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There are three types of ways of learning, auditorily, visually or kinaesthetically, and how you remember and revise best depends on your preferred learning style. If you’ve not clue as to which you might be, take our short quiz to find out.
Once you’re clued up as to how you work best, here are some tips to help you out...
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Auditory learners have a knack for remembering things they have heard or said, whether in the classroom or amongst friends. They’re also good at oral exams with many being able to converse fluently. Some auditory learners often find it difficult to work unless there is some background noise, so listening to music, the radio or the quiet hum of people talking can help them concentrate. Auditory learners usually have characteristics like: reads to self out loud, better at oral reports and presentations, good at explaining things and can easily remember names, places and things they’ve heard about.
So obviously they’re strength is being able to repeat things they’ve heard or said and when revising they can use this to their advantage. If you’re an auditory learner, when learning/revising try to study is with a friend and talk through your subjects because hearing it out loud rather than saying it in your head makes it more likely to sink in. If there’s no one around to revise with how about recording yourself reading your notes out loud and listening to it whenever you’ve got the opportunity. In general, you learn best by reading aloud, reciting and repeating the facts you have learned. Making rhymes and singing has also been proven to help auditory learners, and if you try this technique you’ll likely to find the tune and hearing the sound of your own voice catching in your head. You could also watch videos and listen to podcast to help you out, and there are plenty of YouTube and iTunes videos that you might find useful.
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Visual learners are those who are good at remembering images, videos and visual patterns in the world around them, although it’s not necessary that they have a photographic memory. Visual learners remember information best when it is represented and learnt visually and often use use graphic organisers (visual representations of knowledge, ideas and thoughts) to help them out. Within an image they are likely to remember the layout, structure and detail of it.
If you are a visual learner you may find it easiest to revise my creating mind maps and visual representations of your notes. As a visual learner, colour makes an impact, and if you’re a visual learners you are much more likely to remember the detail on a page if it has been highlighted or coloured and is distinct from the rest of the information. Organising their notes into different themes and try respective coloured sections for each theme, separating your information in your mind to help you remember it more easily.
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Kinaesthetic learners learn best by taking a "hands-on" approach. They learn by doing something rather than watching or hearing about it. When learning, it helps for kinaesthetic students to move around; this increases the student's understanding, with learners generally getting better marks in practical exams. Kinesthetic learners usually succeed in activities such as chemistry experiments, sporting activities, art and acting.
Revision is much harder for kinaesthetic learners as they are not suited to “traditional” classroom methods, and it’s also harder for teachers to cater to kinaesthetic students’ learning abilities meaning that they’re less likely to take in the subject matter in the first place. For some subjects like English, maths and those that involve a lot of writing, kinaesthetic learners are likely to struggle to remember what they’ve learnt. Revision techniques are hard to come across, and often kinaesthetic learners use flashcards and revise in short bursts as it is easier for them to digest everything and their minds are prone to wandering if they get bored.
A lot of kinaesthetic learners find it easy to associate their learning with a physical experiment. For example, they may only be able to describe a science experiment or reaction if they have tried it for themselves. If you’re a kinaesthetic learner speak to your teachers about reproducing experiments in the classroom (health and safety dependent) to help you revise. You could also make up simple games for yourself with rules and incentives to get your mind working.
If you’re a kinesthetic learner keep your hand busy when revising, fiddle with your pencil, twiddle your thumbs or play with a tennis ball, as it may keep your mind at rest when trying to revise. Your hands play a huge part in your learning as you use muscle memory as a recall technique, so you could look into using different methods of fidgeting depending on the subject or topic you are revising for and recreating this in the exam hall.
Out of the three types of learners, auditory learners find it easiest to revise as they can constantly absorb information simply by hearing it and saying it. Visual learners can also absorb information through pictures and text in the world around them, whereas kinaesthetic learners struggle to take in the information unless being physically reminded of it. There are often crossovers between the types of learners, so you may find you are a combination of both and can use tips from more than one category. In any case, try these revision methods and see what suits you best.