Academic Resource Center

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Learning Style

How do you learn best? Recognize your preferred learning style, then study and take notes accordingly.

Visual learners – learn best by seeing

  • Underline or highlight important points
  • Use a variety of colored pens or pencils to indicate different points or ideas
  • Make charts, graphs, pictures, symbols, concept maps, or time lines
  • Place information notecards in highly visible places in your room
  • Make an outline, summarize on paper

Aural learners – learn best by hearing

  • Attend all classes and tape record lectures and class discussions
  • Join a study group to review verbally
  • Read, sub-vocalize, and summarize aloud
  • “Listen” to the voice in your head
  • Explain to someone else
  • Create mnemonic devices or rhymes to memorize facts, lists

Reading and Writing learners – learn best by reading and writing

  • Take comprehensive class notes
  • Make lists and headings in your notes
  • Develop a word list, using key words or phrases to trigger ideas
  • Write summary paragraphs from your notes
  • Re-write or re-read your notes
  • Review old tests
  • Use outlines to organize information
  • Generate test questions from lecture notes

Kinesthetic learners – learn best by doing

  • Register for as many “hands-on” or discussion-based classes as possible
  • Include personal examples to make lecture notes more meaningful
  • Make pictures, graphs or concept maps to engage all senses
  • Recite, review information while engaged in a physical activity such as walking, jogging, bouncing a basketball, riding a stationary bike
  • Go to the classroom and solve problems, draw diagrams, etc on the board
  • Use workbooks, CD-ROMs, and old tests to review information

See What Kind of Learner You Are

Adapted from: Marcia Heiman and Joshua Slomianko, Learning to Learn, 7th Edition, Cambridge, MA: Learning to Learn, Inc., 1998.