Presented by NCTC s Counseling and Testing Office

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1 Learning Styles & Study Strategies Presented by NCTC s Counseling and Testing Office What s Going Right, and Wrong? What do you feel like you are doing well? How did you develop these strengths and good study habits? What do you need to improve-what new habits do you need to adopt? How Do You Learn Best? How do you best absorb and process information? Aural/Auditory Visual Tactile/Kinesthetic How do you adapt your study habits to reflect your learning style? Tape recording lectures, engaging in classroom discussions, reading aloud Converting notes to graphic representations, highlighting different subjects or concepts in different colors, leaving white space in between topics Typing out handwritten notes, creating flash cards, studying while exercising, acting out concepts Notetaking Tips Get organized Read your assignment before you come to class Date each lecture and number all pages Format your notes (outline, Cornell, etc.) Indent secondary ideas, supporting ideas, or examples Incomplete sentences or phrases will be necessary Leave white space between topics or ideas During lecture, take notes on all definitions, lists, formulas or solutions Things to Know Before You Tackle the Books How will I be expected to show understanding of this material? Determines how you will read and review textbook material, take notes, and develop study guides Research papers? Presentations? Exams or Quizzes? What other materials will I need in order to study? Organization can help maintain motivation Making the Most of Your Reading Look at syllabi-plan ahead and schedule time for reading assignments Preview a chapter before you begin reading-look at headings, graphics, questions, and summaries Write down questions in your notebook, and leave room to answer them while reading Highlight key terms and concepts-sparingly!

2 Summarize at the end of each section to insure comprehension Take frequent breaks-but not too frequent! If studying multiple subjects, start with the most difficult one first, and have enough of a mental break in between to avoid confusion When and Where To Study Analyze your study routine and environment What is the best time of day to study? When do you have the most energy, and ability to retain information (not when do you normally try to squeeze it in)? How do you reserve this time of day for studying? What do you need, or not need: Noise level -music, or silence? Food or drink -keeps energy up, or keeps you distracted? Location -more comfortable at home, or too comfortable? Need an authority figure present? Structure -sitting at a desk, or spread out on the floor? Inside, or outside? Numbers best to study alone, with a partner, or a group? Keeping Balanced, Keeping Sane Need to consider your other responsibilities, along with course selection, when registering each semester Work schedule may have to be adjusted, or may need to pursue a more flexible job while in school (or supplement income with financial aid) Family and friends need to be made aware of your educational commitment-you need their help and support, and also for them to be respectful of your time Trying to rush through your education may actually extend your time here (re-taking courses, becoming overwhelmed and needing to withdraw, etc.) It takes the time it takes-remember it s a 2-year or 4-year degree IN THEORY ONLY! Study Skills: Learning Styles:

3 VAK LEARNING STYLES ASSESSMENT Circle the statement that best describes how you would respond in each of the situations described. You can circle more than one statement if it is applicable to you. There are no RIGHT answers-so just be honest! 1 When seeking directions I look at a map ask for spoken directions follow my nose or maybe use a compass 2 To teach someone something I write instructions explain verbally demonstrate and let them try 3 I tend to say "I see what you mean" "I hear what you are saying" "I know how you feel" 4 When choosing a vacation spot I read the brochures listen to recommendations imagine the experience 5 When learning a new skill I watch what the teacher is doing I talk through the steps with the teacher I like to give it a try and work it out as I go along 6 When concentrating I focus on the words or pictures in front of me discuss the problem and possible solutions in my head move around a lot, fiddle with pens and pencils 7 I remember things best by writing notes or keeping printed details saying them aloud or repeating words and key points in my head doing and practicing the activity, or imagining it being done 8 My first memory is of looking at something being spoken to doing something 9 When anxious, I visualize the worst-case scenarios talk over in my head what worries me most can't sit still, fiddle and move around constantly 10 I feel especially connected to others because of how they look what they say to me how they make me feel 11 When I review for an exam, I write lots of revision notes (using lots of colors!) I talk over my notes, to myself or to other people imagine making the movement or creating the formula

4 12 When explaining something to someone, I tend to show them what I mean explain to them in different ways until they understand encourage them to try and talk them through the idea as they try 13 My main interests are photography or watching films, or people-watching listening to music, listening to the radio or talking to friends physical/sports activities, eating fine foods or dancing 14 Most of my free time is spent watching television talking to friends doing physical activity or making things 15 When I first contact a new person I arrange a face to face meeting I talk to them on the telephone I try to get together to share an activity 16 I first notice how people look and dress sound and speak stand and move 17 If I am very angry I keep replaying in my mind what has upset me I shout lots and tell people how I feel I stomp about, slam doors and throw things 18 I find it easiest to remember faces names things I have done 19 I think I can tell someone is lying because they avoid looking at you their voice changes the vibes I get from them 20 When I'm meeting with an old friend I say "it's great to see you!" I say "it's great to hear your voice!" I give them a hug or a handshake TOTALS: VISUAL: AUDITORY: KINESTHETIC: VAK learning styles self-test: Victoria Chislett and Alan Chapman, Not to be sold or published. Sole risk with user. This learning styles self-assessment tool is a rough guide to individual learning styles only - it is not a scientifically validated instrument.

5 PUTTING YOUR LEARNING STYLE TO WORK! Tips for Visual Learners: Have a clear view of your teachers when they are speaking so you can see their body language and facial expression Use color to highlight important points in the text Take detailed notes and utilize handouts Use visual materials such as pictures, charts, maps, and graphs Use multi-media such as computers or videos Study in a quiet place away from verbal disturbances Visualize information as a picture to aid memorization and learning Make charts, graphs, and tables in your notes Participate actively in class this will keep you involved and alert When memorizing material, write it over and over Keep pencil and paper handy so you can write down good ideas Tips for Auditory Learners: Think aloud and talk to yourself Participate in class discussions and debates Make speeches and presentations Read text out loud especially when proofreading or when tired Create musical jingles and mnemonics to aid memorization Use a tape recorder during lectures Discuss your ideas verbally with a friend or small group Use verbal analogies and storytelling to illustrate your point Recite information over and over to better memorize material Sit near the side or back of the classroom where there is less visual stimulation Tips for Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners: Take frequent study breaks and vary your activities Make studying more physical work at a standing desk, chew gum, pace while memorizing, read while on an exercise bike, mold a piece of clay, squeeze a tennis ball Use bright colors to highlight reading material Dress up your work space with posters and color Play music in the background while you study When reading, first skim through the whole thing to get a feel for what it s about, then read the chapter carefully Use spatial note taking techniques such as mind mapping Visualize complex projects from start to finish before beginning-keep the big picture in mind

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