The Secret Weapons to Success

The recent wave of midterms has swept across Carthage, leaving some students miserable and without an A in sight. Although midterms are not uncommon in nature, some students still have not found their preferred methods of studying.

Study habits can be categorized by three different learning styles: visual, aural and kinesthetic. There are many different ways to study, and students can choose their favorite by comparing it to their learning style, as well as by remembering their previous successful test scores.

Students who are categorized as visual learners are those that like imagining situations, recalling images, symbols and layouts of a topic or chapter in the book. If students benefit more when seeing the material rather than listening to a lecture from a teacher, then that student is most likely a visual learner.

Visual learners often approach studying with a more observational point of view. To succeed at studying, visual learners frequently use graphs, charts and diagrams to organize their information, as well as seeing everything in order. Order is of crucial importance for visual learners, because they take in all of the information as they see it.

Erin Magennis, ’19, who is a visual learner, stated, “I spend most of my time studying, by reviewing my notes that I have written down during class. By doing this it helps me memorize where I placed each topic, then during the test I visualize where in my notes I had written the information down.”

Visual learning, however, is not for everyone. Not all students would be able to memorize where or how they organized their notes to recall during the test. Others might have a strength in spoken words, and memorize by explaining information to others, or having it explained to them; these types of learners are called aural learners.

Aural learners are described as enjoying discussions, as well as being involved in describing topics with others. If students prefer working in groups, they most likely are aural learners, because they benefit in explaining the information. The information is easily memorized when repeated out loud, such as when explaining their notes to others or even to themselves. Other times, aural learners like to spend time alone in quiet spaces recalling their ideas.

Rachel Bergman, ’19, who is an aural learner, stated, “I prefer to be in a room where I am alone, and listen to classical music, because if there are people or any words I get distracted.” Background noises can distract aural learners because they focus their attention to it. The classical music is a mental block against all other aspects that could be a distraction from studying. Aural learners work well as long as it has to do with their sense of hearing, just as visual has to do with the sense of sight, whereas kinesthetic is involved with all of the senses.

One of the founding fathers of the United States of America, Benjamin Franklin, once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” This one quote explains kinesthetic learners who learn from experiments, hands-on approaches or trial and error. Kinesthetic learners will learn from the experience; even if they are wrong, they remember the errors and learn to improve them in the end.

Some of the best study habits for kinesthetic learners involve recalling the real experience that happened, using plenty of examples to try and connect it with real world problems, rewriting and physically going over the information.

Kyle Robinson, ’18, who is a kinesthetic learner, said, “Rather than memorizing things I like to rewrite information, to understand it.” The task of rewriting is a very kinesthetic type of study method because the physical movement of writing is being comprehended in muscle memory.

Not all students are able to learn through these specific study methods. That is why identifying and understanding learning styles are pivotal in student’s lives. Students are able to make their lives easier by grasping which study methods connect with their learning style. Even though students all have different learning styles, they all have one thing in common: they only work if students apply them to their daily lives and use them.

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