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Ultimate Study Skills Guide: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Every Grade

Because they really do need to learn how to learn.

WeAreTeachers study skills guide.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that study skills are life skills. Taking good notes, creating a focused workspace, managing distractions, making plans—any and all of these are skills people of all ages use every single day. Taking time to teach good study skills up front can equip students to succeed in school and beyond.

We’ve broken down many of the top study skills students need, including examples by grade level. Remember that there are a lot of different ways to study successfully. Offer students options and help them find the strategies that work best for them.

Study Spaces

Organization and time management study skills, learning styles, taking and using notes, effective reading study skills, completing assignments, test taking, finding help.

Study spaces.

Choosing the right place to study is the first step to good study skills. Teach students to consider these elements.

Choose Your Space

For some students, this means a dedicated study space like a desk in their room. Others may prefer to curl up in a chair with a lap desk or work at a table in a common space. Whichever they choose, it should be an area that’s dedicated to study while they’re using it.

Homework desk in child's bedroom with supplies they can use to build study skills

Source: organizeandarrangeit/Instagram

  • Elementary School: Many students begin doing homework on the dining room or kitchen table, where parents can supervise. As students get older, encourage them to explore other spaces too, especially those where they can work independently.
  • Middle School: By this age, kids will probably need a dedicated study space of their own, where they can keep supplies and works-in-progress. If that’s not possible, create a bin or box where they can store stuff while they’re not using it, then pull it out when it’s time to study.
  • High School: Older students should be able to carve out a study space pretty much anywhere, since that’s something they’ll need to be able to do in the working world too. As long as they’re able to concentrate and get their work done, don’t be too picky about where they choose to do it.

Make Yourself Comfortable

“Comfortable” looks different for every person, so don’t assume all kids need to be sitting at a desk to work well. At the same time, they shouldn’t be so comfortable that they’ll fall asleep!

  • Elementary School: When kids are doing independent reading, let them choose any spot they like. For other work, make sure they have a sturdy writing surface, like a table or lap desk. Ensure they have enough light to see what they’re doing, and teach them good posture if they’re sitting in a chair so they don’t develop stiff muscles.
  • Middle and High School: Show them how to adjust the font size on screens so they’re not squinting to read. Encourage them to use blue light filters if they’re spending a lot of time on computers.

Manage Distractions

Learning to concentrate while ignoring distractions is a key life skill, and one that we all need to develop. Some students will have no trouble tuning things out, while others are going to need a lot of help with this one.

  • Elementary School: Kids at this age are very easily distracted, so their study space should be as calm as possible. If a quiet room isn’t available, they might need noise-canceling headphones or even a white-noise machine to help them concentrate. Muting the TV isn’t enough—be sure it’s off completely. Remind friends and siblings to leave kids alone while they’re working.
  • Middle School: These kids are old enough to recognize distractions but might still have trouble handling them. Encourage them to turn off phones and electronics (although some students are fine listening to music while they work). Students at this age are old enough to politely ask friends or family not to interrupt them while they work.
  • High School: By this time, students know that the world is full of distractions and you can’t quiet them all. But you can teach them to mute their phone and messaging notifications, close all unnecessary windows on their laptops, and be firm about letting others know they need to be left alone to study.

Gather Your Supplies

One way to eliminate distractions is to ensure you have everything you need in place before you start. This includes books, notes, office supplies, and more. All kids should have water and some healthy snacks on hand too.

Study skills supplies caddy

Source: jugglingactmama/Instagram

  • Elementary School: Having a dedicated, well-stocked study space makes it much easier for kids to settle down to their work. Keep a supply of sharpened pencils, glue sticks, scissors, markers, and other items in a nearby drawer or a bin they can grab when they’re ready to get started.
  • Middle School: Students this age likely keep just about everything they need in their backpacks, so they’ll want it nearby when they study. Remind them to restock their supplies once a week (including sharpening pencils in advance).
  • High School: Depending on the assignment, these students may not need a lot of physical supplies, but they should still gather any books, notes, laptops, pens and highlighters, etc., they need before they settle in for a study session.

Organization and time management study skills.

These two study skills are also vital life skills, so the sooner kids learn them, the better. They’ll be grateful later in life!

Use a Homework Planner

As soon as kids starting having any kind of homework, they need a planner. For younger students, this could be a daily take-home folder, while older kids will need a more sophisticated system. Either way, use it consistently so it becomes a habit.

  • Elementary School: Take-home folders are perfect for organizing worksheets and other assignments. Put unfinished work on the left and finished work on the right. Use sticky notes on the worksheets or the front of the folder to write reminders about what needs to be done, including any due dates. Parents of younger students can review these folders each day, while upper elementary kids should mostly be able to keep track of things on their own.

Green homework folder with cutout hand that says Left at Home and Right Back to School

Source: Busy Classroom

  • Middle School: Use a planner notebook that includes calendars to help keep track of long-term assignments, with pages for daily notes and to-do lists. Teach students to make notes in them during class or immediately after, and start every study session by reviewing any current assignments and their due dates.

Example of a weekly middle school planner filled out by a student to build their study skills

Source: Starts at Eight

  • High School: Kids can continue using paper planners, or transition to online calendars or apps. Show them how to set useful reminders online, so things don’t slip through the cracks.

Example of high school planner filled out on a wooden table with pen and sticky notes

Source: LP Tutoring

Create a Daily Study Plan

When kids sit down to tackle the day’s work, encourage them to begin by making a plan. Assess what needs to be done, estimate the amount of time it will take, and decide what to do first.

Sample homework study plan with times.

Source: Beyond Booksmart

  • Elementary School: Parents and young kids should sit down together to look over the day’s assignments and talk about what to work on first. Some students might like to get easy tasks out of the way before settling in to harder ones, while others prefer to handle more difficult things first. Help them find the method that works best for them.
  • Middle School and High School: This age brings a higher amount of homework, so students should always start by determining how much time they’ll need to complete it. Let them experiment a bit—do they work best by completely finishing one assignment before moving on to the next, or do they like to do a little bit of each and take some breaks in between? Over time, they’ll find the methods they like best.

Chose the Best Study Time

Kids’ days are often jam-packed with activities, leaving homework and studying to get squeezed in whenever it fits. Take time to find out what time of day kids are at their best, and prioritize that time for study. For instance, if a student seems to learn better if they do their homework right after school, try to choose extracurriculars that meet in the evenings or weekends instead. Some students might even prefer to get up early in the morning and work, and that’s OK too as long as they’re getting enough sleep.

  • Elementary School: Let kids try doing their homework at different times throughout the day, and see if there are times when they’re better at concentrating. If so, teach them to schedule their schoolwork during those times, and make extracurricular choices for them accordingly.
  • Middle and High School: Students probably know by now when they work best, but busy schedules can make that more difficult to accommodate. Remind them to try to make smart choices and to tackle schoolwork when they’re feeling as fresh and alert as possible.

Keep Materials Neat and Organized

Some adults thrive in messy work spaces, and that’s OK. But kids should make an effort to keep their spaces and materials organized so they have fewer excuses for not getting things done.

Teen boy practicing study skills on computer at his organized desk.

Source: mywallpro/Instagram

  • Elementary School: In early grades, parents should help kids go through their backpack each night, cleaning out trash and restocking supplies. Help them set up an organization system using the different pockets. Show them how to use different-color folders and notebooks for each subject, and clean out every folder regularly. Set the backpack by the front door each night so it’s ready to go in the morning. Upper grade students should gradually do some or all of these things on their own.
  • Middle School: Transition to entirely managing backpacks and study spaces on their own. Parents might check in once a week or at the beginning of a school quarter to see if students need some assistance getting organized.
  • High School: In addition to managing their physical study materials, ensure kids at this age know how to keep things organized online. Show them how to use files and folders, where to back things up, and how to manage their email and message inboxes. Encourage them to set aside a regular time to make sure everything is in order, and make improvements as needed.

Take Breaks

Students need both physical and mental brain breaks while they study! Remind kids to get up and move around regularly, rest their eyes, and give their brain a break for a few minutes every so often.

  • Elementary School: Younger students should be able to work for about 15-20 minutes before taking a break, with upper grades going as long as 30 minutes. They usually won’t need reminders to take breaks, but they might need some help keeping those breaks to no more than 10 minutes or so.
  • Middle School: These kids can work 30-45 minutes at a time and should learn to recognize the signs of needing a break on their own. When they start to get very fidgety, feel a headache coming on, squint while they’re reading, or feel hungry or thirsty, it’s time for a short break. Teach them to set a timer to know when the break is over and they need to get back to work.
  • High School: By now, students can work an hour at a time but should be encouraged to take regular breaks all the same. In fact, just like adults, they should aim to get up and move for at least 5 minutes every hour. Physical activity like stretching, yoga, or even dancing to music will help refresh them so they can get back down to it. If they have trouble remembering to take breaks, have them set a timer to remind them.

Learning styles.

All students use different learning methods to retain and understand the same information. Some like written words, some prefer to hear it and talk about it. Others need to do something with their hands or see images and diagrams. These are known as learning styles. While it’s important not to pigeonhole students into any one style, kids should be aware of any strengths they have and use them to create strong study skills.

Visual-See It Auditory-Hear/Say It Read/Write-It Kinesthetic-Do It (Learning Styles)

Source:  Nnenna Walters

Know Your Style

There are four generally accepted styles: visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic (movement). You can learn more about them here. It’s worth taking time to understand which (if any) style appeals to a student more.

  • Elementary School: Most kids are exposed to a wide array of learning activities, strategies, and methods here and will slowly form preferences. If parents or teachers notice that kids aren’t learning well using one method (e.g., flash cards to learn math facts), have students try activities from different styles instead (like videos or songs).
  • Middle School: At this age, students should have some idea of which study methods fit their learning styles. They should continue to experiment, especially in subjects where they struggle to master the material.
  • High School: Kids in these grades who still don’t understand how they learn best may benefit from taking the VARK questionnaire . It will point them in the right direction and help them find the best study methods.

Choose Appropriate Study Materials

Here are some examples of study materials and activities that appeal to different learning styles, no matter the age or grade level.

nonfiction anchor charts

Source: Elementary Shenanigans

  • Visual: Diagrams; charts; graphs; maps; videos with or without sound; photos and other images; graphic organizers and sketchnotes
  • Auditory: Lectures; audiobooks; videos with sound; music and songs; text-to-speech translation; discussion and debate; teaching others
  • Read/Write: Reading textbooks, articles, and handouts; watching video with subtitles turned on; using speech-to-text translation and transcripts; making lists; writing answers to questions
  • Kinesthetic: Hands-on practice; educational craft projects; experiments and demonstrations; trial and error; moving and playing games while learning

Taking and using notes.

Study after study have shown the importance of actively taking notes rather than passively reading a handout later on. The act of writing engages different parts of the brain, forging new pathways that help students retain information in long-term memory. Taking good notes and using them properly are study skills every student needs to master.

Learn Different Note-Taking Strategies

There are a variety of good strategies, like outlines, the Cornell Method, sketchnotes, and more. There’s no one best method; it often depends on the material and the learner.

Page demonstrating the Cornell method of note taking (Note Taking Strategies)

Source:  Think Insights

  • Elementary School: Actively teach kids how to take notes in a variety of styles. Learn about seven top note-taking strategies here , and share them with your students. Teachers can start with handouts and graphic organizers but should slowly transition to more independent methods.
  • Middle School: Students should be mastering the skill of taking their own notes, choosing a style that works best for them. They may need reminders of key points to capture but should now be able to isolate the important info.
  • High School: Note-taking should be automatic by now, and many students will have developed preferred styles. Teachers should not insist on a specific note-taking strategy, but should ensure kids are capturing the information they need.

Organize and Review

Taking notes is just one part of the process. Students with good study skills also know how to use them effectively.

Example of how to use colored tabs or flags to organize notes and build study skills.

Source: The Mad Scientist

  • Elementary School: Help students keep all notes from one subject or project in one notebook or folder. Show them how to place them in an order that makes sense, and use tabs, tables of contents, or other organizational methods. Encourage them to review each day’s notes when they go home at night, to reinforce the learning.
  • Middle School: Students in these grades might want to reorganize their notes on their own when they get home, re-copying them or even typing them into a computer. They should be able to use effective organization strategies, to find the notes they need later on during a study session.
  • High School: Students should plan to spend time after every class going over that day’s notes, reviewing and reinforcing what they learned. They should be able to rely heavily on their own notes when reviewing for a test or completing a project.

Effective reading study skills.

“Read chapter three for homework tonight.” Sounds simple enough, right? But there’s a big difference between skimming the material and actually learning from it. Here are the study skills students need to learn while they read.


Everybody loves a handful of colorful highlighters, but using them effectively is a study skill all on its own. Kids can highlight both texts and their own notes.

Notebook page highlighted in yellow and green

Source: cozmic_mae/Instagram

  • Elementary School: Read material with students, showing them how to highlight key words and phrases instead of whole blocks of text. Show them color-coding strategies for organizing the information. Give them practice passages specifically for learning these skills.
  • Middle School: Introduce students to online highlighting tools, since many of the texts they’ll be reading are digital. If necessary, they can print out reading material to highlight physically instead.
  • High School: Kids should be pretty expert at highlighting by now, but watch for students who are still highlighting whole blocks without really knowing why, and show them the fundamentals.

Rereading and Taking Notes

In a lot of cases, reading something once simply isn’t enough. All students should learn to reread materials, using that time to highlight and take notes.

Sample pages in student notebook with notes about volcanos to use to develop study skills

Source: SERC

  • Elementary School: Reread passages together, pointing out key words, phrases, and ideas. Make notes while reading, both in the text and on separate paper. Try to complete review questions without referring to the text.
  • Middle School: Students will know they’ve read thoroughly when they can complete review questions without looking back. Show students how to write their own review questions as they study (the Cornell Method of Note-Taking is perfect for this) so they’ll know they truly understand the material.
  • High School: Continue to reinforce good reading study skills by giving students review questions to complete or asking them to make an outline or sketchnotes to sum up what they’ve learned.

Kids need to learn how to thoroughly complete an assignment, whether it’s a worksheet, an essay, or a term-long research project. These are the study skills they should know.

Understand the Assignment

Having a clear understanding of what’s being asked is so important. Otherwise, kids might wind up doing the wrong work, then having to tackle it all over again.

  • Elementary School: Show kids how to carefully read directions at the beginning. Have them repeat back what they’re expected to do, and make notes if they need reminders. Teachers should provide instructions in writing whenever possible and make them clear and simple.
  • Middle School: Encourage students to ask questions about assignments up front, or throughout if necessary. Continue to ensure they fully understand the directions before they start, especially when there are multiple steps.
  • High School: By now, students should be able to make their own notes about expectations and can handle a series of more complicated steps. They should make a habit of reviewing all that information before they begin work.

Make a Plan

Once they know the expectations, students should plan how they’ll do the work.

  • Elementary School: Help students evaluate the assignment and decide which parts they’ll do first. This is also a good time to estimate how long the work will take.
  • Middle School: Encourage kids to think about how they like to approach assignments. Do they like doing easy problems first, then circling back around to harder stuff? Do they sometimes get stuck and frustrated? If so, how can they get “unstuck” and continue to make progress?
  • High School: Many high school assignments are more complex, and students will need to lay out the steps to take. For instance, a research project might require choosing a topic, getting approval, starting research, planning a presentation, and giving the presentation, with multiple sub-steps in each. This all feels more manageable when you have a plan in place first.

Save Your Work

Such a basic study skill, and so extremely important!

  • Elementary School: Help students ensure all assignments go back into the appropriate folders and all folders make it into their backpack when they’re done. Don’t leave things lying around where they can get lost.
  • Middle and High School: In addition to keeping physical papers in order, be sure kids know how to save files online, including backing up their work. Many programs save automatically, but that’s not always the case. Show them how to keep backed-up files on an external drive or in the cloud, in case their hardware fails.

Review and Revise

Finishing the last problem on the page or typing the final word on a paper doesn’t mean you’re done. Good study skills means going back to review your work and make revisions.

English essay with revisions in colored pen made by student.

Source: EnglishWritingTeacher.com

  • Elementary School: Parents and younger kids should go back over completed homework together to make sure it’s complete and correct. Perform math problems “backwards” to see if the answers make sense. As kids get older, parents should remind them to review and check their answers on their own.
  • Middle School: Students should regularly remember to check their answers before turning in an assignment. Advise them to make sure they’ve done everything they’ve been asked to, to the best of their ability.
  • High School: Reviewing and revising should be automatic now. Writing assignments should include plans for multiple revisions. Teach students to use spell-check and grammar-check programs as needed, and encourage them to read their writing out loud to hear how it sounds.

Test taking.

Some kids naturally do well on tests, but others freeze up and forget everything they’ve learned . Fortunately, test-taking study skills are something kids can learn over time.

Test taking skills anchor chart to build study skills.

Source: Tammy DeShaw/The Owl Teacher

Review the Material

Kids should develop a variety of strategies for reviewing for a test, including review questions, flash cards, discussions, looking over notes, and more. It’s also important to follow a regular study schedule on any subject, instead of leaving all the review to the last minute.

  • Elementary School: Whenever possible, adults should work with kids to help them study. Make flash cards, talk over the material together, sing spelling word songs—model good study skills for them to help them learn.
  • Middle School: Help students continue to use a variety of review strategies. Teachers can provide review questions, set up study groups, and create online materials for them to use, just to name a few.
  • High School: Kids should be coordinating their own review by now, whether independently or in groups. Make sure they know how to contact you if they have questions while they’re studying.

Get Rest and Eat Well

At any age, feeling your best is key to acing a test. Discourage students from staying up late to cram, and see that they have healthy meals and snacks on the day of the test. If they’re allowed, be sure they have bottled water on hand to stay hydrated before and during the test itself.

Tackle Easy Questions First

This one is especially important for students who have difficulty managing their time, or those who get incredibly nervous about tests. Focus on showing what you know, and build confidence as you go along.

  • Elementary School: Teach kids to look over the entire test first so they can see what they’ll be expected to do. Tell them to ask questions right away if they have any. On the second run-through, they should answer any questions or problems they’re certain about. Finally, they can go back and handle more challenging questions, one at a time. In younger grades, practice this skill by using guided test-taking sessions.
  • Middle School: Before a test, remind students of the process. Have them look the whole thing over first, and ask if anyone has any general questions before they begin. Monitor kids as they complete the test, and nudge along any who seem stuck on one particular question or section.
  • High School: By now, kids should have the process down pat, but teachers should be aware of nervous test-takers and quietly remind them to focus on what they know.

Watch the Time

It’s a simple skill but a valuable one. Get kids used to glancing at the clock, but not obsessing over how much time is left.

  • Elementary School: Tell kids how much time they have up front. Offer reminders several times, especially toward the end, but don’t do it in a way that amps up anxiety.
  • Middle School: Make time expectations clear up front, and remind students once or twice of the remaining time as they work. Students should be glancing at the clock occasionally as they work; at the end of every page or section is a good rule of thumb. If they feel like they’re running out of time, remind them to use the “easy questions first” strategy.
  • High School: Older students should be able to look over a test and compare it to the amount of time they have, so they know they’re working at the right pace. Teachers can offer a reminder halfway through and five minutes before the end.

Review Before Submitting

Just like with assignments, students should try to make time to review test answers before they turn it in. (And to make sure they put their names on their paper!)

  • Elementary School: Actively ask students who are turning in their papers to go back to their seats and review their answers first. Build in a little extra test time so every student has a chance to review their work.
  • Middle School: Remind students to review their work before submitting it when you pass out the tests. Offer additional reminders to those who regularly turn in work that needed another look.
  • High School: Students should remember to build in time to look things over at the end as they start taking the test. The five-minute reminder toward the end is their cue to look over what they’ve done.

Finding help.

Even when you have terrific study skills, sometimes you need some assistance. Asking for help when you need it is something everyone needs to be able to do. While kids can’t expect adults to walk them through every step of the process, they should feel free to reach out for guidance when they need it.

Know How and When To Contact Teachers

Help students keep contact information handy and know the appropriate ways to contact their teachers as needed.

Teacher contact cards on desk with name, email, phone, etc.

Source: StudentSavvy/Teachers Pay Teachers

  • Elementary School: Most outside-school communication is between parents and teachers at this point, but kids should be encouraged to ask their own questions during the school day whenever possible. As they get older, parents should do their best to let kids take the lead.
  • Middle School: Students should be almost entirely independent of parents when communicating with teachers now. They should know when teachers are available to chat in person (including before and after school, if possible). Adults can also show them how to write respectful emails or texts if teachers have made that contact information available.
  • High School: At this point, students should be nearly 100% responsible for talking to their teachers when they need to. They should keep a contact list of email addresses, phone numbers, or other info. Additionally, they should recognize and respect preferred methods of contact.

Create Study Groups

While some kids work best on their own, many others thrive working with others to keep them on track and motivated. Setting up study buddies or groups enhances everyone’s study skills.

Group of middle school students in a study group

Source: MiddleWeb

  • Elementary School: Parents will likely have to coordinate any in-person or online study sessions. Teachers can help by pairing students together as partners or for tutoring, and providing virtual study spaces when necessary.
  • Middle School: As students get older, they should learn to seek out strong study partners. Help them recognize that their best friends may not always be the best choices when it comes to studying. Encourage them to have peers over to study, or to meet in public places like libraries.
  • High School: Kids should be independently forming their own study support systems. However, they might ask teachers for help when they need one-on-one tutor recommendations. They may work together at school, at home, at the library, or online.

Use Resource Tools

There are more ways to learn and study than ever before. Help students find the right options to support their studies.

  • Elementary School: Encourage students to look up answers in the right places: What does a word mean? Check the dictionary. When did the Civil War start? Here’s how to Google that. Help younger students use the resources to ensure they’re finding the information they need.
  • Middle School: “Hey Google, how many moons does Jupiter have?” Kids this age know how to ask questions on the web. However, they need to learn how to make sure the answers are reliable. Teach them about primary sources (like following Wikipedia info back to its original source) and how to verify information in several different places.
  • High School: A huge number of resources are online these days, so be sure students know where to find them and how to use them. Provide trusted online dictionaries and encyclopedias, show them how to seek out a thesaurus or rhyming dictionary, and guide them to video sites beyond YouTube, just to name a few.

How do you teach study skills in your classroom? Come share your ideas and ask for advice in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook !

Plus, check out 15 life skills every teen should learn ..

We rarely teach students study skills, but they're key to success. Show kids how to set up a study space, take and use good notes, and more.

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It's a skill they can use later in life too. Continue Reading

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  • Study Skills
  • Learning Styles

The Seven Learning Styles

( from   www.learning-styles-online.com/overview )

  • Visual  – (spatial): You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  • Aural  – (auditory-musical):  You prefer using sound and music.
  • Verbal  – (linguistic):  You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
  • Physical  – (kinesthetic):  You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
  • Logical  – (mathematical):  You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
  • Social  – (interpersonal):  You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
  • Solitary  – (intrapersonal):  You prefer to work alone and use self-study.

What is your learning style?

  • Learning Styles Self-assessment
  • Learning Styles Explained

Additional information on learning styles

  • What’s Your Learning Style?
  • Time Management
  • Study Hall Form (opens in new window)

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Article • 14 min read

Learning Styles

The models, myths and misconceptions – and what they mean for your learning.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

It's tempting to try to pin down one "perfect" way of learning. But it can also be dangerous.

Everyone's approach to learning is based on a complex mix of strengths and preferences. And we absorb and apply new concepts, skills and information in different ways at different times.

So, however helpful it would be to find out how each of us does it "best," there are many reasons why even asking the question is far from straightforward.

After all, how we learn depends a great deal on what we're learning. And our preferred learning techniques might not, in fact, be the most useful. Despite this, many scientists, psychologists and education experts have tried to identify distinct, innate "learning styles."

But serious doubts have arisen about some of the most popular models – especially the ways in which they have been applied. There are even concerns that the "labels" they produce might actually limit people's learning.

In this article, we look at how the key learning styles theories were developed, and explore their intentions and limitations. We also show why it's still valuable to understand your personal approach to learning – even if there's no single, "magic bullet" solution for any of us.

What Are Learning Styles?

The notion that everyone has their own learning style became popular in the 1970s. It's an attractive thought: if each of us could identify one, "ideal" approach to learning, we'd be able to focus on it – and be consistently successful.

What's more, by understanding other people's needs, we'd know how best to support them to learn. It could revolutionize education, training and L&D, and help all of us to reach our full potential as learners.

Before we explain why many experts now have little faith in learning styles, let's explore how some of the original ideas came about.

Learn more about the theories behind learning styles – and their drawbacks and limitations.

Different Learning Styles: 6 Influential Models and Theories

1. david kolb and experiential learning.

David Kolb's model of "experiential learning" stated that we learn continually, and, in the process, build particular strengths. Those strengths were said to give rise to personal preferences, which Kolb described in terms of four learning styles: Accommodating , Converging , Diverging , and Assimilating .

As Kolb saw it, Accommodators were "hands-on" types, keen to learn from real experience.

Convergers were supposed to deal better with abstract ideas, but still liked to end up with concrete results. They understood theories, but wanted to test them out in practice.

Divergers tended to use personal experiences and practical ideas to formulate theories that they could apply more widely.

And Assimilators , according to Kolb, were most comfortable working with abstract concepts. They extended their understanding by developing new theories of their own.

Kolb said that it was beneficial to know which type of learner you were, in order to "play to your strengths." He also believed that educators and trainers could tailor their teaching methods to different people's learning styles.

2. Honey and Mumford's Learning Styles

Peter Honey and Alan Mumford developed Kolb's model by focusing on how learning is used in practice, particularly at work. They identified four new learning styles: Activist , Pragmatist , Reflector , and Theorist – using terms that we might naturally pick to describe ourselves and our colleagues.

To find out more about Kolb's model, and about Honey and Mumford's Learning Styles, see our article on the 4MAT approach to learning.

3. Anthony Gregorc's Mind Styles

Anthony Gregorc and Kathleen Butler went into more detail about how we think, and how this might affect the way we learn.

This theory put us all on a spectrum between concrete and abstract thinking, and between sequential and random ordering of our thoughts.

  • Concrete perceptions happen through the senses, while abstract perceptions deal with ideas.
  • Sequential thinking arranges information in a logical, linear way, while a random approach is multidirectional and unpredictable.

In Gregorc's model, our strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas determined our individual learning style.

4. 4 Learning Styles (VARK)

Educational psychologist Walter Burke Barbe and his colleagues proposed three "modalities" of learning: Visual , Auditory , and Kinesthetic (movement and touch). These were often referred to simply as VAK.

A variation on the acronym, developed by New Zealand-based teacher Neil D. Fleming, is VARK® , or visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. You can find out more about both VAK and VARK in our article, VAK Learning Styles .

Visual Learning Style

A visually-dominant learner absorbs and retains information better when it is presented in, for example, pictures, diagrams and charts.

Auditory Learning Style

An auditory-dominant learner prefers listening to what is being presented. They respond best to voices, for example, in a lecture or group discussion. Hearing their own voice repeating something back to a tutor or trainer is also helpful.

Reading/Writing Learning Style

People with a dominant reading-and-writing learning style take in new information best when they read it as words and text. They're often good at summarizing information in written notes.

Kinesthetic Learning Style

A kinesthetic-dominant learner prefers a physical experience. They like a "hands-on" approach and respond well to being able to touch or feel an object or learning prop.

Barbe was clear that everyone had strengths, weaknesses and preferences in each of the VAK modalities. The most effective learning, he said, utilized all three in combination. He said that the mix we achieved depended on many factors, and would likely change over time.

The VAK model was popular and widely applied. But, like some of the earlier models, it became associated with a fixed outlook on learning. Many people took it to mean that learners could be classified by a single modality – as a "visual learner," for example – with little room for maneuver. And there was confusion over whether the VAK definition referred to someone's innate abilities, their personal preferences, or both.

5. The Learning Styles Task Force

In the 1980s, American educationalists were still trying to find out as much as they could about learning styles, to help classroom teachers to achieve the best possible results.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) formed a research "task force," and proposed additional factors that might affect someone's ability to learn. These included the way study was organized, levels of motivation, and even the time of day when learning took place.

They divided learning styles into three categories: Cognitive , Affective and Physiological .

  • Cognitive: how we think, how we organize and retain information, and how we learn from our experiences.
  • Affective: our attitudes and motivations, and how they impact our approach to learning.
  • Physiological: a variety of factors based on our health, well-being, and the environment in which we learn.

6. The Index of Learning Styles™

Various related questionnaires and tests quickly came into use, aimed at helping people to identify their personal learning style. One of the most popular was based on The Index of Learning Styles™ , developed by Dr Richard Felder and Barbara Soloman in the late 1980s.

The questionnaire considered four dimensions: Sensory/Intuitive , Visual/Verbal , Active/Reflective , and Sequential/Global . The theory was that we're all somewhere on a "continuum" for each of them. Neither extreme was said to be "good" or "bad." Instead, we'd do best by drawing on both ends of the spectrum.

Questionnaires like this promised to define anyone's learning style, so that they could address any "imbalances," and learn in the ways that would benefit them most.

Criticisms of Learning Styles

These and other theories about learning styles have become extremely popular and widespread. However, a growing body of research has challenged many of their claims.

Let's look at the four key criticisms that have been leveled against them:

1. The Science Isn't Strong Enough

We may express our preferences about how we learn, but they're not necessarily an accurate reflection of how our brains work. According to neuroscientist Susan Greenfield , the idea that we can be defined as purely visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners is "nonsense." That's because, she says, "humans have evolved to build a picture of the world through our senses working in unison, exploiting the immense interconnectivity that exists in the brain."

A study by Massa and Mayer also found little difference in learning outcomes when they matched their test subjects' preferences (visual or verbal) to the learning materials they were given.

2. Learning Styles Change

Attempts to "diagnose" someone's learning style once and for all will likely fail. As Eileen Carnell and Caroline Lodge explain in their book " Effective Learning ," an individual's learning method will be different in different situations, and likely change over time.

3. Strengths and Preferences Are Not the Same

An influential piece of research published in the Journal of Educational Psychology revealed big differences between people's assessed strengths, and how they actually tackled learning tasks in practice. For example, someone who scores better in tests after hearing the information might still choose to learn by reading – simply because they enjoy that style of learning more.

4. Teaching to Particular Learning Styles Doesn't Work

For psychologist Scott Lilienfeld, the idea that "students learn best when teaching styles are matched to their learning styles" is one of the " 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology ." This, he says, "encourages teachers to teach to students' intellectual strengths rather than their weaknesses," limiting their learning as a result.

Using Learning Styles to Improve Learning

Despite the criticisms we've outlined, some of the ideas that underpin learning styles theories still have value – especially the emphasis on metacognition: "thinking about thinking."

One influential collection of research cast doubt on specific learning styles models, but was still positive about metacognition. And metacognition has been shown to improve educational outcomes – leading the Education Endowment Foundation to recommend it as a key teaching and learning tool.

Analyzing our thinking can help us to plan learning strategies that work for us. It can support us to become more organized in our studies, to use prior knowledge as the foundation for new learning, and to choose effective methods for different learning tasks.

Plus, by examining our strengths and weaknesses, we can make the most of any aspects of learning that "come naturally" and that we enjoy, while also working on the areas that might be holding us back.

If you're eager to improve your personal approach to learning, here are three key steps to take:

1. See the Big Picture

Do everything you can to gain a rounded picture of your learning. Look at all the different reasons why you tend to tackle learning the way you do.

And, when you're in the process of learning, ask yourself why you're doing it a particular way. Is it because it's the most effective for you, or simply because it's what you've always done?

Be wary of definitive judgments. Instead, consider different scenarios, and try to differentiate between how you like to learn, and how you learn best – in a variety of learning situations.

2. Identify Your Strengths

Highlight the types of learning that work best for you, and the conditions for learning that support them. For instance, you might be more of an active learner, who operates best in groups.

Keep doing the things that give the best results, to keep your learning fast and effective – and look for ways to improve them even more.

But also leave room to practice and strengthen any learning behaviors that you find more difficult.

3. Work on Your Weaknesses

You can often improve areas of your learning that are letting you down simply by using them more.

If you feel that you're not confident learning visually, for example, get into the habit of reading the charts and diagrams in an article before grappling with the ideas in the text.

Or, if you're an independent learner by nature, make a point of involving others in your problem-solving from time to time.

Also, actively look for opportunities to try out new ways to learn. You might be surprised about what works – and about the new elements of learning that you enjoy.

How to Help Other People to Learn

Becoming more aware of your own strengths and preferences helps you to appreciate and cater for the diverse ways in which others learn, too.

For example, when you're giving a presentation, chairing a meeting, or leading a training session, avoid leaning too heavily on the approach that you would enjoy yourself.

Remember that some learners will benefit from visual aids, while others will rely on listening to what you say, or on watching your body language. Back up abstract theories with real-life examples. Spend time discussing small details as well as outlining large-scale ideas.

You can't always cater for everyone, but you can better engage your audience by allowing for different approaches to learning. If nothing else, your varied approach will keep people energized and alert!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the kinesthetic learning style.

A learner with a preference for the kinesthetic learning style prefers a physical experience. They like a "hands-on" approach and respond well to being able to touch or feel an object or learning prop.

Can you have two learning styles?

Yes. Or more than two. Very few people, if any, are completely reliant on one learning style. They may favor, say, visual learning, but still be able to learn by reading and writing.

  • "Learning Styles" theories attempted to define people by how they learn – based on individual strengths, personal preferences, and other factors such as motivation and favored learning environment.
  • Many different Learning Styles models were developed, but even the most popular ones have now been called into question. The main criticisms are that they are unscientific, inflexible, and ineffective in practice.
  • However, it's still worth using metacognition – "thinking about thinking" – to work out what does help you to learn. That way, you can play to your strengths, develop any weaker areas, and create the best conditions for learning.
  • This level of awareness can also help you to communicate with greater impact, and to support other people to learn.

Butler, K. A. (1988). ' It's All In Your Mind ,' Columbia, CT: Learner's Dimension.

Carnell, E. and Lodge, C. (2002). ' Supporting Effective Learning ,' London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., & Ecclestone, K. (2004). Learning Styles and Pedagogy in Post-16 Learning: a Systematic and Critical Review. LSRC Reference, Learning & Skills Research Center, London. Available here .

Education Endowment Foundation (2018). Metacognition and Self-Regulation [online]. Available here . [Accessed November 13, 2019.]

Felder & Soloman. Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire [online]. Available here . [Accessed November 1, 2019.]

Henry, J. (2007). Professor Pans "Learning Style" Teaching Method [online]. Available here . [Accessed November 1, 2019.]

Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1982). ' The Manual of Learning Styles .' Maidenhead: Peter Honey.

Keefe, J. W. (1985). 'Assessment of Learning Style Variables: the NASSP Task Force Model,' Theory into Practice , 24(2), 138-144. Available here .

Kolb, David A. (2015). ‘ Experiential Learning ' (2nd ed.), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Krätzig, G. P. and Arbuthnott, K. D. (2006). 'Perceptual learning style and learning proficiency: a test of the hypothesis,' Journal of Educational Psychology , 98(1), 238-246. Available here .

Lilienfeld, S. O., Lynn, S. J., Ruscio, J., & Beyerstein, B. L. (2010). ' 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology ,' Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Massa, L. J., & Mayer, R. E. (2006). 'Testing the ATI hypothesis: Should multimedia instruction accommodate verbalizer-visualizer cognitive style?' Learning and Individual Differences , 16(4), 321-335. Available here .

Pashler, H. et al. (2008). ‘Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence,’ Psychological Science in the Public Interest , 9(3), 105-19. Available here .

VARK is a registered trademark of Vark Learn Ltd., see www.vark-learn.com .

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Study Skills for Students

Proven tips and techniques for studying smarter… not harder.

Study Skills Checklist Use our study skills checklist to identify study skills areas where you should improve and focus.

Habits of Highly Effective Students Learn how to develop and apply effective study habits that will help you become a highly effective student.

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Study Skills Guides

Struggling to be a successful student? Don’t get discouraged, it isn’t magic! But it does require desire, dedication and a lot of work. If you want to learn how to become a successful student, then you’ve come to the right place.

Our study skills guides for students will provide you everything you need in order to learn how to learn more effectively.

Active listening, reading comprehension, note taking, stress management, time management, testing taking, and memorization are only a few of the topics addressed in our study skills guides for students. If you’ll take the time to learn and apply the study skills concepts and principles taught in our guides you’ll not only improve your performance in school but also your ability to learn in general — and that will benefit you the rest of your life!

Whether you’re a freshman in college looking to get ahead, a teacher seeking study skills resources for your pupils, or a high school student just trying to survive, you’ll find the study skills guides, tutorials, and resources you need right below.

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General Study Skills Guides

The following are general study skills guides, tutorials and articles for students, parents and teachers that offer proven tips and strategies for improving study skills habits, effectiveness and learning ability. Topics covered include time management, learning style, note taking, reading, math, vocabulary, writing, and listening, among others.

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Effective Study Strategies for Your Unique Learning Style

A student laying on the floor of her living room uses study strategies to prepare for her next test.

Written by Maria Kampen

  • Teaching Strategies

What are good study habits?

Study strategies that work for each learning style.

Ever spent hours re-reading the same textbook page, trying to magically absorb the facts you need to know for tomorrow’s test?

Then you probably know that when it comes to effective study strategies , last-minute cramming doesn’t usually work. But what does?

Whether you’re in middle school, high school or college — or an educator looking to coach your class — there’s no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to preparing for tests.

It’s important to create good study habits and cultivate study skills that work consistently for you and your unique learning style. 

Most popular theories identify seven main learning styles, although many people are a mix of two or more:

  • Kinesthetic

No two students learn in the same way, but you can draw connections between how you learn best and which study strategies will be most effective for you.

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Overhead shot of students studying in a large college library.

Good study habits make studying more effective. After all, the best study strategy is one you’ll actually use!

Finding a dedicated space, time and way to study can help improve your focus and level of understanding. So when you’re studying, try these three methods:

  • Find a quiet place where you can focus
  • Create a predictable study routine to keep you on track
  • Build a plan for each session to help you stay motivated

Good habits are the building blocks of any study strategy. Once you master them, you’ll be well on your way to success! Here’s how you can get started right away:

1. Find a place where you can focus

Whether you’re in a group or studying by yourself, you’re more likely to get better results in a quiet library than a noisy living room.

Dedicated study space can make all the difference when it comes to focusing and using your time wisely.

Remember: noise-free doesn’t always mean distraction-free! No matter where you’re working, make sure it’s a space free of distractions like phones, social media and television.

2. Create a study routine

Most students know last-minute cramming isn’t an effective use of study time. In fact, studies have shown late-night study sessions are linked to a lower GPA .

 When you make study schedules and stick to them, you can:

  • Increase your overall study time
  • Make each session more productive
  • Use study techniques proven to be more effective
  • Avoid stressful last-minute cramming before a big test

Instead of studying everything in one big block, break it into smaller sessions over the course of one or two weeks . Also known as distributed practice , it’s proven to be one of the best studying methods for effective learning that lasts.

3. Plan out each study session

Without a study plan, you’re more likely to get distracted, use ineffective study strategies or start procrastinating.

Exercise your time management skills and make a plan for every study session. Ask yourself:

  • What materials do I need to review?
  • What study strategy am I going to use?
  • What do I want to accomplish by the end?

Before you hit the books, gather all your materials. Make mock test questions, set an amount of time to study or find a practice test to fill out . At the end, you’ll feel more accomplished and confident you know your stuff.

Good study habits are universal, but different learning styles absorb information in different ways. 

Visual learners

A student draws in her notes as she studies.

For visual learners , seeing is believing — or in this case, remembering.

With a strong sense of balance and a preference for visualizing information, visual learners retain information best when it comes with engaging visual features like colors, charts and videos.

For teachers : Help visual learners retain skills with different visual mediums to convey information. Demonstrate concepts on the board or through practical demonstrations, and offer students more opportunities to express ideas visually on assessments or assignments.

Study methods that help visual learners:

  • Use highlighters or colored pens to mark different types of information like dates or equations. Different colors can help you keep track of different concepts!
  • Whether you’re making concept maps, timelines, charts or outlines, create a visual representation of what you need to know to improve retention. Bonus points if you use fun colors or stationery!
  • Instead of focusing on one skill at a time , try working on related questions that don’t use the same problem-solving technique. Studies have shown this helps you find the right kind of strategy to use on a given problem.
  • Try forming mental images of text materials in your head . Bringing concepts to life in your imagination can help you remember them better. This works best for material that’s already imagery-friendly like historical narratives or word problems .

Aural learners

A young boy wears headphones and uses aural study strategies to prepare for his test.

Aural learners retain information through auditory aids. Things like lectures, podcasts and music help aural learners remember what they’ve learned.

Lucky for them, there are more ways for students to listen to information than ever! While they’re studying, aural learners should find a quiet spot so they can focus only on the sounds that matter.

For teachers: Lecturing is a tried-and-true strategy, but try assigning podcasts or providing audiobooks for students who prefer to listen instead of read .

Study methods that help aural learners:

  • Grab a study buddy you can talk through concepts with, whether it’s a fellow classmate, younger sibling or even the family pet. Put information into your own words to boost recall. 
  • A good set of flashcards can help you process information out loud and repeat information that hasn’t been memorized yet. Include mnemonics or rhymes to help ideas stick even more.
  • Whether it’s podcasts, audiobooks or recorded lectures , there are plenty of ways for students to absorb information with their ears, not their eyes. Plus, you can do the dishes at the same time!
  • Consider recording lectures with the teacher’s permission. Apps like Blinkist and Audible are great ways to digest information without having to pick up a textbook. Plus, text-to-speech software can be the solution to digesting notes or long readings.

Kinesthetic learners

Two female students stand at a whiteboard and discuss a diagram.

Usually combined with a secondary learning style like visual or aural learning, kinesthetic learners respond best to hands-on demonstrations. They’ve usually got good motor skills, muscle memory and lots of energy.

There are a number of combined visual, aural and kinesthetic learning strategies that can help kinesthetic learners retain information. But above all, they understand best when lessons can be applied to real-world situations.

For teachers: Use hands-on demonstrations and manipulatives to help students master concepts. Don’t forget to give frequent brain breaks to help kinesthetic learners burn off their extra energy!

Study methods for kinesthetic learners

  • Study for short periods of time then take a break and walk around. Kinesthetic learners often have lots of excess energy to burn off.
  • Move around the room while you study . Whether it’s pacing in circles or working at a standing desk, staying active can help you stay engaged and boost retention.
  • Start multitasking , but not with your phone. Keep something around that engages your body while you work, like a stress ball. You can also try bouncing a tennis ball or tapping your pencil.
  • Draw out important concepts with a mind map to make physical connections between ideas. Underline your notes or re-write lecture notes in your own words to connect physical actions with information.

Verbal learners

A female student stands in a library and gives a presentation to fellow classmates.

Verbal learners retain information best when using spoken or written materials — but that doesn’t mean they’re all talk and no action!

Talking or writing through problems and participating in class discussions help verbal learners retain information. Verbal learners also prefer to read instructions or debate instead of watching a demonstration at the front of the class.

For teachers: To keep verbal learners engaged, encourage them to read questions and texts out loud for the class, and have frequent class discussions. Presentations are also a great way to give them the chance to ask questions and dive deeper into the topic.

Study methods for verbal learners:

  • Use mnemonic devices to aid with memorization. Whether it’s rhymes, acronyms or short stories, these verbal shortcuts can help you remember information more effectively.
  • When you’re in class, focus on asking questions and listening carefully. Instead of obsessively taking notes, try recording the lecture and use the recordings to fill in your notes later.
  • Gather a study group to go over notes and have discussions that get to the heart of concepts. Like social learners, interpersonal relationships are an important part of a verbal learner’s study methods.
  • Read your notes and books out loud . Talk through important concepts with a study buddy or even in the privacy of your own room! Pretend you’re teaching someone else in order to to break tricky concepts down to their simplest parts.

Logical learners

A student in a yellow shirt sits at a table and studies.

Logical learners learn best when they can find patterns and relationships in their class material.

Also known as mathematical learners, logical learners like puzzles, data and reading to find the “why” behind the “what.” They’re detailed planners and strategists, and are naturally very curious and goal-oriented.

For teachers: Break out brain teasers or math puzzles to keep logical learners engaged during your lessons. Encourage them to dive deep into a problem instead of getting caught up in the facts, and harness their inquisitive nature for project-based learning strategies.

Study methods for logical learners:

  • Create different visual tools like maps, diagrams, timelines and graphs to help weave information together and find patterns. 
  • Ask questions and push yourself to make sure you actually understand the material and aren’t just memorizing facts. Find the big ideas and reframe them in your own words to help with comprehension.
  • Give yourself a fixed schedule and set goals for what you want to review. Consider using the Pomodoro Technique of short, focused periods of work interspersed with quick breaks to maximize your study time.
  • Instead of focusing on memorization , work to find patterns across study materials. Apply equations to real-world examples, line up your notes in an order that makes sense to you or break down big ideas into simpler ones.

Social learners

A group of college students uses social study strategies to prepare for a test.

Need a study buddy? Also called interpersonal learners, social learners thrive when working in groups and teams. Things like study groups, tutors and Q&A sessions really help social learners retain information.

Social learners aren’t afraid to ask questions in class. They’re natural leaders who make friends easily. However, they’re not always the best when it comes to staying focused on independent work — so building good study habits is even more essential.

Social learning is often a secondary learning style and pairs with auditory, kinesthetic, visual or logical learning.

For teachers: Service learning or cooperative learning strategies can help social learners connect with others and absorb information. Provide guidelines to help students stay productive and on task as they learn!

Study methods for social learners:

  • Find a classmate, tutor or study group to discuss class materials with. Combine forces to make study materials like practice test questions, notes or mind maps together.
  • If no one’s around to study with you, revert to your good study habits. Set aside a period of time to study, make goals and a plan, and then discuss what you review once someone is available to help.
  • Discuss the material with a friend to help with things like memorization and comprehension. Who knows — you might even find a different perspective or a more imaginative way of remembering things.
  • Stay on task and try not to get too social! It’s easy to get distracted by conversations with friends, but work together to set boundaries and make a plan. You’ll be able to get back to the fun stuff in no time!

Solitary learners

A female student sits alone at the end of a table and studies.

Unlike social learners, solitary learners work best when they are alone. A quiet environment and self-made outlines help solitary learners retain information and stay focused.

Also known as intrapersonal learning, it’s another secondary learning style that pairs well with visual, verbal, aural, kinesthetic or logical learning. Solitary learners are usually independent and self-directed, with a heavy tendency towards introversion and introspection.

For teachers: A classroom can be a noisy and chaotic environment, but do your best to make sure solitary learners have a quiet place to work, when possible. They’re often less likely to reach out with questions, so pay extra attention to make sure they’re mastering the material.

Study methods for solitary learners:

  • Try journaling about the topic, writing down your own thoughts and explaining definitions or concepts in your own words.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions from your teachers or peers about anything you don’t understand. After all, they’re there to help you!
  • Find a dedicated, quiet space so you can train your brain to focus. While you’re there, set goals and make a plan for studying that works for you.
  • Create your own study guides that outline the topics on the test. Review them in the days leading up to the test, and use them to make practice questions.

Find the best study strategy for you

The learning process is unique for every student, and learning styles exist on a spectrum.

Whether you’re a verbal, auditory, visual, kinesthetic, logical, social or solitary learner — or even something else entirely — there are three important things to remember before you sit down and hit the books:

  • Make good study habits a priority, and build them into your schedule.
  • Pick the learning strategies that work best for you , not someone else.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new study methods in your quest to find the right one.

You’ve got this!

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How to Study Based on Your Learning Style

by Jack Tai | May 27, 2019 | Articles

Do you know how to study based on your learning style?

Did you know that by using your learning style you can optimize how you study? 

Here are some valuable study strategies for visual, auditory/verbal, and kinesthetic or tactile, hands-on learners.

Each student learns a little differently, and learning styles provide a broad classification for students to identify if it’s easier to learn via visuals, sounds, words, or action.

Some students may even find that they prefer more than one learning style and can, therefore, benefit from several different study techniques.

If you don’t know your learning style, the edutech platform, OneClass , offers an interactive feature where answering a few questions will reveal your learning style.

Using the study tips below, you can leverage the academic strengths of your learning style to get better grades.

How Should Visual Learners Study?

Visual learners prefer images, maps, graphs, and diagrams.

Typically, visual learners will naturally take class notes that have lots of highlights and arrows.

how to study based on your learning style

However, visual learners can benefit from note-taking that doesn’t include paragraphs of text at all.

The practice of visual note-taking can include process diagrams, cause and effect charts, mind maps, and more.

These image-based notes don’t need to be works of art, but the process of visualizing information can help visual learners be more engaged in class and improve memory retention.

For some visual learners, these concept drawings can come after class while studying. Rather than sketching concepts, students can use color-coded highlighters and sticky notes. You can even collage photos into your notes.

For example, instead of studying for a history exam with a list of presidents’ names, adding a photo can provide the visual that helps retention.

How Should Auditory Learners Study?

Sometimes called conversational learners, listening and talking helps auditory learners absorb and retain information.

The best class style for auditory learners is lecture classes with Q&A discussions. Written notes are less beneficial than audio notes, so students who have their professor’s permission can record the audio from lectures and then play it back prior to exams.

Even though taking written notes during class can be a distraction for auditory learners, students can turn to online resources to supplement their audio notes. For example, the OneClass academic community could have written lecture notes shared by one of your classmates.

Before an exam, auditory learners should use sound-based studying as much as possible. Join a study group so you can have conversational study sessions where you explain the material to one another.

Additionally, rather than using written flashcards, you can record yourself reciting the class material. Then, study by playing it back to yourself.

How Should Verbal Learners Study?

Verbal learners learn best through language. In class, students should focus on the language of what the professor is saying and take detailed notes with strong descriptions about the lecture material.

Many language-based study tools can help verbal learners. Mnemonics can help you remember a series of things. A classic example is “Roy G. Biv,” which is an acronym for the colors of visible light waves: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

Word association and rhyming are also helpful techniques, as in the example, “‘I’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c.’”

How Should Kinesthetic Learners Study?

Learners who prioritize activity and hands-on experiments are kinesthetic learners.

Lecture classes can be difficult for these students since class time typically requires that student to sit still. To counter this, students can engage during class by using index cards with written keywords.

Then, physically arranging the concepts on their desks can add spacial physicality to the learning material, helping students absorb new information.

Kinesthetic learners don’t benefit from spending class time by taking detailed notes because the note-taking becomes a distraction rather than an asset.

Instead, kinesthetic learners can write down the main points and pair their outline with detailed notes that have been shared by a classmate on the OneClass platform.

When studying for an exam, kinesthetic learners should make the information tactile and concrete. This can be done by building models, running experiments, or using the concepts in action. For example, instead of sitting at a desk, even pacing or taking a walk can be a helpful way to add movement and action to the class material.

Jack Tai is the CEO of OneClass . All types of learning styles face classwork challenges. Find out why 2.2 million students have used OneClass to get better grades.

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7 Types of Learning Styles: What You Need to Know

study skills learning styles

Did you know that there are different kinds of learners? We’ll break down the most common types of learning styles to help you figure out which one suits you best.

Brushing up on various learning styles is important for students of all ages. It can help them understand how they learn best and how to improve their study skills. By understanding their own learning preferences, students can tailor their study habits to better suit their needs. 

It can also help students communicate with their teachers about how they learn best and what strategies might work well for them. Teachers can also benefit from understanding different learning styles, as it can help them create a more inclusive and effective learning environment. 

By experimenting with different learning styles, students can find what works best for them and improve their overall learning experience.

The VARK Model: Four Types of Learning Styles

In this section, we'll explore the VARK Model, a widely recognized theory aimed at transforming the classroom experience. This model suggests that learners primarily fall into four categories: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.

1. Visual Learning Style

Visual learners excel in processing information through visual aids such as images, diagrams, charts, and graphs. They have a strong preference for seeing information presented in a visual format as it helps them understand concepts and retain information more effectively. 

These learners have a keen eye for details and are skilled at visualizing spatial relationships, allowing them to make connections between various ideas. To enhance their knowledge, visual learners can take advantage of various strategies. 

They can create mind or concept maps to organize information and establish connections between different concepts. They can also use flashcards or visual mnemonics to associate visual cues with specific information, aiding in recall and retention. 

Visual learners can also benefit from watching educational videos, utilizing online learning platforms that offer visual elements, and seeking out visual representations in textbooks and learning materials.

2. Auditory Learning Style

Auditory learners have a strong inclination toward learning through sound and oral communication. They have exceptional auditory processing skills that enable them to remember spoken words and discern subtle variations in tone, pitch, and rhythm. 

To optimize their learning experience, auditory learners can employ several strategies. They can record lectures or discussions to listen to them multiple times for better comprehension. Participating in group discussions, where they can actively listen and exchange ideas with others, helps reinforce their understanding of the subject matter. 

Auditory learners can also benefit from using text-to-speech software to convert written material into audio format, so they can effectively absorb information, even when text-based resources are all they have.

3. Reading/Writing Learning Style

These students possess strong reading and writing skills and prefer engaging with information through text. They find great value in written texts, lecture notes, textbooks, and handouts. 

To optimize their learning, reading/writing learners can employ various techniques. They can actively annotate and underline important points while reading, which helps them engage with the material more deeply and reinforce their understanding. 

Taking comprehensive notes during lectures and organizing them in a structured manner assists in synthesizing information and retaining key concepts. Additionally, reading/writing learners can benefit from creating flashcards or writing summaries of their learned material to further reinforce their knowledge.

4. Kinesthetic Learning Style 

Kinesthetic learners acquire knowledge through physical movement and hands-on experiences. They learn best when actively engaging in activities where they can touch, move, and manipulate objects. These learners have a remarkable ability to retain information through physical actions and learn by doing.

For these students, enhancing their learning is best achieved by immersing themselves in the subject matter. Role-playing exercises and simulations offer them opportunities to apply their knowledge in real-life scenarios, optimally engaging their learning abilities. 

Participation in experiments, laboratory work, or even field trips allows them a physical interaction with the subject, making it more tangible and understandable. 

By employing such hands-on approaches, abstract concepts come to life, making them easier to grasp. This physical engagement also increases the likelihood of retaining the information, giving them a practical edge in applying it to real-world situations. The result is a more engaging, meaningful, and successful learning experience.

Kinesthetic learners can also benefit from creating physical models or using manipulatives to enhance their understanding of abstract concepts. Incorporating movement breaks and physical activity into their study routine can help maintain their focus and energy levels.

Other Types of Learning Styles

Beyond the VARK Model, additional types of learning styles further diversify the landscape of how students absorb and process information.

Logical Learning Styles

Logical learners thrive on reasoning and systematic thinking. They excel in analyzing and solving problems and appreciate structured information that follows a logical progression. 

They find satisfaction in identifying patterns, creating frameworks, and drawing conclusions based on evidence and logical principles. These students can use specific strategies that align with their thinking style to enhance their learning. 

For example, logical learners can use critical thinking exercises, puzzles, or logic games to sharpen their analytical skills. Breaking down complex concepts into smaller, logical components helps them grasp the underlying principles. 

Utilizing flowcharts, concept maps, or visual representations of logical processes also helps them to understand complex relationships and decision-making processes. Additionally, logical learners can benefit from engaging in debates or discussions that require logical argumentation and reasoning.

Solitary Learning Style 

Solitary learners prefer to study and work independently. They are self-motivated and feel most productive in quiet environments. These learners enjoy reflecting and contemplating their own thoughts and ideas, and they can focus and concentrate when working autonomously.

To optimize their learning experience, solitary learners can incorporate various strategies that align with their independent nature. They can create and stick to a structured study schedule, setting specific goals and deadlines to maintain their motivation and productivity. 

Breaking down large tasks into smaller, manageable ones helps them stay organized and focused. Solitary learners can also use tools such as digital organizers, note-taking apps, or online research databases to access information independently. 

Creating a dedicated study space free from distractions and developing effective time management techniques are also essential for solitary learners.

Social Learning Style 

Social learners thrive in collaborative environments and learn best through interactions and discussions. They enjoy group work, brainstorming sessions, and cooperative learning activities. These learners benefit from sharing ideas, perspectives, and experiences with their peers.

To make the most of their learning journey, social learners can adopt tactics that encourage teamwork and engagement. Active involvement in group tasks allows them to share their thoughts while gaining insight from the varied viewpoints of their team members.

Engaging in peer-to-peer teaching or tutoring provides an opportunity for knowledge sharing and solidifying understanding. Social learners can also benefit from joining study groups or online forums to engage in discussions and debates that allow for the exchange of ideas and deeper exploration of the subject matter.

It's crucial to recognize that individuals often possess a blend of learning styles, with one style typically more dominant than others. A student’s dominant learning style can also vary depending on the subject matter and learning context.

Incorporating strategies that resonate with different learning preferences empowers students to enhance their learning experiences, deepen their comprehension, and cultivate a lifelong passion for learning.

Understanding Your Types Learning Styles: Unlocking Your Potential

Understanding your diverse learning styles is a powerful tool that can greatly assist your academic journey. By recognizing how you learn best, you can take control of your education and achieve success. 

1. Self-Awareness

When you become aware of the types of learning styles, you gain valuable insights into how you process and remember information. This self-awareness lets you make informed choices about study techniques and strategies that work best for you. It puts you in the driver's seat of your learning experience.

2. Study Techniques

Knowing your learning style empowers you to discover study techniques that align with your preferences. Here are some examples:

  • Visual learners can use mind maps, diagrams, and colors to organize and remember information effectively.
  • Auditory learners can benefit from recording lectures or reading aloud to themselves.
  • Kinesthetic learners can engage in hands-on activities, role-playing, or using manipulatives to reinforce learning.
  • Reading/writing learners can focus on note-taking, summarizing concepts in writing, or creating flashcards.

Feel free to combine and explore various learning styles; doing so can enrich your overall learning journey and boost your understanding and retention of information.

3. Efficient Learning

Understanding the different learning styles helps you optimize your study time and resources. By focusing on methods that resonate with you, you can enhance your concentration, retention, and overall learning efficiency. This allows you to make the most of your study sessions and achieve better academic performance.

4. Advocacy

Finding your ideal learning style enables you to communicate your needs to teachers and peers effectively. You can advocate for instructional approaches that suit your preferences, ensuring an inclusive and personalized learning experience. 

Your self-advocacy empowers you and encourages educators to implement diverse teaching strategies.

5. Collaboration

By sharing your learning preferences with your peers, you can work together more effectively, leveraging each other's strengths and supporting identified weaknesses. This collaborative environment fosters mutual learning and appreciation for different approaches to learning.

5. Lifelong Learning

As you progress through different educational stages and encounter new learning environments, you can adapt your study techniques and seek out resources that cater to your preferred style. This adaptability nurtures a growth mindset and equips you with the skills needed for continuous self-improvement.

Understanding your types of learning styles empowers you to take an active role in your education. It helps you tailor your study techniques, advocate for your needs, collaborate effectively, and cultivate a lifelong love for learning.

Discover your personal learning style by taking our What Type of Learner Are You? Quiz !

FAQs: Different Learning Styles

Curious to learn more about the different learning styles? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions that will provide you with valuable insights into embracing the diverse ways students process and engage with information.

1. How Do I Find Out My Learning Style?

Discovering your learning style involves self-reflection and observation. Take the time to reflect on your past learning experiences and identify the strategies that have been most effective for you. Consider whether you learn best through visual aids, auditory explanations, reading and writing, or hands-on activities. 

Pay attention to the activities that make learning enjoyable and help you retain information. Online learning style assessments can also provide insights into your preferred learning style. 

If you’re having trouble pinpointing your dominant learning style, consider consulting with an educational professional, such as a teacher or learning specialist, to help you gain a deeper understanding of your learning style.

2. What Are the Four Main Learning Styles? 

The VARK model outlines four main learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. 

  • Visual learners prefer visual aids to understand concepts
  • Auditory learners thrive through sound and oral communication 
  • Reading/writing learners excel in written materials
  • Kinesthetic learners acquire knowledge through physical movement and hands-on experiences

Recognizing your unique learning style can pave the way for personalized study strategies, enabling you to grasp information more effectively and achieve greater academic success.

3. What Is the Most Common Learning Style? 

The most common learning style may vary depending on the context and the people being considered. However, research suggests that a significant portion of the population tends to be visual learners. 

This preference for visual learning can be attributed to the prevalence of visual stimuli in educational settings, such as the use of textbooks, visual aids, and multimedia resources, as well as our daily lives, where we are constantly exposed to images, videos, and graphical representations.

4. What Is the Best Learning Style? 

There is no universal "best" learning style, as students have different preferences and strengths. Whether or not a learning style is effective depends on various factors, including learning preferences, the subject matter being taught, and the instructional context. 

Each learning style offers unique advantages and can be beneficial in different situations. For example, visual learners may excel in understanding complex visual information, while auditory learners may thrive in discussions and oral presentations. 

It is important to incorporate a variety of instructional strategies that cater to different learning styles to allow students to engage with the material in ways that resonate with their individual preferences.

5. What Is the Rarest Learning Style? 

The kinesthetic learning style is often considered to be relatively less common among students. This may be attributed to the challenges associated with providing extensive hands-on experiences in traditional educational settings, as well as the dominance of visual and auditory teaching methods.

Final Thoughts

Understanding and accommodating different learning styles is essential for effective teaching and learning. Educators can tailor their methods to engage and support students by recognizing diverse processing and internalization approaches. 

Each learning style has unique strengths, and a balanced and inclusive environment is crucial to cater to all learners. Embracing our own learning styles empowers us to take ownership of our education, leveraging strategies that enhance comprehension. 

Flexibility and adaptability are important, enriching the overall learning experience. Let's celebrate diversity, promote inclusivity, and create an education that is accessible, engaging, and meaningful for all.

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Study Skills

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What are Study Skills?

Study skills are the skills you need to enable you to study and learn efficiently – they are an important set of transferable life skills.

Our pages provide generic study skills advice – appropriate to learners across all disciplines and in different life circumstances: full and part-time students, those returning to education later in life, those engaged in professional development and anybody who wants to learn how to learn effectively. 

Key points about study skills:

You will develop your own personal approach to study and learning in a way that meets your own individual needs. As you develop your study skills you will discover what works for you, and what doesn’t.

Study skills are not subject specific - they are generic and can be used when studying any area. You will, of course, need to understand the concepts, theories and ideas surrounding your specific subject area. To get the most out of your studies, however, you’ll want to develop your study skills.

You need to practise and develop your study skills.   This will increase your awareness of how you study and you’ll become more confident.  Once mastered, study skills will be beneficial throughout your life.

Study skills are not just for students.   Study skills are transferable - you will take them with you beyond your education into new contexts. For example, organisational skills, time management, prioritising, learning how to analyse, problem solving, and the self-discipline that is required to remain motivated.  Study skills relate closely to the type of skills that employers look for.  (See Transferable Skills and Employability Skills for more.)

At SkillsYouNeed we provide quality content on many life skills – and many of these are relevant to studying.

You’ll find two types of study skills pages – pages that directly relate to skills you need for study (such as How to Write an Essay ) and pages that are more general life skills but which are also important to studying (like Active Listening ).

Our Study Skills Pages Include:

Getting Organised to Study

Getting organised is an important first step to effective study.  Our page covers the basic organisation skills you need to consider – fundamentals such as where and when to study and the importance of developing a network of contacts who can help you when you need it.

This page covers some of the basic principles of time management – with reference to study. If you manage your time badly then you will be less productive, which can lead to stress and anxiety. This page will help you by outlining the importance of a personal study timetable and how to set goals and prioritise your time.

Sources of Information for Study

Learn what is meant by, and the importance of, primary, secondary and tertiary documents and how you may source such information in a library or online.

By understanding different writing styles you can put what you read into perspective. This page covers the main writing styles that you are likely to come across, including academic, journal, and journalistic styles.

When studying, it is likely that you will need to read a lot of information – and you will wish to use this time effectively as possible by developing your reading skills. Discover ways that you can engage with your reading, form links, understand opinions and put ideas and research into perspective. In short, develop your reading skills.

Critical Reading and Reading Strategies

This page explains what is meant by critical reading and critical thinking – skills which are fundamental to true learning, personal development and advancement. The page also covers how to develop a personal reading strategy and use SQ3R to help you manage your reading.


Learning to take notes effectively is not only important to study but also in many other situations, at work and in your personal life.  Develop your note-taking skills with our pages: Note-Taking for Verbal Exchanges and Note-Taking for Reading .

It pays to carefully think about and plan an essay or other piece of written work before you start writing.  This page provides you with a framework for planning which will help ensure your work is relevant, well-constructed and produced efficiently.

Essay Writing

Learn about the processes involved in writing an essay, or other piece of assessed work.  Avoid common mistakes and follow best practice to help ensure that the work you produce is of a high quality.

How to Write a Dissertation or Thesis

Working on a dissertation, thesis or other research project can be the most challenging part of study. Our guide offers practical advice and explains how to work on each part of a research document, including:

  • How to Write a Research Proposal
  • Ethical Issues in Research
  • Researching and Writing a Literature Review
  • Writing your Methodology
  • Writing up your Results and Discussion

Learning how to reference correctly is vital if you are a student. This page not only covers why you should reference, and what may happen if you don’t, but also includes some detailed guidelines on how to reference different types of materials.

As a learner you will be required to engage with theory, but exactly what is a theory?  A theory is an attempt to provide understanding - theories attempt to answer the question, 'why?' and therefore satisfy our curiosity.  Learn more about theories and how they are usually developed.

Before you submit your assignment for school, university or work, run through a series of final checks.  Avoid potentially embarrassing or costly mistakes and increase the credibility of your work.

Reflecting On Marked Work

This page, for students, encourages you to engage in the feedback you receive from a marker when your work is returned.  Don’t just look at the bottom line, the mark, but understand the comments and feedback and learn from any mistakes.

Revision Skills

Revising for examinations can be a real challenge for many people. Learn and practice some key skills to make your revision time as productive and effective as possible, leaving you better prepared for exams and tests.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

Skills You Need

Develop the skills you need to make the most of your time as a student.

Our eBooks are ideal for students at all stages of education, school, college and university. They are full of easy-to-follow practical information that will help you to learn more effectively and get better grades.

Other Areas Related to Study

Writing Skills

The writing skills section of SkillsYouNeed includes many other pages that we hope you’ll find useful.

Our pages: Spelling , Grammar and Punctuation for example can help with assignment writing.  You may also find information on our pages: Gender Neutral Writing and Clichés to Avoid useful.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are the skills we use every day to interact with others and many are relevant to effective study.

For example see:  Listening Skills , Problem Solving and Decision Making , Questioning and Types of Questions , Verbal Communication and Effective Speaking .

Personal Skills

Our Personal Skills section covers areas of personal development . 

Useful pages for study include:  Building Confidence and Self-Esteem , Tips for Dealing with Stress , Relaxation Techniques , and Self-Motivation .

Start with: Getting Organised to Study

See also: Employability Skills for Graduates How to Systemize Your Study Develop Your Online Learning Skills and Get More from Your Online Classes

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The #1 source for study skills, did you know good study skills are essential for learning and succeeding in school., how-to-study.com is a recognized leader in study skills, providing thousands of free tips, articles, assessments, and more to students, teachers, and parents.  success is just around the corner, so go ahead, explore.

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Click on these free resources below...,   8 self-assessments,   what is your learning style,   how are your social skills,   is test anxiety, concentration, or                        something else a challenge,   100+ study skills articles,   200+ tips for teachers,   1,500+ study tips from visitors,  study skills articles.

Includes more than 100 practical articles. Topics include good study habits, managing time, reading and taking notes from textbooks, learning styles, preparing for college, study motivation, setting goals, and much more. Each can be printed.


Includes more than 1,500 useful study tips submitted by students, teachers, and parents from all over the world. The tips range from elementary school through college, and even graduate school. You will see an archive of tips going all the way back to 2007.


Includes assessments for learning style, test anxiety, procrastination, concentration, motivation, math study skills, social skills, and self-esteem. Each assessment takes about five minutes to complete. You will immediately see your score along with recommendations.


Each assessment takes about five minutes to complete. You will immediately see your score along with recommendations.

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Here are two study tips from over 1,500 tips submitted by students and teachers

Here's a simple fact. Students who sit at the front of the class do better than students who sit at the back. I always try to sit up front. I can focus on the teacher and see the writing on the chalkboard clearly. Plus I'm not distracted by a lot of students in front of me. Edward Torgeson, Student, Private HS junior    Indiana

If there is something you always like to do (e.g., watching T.V.), do it. You will totally be more focused. Because if you don't you'll be telling yourself you're bored and that's not good. Plus an elementary teacher or principal told my mother to do that for me. It Works For Me. Try it! Kayla Covington, Student, College    Hawaii


Here are two teachings tips from our collection of over 250 practical tips

Saving Students Work Provide a file drawer in which you have a folder for each student in your class. Each student can file writing projects and important graded assignments in his or her folder. Encourage students to discard unneeded materials so that the folders do not become overly bulky.

Delayed Feedback Here is something that happens to all teachers. You prepare and teach a wonderful lesson, but when the bell rings, the students leave without saying a word about how good it was. You cannot rely on instant gratification. Instead, keep in mind that some things you do in class will influence students for years to come.


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Learning styles, what are learning styles, why are they so popular.

The term  learning styles is widely used to describe how learners gather, sift through, interpret, organize, come to conclusions about, and “store” information for further use.  As spelled out in VARK (one of the most popular learning styles inventories), these styles are often categorized by sensory approaches:   v isual, a ural, verbal [ r eading/writing], and k inesthetic.  Many of the models that don’t resemble the VARK’s sensory focus are reminiscent of Felder and Silverman’s Index of Learning Styles , with a continuum of descriptors for how learners process and organize information:  active-reflective, sensing-intuitive, verbal-visual, and sequential-global.

There are well over 70 different learning styles schemes (Coffield, 2004), most of which are supported by “a thriving industry devoted to publishing learning-styles tests and guidebooks” and “professional development workshops for teachers and educators” (Pashler, et al., 2009, p. 105).

Despite the variation in categories, the fundamental idea behind learning styles is the same: that each of us has a specific learning style (sometimes called a “preference”), and we learn best when information is presented to us in this style.  For example, visual learners would learn any subject matter best if given graphically or through other kinds of visual images, kinesthetic learners would learn more effectively if they could involve bodily movements in the learning process, and so on.  The message thus given to instructors is that “optimal instruction requires diagnosing individuals’ learning style[s] and tailoring instruction accordingly” (Pashler, et al., 2009, p. 105).

Despite the popularity of learning styles and inventories such as the VARK, it’s important to know that there is no evidence to support the idea that matching activities to one’s learning style improves learning .  It’s not simply a matter of “the absence of evidence doesn’t mean the evidence of absence.”  On the contrary, for years researchers have tried to make this connection through hundreds of studies.

In 2009, Psychological Science in the Public Interest commissioned cognitive psychologists Harold Pashler, Mark McDaniel, Doug Rohrer, and Robert Bjork to evaluate the research on learning styles to determine whether there is credible evidence to support using learning styles in instruction.  They came to a startling but clear conclusion:  “Although the literature on learning styles is enormous,” they “found virtually no evidence” supporting the idea that “instruction is best provided in a format that matches the preference of the learner.”  Many of those studies suffered from weak research design, rendering them far from convincing.  Others with an effective experimental design “found results that flatly contradict the popular” assumptions about learning styles (p. 105). In sum,

“The contrast between the enormous popularity of the learning-styles approach within education and the lack of credible evidence for its utility is, in our opinion, striking and disturbing” (p. 117).

Pashler and his colleagues point to some reasons to explain why learning styles have gained—and kept—such traction, aside from the enormous industry that supports the concept.  First, people like to identify themselves and others by “type.” Such categories help order the social environment and offer quick ways of understanding each other.  Also, this approach appeals to the idea that learners should be recognized as “unique individuals”—or, more precisely, that differences among students should be acknowledged —rather than treated as a number in a crowd or a faceless class of students (p. 107). Carried further, teaching to different learning styles suggests that “ all people have the potential to learn effectively and easily if only instruction is tailored to their individual learning styles ” (p. 107).

There may be another reason why this approach to learning styles is so widely accepted. They very loosely resemble the concept of metacognition , or the process of thinking about one’s thinking.  For instance, having your students describe which study strategies and conditions for their last exam worked for them and which didn’t is likely to improve their studying on the next exam (Tanner, 2012).  Integrating such metacognitive activities into the classroom—unlike learning styles—is supported by a wealth of research (e.g., Askell Williams, Lawson, & Murray-Harvey, 2007; Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000; Butler & Winne, 1995; Isaacson & Fujita, 2006; Nelson & Dunlosky, 1991; Tobias & Everson, 2002).

Importantly, metacognition is focused on planning, monitoring, and evaluating any kind of thinking about thinking and does nothing to connect one’s identity or abilities to any singular approach to knowledge.  (For more information about metacognition, see CFT Assistant Director Cynthia Brame’s “ Thinking about Metacognition ” blog post, and stay tuned for a Teaching Guide on metacognition this spring.)

There is, however, something you can take away from these different approaches to learning—not based on the learner, but instead on the content being learned .  To explore the persistence of the belief in learning styles, CFT Assistant Director Nancy Chick interviewed Dr. Bill Cerbin, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and former Carnegie Scholar with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.  He points out that the differences identified by the labels “visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing” are more appropriately connected to the nature of the discipline:

“There may be evidence that indicates that there are some ways to teach some subjects that are just better than others , despite the learning styles of individuals…. If you’re thinking about teaching sculpture, I’m not sure that long tracts of verbal descriptions of statues or of sculptures would be a particularly effective way for individuals to learn about works of art. Naturally, these are physical objects and you need to take a look at them, you might even need to handle them.” (Cerbin, 2011, 7:45-8:30 )

Pashler and his colleagues agree: “An obvious point is that the optimal instructional method is likely to vary across disciplines” (p. 116). In other words, it makes disciplinary sense to include kinesthetic activities in sculpture and anatomy courses, reading/writing activities in literature and history courses, visual activities in geography and engineering courses, and auditory activities in music, foreign language, and speech courses.  Obvious or not, it aligns teaching and learning with the contours of the subject matter, without limiting the potential abilities of the learners.

  • Askell-Williams, H., Lawson, M. & Murray, Harvey, R. (2007). ‘ What happens in my university classes that helps me to learn?’: Teacher education students’ instructional metacognitive knowledge. International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning , 1. 1-21.
  • Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L. & Cocking, R. R., (Eds.). (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (Expanded Edition). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
  • Butler, D. L., & Winne, P. H. (1995) Feedback and self-regulated learning: A theoretical synthesis . Review of Educational Research , 65, 245-281.
  • Cerbin, William. (2011). Understanding learning styles: A conversation with Dr. Bill Cerbin .  Interview with Nancy Chick. UW Colleges Virtual Teaching and Learning Center .
  • Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., & Ecclestone, K. (2004). Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning. A systematic and critical review . London: Learning and Skills Research Centre.
  • Isaacson, R. M. & Fujita, F. (2006). Metacognitive knowledge monitoring and self-regulated learning: Academic success and reflections on learning . Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning , 6, 39-55.
  • Nelson, T.O. & Dunlosky, J. (1991). The delayed-JOL effect: When delaying your judgments of learning can improve the accuracy of your metacognitive monitoring. Psychological Science , 2, 267-270.
  • Pashler, Harold, McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., & Bjork, R.  (2008). Learning styles: Concepts and evidence . Psychological Science in the Public Interest . 9.3 103-119.
  • Tobias, S., & Everson, H. (2002). Knowing what you know and what you don’t: Further research on metacognitive knowledge monitoring . College Board Report No. 2002-3 . College Board, NY.

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Learning Styles and Study Skills: How do They Relate?

October 9, 2023  Lamarr Mitchell

Did you know learning how to study effectively is a skill and needs to be practiced? Every student relies on a set of different techniques while studying. To discover the study techniques that will work best for you, it’s helpful to first understand your learning style.

Three of the more common types of learning styles are: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learners prefer to look at material. Auditory learners prefer to listen to someone tell them the information. Kinesthetic learners prefer to physically interact with the material. Understanding your learning style is useful because you can tailor your study skills to your learning style. For example, if you’re an auditory learner, you might prefer to memorize material by creating a mnemonic or by listening to an audio recording of the material. If you’re a visual learner, you might prefer to write out the material or use flash cards to memorize it.

You can take a short 5-minute quiz to discover your learning style here: Learning Style Quiz | Get started

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Learning styles: Things you need to know...

We are individual in the way we learn, remember and revise facts.  Recognising your preferred learning styles may lead you to be a more effective learner .   Once you are aware of the different learning methods you can plan your learning to include them:

One major theorist is Fleming (2001) :

who said individuals learn by a combination of   Seeing (Visual), Listening (Aural), Writing and Experiencing (Practising) .   So an individual does a combination of these 4 activities to learn. 

  • Visual/Seeing.    Preferred activities: thinks in pictures; likes visual aids such as overhead slides, diagrams, handouts, pictures, graphics.
  • Aural/Listening .  Preferred activities: lectures, tapes, discussions, group discussion, web chat,   speaking out aloud and speaking to yourself.
  • Read/Write.   Preferred activities: Information displayed as words, reading, likes lists and journals.
  • Kinaesthetic/Experiencing .  Preferred activities: moving, touching, and doing active exploration; science projects; experiments, demonstrations, simulations

Honey and Mumford (1995)   have also categorized learning styles into Reflector, Activist, Pragmatist and Theorist :

  • Reflector –  learns through observation, thinking, practising before doing
  • Activist – learns through role playing, talking, practising and trying out things
  • Pragmatist – needs to know the link between theory and practice, likes practical problems.
  • Theorist – likes ideas, research, reading before applying research to a problem.

Spend a little time finding out what your preferred learning style is.We have other resources under the tabs on the right which might help you discover how best you like learning.

  • Learning styles Know how best you learn and have some strategies for making the most of your particular learning style

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Learning Styles: A Review of Theory, Application, and Best Practices

Much pedagogical research has focused on the concept of “learning styles.” Several authors have proposed that the ability to typify student learning styles can augment the educational experience. As such, instructors might tailor their teaching style so that it is more congruent with a given student's or class of students' learning style. Others have argued that a learning/teaching style mismatch encourages and challenges students to expand their academic capabilities. Best practice might involve offering courses that employ a variety of teaching styles. Several scales are available for the standardization of learning styles. These scales employ a variety of learning style descriptors and are sometimes criticized as being measures of personality rather than learning style. Learning styles may become an increasingly relevant pedagogic concept as classes increase in size and diversity. This review will describe various learning style instruments as well as their potential use and limitations. Also discussed is the use of learning style theory in various concentrations including pharmacy.


The diversity of students engaged in higher education continues to expand. Students come to colleges with varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds, from a multitude of training programs and institutions, and with differing learning styles. 1 Coupled with this increase in diversification has been a growth in distance education programs and expansions in the types of instructional media used to deliver information. 2 , 3 These changes and advances in technology have led many educators to reconsider traditional, uniform instruction methods and stress the importance of considering student learning styles in the design and delivery of course content. 4 - 5 Mismatches between an instructor's style of teaching and a student's method of learning have been cited as potential learning obstacles within the classroom and as a reason for using a variety of teaching modalities to deliver instruction. 6 - 8 The concept of using a menu of teaching modalities is based on the premise that at least some content will be presented in a manner suited to every type of learner within a given classroom or course. Some research has focused on profiling learning types so that instructors have a better understanding of the cohort of students they are educating. 7 - 8 This information can be used to guide the selection of instruction modalities employed in the classroom. Limited research has also focused on describing and characterizing composite learning styles and patterns for students in various concentrations of study (eg, medicine, engineering). 5 , 6 , 9 This review will describe the potential utility and limitations in assessing learning styles.


A benchmark definition of “learning styles” is “characteristic cognitive, effective, and psychosocial behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment. 10 Learning styles are considered by many to be one factor of success in higher education. Confounding research and, in many instances, application of learning style theory has begat the myriad of methods used to categorize learning styles. No single commonly accepted method currently exists, but alternatively several potential scales and classifications are in use. Most of these scales and classifications are more similar than dissimilar and focus on environmental preferences, sensory modalities, personality types, and/or cognitive styles. 11 Lack of a conceptual framework for both learning style theory and measurement is a common and central criticism in this area. In 2004 the United Kingdom Learning and Skills Research Center commissioned a report intended to systematically examine existing learning style models and instruments. In the commission report, Coffield et al identified several inconsistencies in learning style models and instruments and cautioned educators with regards to their use. 12 The authors also outlined a suggested research agenda for this area.

Alternatively, many researchers have argued that knowledge of learning styles can be of use to both educators and students. Faculty members with knowledge of learning styles can tailor pedagogy so that it best coincides with learning styles exhibited by the majority of students. 4 Alternatively, students with knowledge of their own preferences are empowered to use various techniques to enhance learning, which in turn may impact overall educational satisfaction. This ability is particularly critical and useful when an instructor's teaching style does not match a student's learning style. Compounding the issue of learning styles in the classroom has been the movement in many collegiate environments to distance and/or asynchronous education. 2 , 3 This shift in educational modality is inconsistent with the learning models with which most older students and adult learners are accustomed from their primary and high school education. 3 , 13 , 14 Alternatively, environmental influences and more widespread availability of technological advances (eg, personal digital assistants, digital video, the World Wide Web, wireless Internet) may make younger generations of students more comfortable with distance learning. 15 - 17


As previously stated, several models and measures of learning styles have been described in the literature. Kolb proposed a model involving a 4-stage cyclic structure that begins with a concrete experience, which lends to a reflective observation and subsequently an abstract conceptualization that allows for active experimentation. 18 Kolb's model is associated with the Learning Style Inventory instrument (LSI). The LSI focuses on learner's preferences in terms of concrete versus abstract, and action versus reflection. Learners are subsequently described as divergers, convergers, assimilators, or accommodators.

Honey and Mumford developed an alternative instrument known as the Learning Style Questionnaire (LSQ). 6 Presumably, the LSQ has improved validity and predictive accuracy compared to the LSI. The LSQ describes 4 distinct types of learners: activists (learn primarily by experience), reflectors (learn from reflective observation), theorists (learn from exploring associations and interrelationships), and pragmatics (learn from doing or trying things with practical outcomes). The LSQ has been more widely used and studied in management and business settings and its applicability to academia has been questioned. 6 An alternative to the LSQ, the Canfield Learning Style Inventory (CLSI) describes learning styles along 4 dimensions. 19 These dimensions include conditions for learning, area of interest, mode of learning, and conditions for performance. Analogous to the LSQ, applicability of the CLSI to academic settings has been questioned. Additionally, some confusion surrounding scoring and interpretation of certain result values also exists.

Felder and Silverman introduced a learning style assessment instrument that was specifically designed for classroom use and was first applied in the context of engineering education. 20 The instrument consists of 44 short items with a choice between 2 responses to each sentence. Learners are categorized in 4 dichotomous areas: preference in terms of type and mode of information perception (sensory or intuitive; visual or verbal), approaches to organizing and processing information (active or reflective), and the rate at which students progress towards understanding (sequential or global). The instrument associated with the model is known as the Index of Learning Survey (ILS). 21 The ILS is based on a 44-item questionnaire and outputs a preference profile for a student or an entire class. The preference profile is based on the 4 previously defined learning dimensions. The ILS has several advantages over other instruments including conciseness and ease of administration (in both a written and computerized format). 20 , 21 No published data exist with regards to the use of the ILS in populations of pharmacy students or pharmacists. Cook described a study designed to examine the reliability of the ILS for determining learning styles among a population of internal medicine residents. 20 The researchers administered the ILS twice and the Learning Style Type Indicator (LSTI) once to 138 residents (86 men, 52 women). The LSTI has been previously compared to the ILS by several investigators. 8 , 19 Cook found that the Cronbach's alpha scores for the ILS and LSTI ranged from 0.19 to 0.69. They preliminarily concluded that the ILS scores were reliable and valid among this cohort of residents, particularly within the active-reflective and sensing-intuitive domains. In a separate study, Cook et al attempted to evaluate convergence and discrimination among the ILS, LSI, and another computer-based instrument known as the Cognitive Styles Analysis (CSA). 11 The cohort studied consisted of family medicine and internal medicine residents as well as first- and third-year medical students. Eighty-nine participants completed all 3 instruments, and responses were analyzed using calculated Pearson's r and Cronbach's α. The authors found that the ILS active-reflective and sensing-intuitive scores as well as the LSI active-reflective scores were valid in determining learning styles. However, the ILS sequential-global domain failed to correlate well with other instruments and may be flawed, at least in this given population. The authors advised the use of caution when interpreting scores without a strong knowledge of construct definitions and empirical evidence.

Several other instruments designed to measure personality indexes or psychological types may overlap and describe learning styles in nonspecific fashions. One example of such an indicator is the Myers-Briggs Index. 6 While some relation between personality indexes and learning styles may exist, the use of instruments intended to describe personality to characterize learning style has been criticized by several authors. Therefore, the use of these markers to measure learning styles is not recommended. 6 The concept of emotional intelligence is another popular way to characterize intellect and learning capacity but similarly should not be misconstrued as an effective means of describing learning styles. 23

Several authors have proposed correlations between culture and learning styles. 6 , 24 This is predicated on the concept that culture influences environmental perceptions which, in turn, to some degree determine the way in which information is processed and organized. The storage, processing, and assimilation methods for information contribute to how new knowledge is learned. Culture also plays a role in conditioning and reinforcing learning styles and partially explains why teaching methods used in certain parts of the world may be ineffective or less effective when blindly transplanted to another locale. 6 , 24 Teachers should be aware of this phenomenon and the influence it has on the variety of learning styles that are present in classrooms. This is especially true in classrooms that have a large contingency of international students. Such classrooms are becoming increasingly common as more and more schools expand their internationalization efforts. 25

The technological age may also be influencing the learning styles of younger students and emerging generations of learners. The Millennial Generation has been described as more technologically advanced than their Generation X counterparts, with higher expectations for the use of computer-aided media in the classroom. 15 , 16 , 26 Younger students are accustomed to enhanced visual images associated with various computer- and television-based games and game systems. 16 , 26 Additionally, video technology is increasingly becoming “transportable” in the way of mobile computing, MP3 devices, personal digital video players, and other technologies. 26 All of these advances have made visual images more pervasive and common within industrialized nations.


As class sizes increase, so do the types and numbers of student learning styles. Also, as previously mentioned, internationalization and changes in the media culture may affect the spectrum of classroom learning styles as well. 24 , 25 Given the variability in learning styles that may exist in a classroom, some authors suggested that students should adapt their learning styles to coincide with a given instruction style. 6 , 27 This allows instructors to dictate the methods used to instruct in the classroom. This approach also allows instructors to “teach from their strengths,” with little consideration to other external factors such as learning style of students. While convenient, this unilateral approach has been criticized for placing all of the responsibility for aligning teaching and learning on the student. When the majority of information is presented in formats that are misaligned with learning styles, students may spend more time manipulating material than they do in comprehending and applying the information. Additionally, a unilaterally designed classroom may reinforce a “do nothing” approach among faculty members. 6 Alternatively, a teaching style-learning style mismatch might challenge students to adjust, grow intellectually, and learn in more integrated ways. However, it may be difficult to predict which students have the baseline capacity to adjust, particularly when significant gaps in knowledge of a given subject already exist or when the learner is a novice to the topic being instructed. 6 , 27 This might be especially challenging within professional curricula where course load expectations are significant.

Best practice most likely involves a teaching paradigm which addresses and accommodates multiple dimensions of learning styles that build self-efficacy. 27 Instructing in a way that encompasses multiple learning styles gives the teacher an opportunity to reach a greater extent of a given class, while also challenging students to expand their range of learning styles and aptitudes at a slower pace. This may avoid lost learning opportunities and circumvent unnecessary frustration from both the teacher and student. For many instructors, multi-style teaching is their inherent approach to learning, while other instructors more commonly employ unilateral styles. Learning might be better facilitated if instructors were cognizant of both their teaching styles and the learning styles of their students. An understanding and appreciation of a given individual's teaching style requires self-reflection and introspection and should be a component of a well-maintained teaching portfolio. Major changes or modifications to teaching styles might not be necessary in order to effectively create a classroom atmosphere that addresses multiple learning styles or targets individual ones. However, faculty members should be cautious to not over ambitiously, arbitrarily, or frivolously design courses and activities with an array of teaching modalities that are not carefully connected, orchestrated, and delivered.

Novice learners will likely be more successful when classrooms, either by design or by chance, are tailored to their learning style. However, the ultimate goal is to instill within students the skills to recognize and react to various styles so that learning is maximized no matter what the environment. 28 This is an essential skill for an independent learner and for students in any career path.

Particular consideration of learning styles might be given to asynchronous courses and other courses where a significant portion of time is spent online. 29 As technology advances and classroom sizes in many institutions become increasingly large, asynchronous instruction is becoming more pervasive. In many instances, students who have grown accustomed to technological advances may prefer asynchronous courses. Online platforms may inherently affect learning on a single dimension (visual or auditory). Most researchers who have compared the learning styles of students enrolled in online versus traditional courses have found no correlations between the learning styles and learning outcomes of cohorts enrolled in either course type. Johnson et al compared learning style profiles to student satisfaction with either online or face-to-face study groups. 30 Forty-eight college students participated in the analysis. Learning styles were measured using the ILS. Students were surveyed with regard to their satisfaction with various study group formats. These results were then correlated to actual performance on course examinations. Active and visual learners demonstrated a significant preference for face-to-face study groups. Alternatively, students who were reflective learners demonstrated a preference for online groups. Likely due to the small sample size, none of these differences achieved statistical significance. The authors suggest that these results are evidence for courses employing hybrid teaching styles that reach as many different students as possible. Cook et al studied 121 internal medicine residents and also found no association (p > 0.05) between ILS-measured learning styles and preferences for learning formats (eg, Web-based versus paper-based learning modules). 31 Scores on assessment questions related to learning modules administered to the residents were also not statistically correlated with learning styles.

Cook et al examined the effectiveness of adapting Web-based learning modules to a given learner's style. 32 The investigators created 2 versions of a Web-based instructional module on complementary and alternative medications. One version of the modules directed the learner to “active” questions that provided learners immediate and comprehensive feedback, while the other version involved “reflective” questions that directed learners back to the case content for answers. Eighty-nine residents were randomly matched or mismatched based on their active-reflective learning styles (as determined by ILS) to either the “active” or “reflective” test version. Posttest scores for either question type among mismatched subjects did not differ significantly ( p = 0.97), suggesting no interaction between learning styles and question types. The authors concluded from this small study that learning styles had no influence on learning outcomes. The study was limited in its lack of assessment of baseline knowledge, motivation, or other characteristics. Also, the difficulty of the assessment may not have been sufficient enough to distinguish a difference and/or “mismatched” learners may have automatically adapted to the information they received regardless of type.


There are no published studies that have systematically examined the learning styles of pharmacy students. Pungente et al collected some learning styles data as part of a study designed to evaluate how first-year pharmacy students' learning styles influenced preferences toward different activities associated with problem-based learning (PBL). 33 One hundred sixteen first-year students completed Kolb's LSI. Learning styles were then matched to responses from a survey designed to assess student preferences towards various aspects of PBL. The majority of students were classified by the LSI as being accommodators (36.2%), with a fairly even distribution of styles among remaining students (19.8% assimilators, 22.4% convergers, 21.6% divergers). There was a proportional distribution of learning styles among a convenience sample of pharmacy students. Divergers were the least satisfied with the PBL method of instruction, while convergers demonstrated the strongest preference for this method of learning. The investigators proposed that the next step might be to correlate learning styles and PBL preferences with actual academic success.

Limited research correlating learning styles to learning outcomes has hampered the application of learning style theory to actual classroom settings. Complicating research is the plethora of different learning style measurement instruments available. Despite these obstacles, efforts to better define and utilize learning style theory is an area of growing research. A better knowledge and understanding of learning styles may become increasingly critical as classroom sizes increase and as technological advances continue to mold the types of students entering higher education. While research in this area continues to grow, faculty members should make concentrated efforts to teach in a multi-style fashion that both reaches the greatest extent of students in a given class and challenges all students to grow as learners.


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  1. The Complete Study Guide For Every Type Of Learner

    There are 4 main types of learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing and Kinesthetic. Most people use a mix of each, but there is usually one type of learning style they prefer. This can change depending on different circumstances - there is no one-size-fits all style of learning! Remember that these learning preferences aren't set ...

  2. PDF Learning Styles Tips and Strategies

    Knowing your learning style enables you to use your strengths as you study for courses. One of many instruments for determining learning style is the VARK questionnaire, developed by Neil Fleming. The VARK system categorizes learners into four styles: Visual, Aural, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic. Many learners show strength in more than one ...

  3. Ultimate Study Skills Guide: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies

    Elementary School: Whenever possible, adults should work with kids to help them study. Make flash cards, talk over the material together, sing spelling word songs—model good study skills for them to help them learn. Middle School: Help students continue to use a variety of review strategies.

  4. PDF Study Skills

    STUDY SKILLS AND LEARNING STYLES. This first chapter introduces the idea of study skills, and also learning styles. Each of us has a preferred . learning style, and this chapter explains two models: Honey and Mumford's learning styles, and the visual-auditory-kinaesthetic model very popular in schools.

  5. How to study effectively according to your learning style

    First coined in 1987 by a New Zealand teacher, Neil Fleming, the concept of learning styles refers to the different ways we process and assimilate information. Fleming's VARK model (visual, aural, read/write and kinaesthetic) has now become a commonplace term in all types of educational settings, especially when helping students determine how they learn best.

  6. Learning Styles (Study Skills)

    The Seven Learning Styles. Visual - (spatial): You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding. Aural - (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music. Verbal - (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing. Physical - (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.

  7. Learning Styles

    A study by Massa and Mayer also found little difference in learning outcomes when they matched their test subjects' preferences ... Learning Styles and Pedagogy in Post-16 Learning: a Systematic and Critical Review. LSRC Reference, Learning & Skills Research Center, London. Available here. Education Endowment Foundation (2018). ...

  8. Study Skills Guide: Study Tips, Strategies & Lessons

    The following are general study skills guides, tutorials and articles for students, parents and teachers that offer proven tips and strategies for improving study skills habits, effectiveness and learning ability. Topics covered include time management, learning style, note taking, reading, math, vocabulary, writing, and listening, among others.

  9. Effective Study Strategies for Your Unique Learning Style

    Also known as distributed practice, it's proven to be one of the best studying methods for effective learning that lasts. 3. Plan out each study session. Without a study plan, you're more likely to get distracted, use ineffective study strategies or start procrastinating. Exercise your time management skills and make a plan for every study ...

  10. How to Study Based on Your Learning Style

    Before an exam, auditory learners should use sound-based studying as much as possible. Join a study group so you can have conversational study sessions where you explain the material to one another. Additionally, rather than using written flashcards, you can record yourself reciting the class material. Then, study by playing it back to yourself.

  11. 7 Types of Learning Styles

    2. Study Techniques. Knowing your learning style empowers you to discover study techniques that align with your preferences. Here are some examples: Visual learners can use mind maps, diagrams, and colors to organize and remember information effectively. Auditory learners can benefit from recording lectures or reading aloud to themselves.

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    Study skills are transferable - you will take them with you beyond your education into new contexts. For example, organisational skills, time management, prioritising, learning how to analyse, problem solving, and the self-discipline that is required to remain motivated. Study skills relate closely to the type of skills that employers look for.

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    Good study skills are essential for learning and succeeding in school. How-To-Study.com is a recognized leader in study skills, providing thousands of FREE tips, articles, assessments, and more to students, teachers, and parents. ... Topics include good study habits, managing time, reading and taking notes from textbooks, learning styles ...

  14. PDF Learning Styles and Study Skills Worksheet

    Learning Styles and Study Skills Worksheet. From . Learning to Study Through Critical Thinking . By Jonelle A. Beatrice ** Due at the end of the second lecture on Tuesday, October 14th** A. Circle the letter of the phrase that is true for you most of the time. 1. If I have to learn something, I learn best when I: (K) Try to do it myself

  15. Learning Styles

    The term learning styles is widely used to describe how learners gather, sift through, interpret, organize, come to conclusions about, and "store" information for further use. As spelled out in VARK (one of the most popular learning styles inventories), these styles are often categorized by sensory approaches: v isual, a ural, verbal [ r ...

  16. Is learning styles-based instruction effective? A comprehensive

    Another recent study examined how learning styles impact course selection and achievement by comparing college students' outcomes in web-based and face-to-face computer science courses (Zacharis, 2011). The participants were 161 freshmen, 77 of which took the class online while 84 took the class in a traditional format over a 12-week period.

  17. PDF Study Tips for Different Learning Styles

    Learning Tips Experimental learning (making models, doing lab work, and role playing). Frequent breaks in study periods. Trace letters and words to learn spelling and remember facts. Use computer to reinforce learning through sense of touch. Memorize or drill while walking or exercising.

  18. Learning Styles and Study Skills: How do They Relate?

    Three of the more common types of learning styles are: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learners prefer to look at material. Auditory learners prefer to listen to someone tell them the information. Kinesthetic learners prefer to physically interact with the material. Understanding your learning style is useful because you can tailor ...

  19. Library: Studying at University: Learning styles

    Honey and Mumford (1995) have also categorized learning styles into Reflector, Activist, Pragmatist and Theorist: Reflector - learns through observation, thinking, practising before doing. Activist - learns through role playing, talking, practising and trying out things. Pragmatist - needs to know the link between theory and practice ...

  20. Learning Styles: A Review of Theory, Application, and Best Practices

    In 2004 the United Kingdom Learning and Skills Research Center commissioned a report intended to systematically examine existing learning style models and instruments. ... The authors concluded from this small study that learning styles had no influence on learning outcomes. The study was limited in its lack of assessment of baseline knowledge ...

  21. Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence

    The term learning styles refers to the view that different people learn information in different ways. In recent decades, the concept of learning styles has steadily gained influence. In this article, we describe the intense interest and discussion that the concept of learning styles has elicited among professional educators at all levels of the educational system.

  22. 7 Types of Learning Styles and How To Teach Them

    The seven types of learning. New Zealand educator Neil Fleming developed the VARK model in 1987. It's one of the most common methods to identify learning styles. Fleming proposed four primary learning preferences—visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. The first letter of each spells out the acronym (VARK).

  23. What's Your Learning Style? 20 Questions

    If you are a visual learner, you learn by reading or seeing pictures. You understand and remember things by sight. You can picture what you are learning in your head, and you learn best by using methods that are primarily visual. You like to see what you are learning. As a visual learner, you are usually neat and clean.

  24. Full article: Experiencing less apprehension and engaging religious

    One of the critical learning impacts of this study is that enhanced religious communication capabilities are associated with reduced communication apprehension. This research offers a compelling resource for religious educators who need learning methods or models to equip students with essential skills to participate in a pluralistic society.