Did you know that you can boost your grades and have more fun studying when you play to the strengths of your unique learning style? For anyone who is an auditory learner, we recommend trying out the following tips to help you ace your upcoming midterm or proctored exam:
Read descriptions for written assignments or your exam guidelines out loud so you can better process the information
Cultivate a quiet and calm study space with minimal distractions
Use mnemonic devices so that concepts will sound familiar and you can more easily recall them
Find a study group where you can engage in conversations and discussions about course material
Try using dictation tools so that you can speak your thoughts aloud and have them automatically converted into notes
Use a screen reader whenever you have assigned readings or lecture notes to review
The Power of Screen Readers
Screen readers are such a benefit to auditory learners and visually impaired individuals that they deserve an entire feature. We recommend using a screen reader so you can audibly absorb written memos or other assigned readings. If your documents are not scannable, you can always try an online converter to make your life easier. Search for electronic copies of your textbooks so you can pair them with a screen reader and create a free podcast for yourself. Not all artificial voices are made the same, so aim to find an one that you can spend hours listening. Screen readers are pretty intuitive using most devices:
You can also check out this useful list of productivity apps to help you succeed featuring Natural Reader, a free online reader that will turn your PDF documents and other text content into audible speech. Remember that technology is your friend, especially as an auditory learner.
Revolutionize Your Writing Process
Perhaps the most fun and useful application of screen readers is an unexpected reversal of their intended purpose. Having an automated voice read your textbooks and assigned readings aloud is fantastic, but what if you could have your own written work read aloud too? When you are writing an essay or paraphrasing your study notes, have your computer read them back to you out loud using the screen reader. Seriously, this single tip will forever change how you complete written assignments. Having your words read aloud to you will give you an immediate impression of how clear and effective your writing is. You will probably be able to hear grammatical errors or awkward phrasing much more efficiently than your eyes can spot errors on the page. Because you are the writer, you will be so used to the material and your brain will fill in any gaps. But your screen reader cannot lie to you in the same way your brain can. The voice will show you exactly where you need to make changes in order to really finesse your essay and maybe even bump up your letter grade. This can also be a helpful process for reviewing your practice essays before a major exam.
Do you find that you get distracted or bothered by external sounds? Being an auditory learner, there is a high probability that you are sensitive to sound. Having a quiet environment is of course the best option, but if you happen to be studying in a coffee shop, on the bus, or in a shared home with other people around, then you will need to find some clever workarounds. Noise-cancelling headphones are a fantastic solution if you can afford them. They are particularly wonderful if you happen to share space with a gamer or extrovert. You may also benefit from listening to music while you study and giving yourself a calm ambient soundtrack to help lock in your focus. Because you may be sensitive to sound, it is important to consider your exam environment. Look for professional proctoring services, such as ATS, where you can be guaranteed a calm and quiet testing space.