Everyone has a different learning style. In a nutshell, your learning style is the method through which you learn most efficiently or easily. For example, some people are visual learners – they absorb information best if they have charts, diagrams, or videos to watch alongside lectures.
Other people “learn by doing,” meaning they learn best by having the opportunity to practice the topics taught to them in class. Knowing your learning style allows you to study in the most effective way possible for your goals.
But what if you don’t know your learning style just yet? Good news: you can do that by reading the step-by-step process below.
Learn About the Different Learning Styles
First and foremost, you need to know what the different learning styles are before you can determine what yours is. There are seven primary types of learning styles you may have:
- Visual learning, where you learn by absorbing visuals such as charts, videos, etc.
- Auditory learning, where you learn by listening to information or hearing things related to the topic
- Verbal learning, where you specifically learn best when information is told to you. This is technically a type of auditory learning
- Physical learning, where you “learn by doing” whatever the topic is
- Logical learning, where you learn best by breaking down information and organizing it into logical principles
- Social learning, where you learn best when among peers and friends
- Solitary learning, where you learn best when you are by yourself so you can focus
Note that it’s possible to have more than one learning style. For example, you might be both a visual and an auditory learner. However, odds are that your brain is wired to learn most efficiently in one or two ways, so it pays to figure out which of these learning styles is best tailored to your personality ahead of time.
Furthermore, no one learning style is better than the others. Each can be advantageous, provided that your mind works well with a given learning style!
Take an Assessment
After discovering the different learning styles, you should take an online or in-person assessment about learning style types. These are often free, and you may be able to get a learning style assessment from a professor or teacher in your educational social network.
Try the Different Learning Styles
Once you have the results from a learning style assessment, it’s time to try the different learning styles you scored highest for.
Say that you score highest for the verbal and social learning styles. In that case, you should specifically try to learn:
- By attending in-person classes
- By attending study groups to go over class materials with peers
- By listening to lectures and speaking to professors frequently
- And so on
In other words, try to double down on learning using the learning styles you found from your assessment. In this way, you can see whether those learning styles are really best suited to your personality and preferences or if the assessment missed something.
Consider What Suits You Best
It’s also a wise idea to consider which learning style suits you best based on what you know from your educational history.
For instance, if you know that you picked up a new sport quite quickly, despite having not played it ever before, it could be a hint that you are a physical learner. Alternatively, if you know that visual study guides with lots of charts make it easy for you to pass tests, you may wish to consider focusing on the visual learning style when studying for an upcoming test.
You know yourself best. While an assessment can be useful, it’s not the only means by which you can determine your learning style. Consider your personal history and how you like to study – odds are you already have a pretty good idea of your learning style just from considering this question!
Test Your Learning Style Results, Then Adjust
After studying through different learning styles, or focusing on a single learning style to determine whether it’s your preferred style, it’s time to test the results. To do this, it’s a good idea to take a practice test or exam before testing your learning style results on the real thing.
For instance, if you’re studying for NASM certification, take the NASM practice test to see how your expected learning style has worked out so far. Then, if your results are less than stellar, you can study for the NASM exam with a different learning style to see if you get better results.
In any case, determining your learning style is mostly a matter of examining your study history and trial and error. With the right mindset, however, you’ll determine your ideal learning style in no time and be able to use that knowledge to study efficiently for future exams. Good luck!