Identifying Different Learning Styles for Academic Success

March 9, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Identifying Different Learning Styles for Academic Success

What Are the Four Main Learning Styles?

As humans, we all have different ways of learning and processing information. Some of us learn best by reading, others by listening, while some prefer to watch and learn. Learning styles refer to the various ways that individuals prefer to learn and process information. Everyone has a unique learning style, which affects how they perceive, organize, and recall information.

The idea of learning styles dates to 334 BC when Aristotle proposed that “every child possessed specific talents and skills.” After Aristotle recognized that children differed in these ways, the concept of learning styles emerged, and researchers began to develop their own theories.

Three unidentified students reading their books.

Neil Fleming developed one of the most widely accepted theories in 1987. VARK is an acronym created by Fleming that stands for visual, auditory, reading, and kinesthetic.

Here is a rundown of the four learning styles.


Visual learners retain information better when it is presented to them in a graphic format, such as arrows, charts, diagrams, symbols, and more. Visual learners benefit from clear pictures of information hierarchy in the same way that designers do when emphasizing specific design elements.


Also known as “aural” learners, auditory learners prefer to listen to information presented to them verbally. These students perform well in group settings with vocal collaboration and may also enjoy reading aloud to themselves.

Reading/Writing Learners

Reading and writing learners succeed with written information on worksheets, presentations, and other text-heavy resources by focusing on the written word. These students take notes and perform well when they can refer to written text.

Kinesthetic learners

Kinesthetic learners are physically active, hands-on, and thrive when all their senses are engaged during school work. These students typically perform well in scientific courses since they involve hands-on lab components.

Understanding your learning style can help you make the most of your study time and improve your overall learning outcomes. By identifying your preferred learning style and using study techniques that align with it, you can improve your retention and recall of information and achieve greater success in your academic and professional pursuits.

Can One Student Have Several Different Learning Styles?

The concept suggests that different individuals have distinct preferences for how they learn and process information. However, it is important to note that individuals are complex and dynamic. Students and teachers might wonder, “Can one student have several different learning styles?”

It is entirely possible for one student to have several different learning styles. It is not uncommon for individuals to have a combination of learning styles that they prefer, with one or two styles being more dominant.

teenage student paying attention to lecture in classroom.

For example, a student may prefer visual learning but also benefit from auditory input, or they may have a preference for kinesthetic learning but also learn well through reading/writing.

Moreover, it is not fixed and may change over time. Students may develop new learning preferences as they are exposed to different teaching methods or experience new learning environments.

With a combination of today’s digital tools – ranging from YouTube to Skype, interactive tablets to coding with a Raspberry Pi, and even 3D printing – we can engage with people in a variety of ways.

Indeed, the tools we use at present are already multi-functional, allowing us to transition more easily from one style to another.

Therefore, it is crucial for teachers to provide a variety of teaching methods and learning experiences to cater to different learning styles and to encourage students to explore and develop their learning preferences.

However, it is also important to note that while learning styles may influence how students prefer to learn, it is not the only factor that impacts learning. Other factors such as motivation, interest, and prior knowledge also play a significant role in student success.

Learning styles are just one aspect of a complex learning process. By being open to different teaching methods and exploring different learning preferences, students can gain a deeper understanding of themselves and become more effective learners.

How Do You Apply Learning Styles to Studying?

Identifying your learning style can be a powerful tool in helping you to study more effectively. You can tailor your study techniques to your learning style to maximize your learning potential.

Now, how do you apply learning styles to studying? Let’s explore the different types of learning styles along with the strategies for applying them to your studying habits.

  1. Visual learners: As a visual learner, you may find it helpful to use diagrams, charts, and graphs to organize information. Color coding and highlighting key points can also be useful. When studying, try to use visual aids such as videos, diagrams, and pictures to help you remember information. If you have access to a whiteboard, try drawing diagrams and writing out information to help you visualize concepts.
  2. Auditory learners: If you are an auditory learner, you may benefit from recording lectures and listening to them again later. Participating in group discussions and reading your notes out loud can also be helpful. When studying, try to find podcasts or recorded lectures to listen to. You may also benefit from repeating information out loud to reinforce your understanding.
  3. Reading/Writing learners: If you are a reading/writing learner, you may find it helpful to summarize information in your own words and create outlines or bullet points. Rewriting notes or information in your own handwriting can also reinforce your understanding. When studying, try to read textbooks and take detailed notes. Writing out information or summarizing it in your own words can also be helpful.
  4. Kinesthetic learners: As a kinesthetic learner, you may benefit from using interactive study tools such as computer simulations, experiments, and games. Taking frequent breaks during study sessions to move around and engage in physical activity can also be helpful. When studying, try to incorporate hands-on activities such as experiments or role-playing to help you understand concepts.

Everyone has a unique way of learning, and you may not fit perfectly into one learning style category. Try experimenting with different study techniques to find what works best. You may also find that a combination of techniques from different learning styles is efficient and effective for you.

How Do Learning Styles Impact Student Success in the Classroom?

How do learning styles impact student success in the classroom? When students are taught using methods that align with their learning style, they are more likely to understand and retain information.

For example, visual learners may benefit from seeing information presented in a visual format such as diagrams and charts, while auditory learners may benefit from lectures and discussions. Kinesthetic learners may benefit from hands-on activities, while reading/writing learners may benefit from taking notes and reading textbooks.

When students are not taught using methods that align with their learning style, they may struggle to understand and retain information. This can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation, which can have a negative impact on academic performance.

University students checking something in a notebook.

In addition to impacting academic performance, learning styles can also impact student engagement and behavior in the classroom. When students are engaged and interested in the material, they are more likely to participate and behave positively in the classroom. For example, a kinesthetic learner who is given opportunities to engage in hands-on activities may be more engaged and less likely to become disruptive in the classroom.

Teachers must recognize the different learning styles of their students and provide various teaching methods that cater to these styles.

Learning styles can have a significant impact on student success in the classroom. By recognizing and catering to different learning styles, teachers can help to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn and succeed.

Furthermore, it is essential for students to recognize their own learning style and to advocate for themselves in the classroom. By working together, teachers and students can create a learning environment that supports and encourages success.

Learning is a fundamental aspect of human development, and everyone has a unique style of acquiring knowledge. The way we learn and process information varies from person to person, and this is known as our learning style.

By identifying and leveraging your preferred learning style, you can tailor your study habits, improve information retention, and achieve better academic results.

Many educational platforms offer resources tailored to different learning styles. There is a wide variety of resources available to help you learn and study. Look for resources such as videos, podcasts, or textbooks that align with your learning style.

Ultimately, the key to success is finding what works for you and using your learning style to your advantage. With dedication, discipline, and a little creativity, anyone can maximize their learning potential and achieve their academic goals.

Whether you are a middle school student or a college undergraduate, you need to identify your learning styles for academic success and your future endeavors. If you have plans to pursue higher education, you will need more than academic achievements to pass through the tough admissions process.

AdmissionSight has been assisting students applying for college or graduate school for the past ten years. From making sure you have a strong application profile to helping you prepare for the next level of your education, AdmissionSight has extensive knowledge and resources to guide you in your journey to higher education.

We are excited to work with you, so book your initial consultation today!

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