How Do You Learn Best?

Many students and most effective educators recognize that individuals retain knowledge best when using differing techniques. Specific techniques can be grouped into “Learning Styles”. Some students find that they have a dominant style of learning, while others might determine that they use multiple styles depending upon the circumstances. Once you recognize what learning styles work best for you, it enables you to enhance the speed and quality of your studies in addition to understanding yourself and others in work, family and relationships. In a study about learning styles, Aranya Srijongjai noted that “According to the Memletics model, everyone has a mix of learning styles, and learning styles are not fixed (, 2003).

There are 7 categories of Learning Styles:

Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.

Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.

Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.

Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.

Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.

Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.

Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.


The most widely accepted model of learning styles is called the VARK model:

Visual (spacial) learners learn best by seeing.

Auditory (aural) learners learn best by hearing.

Reading/writing learners learn best by reading and writing.

Kinesthetic (physical) learners learn best by moving and doing.

No matter what theory your learning styles fall under, knowing your individual “best practices” will help make your overall learning more successful.

UMass Boston offers courses in multiple modalities to fit your schedule and desired learning environment, we encourage you to reach out for more information!

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