With back to school season approaching quickly, it’s time to start getting back into the swing of things. Homework, tests and extracurricular activities will start to pile up quickly, diminishing your time in the process. Because of this, you need to make the most of the time you do have! You need to be able to study effectively and efficiently, so you can master the material better and still have time to pursue other activities.
Before you start on this journey to learn better studying skills, the best thing to do is identify your own learning style. That way, you can use the study tips that are best suited for your specific style of learning. The four most common learning styles are visual, aural, verbal and kinesthetic learners.
1. Visual Learners
Visual learners can remember faces well, but not names. They also spell well, draw on their notes and can interpret maps well. When given the preference, they choose to read a story rather than listen to it.
As a visual learner, you learn best through images, maps and colors, so using visual media is the best way for you to absorb information. Charts, diagrams and lists are your best friends! Use techniques like mind maps to visualize the connections between terms and concepts, and use stories to memorize procedures. For better recall ability, highlight and color code your notes with phrases and words that are the most important. You can also draw your notes instead of writing them down, or replace a few words with pictures. For instance, if you had a sentence such as “he took the car,” you can replace the word “car” – arguably the most important part of the sentence – with a rough sketch of a small car in your notes.
2. Aural Learners
Aural learners may struggle with being quiet for long periods of time, but are easily distracted by sounds. You may also be a good listener, as you can remember what others say well.
These kinds of learners work best with auditory material (sound and music). One tip for you would be to record lectures (if your professor allows it) and listen to them while you’re studying later. If you are an aural learner, you can also create songs from facts and memorize the songs to better memorize the facts. Employ rhyme, easy rhythm patterns and a familiar tune in these songs for even better information absorption. While going through your notes, you can use sounds recordings to boost your recall memory. If you needed to memorize a certain fact that has to do with the ocean, you could play a recording of the ocean while reading this fact and memorizing it.
3. Verbal Learners
Verbal learners like to read and write. They also enjoy creating lists. When given the choice, they prefer to have things in a written-out format.
Verbal learners learn best through techniques involving speaking and writing. To memorize lists of information, the best technique is to use mnemonics. An example of a mnemonic is PEMDAS — Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition and Subtraction — which is the order of operations for solving mathematical equations. Transcribing recordings can also be a useful tool for you. Another tip is to read things aloud. When you do this, be sure to read in a dramatic fashion and not just a monotonous voice. You can even get together with others and act out scenarios, or just take turns reading the information aloud.
4. Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners tend to perform well in art, drama or sports. They also love to build and create things. They may find it difficult to sit still, and they like to play with objects while they think.
If you are a kinesthetic learner, you’re the most hands-on type of learner. Make use of physical objects as much as you can. If a concept uses a rope, use a rope so you can learn about the properties of it firsthand. Action, movement and touch are all powerful tools that you should utilize in studying whenever possible. Although writing and drawing may be better suited for verbal and visual learners, kinesthetic learners can also benefit from these techniques! If you use larger sheets of paper and lots of colors, it can involve more action for you as well.
Once you identify what type of learner you are, you can follow these tips to study more effectively and efficiently to maximize the time you have at school. Good luck!
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