (including mind maps) to organise information
- Use the visual journey or room methods for memorising content you can't literally see, such as abstract ideas
- Try watching different versions of a play rather than just re-reading it to understand the character's motivations and actions. (You still need to read the play!)
If you are an auditory, musical or verbal learner, you may:
- Learn through listening
- Find verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through, reading information aloud, explaining to someone else helpful
- Use mnemonics and acronyms to memorise content
- Enjoy learning in groups
- Enjoy learning to music
- Find learning foreign languages easier than other people
- Record lectures
- Use audiobooks
- Read your words out loud as you write papers (in your own room, not under test conditions!)
- Brainstorm with other people
- Verbalize lessons to yourself
If you are a tactile or kinesthetic learner, you may:
- Learn through moving, touching, doing, experiencing
- Read while on an exercise bike or treadmill
- Reproduce all experiments (where possible) so you can experience them properly
- Take advantage of all lab time to make sure you understand the principles behind each experiment or demonstration
- Draw a diagram/chart to help you remember
If you are a logical learner, you may:
- Learn through understanding and reason
- Learn best from written rather than spoken information
- Making lists
- Search for more details to explain why or how
- Use statistics and specialised information, logical points or examples
- Look for flaws in arguments
Still not sure which styles suit you best?
There are 2 tools which may help you further:
- a chart which clarifies three of the learning styles
- and a short interactive quiz (70 questions) which will give you Style Scores and a diagram showing your strengths
A sample result of the quiz is below:
These are the results of your inventory. The scores are out of 20 for each style. A score of 20 indicates you use that style often.
When you look at the diagram, it seems obvious that this person is much more of a verbal learner than anything else.
If you look at the scores too, you can see this person should concentrate on primarily verbal learning, but also learns well in a group (social) as well as solitary learning, and is more aural (auditory) and logical than visual or physical.
So this person would not learn well by watching or participating in an experiment, but would learn well through discussions and thinking things through logically.