The word ‘auditory’ relates to the sense of hearing. We know that people have different learning styles and that people with an auditory learning style learn best through hearing. This means that you’re able to absorb information by listening to it – this works great in a classroom environment where your teacher is explaining the content.
The downside to being an auditory learner is that silence can be distracting! It is almost impossible for an auditory learner to absorb information by sitting in a silent room and reading notes.
Have a look at this blog post with study tips for auditory learners, including starting a study club and studying somewhere where you’re able to make a bit of noise.
If neither of those are options for you, then consider studying with music. Because you’re an auditory learner, you’re bound to be distracted by lyrics and complicated musical compositions so it’s important to find the right music to study to. Think background noise, rather than the main act at a concert.
With a good library of studying music, you can pop your headphones on in a quiet library or room and make it easier to focus. You could even experiment with reserving certain playlists for specific subjects: the familiar music might jog your memory the next time you pick up where you left off.
Here are some tips for choosing the right music to study to (as well as where to look):
- Choose instrumental music, rather than music that contains vocals.
- The music should verge on boring. In other words, if you would be unable to listen to the musical piece when you’re not studying, then it’s probably a good bet.
- That said, you shouldn’t hate the music. Don’t choose something that is completely off-putting – it should make you feel relaxed, not on edge.
- Classical music by maestros like Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart and Tchaikovsky are a good place to start. If you can’t bear these compositions and want something instrumental but modern, then try musical scores from movies by composers like Hans Zimmer and Thomas Newman.
- Don’t play it too loud. The music should fade into the background, rather than dominate your thoughts.
- If you find music distracting then try nature sounds such as the sound of the ocean, whale and dolphin calls, etc. The idea is for the music or the sound to provide white noise so that you aren’t distracted by silence. These nature sounds (often used for meditation) can be very calming and non-intrusive.
Try searching for ‘Study Music’, ‘Meditation Music’, ‘Meditation Sounds’, etc. on Apple Music or YouTube. If you’d prefer music scores, try Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore and Alexandre Desplat. These are the most famous movie score composers but there are plenty more. Find a few that you like and enjoy!
You’re well on your way to understanding your own unique learning style. Keep experimenting until you find what works for you and there’s no doubt that you’ll ace your exams!