For a quick assessment to help you focus on how you learn, consider the following learning styles:

· Auditory or Aural
· Visual
· Tactual or Haptic
· Kinesthetic

Auditory or aural learners learn best by hearing. You need to hear something to remember it. Once you hear it, you will know it. Your memories may be full of sounds, or sounds may strongly evoke a memory.


  • Using tapes both for reading and for class and lecture notes. If you may not tape a lecture, consider taping your notes to play back during a study session.
  • Participating in discussion groups.
  • Verbally reviewing with a friend.

Visual learners need to "see it to believe it." You may remember where something is on a page, or see in your mind an instructor's board notes. You have a strong sense of color. Do you always need to see the instruction book instead of having someone tell you how to do something? Your memories are often pictures in your mind.


  • Using graphics, illustrations, diagrams, and flashcards.
  • Color coding notes and flashcards.
  • Using colored pens and highlighters both in your notes and textbooks.
  • Always looking for written directions.
  • Putting note cards in a logical order or pattern on a bulletin board to "get the whole picture." Later, visualize the position of information on the board to help recall.

Tactual or haptic learners use touching or feeling in order to learn or remember. You prefer hands-on learning. You learn better when there is something you can touch. Your memories may include a strong recall of how something felt to touch.


  • Using texture in your study aids. Attaching a certain piece of information to a smooth surface, another to a nubby surface may help you recall. Just be sure to actually feel the surface each time you review the notes.
  • Keeping a string of textured beads and feeling them individually as you study, concentrating on the feel as you focus on each piece of information.

Kinesthetic learners need to use movement to reinforce what they are learning. You need to move in some way to remember something. You may find the act of writing something is all it takes to remember it. You will recall the action of writing as you recall the information. Your memories may include the feeling of movement--for example, how it felt to run or dance at a particular time.


  • Writing out all your notes, preferably by hand if that seems to help more. Walking as you review.
  • Using note cards. As you review, actively place them in various positions around the room. To complete a review, move from card to card, again taking note of the material as you concentrate on picking up the card and placing it back in the pile.
  • Reciting lists and spellings as you do exercises.

Most importantly: Try to identify your own learning style. You may have more than one, or one could be much stronger than the others. Most people learn through a combination of styles. Making sure your strongest style is being used will help you learn. Trying to incorporate several styles in your studying will serve to greatly reinforce anything you are learning.

If you can walk and listen and see and feel all at once, you've got the bases covered. Be creative. For example, two students memorized a difficult list of names and related dates by walking each day through a park where they moved from tree to tree, touching each and calling them by the names and dates in order. They saw the trees and the park. They moved from tree to tree. They heard each other's voices and they felt each tree. And they learned the list!