For those of you who have a hard time retaining information when you try and read in class, and get frustrated when nothing seems to stick: don’t worry about it. Absorbing information visually might just not be your thing—you might try having the text read out loud to you. For other students, it’s really hard to focus on lectures no matter how completely their attention is on the speaker. If they read what’s being said, though, they remember every word.
This is all totally normal—we all have our learning styles, and we’re here to help you figure out exactly what kind of learner you are. If you haven’t figured out which side of your brain is dominant, do that first. That will help you to start understanding your learning process.
There are 3 Learning Styles (sometimes called modalities):
- Visual Learning — You’re all about the eyeballin’. You like pictures, charts, graphs, films, outlines, and diagrams, and it helps you to watch someone do something first.
- Auditory Learning — Your ears are your guys when it comes to retaining information. Lectures, recordings, and music, are among your greatest tools for remembering what you hear. You’ll also find it helpful to talk out loud when you work through problems.
- Kinesthetic Learning — You’re a physical learner—forget all the times someone told you to stop fidgeting and sit still. Fidgeting has its place in academia, so if that’s how you focus best, don’t try and stop yourself, it’ll only distract you from your work. You also work better with hands-on experience rather than reading or being told about how something works.
Most people think they know what kind of learner they are, and their conscious minds probably do reflect what they assume, but in her book, Why Not You?, Mary Blakely explains there are three levels of learning consciousness—or awareness—and each one is associated with a different learning style.
Kinesthetic learners have the hardest time in traditional school settings, for obvious reasons. Because these students are made to sit still for an hour and suffer through a class they can’t absorb, their relationship with school (and with their teacher) suffers, forming unpleasant associations with learning. Instead, these students are much better off permitted to work off whatever energy they need to while they work.
The 3 Levels of Awareness
Your different learning levels are sort of like a traffic signal.
Green Means Go — this is the best method for information to rush right into your brain cells.
Yellow Means Slow Down — information still trickles in and supports your main learning style, but it’s not as strong.
Red Means Stop — It. Is. Hard. To. Learn. This. Way.
- Level 1 – The Conscious Mind – Green Light, baby! Go go go! This is your “learning sweet spot”. It’s most important to know the most conscious way you learn so that you can make the most of those learning strategies.
- Level 2 – The Subconscious Mind – The information…is coming in sloooower now. This is the “Learning Supporter”. While it isn’t your best mode of learning, it’s the backup learner. It sorts out what your Level 1 self is learning and helps to store it away.
- Level 3 – The Unconscious Mind – The information has practically stopped! This is your weakest mode of learning. If an activity in school makes you focus on this learning mode for too long, it is a challenge for you. You start to tune out, daydream, or fall asleep.
So What’s Your Modality, Anyway? Take Our Quiz & Find Out!
The following activity is going to help you sort your Learning Styles into your Awareness Levels. That is super important information for you because you can plan your whole learning and studying strategies around these key facts.
Print this sheet. Read each statement. If you feel strongly about that statement, put a check by it. If you’re undecided, then just leave it blank and move on to the next one. The point is to only have checks by the statements that make you think, “YES! That is SO true!”
After all the boxes are checked, count them up. The category with the most checks is your “Level 1” Modality, the next highest total goes into Level 2 and the category with the fewest checks is Level 3. If any of the modalities have the same number of checks, do a quick read through and you will probably identify with one set of statements more strongly than another.
Now you can label yourself: KAV? AKV? VAK? What the heck are you, anyway?
|LEVEL 1||LEVEL 2||LEVEL 3||Your Learning Style|
|Visual (V)||Auditory (A)||Kinesthetic (K)||VAK|
|Visual (V)||Kinesthetic (K)||Auditory (A)||VKA|
|Auditory (A)||Visual (V)||Kinesthetic (K)||AVK|
|Auditory (A)||Kinesthetic (K)||Visual (V)||AKV|
|Kinesthetic (K)||Visual (V)||Auditory (A)||KVA|
|Kinesthetic (K)||Auditory (A)||Visual (V)||KAV|
Next week, we will take these results and tell you the learning styles and studying techniques that will help you get the grades you want. See you then!