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Are you using effective revision techniques?
The summer term and exams have come to a close and your mind has swiftly switched to focus on all the fun activities that are suddenly on offer to you, and why not?
You’ve worked your socks off and the least you deserve is several afternoons spent sunning yourself in a beer garden, a couple of weekends in a lovely field surrounded by friends listening to music and perhaps even a trip to an exotic location.
However, you can always take some time to make your return to the grindstone a little easier for yourself and ensure that your time is used effectively throughout the next academic year.
No matter what level you are studying at, it is important to recognise what learning techniques suit you best and make full use of them. This way, whether you are writing an essay or revising for an exam, your time and energy can be spent efficiently.
A great starting point is to identify your learning style. For instance, if you prefer to hear somebody explain information and find that you rarely struggle to focus in lectures, it is highly likely that you are an auditory learner.
Are You an Auditory Learner?
Auditory learners absorb information best when actively listening as opposed to making notes from a textbook.
If you’ve always preferred to learn from video clips or through discussion, and find that any knowledge gained is more likely to stick that way, then it’s certainly likely that you’re an auditory learner.
Take a look a few common auditory learner traits to discover whether you tick any of the boxes:
- Do you have a fantastic memory for past conversations? Perhaps you can recite jokes like a pro?
- Can you remember all the lyrics to your favourite jams?
- Are you a fan of a debate or a group discussion?
- Do you have trouble deciphering diagrams and maps?
If the above sound all too familiar to you, there’s a good chance that you’re an auditory learner and following traditional revision techniques may have been doing you a disservice.
How Should Auditory Learners Study?
There are lots of learning techniques that appeal to an auditory learner, and we’ve put together a few of the best.
Read these top studying methods below:
Work in Groups
In a recent survey, it was found that 16% of students believe that they are auditory learners.
Finding others with the same learning style as you and arranging study sessions with them will allow you to revise using the most effective techniques, such as word association games and debates.
If you’re unable to uncover an effective study group, find a learning buddy to talk with. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the same course, as teaching someone else can be a great way to teach yourself.
Finding ways to remember information as an auditory learner can be tricky, so it may take a bit of creativity to get things to stick.
You may feel silly at first, but try making up songs or rhymes to memorise particularly difficult information, as it will help you to recall it during exams.
If making up songs and rhymes to help you study is a little bit too quirky, put together a presentation on your revision topics and present it to your family or flatmates.
Word association devices such as mnemonics are ideal learning techniques for auditory learners who are better able to make connections when a fact is repeated out loud.
A mnemonic device is a method of memorising something difficult by associating it with something easy to remember. For instance, you have probably at some point used the phrase ‘Richard of York Gained Battle in Vain’ to recall the order of the colours of the Rainbow.
Ask Questions in Lectures
Although it can be quite daunting to raise a question in front of the rest of your seminar group, it can be incredibly beneficial if you are struggling to cement something in your memory.
Listening to your lecturer or another course mate explain something you don’t quite know can help you get a greater understanding of it so that you can recall the information at a later date.
See Questioning Skills and Active Listening for more information.
Try Alternative Methods to Taking Written Notes
If you find taking written notes less beneficial, use alternative methods to revise and remember information.
There are many ways auditory learners can take information away from lectures, from recording lectures on a device that you can listen back through, to typing up notes on a laptop and pasting it into a text to speech tool.
As auditory learners are more prone to distractions, it is crucial to create a peaceful and calm working environment where you can focus on studying.
Although listening to music can be enjoyable, unfortunately it can also be very distracting. Try switching to classical music, which can boost productivity according to experts, or music without words to stop you from singing along!
See our page on Minimising Distractions and Time-Wasters for more to help you here.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
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Revising for exams and writing essays can be stressful, particularly when you feel that you haven’t left as much time as you would like.
There’s no end to the list of benefits that can come from utilising revision techniques tailored to your learning style, especially when you feel that you are working against the clock.
By researching and trying revision techniques for auditory learners, you have the opportunity to identify and use the methods that will be most effective in helping you excel in your exams.
About the Author
The Student Housing Company provides accommodation in cities around the UK, giving students a comfortable and vibrant place to stay during their university years.