7 Types of Learning Styles

Ready to boost your learning powers, grades and confidence? Discover the 7 learning styles and how to find yours!

Hey there! Do you remember when you were little and learning felt like a fun game? But as we grow older, the number and complexity of the things we learn grow, and somehow the rules of this ‘game’ have change a bit. But learning can be fun (or at least easier) if you know your learning style.

Yes, everyone has a unique learning style. Just as we all have unique personalities, we also have unique ways of absorbing and processing information. Think of it as your personal learning “flavor.”

Imagine you’re setting up your favorite playlist. You wouldn’t just randomly add songs, right? You choose what resonates with your mood and taste. Similarly, knowing your learning style can help you pick the ‘songs’ or methods that make learning resonate with you! It’s all about vibing with your educational journey.

And just like we all have a favorite song or two (I mean, who doesn’t?), it’s cool to change our playlist from time to time. Similarly, while we might lean towards a particular learning style, there’s a whole world of techniques out there. Exploring them all? Well, that’s where the magic happens!

So, how do you find your unique learning groove? Let’s discuss that today!

7 Types of Learning Styles

When we talk about “learning styles,” we mean that everyone has their own favorite way to learn and understand things. Think of it like how we all have our favorite ice cream flavor. Over time, people have come up with different lists of these styles. One popular list has seven types. Here they are:

1. Visual (Spatial)

These people like to see stuff to understand it, for example through visual aids and drawings. Basically, these are the “show me” folks. Visual learners understand things best when they see them. 

They love pictures, charts, graphs, and colorful diagrams. When studying, they might doodle in their notes or use different highlighter colors to make information pop. They also benefit from color-coding and using visual cues to remember information.

Since visual learners are all about seeing things to understand them, study methods like mind mapping work wonders. They can create colorful mind maps or concept charts to connect ideas visually. Spaced repetition also fits well; they can make visual schedules or flashcards with images to reinforce their memory.

2. Aural (Auditory-Musical)

Sound and music are their thing. They like to listen to people talk, join in discussions, or even learn with tunes.

Auditory learners love it when information is presented through sound, such as lectures or talks. They may prefer listening to live or recorded lectures. Also, discussing topics with others helps them retain new information.

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Simply put, these are the “tell me” peeps. Auditory learners learn by listening. They enjoy audiobooks, lectures, podcasts, and group discussions. They might read out loud to remember chapters, or have a chat about what they’re studying to really get it.

Since auditory learners learn best through listening, they can ace their studies with techniques like teaching others. Try explaining concepts to a friend, sibling or parent to grasp ideas better. Additionally, mnemonic devices, like creating rhymes or songs, can make learning a melody.

3. Physical (Kinesthetic)

They love to move and touch things. Doing hands-on stuff and moving around helps them get it. Students with this learning style learn best through actual experiences and physical activities. Basically, these are the “hands-on” champs. Kinesthetic learners are all about action. They learn best when they can interact with stuff.

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They prefer interactive learning, like chemistry experiments, role-playing, or building models. They’re the ones who act out history lessons, and love labs in science class. In literature, they can act out scenes from a book. Visiting museums, nature reserves, historical sites, or even local businesses can provide kinesthetic learners with real-world experiences that enhance their understanding of different subjects. 

These learners are the kings and queens of collaborative learning; group work helps them understand and retain information. For kinesthetic learners, the more interactive, the better.

4. Verbal (Linguistic)

Words are their best friends! They like reading, writing, and talking to learn. Reading/writing learners excel when they can read and write about the subject matter. They enjoy taking notes, summarizing information, and reading textbooks.

These are the “read it, write it” enthusiasts. They learn through words. They like to rewrite information in their own words to understand it better.

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Since these types of learners love words, they can excel with active recall by rewriting information in their own words. Chunking is also their ally – breaking down complex material into smaller, more manageable chunks through note-taking and reading works like a charm.

5. Logical (Mathematical)

These guys think with logic. They like sorting things out, finding patterns, and solving problems.

Ever found yourself breaking down a situation to figure out the ‘why’ and ‘how’? If you nod your head thinking, “That’s so me!” then you’re leaning towards the logical way of learning.

I recall my early days, getting lost in brainteasers and trying to solve problems just for the fun of it. So fun! The logical learners find joy in understanding the system behind everything. For them, it’s not just about knowing the answer but understanding the process leading to that answer. The world becomes this fantastic puzzle, waiting to be decoded. Yay!

But hey, as thrilling as solving problems can be, remember that it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers right away. It’s the journey of figuring things out that counts!

6. Social (Interpersonal)

Who doesn’t love a good group chat, right? I mean, I don’t! But for some, learning becomes ten times more fun when it’s shared with others. If you’re the kind who thrives in group discussions, cherishes group projects, and often finds understanding yourself better when someone else explains it – welcome to the world of social learning!

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Have you ever found clarity in a concept just by discussing it with friends? Ever felt like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle falling into place when you brainstorm together? The energy, the different viewpoints – if you find it all so enriching, then you’re a social learner. 

But a word of caution: while group study can be super productive, make sure you’re not just hanging out. Find your balance!

7. Solitary (Intrapersonal)

And then there are those days when all you need is a quiet corner and your thoughts. Do you find solace in introspection? Feel like you can concentrate better when you’re on your own? If that sounds familiar, you’re probably a solitary learner (that’s me! Me! me!).

There’s something about being alone with your thoughts and ideas, isn’t there? It’s a space where you can process information at your own pace, without external inputs. I remember choosing the coziest spots in my home when I was a student, or finding that isolated corner in the library to dive deep into subjects (the high-backed chairs overlooking Harvard Yard at Widener Library!). It can be pure bliss! 

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But here’s a tip: while solitude can be a powerful tool for understanding, don’t shut out the world entirely. Sometimes, a different perspective or a casual chat can bring out insights you never thought of!

So, there you have it! Whether you’re logical, social, or solitary, every style has its charm.

How Important are Learning Styles?

People often talk about different learning styles in school. But here’s the thing: some recent studies say that just because someone has a favorite way to learn doesn’t mean they’ll learn better if taught only that way. 

So, even if you like learning with pictures, it doesn’t always mean you’ll understand things better just with pictures. For students, it’s good to mix things up and use different ways of learning. 

Plus, in my own experience, I’ve noticed that different ways of learning work better for me for different things. Like these days, I’m learning French. And while picture books have helped me learn vocabulary, conversing with a native speaker is helping me improve my grammar and confidence in speaking the language. And podcasts helped me improve my listening and comprehension skills.

So, I hope my guide to learning styles was helpful. The key is to adapt and experiment until you find the methods that make your learning experience enjoyable and effective. Let me know what your learning style is in the comments below!

Want to find your own ideal learning style? Take my quiz below!

Learning Style Quiz for Students: What’s Your Learning Superpower?

You may also like: What Study Method is Best for You Quiz

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