No matter what level you’re at in your education, we all have our struggles when it comes to studying. The further you go along in school, you’ll notice that different classes may require different study techniques. These techniques vary depending on what type of learner you are. There are four types of learners specified by the VARK modalities: visual, aural/auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic. The VARK modalities were proposed in the 1990s to help teacher categorize their students into four different learning styles, giving them the power to optimize their teaching sessions. There is an online questionnaire available to take for free which will tell you which of the four styles you fall into.
According to an article posted on the KU School of Education webpage, those who are visual learners tend to process information best when they are presented with a whole picture, rather than small chunks of facts. Because of this, a visual learner will get their study sessions if they create graphs, infographics, and diagrams to summarize the information they need to commit to memory.
Auditory learners excel when information is reinforced to them through sound rather than through pictures or the written word. If you find yourself in this category, consider recording your lectures and classes so that you can listen to them while you’re studying. If that’s not an option, use free resources such as Youtube to find videos of the topics you need to learn. Another tip that may work, as weird as it sounds, is to talk to yourself while you study; repeating key information to yourself as you work can really help! Mnemonics, funny ones especially, can help if you’re really struggling to remember something. If you need some inspiration, consider checking out this voxpop page that has loads of school jokes.
As the name implies, those who are reading/writing style learners learn best when they, well, read and write! They tend to prefer having information presented to them in the written form and would rather read texts than look at visuals or listen to someone else presenting the information. If you find yourself making extremely detailed study guides or taking pristine notes during class, you may fall into this type of learner. Some techniques a reading/writing learner can use is creating lists and subcategorizing their already immaculate notes.
A kinesthetic learner learns best through hands-on experiences. These types of learners excel when they are able to move about and actively participate in their education. According to an article from Definedlearning.com, those who are kinesthetic learners tend to move around a lot when they are trying to commit information to memory. The most important thing to do as a kinesthetic learner is to create something concrete whilst studying, whether that be flashcards, a presentation, or a poster.
Many people may not perfectly fall into one category, and that’s okay! As earlier mentioned, different classes may require different techniques; maybe in your biology classes you learn best through visuals, but in your history classes you need to be active and move about to remember anything. No matter what the case is, do what works best for you, and don’t be afraid to try something new.