Some of the most common study tips for college don’t work for everyone. That’s right, your roommate’s annoying habit of reading all of his class notes — out loud — is not a proven tactic for all students!
That’s because everyone learns differently: some of the most common learning styles are visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
Try studying in the style that best suits you for the most effective results.
Not sure which style you are? There’s no harm in trying them all and seeing which work best for you!
Study Tips for Visual Learners
One of the best college study tips for visual learners is to use flashcards. This should be simple since you have likely been using them since elementary school. You can use these to learn foreign languages, new vocabulary words and even formulas for math or science.
Another study tip is to try to sit near the front of the classroom so you can clearly see anything written on the board or projection screen. Taking notes in class should also help since you can look at them later as you study for your college classes.
Some students with a visual learning style can also understand concepts better by looking at images, not just words. If you remember ideas that are presented in graphs or pictures, seek these out in both your textbooks and in the classroom. If there are no images available, you should look up the concepts online to try to find photos that may reinforce the ideas — or even better, create your own charts and tables with the information you need to know.
Help for Auditory Learners
If you learn by listening, taking notes on paper might not help much. Instead, consider recording lectures in class, and then you can listen to them when you get home. If you do not feel like using a recording device, you can always write down the notes and then simply read them out loud while you study.
Mnemonics tend to be most helpful to students with an auditory learning style. One of the most well-known mnemonics is ROY G BIV, which helps students remember the colors of the rainbow in the right order. Each letter of the phrase stands for a color that starts with the same letter. You can make up everything from short words to entire sentences to help you remember concepts as you study, helping you get good grades in college.
One of the best study tips for this learning style is to create a study group. This allows you to listen to other students discuss the concepts, and it also requires you to repeat them out loud (hopefully in a setting where you’re not disturbing your roommate!).
Kinesthetic Learning Style Study Hints
This learning style is often referred to as hands-on because you learn best by doing, not watching or listening. For this reason, study tips for college students who are kinesthetic learners tend to involve touch and movement.
Courses that involve labs or hands-on projects likely appeal to you, but not every class is set up this way. If you are in a lecture-style class, you can employ some of the study tips that work for other learning styles. For example, forming a study group, along with making flashcards, can allow you to feel more involved in the class.
You also learn best by practicing skills soon after you learn them, which can be done through class projects, group presentations and role playing. If your college classes do not involve these tasks, you can study at home by walking around as you read your notes to yourself. Even color coding your notes by highlighting in different hues can help you get more involved in your schoolwork, and therefore more interested.
You can always try each of these study tips out, no matter which learning style you prefer, until you find a few that work best for you.
What other study tips have served you well in college?