Do you ever wonder why some people seem to grasp new concepts faster than others? Or why some topics are easier for you to learn than others? The answer may lie in your learning preferences.

Learning preferences are the ways that you prefer to absorb, process, and retain information. They are influenced by many factors, such as your personality, your background, your senses, and your environment. By understanding your learning preferences, you can improve your learning outcomes and enjoy the process more.

There are many models and theories that describe different learning preferences, but one of the most popular ones is the VARK model. VARK stands for Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinaesthetic. These are the four main modes of learning that people use. Let’s look at each one in more detail.

Visual Learners

Visual learners prefer to use images, diagrams, charts, graphs, maps, and other visual aids to learn. They have a good spatial sense and can easily visualize objects, situations, and concepts. They also tend to be good at spotting patterns, colours, shapes, and symbols.

If you are a visual learner, you may benefit from the following strategies:

– Use pictures, videos, animations, slides, posters, flashcards, and other visual materials to study.

– Draw diagrams, mind maps, flowcharts, and sketches to organize and summarize information.

– Highlight, underline, color-codes, and annotate your notes and texts to emphasize key points.

– Use symbols, icons, and mnemonics to remember facts and concepts.

– Study in a quiet and well-lit place with minimal distractions.

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners prefer to use sound, music, speech, and other auditory stimuli to learn. They have a good sense of hearing and can easily understand and remember what they hear. They also tend to be good at listening, speaking, explaining, and debating.

If you are an auditory learner, you may benefit from the following strategies:

– Listen to lectures, podcasts, audiobooks, songs, and other audio materials to study.

– Record yourself reading your notes or texts aloud and play them back later.

– Repeat, paraphrase, and summarize what you hear or read in your own words.

– Use rhymes, jingles, slogans, and acronyms to remember facts and concepts.

– Study in a quiet place or use headphones to block out noise.

Reading/Writing Learners

Reading/writing learners prefer to use words, texts, and documents to learn. They have a good command of language and can easily express themselves in writing. They also tend to be good at reading, writing, researching, and analysing.

If you are a reading/writing learner, you may benefit from the following strategies:

– Read books, articles, journals, reports, and other written materials to study.

– Write summaries, outlines, essays, reports, and other documents to organize and communicate information.

– Take notes, make lists, and write down key words and definitions to remember facts and concepts.

– Use dictionaries, thesauruses, glossaries, and other reference tools to expand your vocabulary and understanding.

– Study in a quiet place with good lighting and comfortable seating.

Kinaesthetic Learners

Kinaesthetic learners prefer to use movement, touch, action, and experience to learn. They have a good sense of their body and can easily perform physical tasks and activities. They also tend to be good at hands-on, practical, and creative work.

If you are a kinaesthetic learner, you may benefit from the following strategies:

– Use objects, models, tools, and materials to study.

– Do experiments, demonstrations, simulations, and role-plays to apply and practice what you learn.

– Move around, gesture, and act out what you hear or read to remember facts and concepts.

– Use games, puzzles, quizzes, and challenges to test your knowledge and skills.

– Study in a spacious and comfortable place with enough room to move.

In Conclusion

Learning preferences are not fixed or exclusive. You may use different modes of learning depending on the subject, the situation, and your mood. However, knowing your dominant learning preferences can help you choose the most effective and enjoyable ways to learn.

The next time you need to learn something new, try to use the strategies that match your learning preferences. You may find that learning becomes easier, faster, and more fun. And don’t forget to reward yourself with some chocolate! 😉

What is your main learning style? Do you know? I incorporate all kinds of language in my online courses, plus a downloadable ebook. I am on video in all tutorials guiding you along and you can hear me speaking and explaining all the while. Find my online courses at:

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Shelley joined us for the annual HMC Heads’ PAs conference in May 2023, where she delivered two hands-on practical IT skills workshops for over 60 PAs in attendance. Both sessions were warmly received by all participants, and from a personal perspective it was an absolute pleasure for me to work with Shelley both offline in the extensive prep phase ahead of the sessions, and online during the day itself – sharp in subject knowledge, flexible in content delivery and everything executed with a really affable manner and “can-do” approach throughout. I would recommend her services wholeheartedly.

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Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

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A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn. It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

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I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

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