How to Identify Your Learning Style

career collegeMost of us probably know our preferred learning style. From grade school all the way through high school and into college, we’ve been taught different concepts and had our comprehension tested through quizzes and exams.

The three basic learning styles are: auditory, tactile and visual. We use all three learning styles to varying degrees, but we typically have one dominant learning style that tends to work best for us.

Knowing what our dominant learning style is can help us maximize our brain’s natural aptitudes, allowing us to study more efficiently, improve our memory and become more confident in our abilities.

So, how do we figure out our learning style? Here are two short quizzes available online that can help us determine our dominant learning style:

•  HowtoStudy.com: Learning Style Assessment
•  EducationPlanner.org: What’s Your Learning Style? 20 Questions

Overview of Learning Styles

After we determine our learning style, we should take some time to learn about the characteristics of our learning style and how we can improve our study habits. Many of these tips can be found on HowtoStudy.com.

Auditory Learners – As the name implies, this learning style is based on learning by listening. Auditory learners have an easier time remembering information they hear as opposed to information they see. Comprising about 30 percent of the population, auditory learners typically remember what they say and what others say very well.

Study Tips:

•  Use a recording device to record lectures in class.
•  Participate in study groups and class discussions.
•  Read assignments and notes out loud.
•  Repeat facts and definitions of words out loud.              
•  Create musical jingles or songs to remember information.
•  Use audiobooks and other audio materials when available.

Tactile Learners – The tactile (kinesthetic) learner prefers using his or her hands to learn something. They learn by doing, and absorb information best via hands-on activities and physical experience. Tactile learners represent only five percent of the population, making it the least common of the three learning styles. 

Study Tips: 

•  Take written notes in class. Edit and type them later.
•  Do something physical as you study such as tapping a pencil or squeezing a stress ball.
•  Use your finger as a guide while reading.
•  Act out things you learn whenever possible.
•  Construct models of things you’re learning.
•  If you find it difficult to sit at a desk when studying, try lying on your stomach or back.

Visual Learners – Visual learners recall information best by seeing, whether in the form of an image, video or other visual representation. About 65 percent of the population are visual learners – the most common of the three learning styles. 

Study Tips:

•  Create graphic organizers such as diagrams and concept maps that use visual symbols.
•  Use highlighter pens of contrasting colors to color code different aspects of information in your textbooks.
•  Sit in the front of the class so that you can clearly see the teacher. 
•  When using flashcards, limit the amount of information on a card so that you can form a mental picture of the information.
•  Watch videos about topics you are studying in class.
•  When reviewing information, rewrite or draw the information from memory.