Understand Your Learning Style (As It Relates to Students)

I’ve read about it a couple times, and I think there is real value in understanding how you learn, because once you understand the medium, you can tweak it to make sure you are getting the most out of your time. Once I learned that my style was a combination of doing and reading (depending on the type of skill), it made learning new things 10x easier! Here is my thoughts on the topic, as it relates to students:

Every student has to put in time studying (even those people who claim they never study) – the goal is to get the most out of that time you spend studying. In order to do that, you need to understand your core learning style: do you learn through reading, writing (doing), or listening.

  • Reading: some students get the most out of reading. I knew several students in school who never went to lectures – they didn’t get anything out of them. Instead they spent the lecture time reading through the textbook (which, believe it or not, requires more time). It was the most effective way for them to learn.
  • Writing (Doing): some students get the most out of answering questions and doing problems – it becomes a game of repetition. If this is your style, you should still go to lectures to get an overview, but understand that it is extremely important for you to complete all (if not extra) homework – that’s how you will absorb the material.
  • Listening: some students get the most value from sitting through lectures and listening to the material. They take few notes, but seem to absorb most of the material. Another great way to complement this learning style is to get into study/discussion groups with other students who learn the same way; it gives you an avenue to openly discuss and share thoughts on the content, thus improving your retention.

The key is to figure out how you learn, either one of the above or a combination of the three, and then make sure you use that information to get the most out of your studying time.

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