If you’ve ever wondered if you’re special, rest assured that you are. After all, everyone is a unique learner. Some students are visual learners, while others are better with listening or doing. From seeing and hearing to touching and experiencing, we all have a combination of ways we learn – but most students do show a strong affinity for a certain way. Hence, it’s important to take the time to understand your learning style, because knowing it will enable you to study more efficiently.
The benefits that come with this cognisance is aplenty. For one, it’ll benefit you academically – allowing you to maximise your potential to reach educational goals, overcome any challenge that comes your way and facilitate effective study plans and communication with your tutor. Personal wise, you’ll gain self-confidence and be able to assess and harness your strengths, weaknesses and habits objectively.
The Different Learning Styles: Meet the VARK Model
For visual learners, the best way to take in information is by seeing it. Rather than listening to verbal instructions from a tutor, visual learners require written directions. Often, visual learners tend to process information better with visual aids such as graphs, charts and mind maps.
Tips for visual learners:
- Speak to your tutor ahead of time to know what chapters you’ll be reviewing each class so you can get a glimpse into the section headings and visual aspects first.
- Copy out your notes and separate them with visual cues like colour coding.
- Draw pictures and diagrams in the margins of your notes to help you process the information.
- Create bold flashcard sets.
Auditory learners remember things by listening to them. They’re often linear thinkers, and their strength lies in storytelling and speech-giving. They study best when hearing facts spoken from external sources or by hearing themselves talk.
Tips for auditory learners:
- Read your notes aloud and record them for playback.
- Discuss newly learned information and course materials with people around you – such as your home tutor, peers or family members.
- Try studying in groups or with a companion.
- Create verbal quizzes and study rhymes.
- Record your lectures so you can listen to them over and over again.
Expanded from the original ‘VAK’ model, reading and writing learners have been incorporated into the enhanced ‘VARK’ model. These students consume information best by reading texts and then condensing them by rephrasing and rewriting. A traditional annotation process works best for this learning style.
Tips for reading/writing learners:
- Leverage traditional assignments and handouts to formulate your own study materials.
- Read and copy out notes.
- Conduct online research.
Kinaesthetic learners internalise information by doing. They need to move around from time to time to stay focused. Hence, kinaesthetic learners should take frequent breaks while studying to ensure they aren’t mindlessly sitting through classes. Kinaesthetic learners are sometimes dubbed as tactile learners because they prefer hands-on interaction and learning by doing.
Tips for kinaesthetic learners:
- Walk around as you read and listen to recordings of lectures and notes.
- Trace words with your fingers.
- Experience, experiment and practice
- Take frequent breaks in between revision.
- Work with home tutors who use hands-on approaches, develop models or employ study aids.
Determining Your Learning Style
Not exactly sure about your learning style yet? Fret not – here are some ways that can help you ascertain.
There are many interactive quizzes online to help identify learning preferences. It’s simple, really. All you need is to honestly answer several multiple-choice questions in regards to how you learn and experience things – and the results will be generated based on your answer. Effortless it is!
Test it Out
If you feel like there’s a gap between your perceived dominant learning style and the process that works best for you, try testing it out! For example, use mnemonic devices to see how well you remember auditory materials. This way, you can easily evaluate the way you prefer to learn.
Work With Your Home Tutor to Discover Your Optimal Learning Style
If you still feel disorientated, having a reliable home tutor or mentor can help you through the discovery journey. Tutors observe behaviours, responses, body language and interaction as a part of their job and are well equipped to help students figure out the best ways for them to learn.
Don’t have a reliable tutor yet? Why not consider ChampionTutor? As a reputable tuition agency in Singapore with an extensive network of tutors at your fingertips, connecting with the right subject experts is made easy.