Finding Your Fit: The 4 Most Common Types of Learners

 overhead view of students studying

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to how you comprehend information. Everyone is different — but there are a few common types of learners. So, whether you like to discuss lessons with a study group or hole up in the library to review notes by yourself, discovering your learning style can help you strategize your study sessions to maximize your time ... and cause fewer headaches.

Read ahead to see which description sounds like you and learn how you can use to utilize your strengths to apply to academic learning and your everyday life!

1. Visual learners

Visual learners best comprehend information by visualizing relationships and ideas. Maps, charts, diagrams and even essays work well for visual learners. Many visual learners need quiet time to themselves to study. They may speak fast and they may prefer to work alone rather than in groups.

You may be a visual learner if …

  • Your notes are covered with drawings
  • You are good with remembering faces but not names
  • You can spell well
  • You’d rather read a story than listen to it
  • You’re good with maps and directions

Study tips for visual learners:

  • Sit in the front of the classroom so you can take notes off the board
  • Translate your notes into charts, diagrams and lists
  • Use color coding to your advantage
  • Study for tests with flashcards

2. Auditory learners

Auditory learners are all ears. They tend to prefer listening to information rather than reading it or seeing it visually displayed. Auditory learners may speak and read slowly. They tend to be linear thinkers and may repeat things they hear out loud.

You may be an auditory learner if …

  • You are easily distracted by noises
  • You have difficulty working quietly for long periods of time
  • You are a good listener
  • You easily remember what others say

Study tips for auditory learners:

  • Read aloud when possible
  • Join a study group in order to discuss ideas with other students
  • When using flashcards, give responses out loud
  • Utilize videos for listening
  • Record lectures for reviewing notes

3. Kinesthetic learners

Kinesthetic learners are the most hands-on learning type. They learn best by doing and may get fidgety if forced to sit for long periods of time. Kinesthetic learners do best when they can participate in activities or solve problems in a hands-on manner. They tend to have good coordination and best remember what they do.

You may be a kinesthetic learner if …

  • You excel at sports, art or drama
  • You enjoy building, making or creating
  • You have trouble sitting still
  • You fiddle with objects while thinking

Study tips for kinesthetic learners:

  • Study in blocks of time with frequent breaks
  • Walk around while reviewing your notes
  • Trace words with your fingers as you study
  • Use flashcards, games or activities to study
  • Toss a tennis ball around while you’re thinking

4. Reading & writing learners

Reading and writing learners are extremely comfortable with the written word. They prefer to consume information by reading texts and can further absorb information by condensing and rephrasing it. The traditional college lecture and note-taking environment works well for the reading/writing learning style.

You may be a reading/writing learner if …

  • You love making lists
  • You enjoy reading and writing
  • You prefer to have written directions

Study tips for reading/writing learners:

  • Review your class notes afterwards
  • Use printouts of presentations to follow along
  • Seek resources in articles, e-books and essays
  • Rewrite ideas in your own words
  • Translate visual information into statements

Now you know …

If you’ve ever struggled with a teacher that only taught in lecture format or cringed your way through class discussions, it might be because the classroom wasn’t conducive to your learning style. Now that you’re armed with strategies and study tips, there’s nothing holding you back but your own commitment and determination.

Did you know? Not only are there different types of learners, but there are different ways of learning too! See which mode works best for your learning style in our article, Ways of Learning in College: Identify Your Ideal Educational Environment

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Kristina Ericksen

Kristina is a Digital Writer at Collegis Education where she creates informative content on behalf of Rasmussen College. She is passionate about the power of education and enjoys connecting students to bright futures.


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