6 Study Tricks for Auditory Learners

Use Those Listening Skills To Your Advantage!

Study tricks for auditory learners
Getty Images | David Schaffer

 A Bit of Auditory Learner Background

Auditory learners have possess one of the three different learning styles promoted by Neil D. Fleming in his VAK model of learning. According to Fleming, auditory learners need to hear something to truly learn it, although most auditory learners combine this strategy with another learning style, too. These types of learners can typically recall what a teacher or professor has said in class, and can usually be a helpful participant in class as long as the social strengths do not veer them off course and distract them!

Auditory learners are often the social butterflies of the classroom, and can be easily sidetracked by those around them.

Study Tricks for Auditory Learners

The following study tricks will help you maximize those listening skills you possess. Here are some ways to study you may already employ and some you may have never thought of, too.

1. Play Appropriate Study Music

Since you are most likely tuned into music, it is best to choose music that is lyric-free when studying. Why? Auditory learners tune into to every noise around them from chatter to the lyrics of a song. So, if you're studying and your favorite jam spins through your playlist, you will pay attention to those lyrics instead of devoting your entire brain to the task at hand. The good news is that there are a ton of great lyric-free sources out there. Here are 50 great sources for lyric-free tunes to help you stay focused.

2. Study in a Group

As I stated before, auditory learners tend to be social butterflies.

Use that social strength and study in a group, as long as you choose your study group wisely. If you select your three best friends, chances are good you will end up off topic unless one of you takes charge and keeps your group on course. Practice quizzing each other aloud and chatting about the chapter or topic you're studying.

You may find out that one of your study partners knows something you may have missed.

3. Study with a Partner

This is probably your very best bet for getting some real learning accomplished, actually. You will still get the auditory learning that you need - you can quiz your study partner or review aloud - but since there is only one other person, your chances of veering away from your study session be reduced. 

4. Talk To Yourself

It may seem really, really weird, but talking to yourself when you're studying is actually one of the best study tricks for auditory learners out there. Read your notes out loud in your room or quietly to yourself in a library or other study spot. Learning by recitation is an old technique, but it's very good for those of you who learn with your ears. When studying things that need straight memorization like mathematical formulas, states and capitals, or dates of battles in wars, for instance, your brain will make deeper connections if you're using both your eyes and your ears. 

5. Start Singing

Make up jingles or tunes for ideas that are tough for you to remember. You are really good at remembering lyrics, aren't you? Then use that skill! Make up your own lyrics for your most difficult subjects.

Physics? Chemistry? Biology? Many students memorize the entire Periodic Table of the Elements when they sing the chart set to the "Infernal Galop (otherwise known as the Can-Can music) from Jacques Offenbach's opera "Orpheus in the Underworld." 

6. Participate in Class Discussions

You can get some of your studying done ahead of time by participating in class discussions and answering questions. If you are actively engaged in the lecture, sitting near the front, you will be far more likely to remember what was going on (and hence, the answers to the test questions), than you would if you were slumped in the back with one half of your brain thinking about it. You are probably just as good at speaking as you are at listening, so explain the answer in a different way. Some other person in your class may benefit from your explanation.