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Learning styles: Study strategies to get the A

What is your learning style for college?

(georgemason)

(georgemason)

Sloane Mebane | Lifestlye Editor

The semester is drawing to an end. However, even though the holiday season is right on the horizon, there is still one last barrier to winter break–finals week. Everyone dreads finals because of the immense amount of information that must be regurgitated onto a two-hour comprehensive examination. While some have already devised a study plan, many students haven’t even begun to plot their study regimen.

In order to create a personalized study plan, you must first know what kind of learner you are. There are several different types of learners, each with unique study strategies that work best for them. The three main types of learners are visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Visual learners are able to learn best by seeing. This can include reading a textbook, studying via diagrams, or a demonstration by a teacher or student. These types of learners don’t do well with a standard lecture environment when information is being audibly taught.

Cheryl Chua, a senior biology major from Vancouver, Canada knows exactly how she has to study after four years of college. “I definitely have to read the material over a lot. I would have to say I’m a visual learner because it’s all about repetition,” said Chua.

Another visual learner, freshman Raleigh Sykes from Largo, Maryland, who is undecided on his major also understands how he learns best. “When I’m listening to the teacher, if I’m writing down stuff I’m not really paying attention so I have to just sit back and listen. I jot down key terms from their lectures. I make an outline of the chapter and I make flashcards.”

The second type of learning style is auditory. Auditory learners are able to comprehend and retain information best when it is audibly taught. According to LearningRx, a website dedicated to training the brain to be more efficient, “reciting information out loud and having music in the background may be a common study method [for auditory learners]. Other noises may become a distraction resulting in a need for a relatively quiet place.”

The last learning style and the most unique is kinesthetic learning. This type of learner comprehends and retains information best by hands-on-learning. Kinesthetic learners can’t be passively listening or reading content. They must be actively participating whether that means taking notes while in class or acting out complex concepts.

Kinesthetic learners may find that group studying is the best for them to learn content so if you find out that you are this kind of learner then try and establish a study group or join one that is already developed.

While most people have a specific learning style that is most effective for them, often people employ a mix of strategies that encompass all three learning styles. For example, while you may be an auditory learner, flashcards may also be an effective visual learning strategy that can help while studying during final exams. Furthermore, online flashcard platforms like Anki provide the opportunity to include recordings and photos into flashcards.

Therefore, take a VARK questionnaire at vark-learn.com and find out what kind of learning style is best for you. Whether it is watching lecture videos online, reciting information  aloud or learning in study groups, by knowing how well you study you are able to create study strategies that will guarantee you an A on your upcoming final exams.

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