February 9, 2015 at 11:15 am

Advising Tip: Find Your Learning Preference

By Sara Berens
College of Arts & Sciences Academic Adviser

Sarah-BerensHow many of you know your learning preference? A lot of students have no idea how to answer this or understand why it’s important. If you understand your learning preference, you can individualize your study time. And while you can’t change the way your professor teaches or how a course is structured, you can change the way that you engage with the material during class, as well as better prepare yourself outside of the classroom.

There are probably a million and one quizzes designed to help you determine what type of learner you are. While I don’t know how reputable Buzzfeed can be on these types of things, I know how much you all love it. I’ll admit, in my opinion, it was the most interesting quiz of this type. So, check out this quiz, but also consider using other resources as well.

If you are looking for something a little more concrete, check out VARK, which stands for Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic. This is one of the go to methods when trying to figure out your learning preference, completed in 16 short questions. Based on your answers, the site provides you with a learning preference category and what each category means. If you want more information about your VARK preference, Wikipedia has short write ups for each category (just remember to always use more scholarly sources for your research papers!).  By taking the quiz I confirmed my suspicions, that my preferred category is Visual followed by Kinesthetic. Meaning that I prefer to learn through images and visual elements, as well as through physically engaging with the material.

One important thing to remember is that you can’t always boil yourself down to one or two categories through an online quiz. However, these types of tests can help you to better understand your preferred method to digest information, as well as to tailor your educational experience so you can retain what you’re learning.

Graduating Seniors, what advice would you give to your fellow students? Send your words of wisdom, as well as your first name and major, to I will be collecting advice all semester to be included along with the Advising Tip of the Week.

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