Do you dread exams? Don’t worry, a lot of us do. But instead of you becoming anxious about it, you can look at it in a more positive way.
Exams are measurements of our understanding. Teachers and professionals continually provide these to assess our knowledge and skills. Therefore, the real key here is understanding yourself and create a study plan. This is how you do it.
First, find out what type of learner you are so that you will understand the ways that can help you retain knowledge easily and which ways enable you to comprehend better. The types of learning are: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, read-write, and multimodal .
- Visual Learner – A visual type of learner is someone who understands better with highlighted terms, colored images or non-colored images, and their own scribbled notes. To retain information, they connect new ideas to prior knowledge or closes their eyes while trying to record it in their brain. Their brain runs like a photocopying machine producing copies of the same image two or three times to ensure easy recall later on.
- Auditory Learner – An auditory learner understands better when someone describes to them the concepts verbally. This learner listens carefully on discussions and tries to re-describe new concepts in their own words. Texts will have less meaning to them until someone explains the texts verbally. If you talk aloud or listen to recorded discussions while studying, you are most likely an auditory learner.
- Kinesthetic Learner – A kinesthetic learner is someone who learns better when touching and doing some actions. They prefer people who explain how some principles work and demonstrate this right after. Yes, they love hands-on approaches because this allows them to explore the doing process of the principles they are learning. They also prefer real-life situations as examples.
- Read-write Learner – This learner understands better reading lists, glossaries, and dictionaries; and scribbling notes (often verbatim). While reading, they write new terms over and over again.
- Multimodal Learner – A type of learner who is able to comprehend new ideas in many ways. This person has a mix of two or more learning types. A visual and kinesthetic learner, or an auditory and read-write learner, and other combinations.
You can take a learning style quiz to find out what type of learner you are.
Second, know your type of intelligence based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. Different people have different types of intelligence. Gone are the days when people would stereotype intelligent people based on their test scores and grades. I see Gardner’s theory as an opportunity for anyone to be intelligent on a certain area rather than chasing all of them without being good at any. It is common to see people though with two or three intelligences.
- Spatial – People with Spatial intelligence excel as artists, architects, designers, and map makers. They visualize things in mind, and good at colors, lines, and structure. Most spatial people are good at solving puzzles.
- Linguistic – Example are poets, writers, and public speakers, who are very good at words and grammar rules.
- Logical-Mathematical – People who works as physicists, computer programmers, accountants, and on other professions that require number skills have logical-mathematical intelligence.
- Bodily-Kinesthetic – Most likely, kinesthetic learners also possess bodily kinesthetic intelligence. They find careers in dancing, acting, carpentry, mechanic, and athletics.
- Musical – The term gives it away. Composers, singers, pianists, violinists, and drummers are just some of the professions for musical people.
- Interpersonal – Because of their good communication skills with others, people with interpersonal intelligence find satisfaction in jobs that involve interacting with people. They will be counselors, leaders, coaches, social workers, diplomats, politicians, or sales representatives.
- Intrapersonal – People who enjoy analyzing their strengths and weaknesses or theories and ideas have careers as writers, scientists, philosophers, and theorists. They prefer to be alone most of the time so they can reflect on ideas they are studying.
- Naturalistic – Topics about nature make naturalistic people enthusiastic. Some works as environmentalists, botanists, geologists, and farmers.
- Existential – People who spend a lot of time contemplating on questions like: why man exists, why living things die, are there other living creatures in other planets, or do animals go to heaven. Those who have existential intelligence are priests, shamans, scientists, philosophers, and cosmologists.
Lastly, plan what study habits to develop. Now that you know what type of learner you are and what type of intelligence you have, connect these two and plan out how you will study for your exam. Of course, you need to be ready with materials to review and focus mostly on Tip #1, which is to figure out what type of learner you are. But you can create study habits that will allow you to remember things easily if you know what type of intelligence you have. It sounds odd, but it may work for you. Below are some scenarios I can imagine happening:
- People who are musical are auditory learners may easily remember things if they make tunes out of ideas they are reviewing (mostly, when learners are alone).
- Spatial people are most likely visual learners. While reviewing for the exam they may prefer writing graphs, flowcharts, or draw out ideas. (Try creating a cartoon!)
- Linguistic people who are also read-write learners will be making acronyms, rephrasing ideas with their own words, coining words, and may enjoy mnemonic devices.
- Naturalists people who are also auditory learners may want to record lectures or discussions and listen to it while studying at a park.
- An intrapersonal intelligent person will find his strong subjects and weak subjects to create a better study plan focusing on weak subjects first.
Now, that’s something, isn’t it? Let me know if these tips made you ace your test. Remember that your improving test scores and grades will be the rewards of your efforts, and you gain new skills and master your strengths at the same time.