Why Finding Your Learning Style is Important


    High school was never quite difficult for me, not that I didn't study or work hard to get to college, however the material definitely does not match up to the type of work that is expected of you in college.  I didn't understand that when I got to college I was going to actually have to work harder than I ever had before in order to actually retain the material.  In high school is was mainly about getting the work done and turning it in on time, now I see that the material I am learning now is actually meant to be something that I carry with me into the rest of my life as I prepare to apply for internships and jobs.  

    This type of studying was something that I hadn't experience before coming to Berkeley, and it wasn't something I really understood until I went into my first midterm.  In high school, the basics will get you by, which means you can skirt through the system without having to do much outside ready for class or learning material outside what your teacher has told you.  In college, you have the ability to learn as much or as little as you want, however your grade will reflect your efforts.

    It took time to find what type of learning style works best for me, and I had to work through a few separate methods before selecting one that I will most likely continue to use throughout my college career.  

    Being more of a visual learner, separating the different groupings of material into brackets broken down by color works well for me.  I also use highlighters, and sticky notes to re-emphasize material that I know will be important on my tests.  These notes, and the added color brings my eye to the material that I need to prioritise over what I already feel as though I understand.  

    Some other study habits that may help you include:

  1. Physically writing down the information.

        If you're like me(and most everyone I see taking notes in class is), you're constantly typing away while the professor is speaking.  It's proven that handwriting your notes actually will help our brain process the material better.  Now while typing them in class may result in archiving the most of what your professor says, while you're studying for the exam actually writing out the material may help your brain better access the information.  

  1. Getting a good night's sleep before studying.

        Sleeping a full eight hours a night is actually one of the best ways to help your brain make lasting memories of what happened to you during that day.  Now the information that you have gained from studying will leave a lasting impression in your brain once you wake up fresh and rested(ready for a new, full day of studying).

  1. Take a break.  

        If you've been studying for over four hours you should probably take a break and have a bite to eat, or go sit somewhere peaceful.  Whatever you do, let your mind forget about learning for a moment and give your body a rest from working so hard.  You'll be able to come back to your work in an hour or so, and you'll be fresh and ready to revise once again.

    Good luck! Finals are just around the corner...