Think of the last time you studied for an exam. Were you able to remember the topics effectively? Or instead, on the day of the exam, as soon as you read the first question, your mind went completely blank!
Are you clueless on how to find a solution for these brain farts you get during exams? When you spend hours studying for a test only to remember close to nothing, it is easy to feel defeated. It can especially be frustrating when you see that peers who studied less than you get better grades!
Having a mental lapse as soon as you sit for an exam happens to the best of us! Here at Gradehacker, we are especially aware of this problem of studying to no avail. This is because we help college students daily, with different classwork as well as with their exams. In our years of experience, we have met many students just like you who are desperate to find a solution to their ineffective studying.
The good thing is, there is a solution! If you find yourself in the same situation, it is probably because you are not studying according to your learning style. There are 3 main learning styles: tactile (or kinesthetic), visual and auditory.
Do you fidget a lot during long lectures? Do you learn better through science lab experiments rather than through reading a textbook? Are you good at sports? If you answered yes, then you are probably a tactile or kinesthetic learner! An individual of this learning style learns best through hands-on activities and movement.
Well, what are you supposed to do with the seemingly pointless knowledge of which learning style you have? Actually, knowing which learning style you have is more useful than you might think! If you use study methods aligned with your learning style, you will study most effectively and remember information easier.
In this article, we will be listing the best ways to study as a tactile learner, so that you can finally say goodbye to those all-too-familiar brain farts!
Best Ways to Study for a Visual Learner:
Find a Study Environment That Allows for Movement
The environment in which you study is very important in your studying success. This is why it is always necessary to consider a study environment that will allow you to concentrate and focus best.
As a tactile learner, make sure the environment you choose to study in allows for movement. Even though your bed sounds amazing, this probably isn’t the best place to study!
A standing desk is an excellent option for tactile learners! Standing desks allow you to move around while studying.
Don’t Study for Long Periods of Time
As a tactile learner, you may observe your peers studying for consecutive hours, but when you try to do so, your brain retains nothing! This is because your brain will not maintain concentration when you study for long periods without taking any breaks where you can move around.
So simply put, take breaks! Decide beforehand how much time you’re going to study before taking a break. There is not a single time interval that works best; it all depends on how long you can focus before becoming distracted.
Put a timer on your phone, whether it be each hour or every 30 minutes. Take 5-10 minutes to step away from your studying and move. This simple study tip will make a difference so that your concentration is at its best.
A great technique to take breaks and still mantain efficiency is The Pomodoro Technique. This study method is great because creates a sense of urgency, but still gives you the chance to rest.
Take Physically Active Breaks When Studying
We already established that as a tactile or kinesthetic learner studying for long periods is not going to work out for you. So, then what are you actually supposed to do when taking breaks?
Taking a break doesn’t mean checking Instagram for 10 minutes. It means moving around after having sat down for a while. By including movement into your breaks, you will regain the necessary focus to go back to studying.
Pause your studying, and you do things such as stretch, walk around the house or anything else that will get you moving.
You will find that after taking an active break, your concentration will be increased. Whereas by sitting down for a long time, you will end up getting distracted and not absorbing the information.
Don’t Sit Still While Studying
As a tactile learner, you process information most effectively when it involves some type of movement. This is why you might notice that your hands are always fidgeting with whatever they can get a hold of.
As a tactile learner, the biggest mistake you can make is reading and re-reading your pile of notes without stimulating your tactile sense.
It might sound silly but fidgeting or involving movement will really make a difference in helping you both concentrate and remember the topics you are studying.
There are a variety of ways that you can involve movement in your studying. Any repetitive movement will be helpful, from tapping your pen on the desk to shaking your foot or even using fidget toys.
Write and Rewrite Your Notes
As a kinesthetic learner, your memory depends a lot on movement! Choosing to write your study notes instead of typing them up on a computer will really make a difference in the quality of your studying. Writing involves hand movement, therefore use it to your advantage!
Once you’re done writing your study notes, don’t close that textbook and call it a day. Rewriting your notes will be valuable for your memory. The repetitive movement will allow you to remember the topics for the exam.
Rewrite your notes on a separate sheet of paper, once, twice, or even three times. Repeat the rewriting process as many times as you believe is necessary.
Visit Museums that Relate to Your Exam Topic
As a tactile learner, you might have found that you remember information when going to a museum really well!
If you have any museums nearby specific to your exam topic, head on over to them! As a tactile or kinesthetic learner, you will remember information best through personally experiencing it in a hands-on approach.
Say, for example, you had a test on the U.S. civil war. Visiting a museum about the U.S. civil war is a great way to complement your studying.
Find a Study Group
You might be thinking, what does a study group have to do with my learning style? Finding a reliable group of classmates, you can study with will allow you to use your learning style.
Together you can come up with fun movement engaging activities to help remember topics. Studying with a partner(s) allows you to complement each other’s knowledge and help one another. If you don’t understand a certain aspect of the exam topic, your partner(s) can help explain it and, when possible, use movement to describe it.
Act Out the Topics You’re Studying
Using movement will be a game-changer for your studying! That is why getting creative and physically acting out your topics will allow you to remember them for the test.
You might be confused as to how you can “act out a topic.” Let’s say you have a biology exam next week on mitosis or the process of cell division. You can physically act out where chromosomes are located in each mitosis stage and what happens to them. For example, in anaphase, where the chromosomes are separated, you can act out the separation by walking away.
There is no right way to act out a topic. Any movement that you can use to help mimic certain information will be useful. It might seem silly but associating information with movement will boost your memory.
Chew Gum While Studying
Believe it or not, something so simple as chewing gum while studying will really benefit you. The repetitive moving of your jaw produced by chewing gum will help keep you focused on the task and remember what you are studying.
This slight movement will keep you on task and prevent you from becoming distracted due to wanting to move about.
Make Flashcards to Flip Through
Flashcards are great for all learning styles, as they allow you to test your knowledge on important terms for the test. They are also a quick way to review information!
For tactile learners, the hand movement of flipping through flashcards helps you stay focused on the terms and definitions you are reading. This will allow you to absorb the information more effectively!
How Do I Study Better as a Tactile Learner?
To study better, you should be consciously implementing methods that fit your learning style. Don’t try imitating other study techniques you’ve heard work if they are not specifically for tactile learners.
Even if your friend Jen gets A’s on all her exams, it doesn’t mean that her studying methods will work for you. We are all unique learners, and there is not one studying rulebook that will work for everyone.
So, make your studying a hands-on experience in order to get the best results. Although simple, these tips will change the quality of your study as they actively target your learning style.
We understand the pent-up frustration due to countless nights of studying, without your exam grades reflecting that. We hope these tips will improve your studying experience as a tactile learner, and that you will finally be able to retain information efficiently for your exam!
Are you looking for more tips to ace that exam? Read our article on how to Ace Your Finals with These 6 Simple Tricks.
Do you struggle with managing your time when studying? Read our article on 9 Hacks To Better Manage Your Time.