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Category: Study

How To Find Out Your Learning Style

Have you heard of the four learning styles? It’s an educational theory that suggests some people learn better through different methods. The four styles are visual, auditory, verbal (as in reading/writing words), and kinetic (or hands-on). Additional theories add subcategories to these learning styles, but it’s all based on the same core idea.

If you can figure out which learning style tends to work best for you, then you can cater to that preference and learn new things faster and easier.

Of course, you need to actually know which style suits you, but that doesn’t have to be a monumental quest. In fact, there are only really four things you need to know to figure out your learning style and make good use of it.

#1 Your Learning Style Changes

Let’s start with the bad news. Your learning style can change over time. More than that, it can change depending on the topic. There’s a very good chance that you learn how to do math very differently from how you learn to change a tire.

That’s perfectly normal and natural, but it means that you can’t just figure this out once and be done for the rest of your life. Every time you run into a learning-based challenge, you’ll want to think about your learning style for that specific topic.

#2 You Can Take an Assessment

Now for the good news. For the most part, you’ll probably favor one style more than the others. Naturally, everyone is different, and there are people who don’t really favor any style. But, most people have a preference, and there are plenty of free assessment tests that can help you figure yours out.

The assessment will ask around 20 questions. It won’t take very long, and when it’s done, it will recommend a learning preference for you. They’re fairly accurate, and they’re a great place to start. You can more or less assume that you’ll learn anything according to your preference, and then you just need to deal with exceptions to your own style when they arise.

#3 Nothing Beats Trial and Error

If you want to be truly thorough, then you can test your own learning style. The key is to focus on things that can be scored.

Here’s an example. Say you want to learn to code. You can find online tutorials, and they appeal to different learning styles. You can watch a video, read a lesson, try a hands-on tutorial, or listen to a lecture. Once you’re done, you can take a test and see how you score.

Try out different learning methods, and see which gives you the best score. That way, you’re directly measuring how you learn, and that will illuminate your preference.

Keep in mind that this is only really necessary for topics that give you a hard time. If you’re a visual learner, and visual displays are teaching you how to code just fine, then you can stick with what works.

#4 You Can Combine Learning Styles

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about your learning style is that it’s not a disability. You might favor learning by listening, but that doesn’t prohibit you from visual, verbal, or hands-on learning. You can actually do all of it.

By all means, you should cater to your style and try to learn in ways that are comfortable. But, you can actually enhance the learning process by adding the other styles. This is why classrooms use auditory lectures, visual aids, verbal instructions, and hands-on practice. The most effective learning happens when you pile learning styles on top of each other. 

Your preference forms the core, but the other learning styles still contribute to your success.

5 Apps For More Effective Learning And Study

Whether you’re in school or just trying to learn something new, study is an important part of life. Then again, tackling new ideas and concepts can be challenging. It always helps to have the right tools at hand.

Below, you’ll find five apps that can help with virtually every aspect of study. They’re great for students, and they can help just as much if you’re trying to learn on your own.

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is the ultimate calculator. No matter your level of math, it can help. It can solve professional-grade problems, or help you with your algebra homework. You can use the calculator for free at the website. Or, you can use the mobile app.

In addition to being a calculator, Wolfram Alpha also contains countless resources that are intended to help you learn more about math and its applications.

Evernote

Evernote is designed to be the only app you need for taking and managing notes. It is robust.

With this app, you can make notes from scratch very easily. You can clip anything you find on the internet to make an instant note. You can upload photos, write in the app, or create PDFs of handwritten notes.

On top of that, Evernote makes collaboration easy, so you can share notes with other students.

Duolingo

When it comes to learning new languages, there are a lot of options. Duolingo is probably the best for students. There is a free and paid version of Duolingo, but the free version is sufficient for most students.

Duolingo will teach you a new language from scratch, but it also works well as a supplemental tool for a foreign language class. The app matches your current level, and it provides extra practice and reinforcement that can help you master a new language in much less time.

StudyBlue

Sometimes, you just need to master facts or pieces of information. For that, flashcards are a traditional tool. You can use them to review whatever facts are important, and with a little practice, those facts stick in your mind.

StudyBlue updates this concept to the digital age. The app has more flashcards than you can imagine, with countless decks of cards put together by students and instructors.

You can also create your own flashcards, and you can even create practice quizzes to help in your studies.

Grammarly

On the other hand, the challenge in some forms of study is writing. You might have to write papers or other formal pieces. 

Grammarly is a free tool (there is an even more powerful paid version) that helps you formalize writing correctly. It has a powerful spell and grammar checker. It can also automate citations, provide writing templates, make suggestions to improve the quality of your writing (such as reducing passive voice), and a whole lot more.

If Wolfram Alpha is the ultimate math tool, then this is the ultimate writing tool.

How To Make Studying More Fun

Studying is essential to education, but it can be pretty dull. Even after you finish school and enter the workforce, you could find yourself in a job that requires regular education or recertification. Studying while you’re bored can affect your engagement and prevent you from retaining information. Luckily, there are numerous things you can do to make the process more exciting.

Gamify your studies

Gamification is taking an otherwise-boring task and turning it into a game. Flashcards and puzzles are perfect examples of simple games that help you with your studies. Still, you can get even more mileage out of this strategy by creating your own game. For example, if you’re studying calculus, you might consider adding a point system with rewards. Each time you get a question correct, you can reward yourself with a piece of your favorite candy.

Create a poster or illustration

Turning your lessons into a poster is an exciting studying method that engages your brain in a new way. You can add illustrations, diagrams, poems, and more to ensure you’re staying engaged while you learn. Once you’re done with your poster or illustration, you can hang it up in your room so you’re exposed to the information throughout the day.

When making a poster, try to have fun with it. Don’t shy away from bright colors, exciting stationery, and even glitter. The more fun you have making your poster, the more likely you’ll be to remember the information.

Listen to music

Listening to music is a surefire way to stay engaged in your studies, but there’s a catch. Most people can’t focus on reading when listening to music with lyrics, so you’re likely better off with instrumental songs. Classical music is an excellent choice, but if you find it boring, you can listen to electronic music or a soundtrack from your favorite movie, TV show, or video game.

You mustn’t waste too much time skipping songs or building the perfect playlist. Instead, create a playlist ahead of time or choose a pre-made playlist on Youtube or your favorite streaming service.

Consider your environment

Consider changing your environment if you feel like you’re hitting a wall. For example, if you’re in your room or office, it might be time to open a window or go outside. Those who have quiet cafes near their home can enjoy a delicious beverage while studying in a new space.

For those with large families, your home may be too noisy to focus on your studies. In this case, it’s worth paying a visit to your local library to study in peace.

Study with a friend

For some, studying alone can be an isolating experience. In this case, you’re better off studying with a friend or family member. You and your friend can quiz each other, compare notes, or even turn it into a competition. 

When choosing a friend to study with, it’s crucial to consider whether they’ll distract you. Minor distractions are okay, but if your friend spends the whole time off task, you aren’t likely to retain the information.

Take short breaks

Sometimes, studying too hard is more detrimental than you’d think. If you feel like you’re hitting a wall, take ten minutes to watch your favorite show or play a game. Once you’re ten minutes are up, jump back into your studies.