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Understanding Study Styles

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 4 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
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Students who understand their study styles should be more efficient when they sit down to study because they know how they learn best and can design their study sessions to suit their preferences. Auditory learning, visual learning and tactile learning are the three most common learning styles among students, and each one can be translated into efficient study styles.

Study Style: Auditory Learners

Students who are auditory learners are best able to understand and remember information when they speak it or hear it. This means that while studying auditory learners should try to discuss the topic, listen to someone else discuss the topic, listen to taped lectures or dialogues or even listen to television programmes or films. Even if auditory learners are studying alone they can still read their textbooks or notes out loud, recite passages or reason through problems vocally in order to best suit their learning style. Auditory learners will usually need quiet environments in order to literally hear themselves or others think, and they must always be on guard against spoken study sessions straying off topic and into other conversations.

Study Style: Visual Learners

Students who are visual learners tend to learn best when information is presented in a visual format, such as written text, diagrams, charts or pictures. This means that while studying visual learners should try to read information as it is written, review handouts or presentation slides, watch television programmes or films, or even find pictures to match to information that can act as cues or triggers later on. Some visual learners also find that writing out information or drawing diagrams, charts or pictures to go with text can help them study, so taking detailed notes while reading may be another good study option for visual learners.

Study Style: Tactile Learners

Students who are tactile learners like to take a "hands on" approach to their studying. This means that while studying tactile learners should try to recreate (safe and supervised) experiments, find objects to physically hold, and manipulate objects in order to understand them. This can be hard for subjects that are heavy on text, such as literature or history, but with a little bit of creativity tactile learners can begin to find study methods that work best. For example, when studying history tactile learners may realise that making index cards of events and manipulating the cards into a timeline helps them much more than trying to memorise dates from a textbook page. Similarly, tactile learners may discover that cooking a meal helps them better understand the preparation methods than watching a demonstration of the meal being prepared. Once tactile learners understand how much involvement they need in order to study most efficiently they can come up with ways of saving time and increasing their productivity at every study session.

When students understand their own learning and study styles they can create study routines that work most efficiently for them. Auditory learning, visual learning and tactile learning are the most common learning and study styles.

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