UMASS Blog

What’s your Learning Style?

One of the most important aspects of University is independent study, but how can you be confident that you’ll be successful? One way to help become a more independent learner is to find the best learning style for you, and to start putting it in practice now! Whether that’s researching universities and courses, or reading up on a topic that you enjoy, or doing a little bit extra work for that piece of homework you have. Parizad has told us about how she discovered her learning style and some tips for you to find out yours!

learning styles

Hello once again, UMASS blog readers!

I hope everyone is adjusting into the new term. A new start is always a little groggy, whether you’re in school or university. That’s one thing that doesn’t change for many people. One big shift between school and university, however, is that of learning styles. Which is exactly what I’ll be discussing today.

It’s useful to prepare yourself for the fact that there will be no classroom decorum. A lecture feels very different from a class. Instead of 30 or less students there may be more than twice that number, you may find yourself in a wide auditorium where it’s difficult to have a one-on-one with a lecturer, and in my experience the lectures are only for absorbing knowledge you need, applying it mostly happens on your own. And that is exactly what can sometimes be the toughest part of the process… independent learning. It constitutes 85% of your university education. If we say school is football, then university is tennis. You’re playing solo (unless group work is specified, obviously).

This is why it’s vital to test out your learning style. It’s like trial and error, keep experimenting until it feels just right. Does the ambiance of the library sharpen your concentration? Are you more productive on weekday evenings, or weekend afternoons? Does it help to have music on? What kind of music works best?

This links back to my first blog post. It’s all about building a schedule around your degree timetable. It’s not always smooth sailing, we all have our hiccups along the way. But don’t let this put you off, we all have our bad days. What I often found challenging was how to ask for help. I just had to get over that head space where I thought it was embarrassing to not know the answer and take full advantage of tutors in seminars and the intelligence of my understanding peers. Professors will always put up reading lists, it can be a tremendous aid to go through certain chapters you find hard.

For me, the library eliminates distractions as the studious atmosphere keeps me focused on my work. Instrumental music soothes my mind and I always bring fruits to snack on and sometimes even tea to boost my energy. I like to set myself benchmarks so that when I reach one I can reward myself with a short break to freely roam the internet.

So find yourself that perfect combination of factors that elicit the highest level of productivity from you. Once you’ve got your learning style, you can consider half the battle won.

Until next blog,

Pari