One thing all of us here at the School of Advanced Study have in common is that we know how to study. After all, we are enrolled in postgraduate degrees. We completed our undergrad degrees, looked at the course work and dissertation, and then said: “Yes, more please. But make it harder*.”

*Disclaimer: we didn’t actually say that.

We know how to study, and to a certain extent we even like it. It’s our superpower, so to speak. But while we may have the what in common, most of us have slightly different approaches when it comes to the how.

Over the course of our academic careers, we have  developed our own ways of learning and retaining information. Some of us have to copy everything down, others pretend to teach what they’ve just learned, and some might remember something they’ve only heard once. So how do you learn? Let us know in our poll below!

Different Learning Types

Traditionally, Learning Types were split into 4 different categories, but nowadays we can differentiate 7 specific types, plus all sorts of combinations between them. To be honest, most of us will probably use one type predominantly with methods of one or more of the other types complementing our personal study style. 

The original types are: Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic/Physical, also known as VARK. On top of these four, there are the categories of Logical/Mathematical, Solitary, and Social. But what do these types really mean?

VISUAL LEARNERS: Visual learners prefer to use pictures and diagrams. They learn from reading books and watching videos, and they tend to use boxes, symbols, and colours in their notes. Visual learners can recall information by remembering and picturing visual aids.

AUDITORY LEARNERS: Also referred to as musical learners, they easily recall things they have heard. Some might also come up with songs to help them remember information easier. Auditory learners find it easy to follow spoken instructions.

READ/WRITE (OR VERBAL) LEARNERS: Words – either spoken or written – are the strongpoint of verbal learners. They write down notes, highlight keypoints, recite the information out loud and work fully with the texts. 

KINESTHETIC/PHYSICAL LEARNERS: Kinesthetic learners involve their whole body when they learn. They act things out, repeat movements, and engage their sense of touch. Physical learners are very “hands-on” and learn by doing.

LOGICAL/MATHEMATICAL LEARNERS: These types of learners rely mostly on logic and analytical skills. They ask a lot of questions looking for sequences, categories, and patterns.

SOLITARY LEARNERS: Solitary learners tend to be introspective, independent, and enjoy their own company. They tend to keep journals, and reflect on what they have learned and how to use it.

SOCIAL LEARNERS: These learners love to study in groups, to bounce ideas off of each other, and to brainstorm. They also tend to show what they have learned to the group by teaching them or through presentations.

Tell us your type!

We’re genuinely curious. As a postgrad student, how do you study best? If you’re a multimodal learner, let us know what works for you in the comments!


  1. […] to the Learning Types, my strongest type is Visual, although I’m multimodal and also use techniques favoured by […]

  2. […] through the Learning Types, I definitely recognise most of my learning strategies in the visual type. While I predominantly […]

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