3 Learning Styles

Are you a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner?

In order to do well on an exam, you spend hours, days or even months studying. This preparation can be more effective if you know your personal learning style. Your learning style is simply the way you learn best. It is as unique as you are. Understanding your learning style can help you remember information more easily, solve problems more effectively, and understand concepts more naturally.

According to scientists, the only way to bring information into your brain is through your senses. When you encounter new information, you may see it, hear it, touch it, taste it, or smell it. These are the main intake styles in human experience.

As a result, there are several learning style modalities, which focus on three main categories: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual refers to learning by seeing and watching; auditory refers to learning by hearing; kinesthetic refers to learning by doing, touching, and interacting.

Before reading further, or trying to theorize which describes you best, complete the short quiz below to identify your learning style. Remember that this is a basic test; it is not a professional VAK Profile. Just as there are different learning style models, there are also many professional learning style assessment instruments. After taking the quiz below, you may wish to take a more detailed learning style assessment or learning style inventory to gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

Basic Learning Style Assessment

Choose the one answer below that describes you best.

1. When I am trying to spell a confusing word, I usually:

  • jot it down
  • spell it out loud
  • draw it in the air

2. When I am giving directions to a place, I usually:

  • draw a map
  • explain in words
  • show people in gestures how to get there

3. When I listen to a lecture, I prefer to:

  • take notes
  • listen carefully
  • doodle

4. When learning vocabulary in a foreign language, I prefer to:

  • read and write the word several times
  • say it aloud
  • walk around, label items, play a game

5. When putting together a model or a piece of furniture, I usually:

  • read the instructions carefully
  • prefer to have someone read the instructions to me
  • figure out what to do on my own

6. When learning science, I prefer to:

  • read explanations
  • listen to a lecture
  • study diagrams, build a model, or do an experiment

7. In my free time, I prefer to:

  • read or write
  • listen to music or a lecture
  • be physically active

8. My preference is:

  • art
  • music
  • dance

Now, add up the total number you have circled of each letter. The “a” answers relate to a visual learning style, the “b” answers relate to an auditory learning style, and the “c” answers relate to a kinesthetic learning style. When you have finished, you should have an idea of your primary learning style. This self-knowledge can help you take in, process, and remember information more easily.

Visual Learners

Visual learners need to see something in order to learn best. if you fall into this category, you will benefit from the following activities: copying from the board, writing and rewriting notes, highlighting key information in the textbook, making mind maps, using flashcards, and watching videos. You can also learn easily from graphics, posters, charts, maps, and photographs.

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners need to hear something in order to learn well. If you fall into this group, doing the following will help you learn more easily: pay attention in class, make recordings of learning material, repeat facts with your eyes closed, ask questions, explain the subject matter to another student, record lectures, participate in group discussions, and study in a quiet environment. Auditory learners like to listen to audio books, lectures, debates, and music.

Kinesthetic Learners

Kinesthetic learners need to touch or experience something in order to remember it. If you fall into this classification, you may have faced greater challenges in the academic environment. Most formal learning is not set up to include physical movement and activities. Nevertheless, if this is your strength, you could benefit from the following activities: making models, visiting museums, giving a demonstration, participating in a simulation, and studying on the floor, bed or any place that feels comfortable. You can also relate to physical activities, direct involvement, hands-on activities, displays, demonstrations, and experiments.

We all utilize the three types of learning modalities, and possess strengths corresponding with the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles. However, students who are auditory and visual do best in an academic environment. Kinesthetic learners, who prefer to move around, touch and interact with materials, find it hardest to succeed in a traditional classroom, where students are required to sit still for hours at a time.

Knowing your dominant learning style will enable you to improve your academic performance in many ways. You can learn faster and more effectively by applying the techniques suited to your learning style. You can create activities at home to help you remember more, no matter how good or bad your teacher is, and no matter how well or poorly the information was transmitted to you in class. By taking control of your learning, you also take responsibility for the results you achieve. You stop blaming other people or situations and start doing what you need to do in order to get the highest score possible on your quizzes, tests, and exams.

Learning Styles Quiz

Complete the following true or false quiz to check how much you now understand about learning styles.

  1. The best way for a visual learner to remember information is to attend class and just listen carefully.
  2. A kinesthetic learner benefits most from the graphs, diagrams, and charts in books.
  3. An auditory learner needs to hear something in order to remember it well.
  4. Demonstrations, model building, and physical activities help kinesthetic learners.
  5. A bad teacher means you will get a lower score on your exam.
  6. Kinesthetic learners face the greatest challenges in their academic careers.
  7. Each of us possesses only one type of learning modality – visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.
  8. My learning style is likely to be the same as that of my best friend.

1-F, 2-F, 3-T, 4-T, 5-F, 6-T, 7-F, 8-F