Study tips: how to adapt to the different ways of learning

Everyone learns differently, and you can change the way you study to absorb information better. Find out your learning type and the best study methods for you.

College isn’t easy. Student life is a wild mix of intense studying (and even more intense partying for some); it’s a rite of passage that proves you can take a deep dive into your major. Over your time at college you’ll need to take such a huge volume of information on board in a short span of time that it can seem overwhelming, and if you’re not someone who learns in traditional ways this can be even more difficult.

But all learning is not created equal. There are lots of different ways of learning, and it’s important to find the method that works best for you and keeps you productive. No matter which way of learning gives you the best results, it’s possible to change the way you study to maximize your learning ability - for example, you don’t have to restrict yourself to reading lecture slides if you learn better aurally.

 

What are the different types of learning?

There are seven types of learning styles, but one person isn’t limited to just one type of learning. Lots of people respond well to a mix of styles, and will even use different styles in different scenarios.

What is the best study method? There is no “right” mix or perfect study tip. For students, adapting your degree’s curriculum to your own learning style isn’t as hard as it may seem. Let’s start by getting to know the different styles:

Visual learner

You learn best with visual aids: photos, diagrams and infographics.

Aural learner

Sound is the best way to get you learning, which can include music.

Verbal learner

The linguistic method of learning - involves using words, both spoken and written.

>Physical learner

Physical activity and using your body are the best ways to engage with your learning.

Logical learner

You work best with the use of logic and reasoning.

Social learner

You’re a team player - teams and groups of people make the information stick for you.

Solitary learner

You find it easiest to work solo when approaching your study.

Each of these styles can easily be aligned with your studies. Take these study tips on board and you’ll find learning a lot easier.

 

What are the best ways to learn for each learning style?

If you’re a visual learner, things are probably already well aligned for you at college: most lectures come with visual slides. But not all information is presented visually, which is when visual learners should use their natural ability to picture things in their mind. This will help visual learners to store information and recall it better in the future, like exam time. Visual learners also respond well to visual representations of ideas, like concept maps, so creating visual cues that represent written content will make university course material easier to absorb.

 

Visual learners can create study materials from lecture slides

 

If you're an aural learner, you prefer the beat of the drum to the words on a lecturer’s slides, so recording your lectures is essential. You can use lecture recordings to find rhythm in the teaching, which will help you learn in the way you respond to best. Studying while listening to music may also help keep an aural learner in the zone, making sure you remember the key takeaways from the materials. Engage your ears, engage your memory.

If your studies involve lectures and seminars and you're a verbal learner, you’re probably picking up a lot of the information that's presented by teachers and professors. Aside from  simply attending your lectures (and paying attention!), study tips for verbal learners include recording and transcribing lectures so they can review them later. Being able to both hear and see the words checks all the boxes for a verbal learner, so you’ll set yourself up for success with transcription for education. Try transcribing a lecture for free with academic transcription by Trint.

We aren't going to suggest that physical learners should do laps around the lecture hall to improve the way learn, but if this is the best way for you to absorb information then there are ways you can incorporate physicality into your studies. Recording your lectures and listening to them while exercising is one way to boost your learning. Physicality can be applied to your learnings on paper, too: simply visualize the ways your subject would move and exist if it were in front of you to touch.

 

Physical learners can study while working out to improve memory retention

 

If logical learner sounds like you, choose a major that makes sense with this learning style. The good news is logic and reasoning are necessary parts of lots of different majors. But no matter what the situation, you can create ways to reason with your coursework. All studies seek the answer to a question, so crafting a logical argument to the way you approach your major will not only help you learn, it will also get you closer to a 4.0. 

Social learners get plenty of opportunity to collaborate with their peers in study groups throughout their time at college, so if this is how you learn best then these are the areas you can excel in. When tackling solo projects, team up with a group or another individual to take on the work. This will help you learn a lot faster, and increase the quality of your work.

A lot of lectures and seminars are group-bases, so if you're a solitary learner you might find these scenarios difficult. Most colleges now offer ways to access lecture slides and recordings online, though, meaning you can catch up on the teaching in your own time and space and adapt this to your own learning style. When it comes to solo projects, you’ll be well equipped to steam ahead on your own.

 

Whatever type of learning style fits you best, Trint's automated transcription for education  helps you stay ahead of the learning curve. Take a look at the ways Trint helps with coding qualitative data, conducting research focus groups and more: 

 

Read our tips on productive remote working