Young graduate in wheelchair with his dad




Taking notes
Girl studying on floor

Understanding Learning Styles

Each one of us has different styles of learning and remembering things.   Some of us learn best by seeing the information, whether through reading or watching, this learning style is referred to as Visual Learning.  Others of us benefit from listening – hearing the information and processing it accordingly, this learning style is called Auditory Learning.  A person who learns by doing, touching, and by using hands-on, and writing techniques is called a Kinesthetic or Tactile learner. 

Take the quiz below to find out what style of learning best suits you.   After finishing the quiz, check out the helpful study tips at the bottom of this page which relate to your learning style.

Learning Style Quiz
Read the following questions and circle the letter of the best answer in your opinion.  There are no right or wrong answers to this quiz.  Just circle what you usually prefer.

1.   When learning how to use my computer, I prefer to:
         A.  Read the manual first                              
         B.  Have someone explain how to do it first
         C.  Just start using the computer and get help if I need it
2.  When getting directions to a new location, it is easier to:
         A.  Look at a map
         B.  Have someone tell me how to get there
         C.  Follow someone or have them take me there
3.  To remember a phone number, I:
         A.  Look at the number and dial it several times
         B.  Repeat it silently or out loud to myself several times
C.  Remember the number by the pattern pressed on the keypad, the tones of each number or by writing it down
4.  For relaxation, I prefer to:
         A.  Read a book or magazine
         B.  Listen to or play music
         C.  Go for a walk or do something physical
5.  I am better at:
         A.  Reading
         B.  Talking
         C.  Physical activities
6.  In school, I learn best by:
         A.  Reading
         B.  Listening
         C.  Hands-on activities
7.  I tend to be a:
         A.  Thinker
         B.  Talker
         C.  Doer
8.  When I study for a test, it works best when I:
         A.  Read and picture the information in my head
         B.  Read and say the ideas out loud or silently
         C.  Highlight, write notes and outlines
9.  It is easier for me to remember:
         A.  Faces
         B.  Names
         C.  Events
10.  On Saturday, I would prefer to:
         A.  See a movie
         B.  Go to a concert
         C.  Participate in athletics or be outside
11.  In a college class, it is most important to have:
         A.  A good textbook with pictures, graphs and diagrams  
         B.  A good teacher who has interesting lectures
         C.  Hands-on activities
12.  It is easier to study by:
         A.  Reading and reviewing the material
         B.  Discussing the subject with others
         C.  Writing notes or outlines
13.  When I get lost, I prefer to:
         A.  Look at the map
         B.  Call or ask for directions
         C.  Drive around the area until I recognize familiar landmarks
14.  When cooking, I often:
         A.  Look for new recipes
         B.  Talk to others to get new ideas
         C.  Put it together and it generally comes out OK 
15.  When assembling a new toy or piece of furniture, I usually:
         A.  Read the instructions first
         B.  Talk myself through each step
         C.  Start putting it together and read the directions if I get stuck
16.  When solving a problem, it is more useful to:
         A.  Read a best-selling book on the topic
         B.  Talk over the options with a trusted friend
         C.  Do something about it
17.  Which statement do you like the best:
         A.  A picture is worth a thousand words
         B.  Talk to me and I can understand.
         C.  Just do it.
18.  When I was a child, my mother said I:
         A.  Spent a lot of time reading, taking photos or drawing
B.  Had lots of friends and was always talking to someone on the phone
         C.  Was always taking things apart to see how they worked

Score Your Quiz:
Count your number of A’s above:   _____       Visual Learners 

Count your number of B’s above:  _____        Auditory Learners       

Count your number of C’s above: _____         Kinesthetic/Tactile Learners



Visual learners tend to learn information by seeing, whether through reading or watching. Reading textbooks, material on the board or on overhead projectors, as well as demonstrations and diagrams are helpful. The following list contains strategies for Visual learners.

  1. Write things down because you remember them better that way.
  2. Make your study area visually appealing.
  3. Look at people and professors when they talk. This technique will help you stay focused.
  4. Take thorough notes in lectures and when studying textbooks. Review and revise notes  immediately after class while it is still fresh in your mind.
  5. Read assignments in 25 minute intervals.
  6. When reading your textbooks, underline the main points in an eye-catching color – for example, neon highlighters.
  7. Just before closing your book, review all underlined material that you read that day to reinforce your learning.
  8. Write new vocabulary words on colored index cards and review them whenever you have spare time – for example, before class or when waiting in line.



Auditory learners benefit from listening – hearing the information and processing it accordingly. Auditory learners focus easily on sounds and have good memory of what they have heard through lectures or on tape. The following hints are useful for Auditory learners.

  1. Try studying with a friend so that you can talk out loud and hear the information.
  2. Tape your lectures and review your notes while listening to the tape. This gives a two chances to take in the information.
  3. Read an assignment for 25 minutes (no more – you lose 85% of your input after the first 25 minutes.)
  4. Underline main points in an eye-catching color – for example, neon highlighters.
  5. At the end of 25 minutes, take a one-to-five minute break. Disconnect totally from your reading – exercise, relax, have a snack – whatever is comfortable for you.
  6. Review aloud all underlined materials.
  7. Read for 25 minutes.
  8. Take a break.
  9. Review aloud from beginning of underlined material. Repeat.



Kinesthetic or Tactile learners acquire knowledge best through manipulation – doing, touching, and by using hands-on, and writing techniques. Kinesthetic/Tactile learners would also benefit from using some of the tips provided above for Visual or Auditory learners.

  1. Write things down because you remember them better that way.
  2. When memorizing, pace or walk around while reciting to yourself or looking at a note card, and also try writing the information on a desk with your fingers.
  3. As much as you can, translate what you are learning into something that can be touched. Eating, drinking, chewing gum, and listening to music are also helpful.
  4. At the end of 25 minutes of studying, take a one-to-five minute break. Disconnect totally from your reading.  You can exercise, relax, have a snack – whatever is comfortable for you.
  5. Review underlined material after your break.
  6. Read for 25 minutes and underline.
  7. Take a break.
  8. Review from the beginning of underlined material.

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