How to Identify Your Study Style

Many students believe there is a single way to study, and that those who excel in school have mastered that style. However, the truth is that there are many ways to review, and part of being successful is determining the methods that work best for you. You may also want to check out these 5 random items to help you study. Here are several questions you can ask yourself to identify your ideal study style:

How do I learn best – by seeing, hearing, or doing?

There are three primary learning styles—visual (learning via seeing), auditory (learning via hearing), and kinesthetic (learning via doing). Consider an activity that you are particularly skilled at. How did you learn to perform it? Was it through reading a book or watching another person? If so, you may be a visual learner. Was it by listening to an explanation or having a discussion with someone? If that is the case, you may be an auditory learner. If you utilized a hands-on or trial-and-error approach, you may be a kinesthetic learner.

Once you determine how you learn best, you can tailor your study style to your learning style. If you decide that you are a visual learner, review your textbook and reread your notes. You may also find it useful to create flash cards in order to remember key points and words—or to sketch concepts so you can better visualize them.

If you believe you are an auditory learner, it may be helpful for you to record class lectures and to listen to them as a form of review. Consider reading your textbooks aloud. Often, auditory learners also do well in study groups where there is dialogue about subjects or where they can explain an idea to another person.

Kinesthetic learners excel when doing. Even when in a class which does not tailor itself to hands-on learning (such as literature), kinesthetic learners can benefit from moving their bodies while studying. Read your book while walking on a treadmill, act out concepts with other classmates, or simply take breaks from studying to go for a brief walk.

Do I prefer to study alone or with others?

Certain students work best alone, while others gain more knowledge and understanding by collaborating with others. It is important for you to determine how you study best in order to make the most of your time. There are though many benefits to group study.

If you tend to work best alone, designate a time and place where you can study. Set personal goals for yourself in order to remain on track. If, on the other hand, you learn best in groups, locate classmates who also prefer learning and reviewing this way. Create a study group and schedule times to regularly meet.

Some students find that they like a combination of group and personal study time. Determine what works best for you, but do not be afraid to experiment or change. If you decide that a review group you joined for a particular class is not beneficial to you, then join a different group or study on your own. Your time is precious, and you should utilize it in a way that best complements you and helps you succeed. 

Does my school have resources available to me to help determine my study style?

Academic centers, admissions counselors, guidance counselors, and tutors frequently have resources available for students to help them determine how they learn best. These may be online or pencil-and-paper assessments or a person who has been trained in various styles. Use the resources available at your school in order to derive the greatest benefit from your educational experience.

There is no one way to study, nor is there a correct way to study. However, there are techniques that work better than others for each individual student. By determining what type of learner you are and how you best study, you can use your time wisely and be as successful as possible in your education!