What kind of learner are you? Take the quiz


With exams looming and deadlines nearing, it’s an important time to know what kind of learner you are, so you can work out the best revision method for you. Scientists and psychologists have theorised many different models to understand the different ways that different people learn best. One of the most popular, the VARK model, theorises that there are four different types of learner: auditory, visual, kinaesthetic and reading/writing. Keep reading to find out which one of these four learner types you are.

Auditory learner


Listening, discussing, questioning and recalling information back to someone will all help you learn, if you’re an auditory learner. Try discussing a lecture or topic with your coursemates or asking your tutor questions about the material you’ve just learnt. Hearing it back will help your brain process and retain the information. Listening back to lecture recordings will be particularly helpful to auditory learners, as will recording your own notes and listening back to them (if you can get over the cringe factor of listening to your own voice!).

Top tool: Recording apps such as Voice Recorder and Audio Editor.

Visual learner


A visual learner will absorb information best if they can see it clearly presented in a format that easily illustrates the relationship between ideas, such as a chart, diagram, graph or flowchart. Using different colours for different sections, underlining and highlighting key ideas, and leaving white space between points and lines will all help a visual learner remember information, as the aesthetic of the work is very important. All those coloured pens you want to buy aren’t just for fun after all, they’ll actually help you learn!

Top tool: Highlighter pens and colourful charts created using PowerPoint.

Kinaesthetic learner


The best way for a kinaesthetic learner to study is through the use of their senses, through experiences and through practical exercises. Real-life examples, even those recounted by a lecturer or shown on a screen, help a kinaesthetic learner to memorise information. Practical learning experiences – such as laboratory work and field trips – will work well for you. When revising, use lots of examples and case studies to illustrate the points you need to remember. Using pictures to illustrate an idea and talking about your notes with another kinaesthetic learner can also help.

Top tool: Drawing materials, yourself and the world!

Reading/writing learner


If you’re a reading/writing learner, the printed word is the most important and effective way for you to absorb information. Lists are your weapon of choice and handouts are a key resource for you. Some other learning strategies that can help are writing out your notes again and again, as well as repeatedly reading them to yourself, rewriting ideas into other words, and converting diagrams and charts into statements to memorise.

Top tool: A large supply of pens and notebooks.

To find out more about the four learning styles, take the VARK quiz yourself. Happy learning!

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