MSLC : Learning Styles
Why Does Your Learning Style Matter?
Different students learn better in different ways. If you can identify your learning style you can use that
information to study more effectively and efficiently.
What are the Different Learning Styles?
Probably the most common way to describe different learning styles is using VARK categories. You can
take a quick online questionnaire to help you determine your VARK learning style at :
VARK categories
Visual learners benefit from pictures, videos, graphics, charts and diagrams. When studying they may find
it helpful to use colored pens or highlighter. When studying it may help to rewrite their notes using more
symbols, abbreviations and pictures. Visual learners like to draw pictures and diagrams as a way to
express what they know. It may be helpful for this type of learner to practice answering questions by
initially using pictures or diagrams and then converting them back into words.
Aural learners learn best from hearing information. They benefit from lectures and recordings. They also
benefit from verbalizing information and from group discussions. When studying it may help them to
read their notes, or textbooks, aloud. They may even want to record themselves reading their notes so
they can listen to them. The notes of a student who is primarily an aural learner may be somewhat
incomplete, and it may be helpful for them to talk to other students to help “fill in the blanks” in their
Read-Write learners like to learn from textbooks and readings. They benefit from making outlines of the
material or lists of information. It may help a Read-Write learner to put diagrams, graphs and pictures
into words. This type of learner is likely to take verbatim notes and will usually benefit from rewriting
those notes. To study for tests they can write practice exam problems with the answers.
Kinesthetic learners prefer hands on activities, acting out events, or role playing. They may prefer to try
and solve problems by trial and error, and benefit from doing lots of practice problems. It may help for
them to be moving or to have some sort of manipulative to play with while they are studying.
Many people actually utilize 2 or more of these learning modes. Those people should look at the things
that work best for all of the modes that they are comfortable with. People who are multimodal usually
adapt their study habits to the mode that works best with the particular material they are studying.