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Learning Styles

by Kevin Patton

Study Tips & Tools

Learning Styles

How YOU learn best

Do you learn best by hearing it, seeing it, feeling it, reading about it?   Then tailor your learning activities to suit your style –it’ll be faster and more fun.

Your learning style is your preferred way of learning new things.

For example, I like to SEE new concepts visualized for me in a drawing.  So when I learn about a new physiological process, I like to see a diagram that shows me how it works.  For me, that’s better than listening to someone explain it.

And I like to have my HANDS ON things as I learn about them.  Of course, this works well in science labs.  Well, except maybe in reproductive biology class.

So you see, I have more than one learning style  –many of us do.  Learners with more than one strong preference are called “multimodal” because they learn well in different modes, not just one.

How can you figure out what your style is?  The easiest way is to simply think of how you’ve learned things in the past and what worked best for you.  Another easy way is to take the free VARK online quiz by visiting www.vark-learn.com.

VARK is an acronym  that stands for :

V = Visual (learning by seeing)

A = Aural (learning by hearing)

R = Reading/writing (learning by reading and writing)

K = Kinesthetic (learning by touching or holding or feeling)

Once you’ve determined your style, you can choose ways to study that fit your style best.  For example, a visual learner will benefit by drawing diagrams (see my hint on this) whereas a more aural learner might do better by listening tapes of the classroom discussion.

The www.vark-learn.com website has some
great suggestions for different learning styles:

Visual Study Strategies (V)
Aural Study Strategies (A)
Read/write Study Strategies (R)
Kinesthetic Study Strategies (K)
Multimodal Study Strategies (MM)

Another useful way of looking at learning styles is to determine whether you are:

an ACTIVE learner or REFLECTIVE learner
a VISUAL or VERBAL learner

To take a free test to determine your learning style using the scheme above, try this:

Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire

For detailed strategies for the different learning styles just described, try this:

Strategies based on learning styles

It’s important to remember that your learning style is your PREFERENCE. It is NOT A LIMIT on the ways in which you can study. I happen to be a strong visual/kinesthetic learner but I frequently (and easily) learn things by reading about them. There is no one best style to have and there is no particular advantage of having any one learning style.

The best way to use learning styles is to help you choose from among a variety of available learning options.

Links to more Learning Styles examples & help


DVC Learning Style Survey for College

Paragon Learning Style Inventory

LEARNING STYLES Find out in 2 minutes

Last updated: October 22, 2019 at 8:56 am