Play to Your Strengths: Discover Which Learning Style Best Fits You
With studying for the ACT, it’s time that you work smarter, not harder.
There is no sense in you listening to lectures or having someone do problems on the board, when how you learn/study is by doing the problems yourself or maybe you are a kinesthetic learner.
So, before I go in too deep, let me give you some back story info:
Meet Howard Gardner. If you’re a good teacher, you’ve heard his name before – he’s the researcher and Harvard professor behind the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Basically, he had the notion that intelligence is NOT something that can neatly quantified into a number, like an IQ test – you can’t see that you are “this number” smart. Rather, he defined intelligence simply as our ability to solve problems. This new definition, combined with over a decade of research, led him to discover that there are 8 different categories of problems we encounter in our lives and, in return, 8 different intelligences.
Now, here’s the kicker. Of these 8 intelligences, there are usually 3 or 4 that come more easily to everyone. This unique make up is your “multiple intelligence profile” and, as a tutoring company, we administer a test to each of our students to discover their unique profile. This allows us to better match them with a tutor.
There are 7 main ways in which people learn, though you may learn in multiple ways.
#1. Visual (spatial): Visual learners prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding. They would be the type of person who prefers to put a bunk bed together in a “this looks this goes here” type of manner rather than reading the instructions. They also are able to navigate in unfamiliar areas pretty well because of their spatial memory and ability to “project themselves” and their location in their mind’s eye.
#2. Aural (auditory-musical): Aural learners prefer using sound and music. They typically play an instrument and are also able to keep rhythm and harmony pretty well. They often can listen to a song on the radio and pick out the different instruments and their individual beats. They also remember more things that they hear, as compared to things that they read or see.
#3. Verbal (linguistic): Verbal learners are adept at summarizing thoughts and written articles. They are also very good at putting their own thoughts down into writing. These individuals typically read multiple books every year and often read fairly quickly. They also tend to pick up new words quickly and use context to place the meaning of an unfamiliar word.
#4. Physical (kinesthetic): Kinesthetic learners prefer using their body, hands, and sense of touch. They are the ones who study better by tapping their foot or having something in their hand. They also usually pick up sports and athletic activities quickly. They tend to take walks or swim to clear their heads or do other active activities. They work well with their hands.
#5. Logical (mathematical): Logical learners prefer using logic, reasoning, and systems/patterns. Naturally, mathematics is a strong subject for logical learners, as well as science. They also are able to spot patterns quickly (or even make up patterns with numbers they see) and are the ones who calculate the number of tiles on a floor or ceiling.
#6. Interpersonal (social): Interpersonal learners learn better in groups or with other people. They are often described as being a “people person” and usually are a go-to friend for advice. They are able to naturally empathize with individuals and are also very good at reading people. They are also excellent communicators.
#7. Intrapersonal (solitary): Intrapersonal learners would rather work alone and use self-study. Often times, they find themselves using “metacognition” – thinking about thinking. They will use backward reasoning to figure out why they were thinking about something. They also are the ones who take the “what animal are you” type of quizzes online, along with other personality tests like Myers Briggs. They love learning more about themselves.
#8. Naturalistic (nature): Naturalistic learners prefer to work outside, and facts pertaining to animals, plants, rocks, etc come easily to you. They also easily remember things from their environment and surroundings and easily spot interconnections between various academic fields, especially in science.
Now, here’s the thing – EVERYONE possesses ALL of these intelligences. It’s usually 3 or 4 of them that come more easily to you.
Understanding and capitalizing on your learning style is crucial in doing well on the ACT/SAT. area searchers have been able to prove that different learning use different parts of your brain. This research has also shown that when we capitalize on our learning style strengths we recall significantly more of what we have studied. Sounds like a good idea for studying for the ACT!
There are numerous resources out there that will help you study the best way that you learn for the ACT. Here is a Launch Academy list of rock-solid study material for the ACT/SAT:
– www.khanacademy.com – Practice Math Problems
– www.actstudent.com – Take online practice tests to analyze what you need help on
– www.acereader.com – This downloadable software (it does cost money) will help your student improve their reading comprehension and reading speed.
Now for those about to study….We Salute You!