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Dear Newbie,

I wanted to share some information that was shared with me when I was in your shoes, so here goes:

They say knowledge is power and for some students learning comes easy. If you aren`t one of them don`t worry. Many argue that it`s because their parents read to them when they were small and used interactive ways of learning in their youngest years, ultimately setting them up for success as they went through school. On the other hand, some say it`s simply genetics. I suppose a little of both statements could be true, but maybe the students that excel at a younger age have learned which styles of learning best suit them and how to use those techniques to their advantage. This could have been discovered early on or something that their teachers picked up on. Knowing and understanding which learning styles are best for you is one of the best pieces of information I have ever gotten. It has helped built my self-confidence, allowed me to focus, and learn information more easily and effectively.

You should know there are seven major learning styles. These styles include Visual, Aural, Verbal, Physical, Logical, Social, and Solitary. The first 3 types are pretty self-explanatory, students learn best by visual, auditory, or verbal forms of communication. This helps them learn, understand, and recall the information best when it is taught in these methods. The physical learner is best taught with a hands on approach, using the sense of touch to learn information. The logical student learns best by using reasoning to understand and problems and solutions. They aim to understand the reasons behind the learning, and have a good ability to understand the bigger picture. The styles of social and solitary learning are those who prefer to learn in groups or alone respectfully. So, in order to figure out which styles are best for you, there are many different types of assessments you can take and receive information to explain your results. I had to take one of these assessments for online learning. If I would have known the results and explanations of my best styles of learning when I was in middle or high school, I probably would have gotten better grades. My results showed that I have a multimodal learning preference in visual, aural, logical, and physical. Vark-learn sums this type of learner up very well stating there is both advantages and disadvantages to this type of learner. It states The disadvantage- multimodal learners need to have at least two, three or four modes involved in learning before they are satisfied and trust the information being given. The advantage- multimodal learners can be more flexible about how they take in and give out information. I now use my best styles to retain information in all areas of life. Most of all I rely on the logical style, aka the problem solving mindset or skill.

Knowledge is power but only if you know how to gain it. The tips I would give new students, like yourself, is understand your best learning styles and use as many of them as possible to absorb the most information. Repetition is also a good habit to get into, but should be used in a different learning style to help build the weaker learning styles while still learning the same information. For instance, if you used social, physical, and aural to learn about science, the next time you review or study that information try the learning styles of solitary, visual, and logical. This maximizes the chance for absorption of information and keeps it from becoming boring and mundane. Lastly, take study breaks, limiting your breaks to 20-30 minutes, such as a small task around the house or a short walk, and don`t forget to grab a power snack such as fresh fruit, small bites of chocolate, and nuts before returning to the books. Best of Luck New Students!!

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