Accelerated Learning and Life Skills

VAK Learning Strategies

In my last post, I discussed the three primary learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. If you haven’t read it yet, please take a minute to read it so you know which of the three learning styles is your preferred style.

As I mentioned previously, you can not control how material is presented to you during class. However, what you can control is how you study and learn the material outside of class. There are many different learning strategies and techniques you can use. Some will work better for you than others depending on whether you are primarily visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.

Listed below are some strategies and techniques for each of the three learning styles. Read through them and note a few strategies from each different learning style that appeal to you.

Visual Strategies:

  • Mind map or learning map.
  • Sit where you have a clear view of your teacher when they are speaking.
  • Take detailed notes using lots of color; develop your own color coding.
  • Use a highlighter while reading.
  • Review the pictures and diagrams from your textbook.
  • Summarize material using charts, graphs, pictures, and diagrams.
  • Use multimedia such as computer animations and videos.
  • Visualize and create a mental picture of what you are learning.


Auditory Strategies:

  • Find a study buddy or study group.
  • Explain what you are learning to others.
  • Ask lots of questions during class.
  • Actively participate in all class discussions.
  • Study in a quiet place away from verbal distractions.
  • Create musical jingles and mnemonics when memorizing material.
  • Read material out loud (the more dramatic the better).
  • Use a tape recorder to summarize your notes and listen to them in the car.
  • Make frequent use of verbal analogies.


Kinesthetic Strategies:

  • Take notes in class and then rewrite your notes.
  • Read the textbook.
  • Put a checkmark at the end of each paragraph or page to show that you understand the material.
  • Make notes on index cards or post-its and arrange in a logical sequence.
  • Walk around while you read or listen to audio tapes.
  • Shift your position while sitting.
  • Take frequent study breaks.
  • Create motions or gesture to help remember content.
  • Chew gum while studying.

Since we store visual, auditory, and kinesthetic information in different parts of the brain, you want to use strategies from each of the three learning styles. This will ensure that the information is stored more deeply in the brain and is therefore easier to recall in the future.

I recommend choosing three or four strategies from your preferred style and a couple from each of the other two styles. Focus your efforts where your strengths lie but always strive to incorporate multiple learning modalities (i.e. visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) into each study session.

Experiment with these different strategies and techniques. See which ones work best for you and which ones you enjoy the most. Learning how you learn best is a skill that takes practice and revision. Keep and at it and you will be amazed at just how brilliant you really are!

Comments & Responses

2 Responses so far.

  1. Hayley says:

    Something that i have found helpful is Marcus’s required journal entry for every class and lab of writing down what we did, what i learned and what questions i have. Too many times i have sat thru a lecture and understood the material at the time and promptly left it in the classroom when i left. This writing seems to help in the digestion of material and i would like to incorporate this into other classes as well.

    • Hi Hayley,

      Thanks for sharing. Keeping a learning journal is a great idea; I’m glad that Marcus is having his students keep one.

      By recording what you learn in a journal, you review the material on a regular basis which refires neural connections and makes the learning deeper. In addition, anytime you put something into your own words, it helps solidify your understanding of the material.

      I would definitely incorporate keeping a journal into your other classes as well.


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