Different Strokes for Different Folks: Learning Styles

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This is a collaborative blog describing the study patterns of some of the Choctawkers.


I'm a visual (spatial) learner. It's important for me to see what I'm learning.  Hearing the information helps, but the magic really happens when I can see the material. Whenever I study, I rewrite my notes from class so that I can see them in front of me. When I take the test, I try to imagine writing my notes, so I can get the answers right.

It also helps for me to memorize things in chunks. If I try to learn everything at one time, it can be overwhelming. Instead, I've found that it's good to break it into manageable sections. For example, if I know a test will have a list of fifteen items, I will break the terms into three groups of five. That makes the information easier to work with. Once I know the information, I like to talk through it with a friend. Verbalizing the material forces me to know it without looking. If it's just me, I'll rewrite the notes in shorthand without looking back. 

Most of the times, I like to study to music. Sometimes I listen to chill music like M83, Sigur Ros, or Bon Iver to relax while I study. If I want to get in the zone, I'll listen to a movie soundtrack. (My favorites are The Dark Knight, Interstellar, World War Z, The Lord of the Rings, and Inception.) The idea behind this is that movie scores are designed to keep the viewer engaged in the movie. Take away the movie, and the music keeps you focused on the coursework. 



I'm a kinesthetic-tactile learner, so it's important me to experience what I'm learning. Luckily, the coursework of Studio Art (my major) fits perfectly with my learning style. I'm constantly using my hands to learn a new technique. I can see a professor do a demonstration, but it really clicks for me when I actually put what I see to use.


I'm a auditory-visual learner. In order for me to fully grasp what I am learning, I have to hear it. When I was an undergraduate student, the professors in the Biology department expressed the material I needed to learn by explaining each part of the cell, the generative process of the body, and the correlation to chemistry through words, pictures, and notes.  

For me, there was a process in my learning strategy. As the professor verbalized the material, I would be sure to write it down. Then, as I studied, I would rewrite my notes using colored sharpie pens for more of an elaborate understanding by color coordinating specific colors to certain parts of my notes. For example, the color green indicated a definition, and so forth. 

Once I rewrote my notes and looked through them with the stimulus of the colors, my study partner would verbalize all of the notes. It was a bit of a process, but that was essentially how I covered my bases with all of the material. 

Study Tips:

  • Be organized
  • Don't use your phone while studying
  • Find a quiet space
  • Highlight important information
  • Write it on a whiteboard
  • Make fun acronyms
  • Sing your notes (no pun intended)
  • Study with a group
  • Talk it out with a friend. "To teach is to learn twice."
  • Listen to movie soundtracks

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