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November 16, 2020

What Type of Learner are You?

Ever feel like the way you're studying isn't working? Read on to find what learning style suits you best.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. A flying fish can both swim and fly, but its strength is swimming. Similarly, a duck can fly and swim, but flying will help it go farther, faster. When it comes to learning, we want to be as efficient as possible as we process information.

Just like the fish and the duck, our strengths are unique to us and make us who we are. There’s no one right way to learn — only individual styles and preferences. Plus, learning is a lifelong process. Take the time you need to experiment and find your groove in learning. When something just isn’t working for you, try changing it up. When something helps you be successful, make it a habit.

Here are some ideas that can help you identify your most effective learning style, so you can avoid flying everywhere if you’re a “fish” or swimming all the time if you’re a “duck.” You are completely capable of accomplishing your goals; there might just be more effective ways to reach them!

Look over these lists to see which learning style you identify with, and remember — it’s okay to be a little of both!


Are you more left-brained or right-brained?

     Left:

  • I prefer to learn step-by-step.
  • I prefer to begin with details that lead to a broader understanding.
  • I’m generally analytical, methodical, and orderly in my thinking.

     Right:

  • I prefer to start with a general idea and work toward specifics.
  • I tend to be more creative and artistic. 
  • I’m more visual and intuitive.

Which of these describes you best?

  Auditory  

  Auditory learners excel by hearing and listening to information.

  Reading/Writing 

  Reading- and writing-centered learners learn best by seeing the information as text or by writing it.

  Visual 

  Visual learners retain information by seeing physical representations.

  Kinesthetic 

  Kinesthetic learners remember information best when they experience it physically.

Most people learn best through a combination of all types of learning. Our learning styles are just as unique and personal as our fingerprints. That’s why it’s important to recognize the ways you learn best, so you can avoid spending time learning in ways that are not as effective for you.


Now that you’ve got a better idea, try it out!

Auditory and reading/writing learners tend to be more left-brained, preferring to learn through logic, sequencing, linear thinking, mathematics, facts, and words.

  Write 

  • Look at the material and copy it down physically. (Typing doesn’t have the same effect as note taking.)
  • Write down your own interpretation of the information — put it in your own words.
  • If there are steps or an outline for what you’re learning, write down the steps.

  Read

  • Read the things you’ve written out loud to a classmate or family member.
  • When reading out loud, stress key words (repeat words or phrases you want to remember, or say them louder).
  • Read an explanation of the content. 

  Listen

  • Listen to the information you’ve written — have someone read your notes or textbook material to you.
  • Simplify a concept from a lecture into a step-by-step process.
  • Listen to the audio version of a textbook (if available). 
  • Create song lyrics using your study material.
Visual and kinesthetic learners tend to be  more right-brained. They prefer learning with imagination, holistic thinking, intuition, arts, rhythm, nonverbal cues, feelings, and visualization.

  Picture it

  • Use diagrams, graphs, videos, charts, and pictures. (Images help to connect ideas.)
  • If there are steps to solving a problem, imagine yourself at each of the steps.
  • Make and use flashcards.

  Draw

  • Draw or create a graph of the big picture of what you’re learning.
  • Draw sketches of what you’re hearing in a lesson. 

  Teach

  • Teach your family, classmates, instructors, or missionaries about what you’ve been learning.
  • Try teaching someone a concept by drawing, singing, or acting it out. 

  Act 

  • Engage in physical activities and hands-on tasks.
  • Stand at your desk, swing your legs, or pace the floor. 
  • Study outdoors or take a walk while you study. 
  • Change locations often — sit on a rug, go outside, switch seats, etc.

Be your best self

Whether you’re a visual or an auditory learner, or whether you’re left or right brained, be the best learner you can be!

What learning styles or practices have helped you study more effectively? Share below!

Comments on "What Type of Learner are You?"

This post is so helpful. I really loved how you simplified the topic, and the examples of the “duck and fish flying” perfectly fit in this theme. Thank you! I’m more of a “left brainer,” and I will start to try to find my unique and personal learning style.

Iveth Landa says:

Thanks for helping me to understand my attributes better. I will try to use more of the things I can understand better to learn.

Arlyn B. Teodocio says:

Thank you, the post is great! really helpful.

Aj Godinez says:

Woah! You weren’t kidding when you said that “Most people learn best through a combination of all types of learning.” I find that I am decidedly left-brained in wanting details and going through study material step by step, but also that I have a very visual/kinesthetic preference for the kind of material that I want to study. Just reading or just listening is a sure way to put me to sleep.

Rosepa Benuakai says:

I’m more of right-brained type of learner. I used to study while playing sports when I was in high school. I quit general science and replaced that course with graphical design, because I really am able to learn faster by practical experience. Thanks for this post. I can now stick to this and create my own study style as an online student. It may be hard for me while gatherings remain virtual, but I can always practice by doing math practicals for success. Thanks again. 🙂

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