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How Do You Learn Best?

When I was in school I never took much notice of how I learnt and whether any other method was better than any other.  I just went to school, listened to my teachers, did my homework and that was that.  When I went to university, my approach was pretty much the same – I went to my lectures and tutorials, read the chapters and readings I needed to and did the practice problems I was required to do.  I really never took much notice of learning methods and whether one was better than another for me.

Five Methods of Learning

There are five main different methods of learning that are regularly utilised:

  1. Auditory Learning (learning by listening)
  2. Audiovisual Learning (learning from a speaker, be it a teacher, lecturer or presenter)
  3. Book Learning (learning by reading)
  4. Kinetic Learning (learning by examining an object and see how it works)
  5. Visual Learning (learning by looking at diagrams, mind maps etc)

Over time, and subsequent study however, I have learnt certain methods of learning work better for me than others.  I learn best through kinetic and audio visual learning.  Kinetic learning is more common in a subject like Engineering but in Accounting I believe it is being showing an example to see how a problem is worked through or how all the principles work together.

So what kind of learner are you?

Do you learn best by hearing?  Do you love listening to podcasts or audiobooks?  Then you might be an auditor learner.

Do you learn by reading best?  Or do you learn best in a classroom environment?  Then you might be a book or an audiovisual learner.

Or do you need examples in front of you to grasp a concept?  Then you might be like me and be a kinetic learner.

Do visuals make concepts clear to you?  Then you might find out that you are a visual learner.

Don’t feel limited to be one category either.  You might draw on one, two or three types of learning but identify what works for you.

Take some time to reflect on what kind of learner are you because once you know that, you can tailor your studying to what suits you best which can make studying for you much more effective.

If you want to know more about learning get Benedict Carey’s book How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where and Why it Happens, a thoroughly great read on how we can improve our ability to learn.

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