If you’re not at school, then you might have noticed that even your colleagues have different ways of preparing for meetings. Some can fly by without even looking at the presentation while others take hours to do a lot of research.
In one way or another, we all develop our unique methods to learn the best we can. Some use flashcards, come up with mnemonic tools, listen to recorded lectures, or read in the wee hours.
It turns out that the differences in the way we understand and learn the material are a reflection of the learning style that suits us. Scientists and psychologists have spent a lot of time researching and studying how these vary and what categories learners fall into.
The VARK Model
One of the studies resulted in what is called the VARK model. Developed by Neil Fleming in 1992, the VARK model identifies four basic categories or types of learners: Visual, Auditory, Reading/writing, and Kinesthetic.
Each learning type is described to respond to different methods of teaching. The model also considers the fact that each learning style is influenced by several factors, including their environment, cognition, and emotional state.
The first and the most popular type of learners are visual learners.
65% of learners are on the visual learning scale
This means that they process and learn information using diagrams, tables, images, charts, and infographics.
They prefer graphical representation of information in concise formats to lengthy and wordy materials. This type of learning is also called spatial learning.
As the name suggests, these are your learners that learn and retain information most effectively when it’s in audio form. They process information by listening to others speak and talking through things instead of reading the information.
These types of learners are those who prefer listening to lectures, audiobooks, and podcasts rather than reading long books.
This one is pretty easy to understand. Read/write learners are the ones who prefer learning through words and then writing down what they learned. These are those students that you see making copious amounts of notes in class.
Images, videos, hands-on learning, and charts, etc. don’t really affect their efficiency as long as there is sufficient verbal explanation.
The last but not the least, we have kinesthetic learners. Unlike the other three types of learners, these are encouraged to learn by hands-on and tactile processes. They don’t mind jumping into action and getting their hands dirty to learn whatever is being taught.
In other words, they like to create experiences and personalize the tactile exercise to make it their own. They are also the ones who believe in recreating and practicing to make improvements in their work.
While these types of learners wrap up the VARK modalities, there have been some other studies and research papers published on learning styles. For example, there are other models that divide people into seven categories of learners.
Besides the ones included in the VARK model, the other types include verbal, logical, social, and solitary. All the seven are a part of the Memletics learning styles model.
This category overlaps read/write and audio learning styles. Learners that fall into this category are those who prefer using words to both articulating and writing.
This learning category is more geared towards learners involved in technical fields. They like using mathematics, scientific research, reasoning, and systems to make sense of the information they have at hand.
Social or interpersonal learning style includes those individuals who learn better in groups and with other people. Social learners are those you see involved in study groups and panel discussions.
Unlike social learners, solitary or intrapersonal learners prefer solitude to grasp the material. They do their best when they study on their own..
Whether you’re a school teacher with a big batch of students or training a group of industry professionals, understanding the disparity of learning styles is important. It allows you to make your teaching plans so that all different types of learners are accommodated.
Without this understanding, you are likely to end up with some learners lagging behind without any fault of their own. Their learning style won’t be activated, making it hard for them to catch up with the material.
So How Do You Find Out What Type of Learner You Are?
There is no need of visiting a psychologist for that. Professionals in the field have already come up with another solution. Quizzes!
The internet is home to hundreds of quizzes and tests that you can take to get an idea of what kind of learner you are. They use different quiz formats to test you and give you a score to identify your type. Some quizzes give results in the form of scores that give you a percentage for each category. This is helpful because not necessarily you only work well with just one style of learning.
Here are some examples of such quizzes that you can take online:
Memletics Learning Styles Questionnaire
The Memletics Learning Styles Questionnaire is a system designed to help individuals self-analyze their learning styles. The test is divided into several stages, starting with a self-analysis. Each question probes how you prepare for tests and learn in both academic and non-academic settings.
You take the quiz by rating each statement a zero, one or two. Zero means that the statement is completely inaccurate for you. One means that it is partially accurate, while two means it is completely accurate.
In the end, you’ll get a score for all the seven learning styles. You can make a personal assessment based on the learning styles that get the highest score.
The VARK Questionnaire
The VARK Questionnaire is based on the four types of learners explained in the model. The questionnaire consists of 16 choice-based questions. Each one presents a small scenario and asks how you would behave.
For instance, the first question asks the quiz taker how they would like to receive feedback after they’ve completed a test or competition.
Once you’re done with the online quiz, you’ll get your results immediately. The website will give you a score that indicates your preferences for each learning style. If you have an almost equal score for multiple styles, you might be a multimodal learner.
The Education Planner Learning Style Quiz
The Learning Style Quiz developed by Education Planner is also based on the VARK model. The quiz is designed specifically for students, but anyone can take it.
The pattern follows a series of 20 questions that present common everyday scenarios along with some academic questions. Each answer has 3 to 4 options. You can choose the one that applies to you.
The results of the test are similar to the one that VARK’s test generates. You will be given a score in percentage form for each category along with the most prominent one explained. In addition to an explanation of what your results mean, the website also offers you some tactics to enhance your learning process.
Quiz by Arden University
Arden University is a private university in England that offers both blended and online distance learning courses. r To help their students, the university’s officials have created a quiz that can help you to find your learning type.
Compared to other quizzes we’ve mentioned here, this one is quite short. It is based on 10 questions, each asking you simple questions. You have to choose between A, B, and C, selecting the one that applies to you the most.
The results are quite clear and simple to understand. Once you’ve submitted your answers, you will be provided with what type of learning category you fall into. Like the Education Planner Quiz, you will be guided by some tips for improving how you learn.
University of the Pacific Learning Style Inventory
Like Arden University, The University of the Pacific has created their version of a learning style quiz. Available in a PDF printable format, the quiz comprises 14 choice-based questions.
The questions are also based on the VARK model. However, there is a slight difference. Instead of considering all four learning styles explained under the VARK model, the quiz only tests for 3, i.e. VAK (Visual, Audio, and Kinesthetic). The options for each question are assigned to each learning style.
You take the quiz and then do the analysis yourself. At the end of the quiz, you have to add the total responses for each type. The one with the highest score is your primary mode of learning.
At the end of the document, there is a detailed bulleted list explaining how you can study better based on your learning style.
Chegg’s Learning Style Quiz
Chegg is an American education company that focuses on helping students with various services. You can find online tutors, homework help, scholarship searches, internship matching, college application advice, and more.
Based on the VAK model, Chegg has created a quiz that allows students to test what type of learner they are. This quiz is the shortest. It is based on only seven questions.
The questions are quite simple, e.g. one of them asks if you like charts and graphs. Each question gives you four options to choose from. You can pick the one that holds for you.
The results generated at the end categorize you into either a visual, or auditory, or kinesthetic learner. Like all other quizzes above, this one also provides a brief explanation of what your results mean, what percentage of the population falls into this category, and some study tips.
These are certainly not the only types of learner quizzes available on the Internet. You can even take the one created by Buzzfeed. This particular quiz is designed by Ashford University. It consists of 8 questions, each with various options that you can choose from. The results are similar to other quizzes.
While these quizzes are quite convenient and easy to use in both academic and professional settings, you can always make your quiz as there are several websites and platforms that you can use to personalize it.
This way, you can use your understanding and the model you find relevant. Instead of fixating on the VARK or Memletics models, you can mix and match. You can also customize the results to give a more relevant explanation.
If you want to go this route, here are some platforms that you can use:
Each platform has its own set of pros and cons. We suggest that you test them out and then work with the one that is the most effective and easy-to-use. If you’ve never made a quiz before, the websites will explain how to do it in complete detail.
In the end, it’s about helping learners to figure out their strengths and then use them to make improvements in how they learn and to polish their skills.