What Kind of Learner Are You?

Different methods suit different people

Not everyone learns things the same way. People learn better when information is presented in a way they respond to, and not everyone responds to the same style of presentation. There are three main ways skills can be taught. Read over these descriptions of learning styles to find out which one appeals to you - it can have a big impact on the school or program you choose to enroll in.

Auditory (listening) When a professor stands at the front of a classroom or lecture theatre and speaks to the students, they are learning by listening. Some people prefer to learn this way and find it easy to focus on the speaker, while others tend to become distracted and drift off into their own imagination. If you have difficulty recalling information after a lecture then you probably aren't suited to this learning style.

Kinesthetic learning (doing) When an automotive technician student performs a brake job or changes the oil in a car (with or without the guidance of an instructor) they're learning by doing. Some people have trouble understanding technical concepts when they are explained but once they get to see and feel the parts for themselves and have a few chances to practice, the information clicks and they know exactly what to do.

Visual learning (seeing) Some people can't connect the verbal description of a task or piece of equipment to what it actually entails until they see it or watch someone doing it. For example, a personal trainer might not be able to remember the placement of different muscles and their functions unless they see a diagram of the muscles in a medical illustration.

Combination learning Most people don't learn in just one way but instead they benefit from a combination of methods. On the other hand, many students will find they respond better to one method than to others.

When choosing a school it's important to determine what kind of training you'll receive so you'll be better prepared to learn. Some students prefer hands-on training, while others prefer instructional. Increasingly, programs are being offered online, which makes learning more of an independent, visual process.