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As the name suggests, Auditory learners learn best while they are actively listening.

Auditory learners find conventional study practices, such as making notes directly from a textbook, not terribly effective. They much prefer to ingest information through audio or video clips, or by discussing a topic.

While they are not rabid note-takers in class, they are able to take in what they need simply by listening intently.

Combine this with a tendency to want to talk, auditory learners can sometimes appear disruptive or uninterested in class.

 

Are you or is your teen an Auditory Learner?

Here’s a few main characteristics of Auditory learners. See if they sound familiar. Auditory learners:

  1. tend to have good memories for past conversations (such as jokes).
  2. have a great memory for music and lyrics.
  3. enjoy discussions, debates, and talking to others.
  4. enjoy listening to music, and sing/hum/whistle to themselves.
  5. prefer to give oral presentations over written reports (although this also has a lot to do with confidence!).
  6. may read more slowly.
  7. may have difficulty interpreting complicated graphs, maps or diagrams.

 

Study Tips for Auditory Learners

Auditory learners should try to incorporate study techniques that have them either listening to information and repeating it out loud.

 

Ask questions

All auditory learners should aim to ask questions during a lesson. Even a simple question will greatly increase information retention. This way, their teacher will put an idea into words, or paraphrase what they’ve been saying.

Plus, this makes your teen actively involved in the lesson, and shows the teacher that they’re paying attention!

Use a dictaphone

Using a dictaphone during class can be a great way to review a lesson without having to rely solely on textbooks or written information. Many audio players now come with recorders built in – but just make sure that the teacher knows that it’s there for study purposes (and not to help them ignore the lesson!)

Also, Auditory learners could benefit from taping their notes once they’ve written them. This will force them to say out loud what they’ve just learnt in a way that makes sense to them – cementing it into their head. They can also use the spoken notes to revise later.

Watch videos

This is another thing that Auditory learners can do during their study periods. The Khan Academy website is a great place for this. The site currently has over 1800 videos (all produced by one very smart guy with 4 university degrees, whom Bill Gates’ professed as his favourite teacher!) predominantly science and maths focussed.

YouTube is another website that has hundreds of educational videos. But be careful — it’s also one of the most powerful procrastination tools in the world!

Use word association

Word association can be a great way to learn facts and lines. Auditory learners make better connections when facts can be repeated out loud – especially when in a memorable fashion. Mnemonic devices are a great way to help remember facts.

Repeat aloud

Auditory learners can benefit from repeating information out loud to themselves. Even better than pure repetition would be to paraphrase, or pick out the main points of what they’ve just learnt and say it to themselves.

Participate in discussions

Unfortunately discussion groups at high school can be quite distracting, meaning they aren’t a normal part of classroom life. But you can talk to your teen about what they’ve learnt today. If you don’t understand it — even better! Teaching is the best way to learn!

Avoid auditory distractions

While everyone is different, and some people study well with music (I know I do), Auditory learners are incredibly susceptible to aural distraction. A bit of quiet music might put your teen in the mood — but make sure your teen is sensible about it! It’s pretty easy to tell when something is distracting.

If you or your teen is an Auditory learner, and you have a suggestion for us to add to the list we’d love to hear it! Tell us here.

 

A cautionary note

Most people don’t fit perfectly into one of the four learning style categories. Most students have a combination Learning Style!

So, what does this mean? It means that your teen should explore different ways of learning and choose to use the ones that they find most useful.

For more study tips, check out the other learning styles: Kinesthetic Learning, Read & Write Learning, Visual Learning.

 

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Comments

    • Bruh tactile is the best because my teacher now allows me to listen to music, watch videos, stand up when she’s teaching a lesson and lets me doodle on paper

  1. i dont think im this because i read above my reading level and i like to do more of a hands on things but however i do ask a lot of of questions

  2. My daughter is a auditory learner. Now she is in College when professors teach less and student has to spend hours in library and read themselves and understand. She is kind of going through hard time. We were discussing many points that you mentioned in this article. Thank you very much you put all of them together and it emphasize what we discussed.

    • Hi Sunanda. College is a big transition for most students, because as you say, the teaching environment is so different. It might take your daughter a while to figure out how to best study for her College assessments, but if she keeps chipping away, figuring out what does and doesn’t work for her, I’m sure she’ll get there soon enough.

    • I had similar problems in college and finally started getting A’s my senior year when I started participating in 2-person study groups. The conversation is much more focused and less distracting when it is two people.

  3. well i am definitely an auditory learner, though during school i would write notes and listen. the problem is when it came time to study all i had where notes, and they didn’t help at all!! i cant find a way to study 🙁

    • It can be tricky figuring out what ways of studying work for you, but hang in there. Make sure you check out all of the information on Auditory learners information page – hopefully there are some things in there that you can adapt to work for you. Good luck! 🙂

  4. I always knew I was an auditory learner and I have most of the things on this list. It really describes me! I play 4 instruments and I always now what note is being played, can sound out music on my own, but have trouble playing songs I don’t know. If I hear a song once, I try to mimic it without reading the music which can be a problem, but I also like that I can sound out music!
    HINT- READ THE NOTES!
    I love being auditory! <3

  5. I kind of guessed I was an auditory learner due to my music skills, I was able to do them with ease even though I had never done so before in my life! Love being an auditory learner 🙂

  6. I just started college and happen to be facing an incredibly hard time coping with my studies because I happen to be an auditory learner. It is impossible to be able to read aloud or tape info due to the fact that a suitable space is not available here.We are required to read manuscripts of 400+ pages and I am struggling with the same. Is their any method that I can use to develop my reading skills ?

    • Hi Isha, hmmmm I see your conundrum there. I’m afraid if you’re at college, you’re not going to be able to avoid reading. It’s just the world we live in. But what you can do is try to supplement the reading with as much ‘audio-friendly’ study as you can. In a library you can still watch videos on your computer with headphones, and there’s nothing wrong with learning that way, especially when there’s so many great educational videos available online. If you like reading aloud and making tapes to listen to later, you might just have to do this when you’re at home, and then listen to them when you’re in the library or wherever. It might not be ideal for you but if you’re figuring out the study techniques that work best for you, you owe it to yourself to put them to use as best you can. In terms of developing your reading skills, firstly, just try and stick at it. I know that before I studied law I didn’t think I liked ready very much either, was more of a visual learner. But I had no choice, had to read cases and text books all the time, and there’s no doubt I got better and enjoy reading a lot more now. So try and stick at it. On top of that, I would just try and find as much audio sources that deliver the same information. And also, maybe try and break down reading something that big – ie 50 pages at a time, so that you get a break and maintain your concentration as best you can. Will be keen to hear how you go – I’m sure you’ll do great 🙂

  7. Thanks for the tips. I have been having some difficulty in retaining things read but, I got to discovered today, that human being possess different memories. I find more of the characteristics of an auditory in me. Currently, I’m preparing for a major exam which is in two months time. Please,I will need your help to improve on my study and comprehension.

    • Hi Peter, I would start by having a read of articles, just because there’s a lot of information there already. Then if you still think you need help, let me know what you’re struggling with (as specifically as possible) via email and we’ll see what we can do to try and help. In the meantime, best of luck with the study 🙂

    • Hello Peter, I think it is a bit too late maybe, but to help you remember things, read them out loud, or record you reading them and listen to it often. I figured this out not too long ago and it sure helps me. Good luck in the future!! 🙂

  8. I am an auditory learner and I have learned that reading things out loud helps me remember; and what works even better is reading my notes out loud and recording it, then listening to it later on to help it stick in my brain. I hope this helps some of you others out there. 🙂

  9. I have a son that was born with hydro, it compressed the bridge that allows visual processing, he is very much an auditory learner. He has a higher than average IQ but struggles in areas of comprehension and math, especially geometry, because he cannot process the diagrams and such. Any ideas on how to help him in these areas?

    • Hi Karen, thanks for your comment. I’m afraid dealing with mild disabilities like your son’s is not something I have expertise in. All I can say is that there are a lot of different learning resources available online these days, and your son shouldn’t have to rely just on math textbooks at school. Maybe trying out a few different resources – videos etc – might benefit him. Best of luck.

  10. I’m definitely an Auditory learner. I figured it cause since I was little I had such facility for memorizing song lyrics and learning music. I play 3 instruments and I can figure out a lot o songs without reading them based on how they sound. A lot of times I try to figure them out the first time i hear a song and end singing them on the second time. I’m always sing and humming songs to myself(which drives my family crazy)
    I LOVE being an auditory learner!

  11. I came across this article and the comments attached today because I once again, heard that, “you need to take notes” at work. I am in my 50’s, and I learn by listening and absorbing. I’m smart. I learn fairly quickly. BUT I cannot take notes. Taking notes distracts me from what is being said. I hear only half of the meeting, and worst of all, when I look back at my notes they are meaningless. So after hearing I need to take notes, and I should not ask so many questions, I needed to find validation that I’m not alone. Thanks for being here folks:-)

    • You’re definitely not alone, Jan! It sounds like you know how YOU absorb and retain information, and that’s all that matters! We all learn in our own unique way. Stick to your guns! 🙂

  12. I am more likely to recall or remember what I hear or listen to, reading the text which only serves as sight recognition which is important when taking a multiple choice test. Read silently and recall hearing the answer helps. If writing the answer is required then practice spelling aloud and practice helps for refresher.

    Problem for me is a lot of the books I need to read do not have an audio book to read along with. Making recordings of the stuff is quite the task, but with more practice I can get the hang of it.

    • Those are some awesome tips!! Thanks for sharing! Making recordings of your study notes is such a great study technique. Yes it does take some time but you only have to record once and then you can listen over and over again! Great work – keep it up!!!

  13. I feel like you describe my high school and college life. I am strongly a listener and I hated taking notes. For me it was most effective to listen, and tell someone later what I learned. My freshman year of college I took a class that was mostly listening. For the final we were required to basically regurgitate the lectures. I rocked that class. I think that was the best final I have ever taken, because the material was interesting and I told my sister all about it.

    • That’s so awesome Alisha! Stoked to bits to hear it! You’ve nailed it in figuring out how you study best and using your predominant Learning Style to help you get there. I take it that since that was in your freshman year you’ve gone from strength to strength throughout college! Thanks so much for the comment and all the very best 😀

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