• Riya

The 4 Types of Learners

Studying refers to the time an individual spends studying and reviewing materials apart from the homework they are completing. Effective studying may demand two things: time management and self-esteem/competence; however, the vast majority of students do not understand the importance of their learning style. The question that remains is:what is the best learning method for you?

There are four primary types of learners: visual learners, auditory or aural learners, kinesthetic learners, and reading/writing learners.

Visual Learners

Visual learners efficiently absorb information with the visualization of concepts and relationships between key ideas. A visual learner cannot learn by simply hearing the idea, rather, they must see the information, whether it takes the form of photographic memory, specific colors/tones, brightness, and contrast, etc.An example of visual learning is watching a video on how to assemble furniture, rather than reading the manual.

Strengths of a Visual Learner include:

  1. Being able to read and understand maps, passages, and other visual information

  2. Having strong organization and note-taking skills

  3. Being able to recognize and analyze similarities and differences between information

Strategies for Visual Learners include

  1. Write down information that you hear

  2. Color-code notes, diagrams, and concept maps

  3. Study in silence, visual learners are prone to distraction

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners learn through the task of hearing and listening; information is stored in the same way it is gained. An auditory learner will listen attentively to information rather than read it, write it, or create concept maps. Students who prefer auditory learning will pay strong attention in class as they prefer listening to the professor’s lecture over reading the textbook.

Strengths of Auditory Learners include:

  1. Having outstanding memory and public speaking abilities

  2. Being able to solve complex problems and explain ideas

  3. Being able to understand changes in tone due to strong listening skills

Strategies for Auditory Learners include:

  1. Use flashcards and study new material by reading out loud

  2. Sit in the front of the classroom or a location where you can hear well

  3. Record yourself reading information and listen to the recording

Kinesthetic Learner

A kinesthetic or tactile learner will learn by touching materials and actively engaging in the learning process through physical means. Kinesthetic learners have difficulty with lecture-based schooling as the body will not actively gain information without movement. Students will take things apart and put them together to understand the true meaning and reasoning behind core subjects. They might be slightly fidgety, but that does not mean they are distracted or are experiencing a lack of attention; they are attempting to process information.

Strengths of Kinesthetic Learners include:

  1. Great hand-eye coordination paired with an excellent motor memory

  2. Does well in art and drama based classes

  3. Very energetic and exhibit quick reactions

Strategies for Kinesthetic Learners include:

  1. Use effective reading strategies (color coding and underlining) paired with movement

  2. Tighten and relax muscles to create movement when in a public setting

  3. Stand up rather than sitting down to improve retention

Reading/Writing Learner

Reading and Writing Learners understand information by employing note-taking strategies and writing down key concepts and ideas. They follow the traditional method of studying by using handouts, notes, and lists virtually or on paper. Students will comprehend information and remember what they read, and they generally follow written directions.

Strengths of Reading/Writing Learners include:

  1. Have strong memory allowing them to information written or read information

  2. Write detailed notes

  3. Better articulation when writing, not talking

Strategies of Reading/Writing Learners include:

  1. Rewrite key concepts after class using colored pens and highlighters

  2. Write out the steps of procedures or math problems or use mnemonics for vocabulary

  3. Use note cards and post-its and place them in visible places

The VARK system, created by Neil Fleming, categorizes learners into four main types, however, individuals can correspond to one or more of the styles. They each have their corresponding strengths, weaknesses, and strategies to utilize. That is precisely why students and teachers should embrace all types of learning and accommodate them.


Child1st Publications. “16 Characteristics of Kinesthetic and Tactile Learners.” Child1st Publications,child1st.com/blogs/resources/113559047-16-characteristics-of-kinesthetic-and-tactile-learners#:~:text=Kinesthetic%20learners%20need%20to%20move,have%20excellent%20%E2%80%9Cphysical%E2%80%9D%20memory.

Fleming, Grace. Understanding the Auditory Learning Style. www.thoughtco.com/auditory-learning-style-p3-3212038.

A Guide to Visual Learning. www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/visual-learner.

Roell, Kelly. Discover These Visual Learning Traits and Tricks for Studying. www.thoughtco.com/visual-learning-style-3212062.

Roell, Kelly. “Study Strategies for the Kinesthetic Learning Style.” ThoughtCo, www.thoughtco.com/the-kinesthetic-learning-style-3212046.

What's Your Learning Style? The Learning Styles. www.educationplanner.org/students/self-assessments/learning-styles-styles.shtml#:~:text=Tactile-,Auditory,spoken%20instructions%20than%20written%20ones.