You’ve heard the principle that no two people are perfectly alike. Our ways of learning and strategies for studying are no exception. At least once, you might have experienced studying for an exam for weeks and still get scores that fall short of your expectations. Before blaming yourself, it’s useful to know whether you really studied the subject the right way.
Ask yourself these questions and find out what kind of learning strategy can help you the most:
Do you remember and understand more concepts and ideas by drawing or looking at pictures? Welcome, then, to the realm of visual learners. You most often draw diagrams around your notepad, pay attention to your teacher’s every stroke on the chalkboard, or relish the images and text projected from a PowerPoint presentation.
Ace your lessons by complementing online and offline sources of pictures, diagrams or videos for your studies For sharper memorization, jot down keywords and post-its where you can usually see them. Don’t only write things down, sum them up with meaningful diagrams. Make lists, highlight and underline keywords, and create mind-maps for more complex ideas. In speeches or lectures, pay close attention to the speaker, and take pictures or film the session (if it is allowed).
Do you find listening and speaking in discussions appealing? Though everyone is most certainly an auditory learner like you in one way or another, you love reading to yourself out loud, look forward to listening to and giving oral reports, and find group studies instructive.
Focus on instructional methods like audiobooks, recorded tutorials and lectures or even musical interpretations and videos that let you hear your lessons repeatedly.
Do you always see to it that you get to try out and touch the material you’re studying? Kinesthetic learners are often excited by hands-on sessions, role-playing and participative demos. They get bored during long periods of sitting and see to it that they’re always on the move, relating the most to adventure books and highly inclined to sports. Kinesthetic learners learn best the more they experience the idea. Fill your study methods with lab exercises, tours and field trips, games, role-playing and group activities. For literary pieces, watch emotional dramatizations, or for scientific concepts, go ahead and be creative in your experiments.
Do you see patterns and like analyzing trends and connections? You’re a logical learner, so you get thrilled with working on puzzles, solving problems, and answering abstract “what-if” questions. You most often look for how relationships between concepts and reasoning are central to you. When studying, summarizing and analytical flowcharts and diagrams can help you the most by letting you classify information, categorize them, and plot out relationships.
Do you like being around people and find learning the most in conversations? If you find sharing personal experiences, seeking out or giving advice, and relating and exchanging information with groups or classes interesting, you’re a social learner and you’d find debates, open group discussions useful to you. If you’re the opposite who likes to study alone and figure problems out independently, you’re more of a solitary learner. Everyone should be a good balance of both to adjust flexibly to any learning demand.
When you know how to best handle information, you study more efficiently. Go ahead and make the lesson personal to you, because the more you find it relevant, the more you’d take it with you wherever you go—even long after the exam.