The 3 learning styles: Which one are you?

Max 3-min read

What are learning styles?

Learning styles refer to different approaches individuals naturally gravitate towards when acquiring information and developing skills. They're also sometimes called thinking styles or cognitive styles.

Imagine a toolbox — different people reach for different tools to tackle a problem, depending on their experience and comfort level. Similarly, we each have preferred tools for learning, even though we can eventually use all of them. Learning styles are not fixed: they can develop and change over time as we gain experience and are exposed to different learning methods.

When it comes to learning styles, a wide variety of theories exist. There are dozens of learning style models, but some of the most common ones categorize learners based on sensory preferences. 

There are three main categories of sensory learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. As you can see in the diagram below, these styles can overlap.

three learning styles
The 3 learning styles
Image source: Study Better with Three Learning Styles and Deeper Learning

The three learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic (tactile)

1. The visual learning style 👁️

People with a visual learning style require visual stimuli to maximize their learning. They often have strong imagination and creativity, and can readily bring their ideas to life. When seeking understanding, they might ask you to "show them" rather than explain it verbally.

How to study if you're a visual learner?

  • Using images, pictures, highlighters, and any visual media will help you while you learn.
  • Implementing diagrams, color-coding, and flashcards into your studies will help improve your results.

2. The auditory learning style 👂

Auditory learners excel at understanding and memorizing information they hear. Spoken instructions resonate more effectively than written ones. They often find lectures, discussions, and audiobooks to be powerful learning tools.

How to study if you're an auditory learner?

  • Read everything out loud while studying.
  • While writing a test try to read it out loud silently.
  • While using flashcards or new definitions read them out loud.
  • During classes, sit in one of the front rows to make sure you hear everything clearly.

3. The kinesthetic (tactile) learning style 🚶

Tactile learners need hands-on experiences to understand and rememember new concepts.  Physical activity helps them learn much more, faster. They often want to move around, take walks, or even do something else while listening to a lecture. These movements help them consolidate what they hear or read and recall information better.

How to study if you're a kinesthetic learner?

  • Feel free to stand up, walk around while thinking, shake your leg while sitting or even chew a gum.
  • Try to connect ideas by arranging everything into groups.
  • When using flashcards, try to connect the decks and find relationships between them.
  • Use the Pomodoro technique to help you create structure around studying.

The power of knowing your learning style

While this post explored the most common learning styles like visual, auditory, and tactile, remember that these are just frameworks. Most of us learn best through a combination of approaches. The most important thing is to become aware of your own learning preferences.

By understanding how you learn best, you can take charge of your education. You can tailor your learning methods to fit your skills and preferences and seek out resources and environments that resonate with your style.

Pro tip: Digital flashcards with voice features and diagrams are helpful for all three learning types. Try it for yourself! 

Voovo voice cards feature
You can download Voovo from the App Store or Google Play.

Have fun & good luck with your studies! 

The Voovo team

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