Helpful Study Techniques for Visual Learners

Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic (VAK) learning are the three most common learning styles as identified by Walter Burke Barbe and developed by Neil Fleming. 

Visual learners prefer to have information presented as graphics or pictures because it is easier for them to absorb and remember. These learners are very attuned to colour, brightness and contrast due to their preference for visual images. 

Mainstream education generally caters well to visual learners, but students with this learning style can sometimes struggle when studying alone.

These tips will help visual learners make the most of their study time.

Colour Code

Using a colour code when studying is very beneficial for visual learners. This code can be applied to notes and handouts, or to highlight certain themes. The more visually stimulating learning materials are, the more effective they will be. 

Colourful sticky notes, highlighters, dividers and pens are all useful tools for these learners. It’s also a good idea to invest in attractive stationary to get the brain fired up for learning. 

Create Graphics 

Visual learners should seek out information presented in the form of pie charts, graphs and diagrams when studying. Instead of copying or summarising notes, it’s very helpful for these learners to create their own representations. 

Creating graphics, images and mind maps not only helps visual learners remember, it will also make studying more enjoyable and fun. It’s a great idea to create colourful posters and put them around the house where they can be seen frequently to reinforce learning. 

Use Flashcards

Flashcards can be used in a variety ways to help visual learners revise and retain knowledge. There are many free flashcards available online or templates which students can use to type up cards. Alternatively, students can make their own cards from scratch with some sheets of cardboard and coloured pens. This is a fun activity for younger students.

Flashcards can be used to memorise vocabulary lists, concepts and dates. The key is for students to paraphrase information in their own words and include a drawing or representation that will help them remember. This tool works for visual learners because it appeals directly to their preferred sense. 

Tidy Up

As visual learners are highly aware of their physical environment, they are more affected by a messy, uninviting study area. This can influence their motivation and concentration. 

To ensure they feel good about getting stuck into the books, these learners need to have a neat, organised desk and a pleasant room to study in. It’s helpful to hang a visual planner on the wall and put inspirational quotes and pictures in prominent places.

Watch Videos 

Students with a visual preference love watching videos because this is an enjoyable and stimulating way for them to study. Fortunately, there are many videos available online in all subject areas which students can use to revise.

While many of these videos are free, the quality varies. Teachers can give recommendations, and most would be happy to provide a list of resources. 

These tips will help visual learners study more effectively.