Learning Styles:
Understanding How You Learn

Knowledge of the different learning styles can be very valuable. It’s helped me understand how I prefer to take in information. This has made learning easier for me.

Considering which style of learning you prefer for a particular subject or task will help you succeed. You may also find you get maximum benefit by using a combination of styles.

You must make yourself learn:

It is so important to understand how you personally learn. At the end of the day only you can get information into your brain. If you have not already seen it click here for Teach Yourself to be a More Effective Learner.

Types of learning Style:

Ok, the idea here is that people have different preferences towards learning. These are divided into:

  • Visual learning Seeing with the eyes

  • Auditory learning listening and speaking
  • Kinaesthetic learning Touching and doing (getting your hands dirty)

You can find some websites where they’ve added more categories. However these are the three main ones.

You may have already started to think about which style you prefer:

Watching a nature programme is a great example of visual learning.

Auditory learning would be something like talking to a teacher or listening to a lecture.

If you take apart and put back together a machine this would be kinaesthetic.

I’m not going to bore you with the theory behind this. It basically says people generally have one preference of learning style. It was developed for teachers to focus learning towards the individual traits of pupils.

Use the style of learning you find most interesting:

Generally the style(s) of learning you find most interesting for a particular task will be the most effective. Being interested in what you are doing is so important for effective learning.

Know which learning style you prefer but don’t just focus on one:

Right! Let's pretend it’s the first time you have ever played tennis. You find a tennis coach and spend a day on the court. The coach said you learnt the basics really quickly. This makes you consider your tennis learning style.

The coach’s straight forward instructions really helped (auditory learning). Then you started making progress by watching the players on the other courts (visual learning). Of course you made masses of improvements by practicing all day (kinaesthetic learning).

In the example above sometimes learning something new is best achieved with a combination of all three styles.

The main point is it doesn’t matter if you prefer one style for maths and another for English, or whether you use one, two or three styles for a task. The only thing that matters is you find the best way to get the information into your brain.


It’s a good idea to be aware of the different styles of learning. It keeps me thinking about improving how I learn. I know that more often than not I’m a visual learner. However a visual style is not going to be appropriate all of the time.

I need to think about what is the most interesting and effective way for me to learn a particular task or subject. I would say that it is always good to be as adaptive as possible.

I’m sorry but you will hear this repeated a lot over this website because it is one of the most important statements ever.

You can always teach yourself to learn more effectively. Click here for more Learning Strategies.

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