Best Ways to Study as a Visual Learner

Athina Hansen

Athina Hansen

Content Writer at Gradehacker

How To Study as a Visual Learner

If you are a visual learner and want to make the most of it, you can:

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If you ever had a hard time preparing for an exam because the class’ textbook felt too monotonous and poorly designed and, in contrast, feel that colorful and dynamic graphics help you study better, then we have news for you.

You are a visual learner!

And as such, it’s important that you know how to take full advantage of this visual learning style to study smarter.

Here at Gradehacker, the non-traditional adult student #1 resource, we’ve been helping for years college students succeed with their essays, discussions, and classes and optimize their study habits.

In this blog post, we’ll list the best ways to study as a visual learner!

The Learning Style Theory: Why Will This Help You?

During the learning process, we see students facing the same problem over again, which is having difficulty in how they approach their study sessions.

So, if you’re in a similar position, it might just be because you aren’t studying according to your learning style!

We all have a way of learning that makes it easier for us to understand and process the information, no matter if you’re a middle-aged student, an elementary school child, or recently graduated from high school 

There are three main learning styles:

But do you understand a topic better when using visual learning styles such as presentations or drawing diagrams? Is it easier to find your way around town with a map rather than by verbal directions?

If you answered yes, then there is no doubt that you are a visual learner. So get ready to learn more about the visual learning strategies you can (and should) follow!

You can also find these tips in our video:

1) Find a Quiet Environment to Study in

You shouldn’t take your study environment for granted, as creating and finding an efficient learning style is just as important!

If you want a visual learning environment, you need to find a quiet spot. Your strength lies in understanding visual information so that any noise will distract your focus.

Find a quiet spot in your house, or if there aren’t any, head to your local library. There, you can share a long time period of time with other quiet students without getting distracted or interrupted! 

Keep in mind that although studying with friends or other college students might sound more fun, it may not be an ideal study environment for your learning preferences.

If you need more tips, you can learn how to create an ideal study environment.

2) Color Code Your Notes

As a visual student, your brain remembers images and bright colors or anything stimulating to the eye. This is why you shouldn’t forget about your colored highlighters when studying.

A scientific study with Alzheimer’s patients found that color cues are great for memory. These patients remembered images in color more easily than black and white images.

As a visual and writing learner, take advantage of this in your notes by assigning a color to different categories present in your notes!

You might be asking yourself, what does this learning method look like?

Best Ways to Study as a Visual Learner

Well, let’s say you have a history exam on the causes of the Great Depression. You can highlight the social causes in blue, economic causes in green, and political causes in yellow.

You can use it with any topic you want, from math concepts to any artistic abilities or material when you need a review study!

By doing so, you can visually identify these different categories. You can also include a key that lists what each color represents.

Color coding will cause you to associate information with a color, which means you will be more likely to remember it on the test!

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3) Use Concept Maps to Study Connections

Concept or mind maps are great aspects of learning since they are a way to visualize the connections in abstract concepts or exam topics, as they can serve as graphic organizers!

Mind mapping begins with writing down the central topic and then drawing lines that attach subtopics to our central topic. These subtopics will also have topics that branch out from them.

Say, for example, you were making a concept map, and the central topic was ‘the universe.’

The universe is made up of planets and galaxies, so these could be topics that branch out from our main one. Then, within the subtopic planets, we could branch out further and include different planets’ names.

Being able to see the connections present in your study topic will allow you to create a mental picture and remember them for the test.

To test your own knowledge as a picture learner, try making a concept map without checking your notes! After you’re done, you can compare the concept map you made to your notes. Those connections that you did not include are what you will need to study further.

4) Study Visuals

For this learning skill, study any visuals that are available for the topic of your exam. This visual material can be a graph or a diagram.

Either way, it will be beneficial for enhancing your visual memory and sense of direction during your learning process.

Check your textbooks, handouts, or your professor’s presentations for visuals. If there aren’t many, or they are not that helpful, turn to Google and find some yourself!

Studying visual information will be a lot easier for you to understand.

Suppose you have an exam on the cardiovascular system. In that case, your brain will be more likely to remember the parts that compose it by studying a graphic rather than needing a demonstration as a kinesthetic learner would!

5) Include Visuals in Your Notes

Make sure that your notes aren’t just a block of text! 

Use visuals to accompany the information during your review study session; this will be helpful for your memory and learning goals.

Well, what if you can’t find helpful visuals in your textbook? Don’t let this stop you from including visuals in your notes; draw your own ones to pay better attention to lecture material.

You don’t have to show off your artistic abilities. A simplified drawing is enough!

This will make your learning experience more successful as your brain will remember the visuals included and the information that accompanied it.

Best Ways to Study as a Visual Learner

6) Watch Videos And Read Books

What should you do if you come up with a difficult concept or find your textbook hard to understand? Don’t give up because the typical formal learning materials aren’t helping; find additional resources!

You can try searching for books on your exam topic using Google Books or any of the other websites to find free textbooks we have listed so you don’t have to spend extra time trying to figure out where to find them.

You can also go to YouTube and find videos on the topic. Reading and watching videos are both visual techniques, so you won’t struggle to process the information.

Go the extra mile and find additional study resources! It will make a massive difference in the quality of your studying.

7) Use Flashcards to Review Information

As a visual learner, flashcards will become your best friend when studying! This is because they involve visual information in a condensed form.

You can create your own flashcards with paper, or you can even make them online using Quizlet. Don’t forget to include images and colors so that they are visually stimulating.

This is an excellent study method to use after reading through all your notes, as it offers a quick review of all the information.

If you want to learn more study tips to create better flashcards, check out our blog and see how you can make a difference!

Are you an auditory learner?

If you are more than just a visual learner and also study better with sounds, there are more tips for you!

Santi Auditory CTA

Are you an auditory learner?

Santi Auditory CTA

If you are more than just a visual learner and also study better with sounds, there are more tips for you!

8) Rewrite Your Notes

Don’t just read through your notes. Try rewriting them once or even up to three times on a separate paper!

The study habit of repeatedly writing down and seeing the same information will make the information easier to remember on your exam day.

9) Practice Describing Visuals

After studying visuals for your exam, it’s essential to practice describing them and explaining the information they present.

Studying visuals won’t be useful if you don’t practice explaining!

Because then, the image you studied might pop into your head during the exam, but it won’t help you since you won’t be able to elaborate on it.

10) Write Down a Study Schedule

Planning out how and when you will study beforehand is crucial!

Make a study schedule where you list out:

When you can see your study plan, you will be more aware of how you need to study, and your study technique will become more effective.

By doing so, you will follow a good study pace and avoid dedicating too much or too little time to one area.

You can also use notepads or to-do lists as daily reminders of what you have to study and when.

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How do I Study Better as a Visual Learner?

The most important takeaway is that you shouldn’t study randomly.

You should plan out your studying schedule and study according to what type of learner you are. Make use of your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses!

Don’t waste your limited time studying by ignoring visual study methods. Implement visually stimulating methods, as this will make a huge difference in the quality of your studying.

We understand your frustration when you fail an exam all because of unsuccessful studying and not due to laziness. We hope these tips will improve your learning experience as a visual learner and that you’ll finally be able to retain information efficiently and meet your learning goals!

Athina Hansen

Athina Hansen

Athina has worked with Gradehacker both as a content writer and a study consultant, where she assisted college students with nursing courses. Athina has a background of educating others and producing content, having tutored college students and produced articles for her school magazine. She brings her experience to her current role, where she writes content to empower and assist the non-traditional college student who is often overlooked. You can find her on LinkedIn