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  • Writer's pictureDr. Austin Heafey, Psy.D.


Know Thyself

Exercise: Fill in the blanks with the first thought that comes to mind.

1. I find it easiest to study when ______________________________________.

2. If a subject is really hard, I tend to __________________________________.

3. The subject I most like to study is __________________________________.

4. The subject I least like to study is __________________________________.

Knowing this, how should you adjust your study skills?

Maybe, start with your answer to number 4 and study this subject with your answer to question number 1. (Just thoughts, you should develop your own style and develop it until it becomes second nature.)

Ask yourself the following: Am I more inclined to remember something better when: I see it, when I hear it, or when I experience it or do something active with it?

– Your answer should help guide how you study. If you are not a visual learner, do not force it, go with what feels natural.

To Improve yourself as a Visual Learner

  • visualize what you are studying (literally, imagine it – don’t knock it until you try it.)

  • use color in your notes (colored pens, highlighters, etc.)

  • visualize what the instructor is lecturing about (again, try it before you dismiss it.)

  • draw pictures and diagrams (demonstrate how well you understand a concept by making a mental map for yourself.)

  • use mind maps in your notes (example: when studying photosynthesis, make a map that ENERGY = Photosynthesis.)

  • use picture and graphics to reinforce learning (print out, put on note cards, try to draw for yourself from memory – teachers LOVE visual cues in essays that help them realize how well you understand a concept.)

  • learn from videos (, google, if this needs further explanation talk to you youngest sibling or actually go to the librarian and seek out his assistance.)

To Improve yourself as a Auditory Learner

  • listen to tapes of recorded assignments (bring tape recorder into class)

  • tape record your own textbook reading, read out loud (you would be astounded at how well this tends to help with memorization.)

  • talk over ideas from class and what you are studying with other students (study groups are also great places to meet others…)

  • participate in class discussions (as scary as it is…)

  • listen to audiotapes on the subject (go online, go to podcasts, go to amazon, Great Courses teaching company are all good resources.)

To Improve yourself as a Hands On Learner…If you feel you struggle focusing.

  • stand up and move around while you are studying

  • take frequent breaks while studying (make these breaks coordinated and consistent, do not make exceptions, or permit yourself X number of exceptions – just be consistent – this is planned studying, not procrastination.)

  • make use of your hands and write things down as you study

  • use the computer to reinforce learning

  • be physically active; experiment with objects

  • memorize or drill while walking or exercising

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