One of the coolest aspects of university is having the chance to study what you’re passionate about.
Now that you’re pursuing your interests more than in high school, it’s a prime chance to figure out how you study best, and to further develop your skills. Every student learns differently, typically through a combination of different learning styles.
For some more individualized study tips, it’s important to focus on strengths and habits.
Here are the five main different types of learners:
Visual: these students prefer to understand material using spatial awareness and imagery
Study tip: try drawing charts and diagrams in your notes to help process text blocks
Kinaesthetic: folks who learn best by touch and movement are kinaesthetic learners
Study tip: find movements you can do quietly in lecture hall to help you stay focused
Aural: sound is key to aural learners
Study tip: instrumental music can provide great background sound for studying without distracting lyrics
Verbal: these learners prefer to understand material using words, be they spoken aloud or written down
Study tip: try teaching concepts from your courses to friends
Logical: people who apply systems and reasoning to their studies are logical learners
Study tip: ask yourself why and how questions while studying
Each learning style has two subsections. Most people aren’t completely social or solitary, but a combination of the two.
Social: these learners study best by engaging with others
Study tip: form a study group! There are plenty of other social learners who would love to go over notes with you
Solitary: these students prefer to learn on their own
Study tip: there are plenty of study spaces around campus you can settle into while studying away from roommates
— for example, the library, Welch Hall, and Guernsey Market
Don’t know which of these learners you are? Think about which classes you did well in during high school, or study sessions you enjoyed. This will give you a good idea of learning styles to explore. It’s okay if you don’t know which you prefer; first year is a prime opportunity to figure out what works best for you. Online learning style quizzes may also help you find your preferences.
Here are some tips any kind of learner can apply to their studying:
Make a pattern
Try to set aside specific times to study each day, or a workplace you only use to study.
Don’t study in bed!
This can make you feel tired while studying, and can make it more difficult to sleep at night. Your brain would probably love to keep school and sleep more separate.
Proper sleep and healthy meals do wonders to keep your brain sharp. Take care of your brain and body, or you may struggle with concentration and memory. So go on and get those eight hours — your body and your average will thank you!
Take time to reflect on how you’ve been choosing to study, how it impacts your productivity and how it makes you feel.
Set clear, timely, attainable goals throughout your study session and reward yourself as you accomplish them.
Remember: your study habits are designed for you. There is no wrong or right way to study, as long as you are treating yourself kindly.