Do you ever feel like your studying methods aren’t helping you? Do you feel like you aren’t engaging with the material? Well, there is a solution!
Studies have shown that there are 4 different of learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic. Knowing what type of learning style you have and applying this knowledge can help you engage with the material you are studying and ultimately improve the efficiency of your studying. If you don’t know your learning style, check out this questionnaire: http://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire/the-vark-questionnaire-for-younger-people/
Then, read on below to find the learning strategy (or strategies, if you’re a multimodal learner) that will help you to study specific to you!
Studying Method for Visual Learners - Visual Flashcards
Visual flashcards are, as the name suggests, flashcards with pictures. When first making your visual flashcards, try and think of creative and memorable doodles that you can use. For example, if you are trying to remember that electrons have a negative charge you can draw a frowning face with e’s for eyes, because electrons start with ‘e’ and frowning is a sign of negative emotions. This might sound silly, but the silliness is what makes your flashcards more memorable. The next time you revise your visual flashcards, you’ll remember not only trying to come up with the image but laughing at how weird your final choice was. As a visual learner myself, I have used this method before and it really helped! I could see the wacky pictures I had drawn in my mind as I filled in answers on my science exam.
Studying Method for Auditory Learners - Speech Making
Speech making is a handy strategy for auditory learners if done correctly. To start, write a quick speech which compiles your notes. You can make it a poem, a song, a rap, a short story, an essay, a “TEDtalk-ish” script, a scene from a play or whatever you want. It doesn’t have to be perfect but try and think about the word choices you are making as you write. This is helpful because it makes these choices that you really thought about more memorable. Once you’ve written your speech, read it aloud as many times as possible. Hearing it will help you commit it to memory and you’ll be able to remember the notes you incorporated into your speech.
Studying Method for Reading/Writing Learners - Revising and Rewriting Notes
It may sound simple but if you remember by reading and writing then reading and writing really is what you should do to study. Read and rewrite your notes as much as possible. If you find that you need a break from your own notes ask for a friend’s, read from the textbook or do some research online to find something new to read and rewrite on the subject. When rewriting your notes you can use colourful pens, or change up the format (e.g. make flashcards, an acrostic poem, or literally just move stuff around on the page). This might sound random but if you think about these decisions consciously you’ll remember why you made them as you revise and this can remind you of the material that was being focused on when you made a specific choice.
Studying Methods for Kinesthetic Learners - Hand Dances
This method of studying can be useful for kinesthetic learners because you do something physical instead of constantly reading your notes with nothing being memorised. In this strategy, think about your terms or concepts and create a relevant movement with your fingers and hands. It’s kind of like creating a sign language for your notes. When choosing movements or ‘dances’ think about your choices and try and find some way of making them relevant to the information that you are studying. For example, in physics, transverse waves could be moving your hands up and down, palms together, because the oscillations move up and down whereas longitudinal waves could be bringing your palms together and apart, because the oscillations move back and forth. When you repeat these movements think about your choices and subsequently you will be able to think about the term or concept you were making the dance for.
In conclusion, as you revise, try to keep your learning style in mind and improve the efficiency of your studying by using methods that fit your style. So remember — study specific to you!
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