By understanding how you learn, you can streamline your study practices for better results without necessarily spending more time studying.

Some students are in the habit of using techniques that don’t work well for them and see their disappointing results as evidence that they aren’t “good enough”. What they don’t realize is that often all that is needed is a better understanding of what works for them.

VAR+ helps you identify which modalities you like to use for learning. But this is just the start!

VAR+ will help you:

  • Identify ways that you can actively use your learning style to improve learning.
  • Understand the importance of relating what you are learning to your own experience.
  • Start thinking about how you learn – what is working, what is not, and what you can do to improve.

The four learning style modalities

Each person’s learning style is a combination of the following four modalties:

V = Visual

Visual or spatial representations of information – you like photos, drawings, graphs, diagrams, maps… You clarify your understanding by drawing.

A = Aural

Hearing and talking – you like to listen and talk about what you are learning. You understand things better after discussing them.

R = Read/write

Reading and writing – you like to read articles, books, and anything written. Writing about something helps you think things through.

+ = Make it your own

You gain knowledge by integrating new material with what you already know, including your own experiences.

Distribution of Learning Preferences

The following chart shows the range of learning preferences for those who have filled in the VAR+ learning styles questionnaire online.

Graph showing distribution of VAR+ preferences.

A majority of people have a multimodal learning style i.e. they prefer to use two more modalities when learning.

What is your learning preference?

For advice about how to best put your learning preference into practice, see How To Use Your Learning Style.

The development of the VAR+ Questionnaire

For information on the history and development of the VAR+ Questionnaire, see here.