As you go through grad school, you will face many of the same challenges you endured in undergraduate education. You will go to class, receive assignments, and from there, study and complete homework assignments and tests. Balance this with the increased responsibilities that you will face in graduate school and study time becomes an incredibly valuable commodity.
So how can you study well while still facing the heavy workload that comes from grad school? The easiest way to manage your study and maximize your learning is to figure out your primary learning style. Your primary learning style is the way you best absorb data from classroom sessions and homework.
Everyone has a unique learning style, and the sooner you can discover it, the better you will be in school.
But how do I Find My Learning Style?
One of the more difficult questions to be answered is what learning style you tend to use. You may think that you are primarily an aural learner, but what if you are actually a social learner? Fortunately, there are ways to find out.
The easiest way to get a relatively accurate assessment of your style is by taking a written test of skills or filling out an online questionnaire (such as the one hosted at vark-learn.com). These questionnaires, while not perfect by any means, offer a bit of insight into who you are as a learner. Once you have completed one of these questionnaires, you will have a good idea of what your style is.
The real test for figuring out your learning style, however, is to evaluate yourself early on in the school year, as well as considering your prior work in the undergraduate system. Do you find it easy to work with music going in the background? You might be an aural learner. Have you understood material best with pictures or videos to demonstrate the subject? You might be a visual learner. Discovering what has worked best for you is the first step in maximizing your learning potential.
Why Does this Matter?
Now, you may know your learning style, but why is that so important? Simply put, knowing your learning style is going to help you comprehend the information you receive in your classes.
While it may not be impossible to learn under conditions that are not suited to your learning style, working under conditions that are suited to your style will help you not only learn material better, but also help you be more confident in facing homework, tests, and quizzes.
As you gain self-confidence, you will find yourself able to focus more on your schoolwork, worrying less about how well you will do. You will be certain that you know the material well, and you will be able to complete assignments in plenty of time.
In the end, knowing your learning style is something that benefits you both in schoolwork and in emotional health. Being confident in what you know prevents the anxiety of schoolwork from overwhelming you and distracting you from your schoolwork. Your graduate-level schoolwork will benefit when you are able to learn to the best of your ability. While knowing your learning style does not guarantee perfect scores and a free pass, you will be better prepared for whatever school and life throw at you.