Pass Exams by Determining Your Learning Style
Back in the 1960s, people thought that there was only one way to study for exams. As such, teachers advised students to simply read the books over and over until the material was committed to memory. While this method of studying for exams worked for some people, others found it useless. Fortunately, as studies about learning styles became more sophisticated, we now know that there are many ways to study for an exam.
The first step is to determine your learning style. Experts have discovered that most people are visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners. Visual learners learn by seeing. They are more likely to absorb material that is presented in pictures, diagrams and written text.
Auditory learners learn by hearing. These students will find audio tapes very helpful. They prefer classes that feature discussion, rather than slides of material written on the blackboard. In contrast, a kinesthetic learner will prefer less talk and more physical action. For example, a kinesthetic learner will gain a better understanding of world geography by physically turning a globe, as opposed to memorizing a map.
The learning preferences listed above can give you a clue about your learning optimal learning style. However, you can take it one step further. Listen to your own style of language. When somebody explains an idea, are you more apt to say “I hear what you’re saying?” If so, you are probably an auditory learner. This is different from someone asserting that they see what you’re saying. These folks are probably visual learners. People who say that they can get a feel for what you’re saying are mostly likely to be kinesthetic learners.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that that there is a strong correlation between learning styles and optimal study styles. For example, visual learners can study their material by drawing diagrams or re-reading the text. If videos on the subject matter are available, they can serve as an excellent study aid for visual learners. By using visually oriented material, visual learners can essentially store a photo album of the pertinent material in their mind.
Auditory learners will find that audiotapes of the subject matter are an excellent method of studying for an exam. Discussing the subject with friends or family can also create insight, which aids in memorization. Additionally, simply reading the material out loud will create an auditory memory that can last through the exam. Some auditory learners even like to make up songs or poems to help them memorize the important details.
Kinesthetic learners are best served by writing down the key issues of a subject. This is especially important for an essay exam. If you write down some key issues a number of times, it will be relatively easy to remember the most important points to consider. Some kinesthetic learners find that they study best by reading while on a stationary or recumbent bicycle.
While many people claim that they are not test takers, finding your appropriate method of studying for an exam can help you ace any test! Do you hear, feel or see what I’m saying? Good luck!