You probably develop all kinds of revision tactics to make the grade. This could be flashcards, recordings of yourself, or the use of mnemonic devices to memorize material. You may have different ideas than your classmates about which method works best, but the truth is, one size does not fit all.
It is widely recognized that each person prefers different learning styles. These group common ways that you learn. Everyone has a mix of learning styles. You may find that you have a dominant style of learning. You may find that you use different styles in different circumstances. There is no right mix. Nor are your styles fixed. You can develop ability in less dominant styles, as well as further develop styles that you already use well. Your learning styles depend on cognitive, emotional and environmental factors, as well as your prior experience.
Scientists and psychologists have developed a number of different models to understand the different ways that people learn best. One popular theory, the VARK model, identifies four primary types of learners: Visual, Auditory, Reading/ Writing, and Kinaesthetic.
Visual – They prefer the use of images, maps and graphic organizers to access and understand new information.
Auditory – They understand new content through listening and speaking in situations such as group discussions. They use repetition as a study technique and benefit from the use of mnemonic devices.
Reading/ Writing – They learn best through words and may present themselves as copious note takers or avid readers. They can translate abstract concepts into words and essays.
Kinaesthetic – They best understand information through tactile representation of information. They are hands-on learners and learn best through figuring things out by hand.
Once you know your learning type, you can implement best practice strategies to make sure you are revising in a way that’s right for you.
Visual Strategies – Utilize graphic organisers such as charts, graphs and diagrams. Re-draw your pages from memory. Replace important words with symbols or initials. Highlight important key terms in corresponding colours.
Auditory Strategies – Record your summarized notes and listen to them on tape. Have a discussion with others to expand upon your understanding of a topic. Re-read your notes and assignment out loud. Explain your notes to your peers.
Reading/ Writing Strategies – Write and re-write your notes. Re-word main ideas and principles to gain a deeper understanding. Organize diagrams and charts into statements.
Kinaesthetic Strategies – Use real life examples, applications and case studies in your summary to help with abstract concepts. Re-do projects from class again at home if possible. Utilize pictures and photographs that illustrate your idea.
If you are still unsure, there are plenty of websites with tests to tell you what type of learner you are. Once you know, make sure to build your revision and sessions with teachers and tutors around these methods. TutorTap provide highly experienced tutors who can fit around your learning type and offer lessons that will work best for you.