When studying, some of us find it helpful to write a lot of notes, some like to read books aloud, and others need to draw colourful diagrams. This is because we all have different learning styles. Our brains have the ability to remember endless amounts of information, so if you’re having trouble memorising something, it might just be that you’re not using the right method. Here is a breakdown of the three main types of learning styles: visual, auditory, and tactile, and some useful study tips for each one.
Visual learners find it easier to learn from charts and diagrams as opposed to only reading words. They may also find it easier to understand and take in information when lots of different colours are used.
Many visual learners also prefer drawing diagrams when explaining concepts, as it helps them organise their thoughts clearly. They are also very aware of their surroundings, and are good at visualising relationships between ideas.
Some visual learners are good notetakers because they find it difficult to remember something they’ve been told. They often draw and doodle in class, and are more likely to be interested in subjects like art, design and fashion.
Study tips for visual learners:
- Highlight your notes and reading materials in different colours, using one for each theme or topic.
- Draw diagrams, mind maps, and pictures when making notes.
- Study in a quiet place away from noise and distraction.
- Visualise items in a list you are trying to memorise.
Auditory learners prefer to listen to someone talk about a topic rather than read about it, and learn best when reading material out loud as it helps the information to sink in. They are also good listeners and often have good communication skills.
Auditory learners may also show a natural ability to sing or play instruments well, and might often find themselves humming or tapping beats while studying.
Study tips for auditory learners:
- Listen to music while studying.
- If possible, choose music related to the topic such as The Periodic Table song when studying chemistry.
- Create songs or rhymes to memorise information.
- Read books and notes out loud.
Tactile learners are more hands-on learners, and benefit most from doing group work because it allows them to be actively involved in a task rather than sitting down and taking notes.
They also tend to take lots of little breaks in between when writing essays or completing assignments that require a lot of focus. Tactile learners are usually good at sports, and prefer practical lessons to theoretical ones.
Study tips for tactile learners:
- Take notes using Post-its and flash cards.
- Move around when taking breaks, and try going for a walk when working out ideas for essays.
- Chew gum or drink water while studying.
- Use hand gestures to remember difficult vocabulary words.