Studying Tips and Tricks for Your Learning Style
As the end of the summer holidays roll around, you begin to have flashbacks to the year of study before. The late nights and the stress. You tell yourself this is the year that you plan to do all your readings and start those dreaded assignments early. You’re a week in, and everything seems to be going well. You’ve done your readings and even started studying! But then, suddenly it’s week three and your study strategies have gone out the window, and you feel as though you have been hit with a study tidal wave because you have three assignments that you haven’t started. Don’t worry, every student has been there.
How to make study habits stick is the question on every student's mind. Don't stress. Before trying to study, it is important to find out your learning style as this will help you study more effectively. You can find your learning style through this test here! Once you’ve discovered it, check out these study tips tailored towards the way you best learn.
If you’re a visual learner you’ll need to see information to learn it. Pictures and graphs can make your study a whole lot easier (and they are a lot more fun).
Visual learners learn better when their notes are organised and tidy because they tend to need notes organised in a logical order to comprehend and remember the information. If the information is organised on the page, it will make more sense in their head.
When taking notes, highlight the important information. Bright and highlighted words stick in the visual learner’s memory, and makes it easier for the learner to recall information by visualising words and its colours. Using colour codes to organise your notes will also make it easier to link and memorise which information goes together. To really make the information stick, keep writing it out as the more you see it on the page, the easier it will be to remember.
Visual learners are more likely to get distracted by objects around them if they are not in a clean study space. Keep your study space clean and organised by keeping your notes in an organised manner. If you put up sticky notes around your study area to help you remember important information, ensure that these are in a logical sequence as this is how you will remember them – visual learners memorise information in a logical sequence.
Flashcards can really help a visual learner, especially if the flashcard has a small picture, diagram or graph to help jog their memory. Remember to use only a small bit of information, as a large amount can be too overwhelming for a visual learner to remember.
Do your readings before class. It is important that a visual learner has time to connect with the information visually. Therefore, reading the course material before class will prepare you with the information that you can then link to what the teacher is talking about.
Auditory learners learn by listening and hearing information.
Because auditory learners learn by listening, unnecessary noise can be extremely distracting for an auditory learner while they are trying to study, as it is harder for them to cancel out the noise and focus on studying. While studying, try blocking out the noise by putting headphones in or playing calm music that won’t distract you. Listening to non-distracting noise for an auditory learner can help them to focus in on their studies.
Explain the information to someone, literally anyone who will listen. Once you say it out loud and explain it to someone else, it will really help you remember and make sense of the information.
Record your tutorials and lectures as playing them back and listening to them will help when you look back on your notes and don’t understand something just by looking at the information.
And record yourself. Record your notes in a way that makes sense to you and play it over and over until you feel as though you have a good grasp on the information. Listen to the information when you’re not distracted by anything else. For example, walking, or on the bus, I promise no one will know you’re listening to yourself.
Sing it! You might feel silly, but creating a rap, rhyme or song will help you memorise your information in a way that is easy and fun to remember.
If you’re a tactile learner, then you’ll learn the best by getting stuck in and doing things physically. If you have trouble sitting still and love learning by actively doing things, then you’re a physical learner.
Since physical learners learn best by moving around while studying, use the floor. For example, if you are struggling to memorise those difficult equations, mark different spots around the room. Walk around to the different spots and at each one say each equation out loud.
Making things will help physical learners learn. Start by drawing, painting, or making objects out of pens, or anything you have handy that will help you remember information. For example, those nasty equations – paint them or draw them! These can help as tactile learners learn better when physical activity is involved as they are utilising gross muscle movement and utilising their sense of touch.
A physical learner cannot sit still for too long, so take this into consideration when heading to the library for a big day of study. Remember to take active breaks, as even going for a quick walk will help.
Making study habits stick seems like a mythical concept. However, once you’ve found your learning style and study in ways that suit it, you’ll be studying more efficiently in no time and even enjoy it. Keep practising them and they will become part of your daily habit and you’ll find what works for you.
By Vanessa Shaw