There are five general learning styles that you can be sorted into: Aural, visual, kinesthetic, verbal and logical. You can manipulate any environment by focusing on the key aspects of the learning style that fits best with your personality. There are tests that you can take to find out what learning style you officially are, but it isn’t necessary. I have personally benefitted from implementing a mix of all the learning styles into my studying routine, and I found that it helps me comprehend the material from a variety of different directions I might not have thought of previously.
The fourth learning style is verbal learning, which is very straight forward. Verbal learners learn best through speaking or utilizing written material. Fortunately for verbal learners, this is how many college classrooms are naturally set up. While this learning style seems to be mostly focused on language, it has much of the same advice as aural learners. There are still a few tips that are tailored specifically to a verbal learning style, though, if you learn best in this environment.
Verbal learners benefit greatly from discussion. This means that speaking up in class and bouncing ideas off of others is a good way to absorb information. Don’t stop there, though – try to have discussions as much as possible. Plan to meet with your professor or TA one-on-one and discuss learning points that you are having difficulties with and take notes to cement what you talk about during these sessions. Going for tutoring sessions, both one-on-one and as part of a group, can be an invaluable way of hearing information you need to learn from a different point of view.
Verbal learners can also benefit from group studies. Consider creating or joining an existing study group to work with. However, reader beware – if you work in a group, you must work. Don’t get distracted by other conversations unless you are quizzing each other or asking or answering a question. Try to limit conversation to after the study session and schedule a little extra time where you can get to know your studymates a little better (or just spend time with your friends). This doesn’t mean that your study session has to be rigid – just that it needs to stay on topic.
Verbal learners generally express themselves through the spoken or written word very well, but that might not be the case for everyone. If you need to learn how to engage in finding insights and inspiration, try joining a public speaking or debate team. This will help you learn how to build, execute and present an argument. Also, you will be able to build your résumé and make yourself more attractive for future opportunities by being comfortable with public speaking. Write and rewrite your notes by hand to create a connection to the words, and look up the root meaning and definitions of words you need to memorize. Read and repeat what you are trying to learn in your own words, rather than word by word from your notes, and create dialogue with yourself. Put what you need to learn into words and you’re already halfway there.
Next time (and the last time), use logic to your advantage with logical learning.