Starting your (I)GCSEs is a daunting task. Learning lots of subjects in depth is a tricky thing. Luckily, Lanterna Education is here to give their best GCSE Tips courtesy of their elite tutors! The first GCSE tip focuses on how you work!
One of the easiest ways to achieve a smooth transition into your (I)GCSEs is by working on your study techniques, particularly discovering or rediscovering how you study best. When it comes to studying (or even cramming, ehm ehm) for your next set of exams, there are fewer wrong ways to do it than you might think. While binging on Netflix while trying to memorize biological phyla may not be the best way to go about, lounging around on your comfiest rocking chair and listening to Mr. W’s Music videos on biological concepts may just teach you a lot. How you study best is essentially characteristic of your learning style. Your learning style incorporates things such as where you study best, or which study tools optimize your study. Knowing and incorporating your learning style can make studying more engaging, fun and efficient and is our first GCSE tip for you!
There are many learning style classifications so here I’m going to break them down into three of the most predominant styles; visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles. Of course, many of us don’t fit perfectly into one category and can exhibit characteristics of two, or even all three of the learning styles. The handy dandy Venn diagram above shows how learning styles can overlap in many instances. So here’s our take on these learning styles to hopefully help you identify yours and incorporate some of the things that work for your learning style.
If the kid in this picture accurately captures your reaction to listening, chances are you are an auditory learner. As an auditory learner you learn best by listening. You typically prefer to hear a podcast or listen to your teacher explain concepts as opposed to reading textbooks. By the same token, you also may enjoy explaining concepts to your peers as a way to reinforce your own learning.
As an auditory learner you may find YouTube study tutorials become your best friend as you prepare for an exam. YouTube offers countless educational channels where you can listen to teachers or students giving lectures about popular concepts you’ll encounter during (I)GCSE as well as their top tips too! There is also a plethora or ‘slam poetry’ or ‘rap songs’ on the internet that are modified to help you understand different concepts and the beats end up remaining stuck in your head long after you listen to them. Mr. W’s academic music videos are a great resource you can check out and a testament to that is the fact their meiosis song will remain stuck in my head forever. You can also record your teacher’s lectures (ask for permission before you do) and listen to them while you revise. Similarly, you can record yourself explaining the concepts and come back to them when you revise for finals. Consider studying with a friend so you have someone to talk about the study material with as you revise. As an auditory learner try to use your listening skills to an advantage in any which way you can to learn best.
If these notes bring a smile to your face, chances are you a visual learner. As a visual learner, you learn best by seeing. For you, the saying seeing is believing couldn’t be any truer. You likely learn well by taking notes. As such, colour coding your notes can enhance your note taking experience. Invest in a good set of coloured markers or pen to elevate and better organize your notes. Making concept maps or any other kind of graphical representations can really help you remember information better. By the same token, flashcards can work really well for you. You can choose a physical or a virtual deck such as quizlet and view your flashcards while on the bus or during the spare minutes at the dentist’s office. The highlighter is your best friend and feel free to highlight your textbooks to improve your focus and signify important information.
Raise your hands if you find yourself looking forward to chemistry labs and PE classes. If so, you are likely a kinaesthetic learner. As a kinaesthetic learner you learn best by doing. Science labs and drama classes always invigorate you. You may also find yourself choosing to do skits whenever a teacher asks you to present to your class. You may choose to walk around your house while studying or obtaining for the rocking chair in your living as opposed to the chair with your study table. These are completely normal habits for kinaesthetic learners and feel free to move around while you study. You may also prefer to take short breaks during your study time and get active by doing a set of burpees or hitting the treadmill to release your energy.
If you want to take a quick quiz to find out your main learner style if you’re ensure, click HERE!
Here is just a snapshot of the things you can do to make your study sessions an enjoyable experience. There are several online quizzes that can help you identify your learning style. You can also explore new learning styles to find which works best for you. Sometimes you may find a combination of learning styles work best for you so feel free to experiment with combinations of styles. Tailoring your study sessions to your preference can make them more effective and interesting. You can also consider things such as if you prefer to study in absolute quiet or with ambient noise or if you learn best by studying alone or prefer the company of a group. Either way, there’s no wrong way to study as long as what you’re doing works for you. I hope this little post can help you find a fun way to study and take on the (I)GCSE by storm. Look out for next weeks blog where we’ll be exploring our next GCSE tip!