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CIEP 112: Study and Research Skills: Home

Identifying and Using Your Learning Style Preferences

Identifying Your Learning Style

There's a lot of information and resources available to help you identify your learning style, just as there are a lot of different types of learning styles. From the more traditional verbal vs. auditory vs. tactile learning styles to Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which includes things like musical intelligence and sensitivity to nature. 

There are a lot of learning styles out there, but the main thing to remember is that you take some time to reflect and figure out how you learn and work best. Do you get distracted when you're around lots of people? Try finding a quieter place to study. Does music help you think? Make a study playlist. Do visuals help you learn? Try drawing maps and images in your notes. 

Here are two types of learning styles placed in comparison: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Felder-Soloman Index. Read more on Felder-Soloman here: Learning Styles and Strategies 

These two learning style theories use different terms, but the basic breakdown of concepts is the same. Both are concerned with the following areas:

  • How you interact with others
  • How you process information
  • How you evaluate information
  • How you make decisions 

By being aware of how your best work and learn, you can develop good work habits and study skills. 

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

What is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, is an psychological assessment test that measures how you experience the world and how you make decisions.  You can use the MBTI to identify personality traits that influence your learning style and work habits. 

MBTI is adapted from the work of psychologist Carl Jung, who identified four ways we experience the world: sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. 

Myers-Briggs Types

Myers-Briggs types can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Attitudes and behavior: Extroversion vs. Introversion (E vs. I)
  • Information-gathering and perceiving: Sensing vs. Intuition (S vs. N)
  • Decision-making and judging: Thinking vs. Feeling (T vs. F)
  • How we approach life: Judging vs. Perceiving (J vs. P)

Click the picture below to see a larger version. 

Image from Wikimedia Commons 


Study Skills Tips and Resources

Taking Notes to Suit Your Learning Style

By understanding your own learning style, you can be a better note-taker. 

  • Are you a visual learner? Try color coded notes or draw symbols to help you stay organized
  • Are you an auditory learner? Try recording your lectures or talking over what you learned with a study group
  • Are you a just the facts or an ideas person? Structure your notes in a way that makes sense to you, whether it's using bullet points or drawing conceptual maps. 
  • Do you like to digest content on your own? Take some time to review your notes on your own and put them in a format that works best for you. 

The list goes on! Think about how you like to process information and interact with people, and then adopt a note-taking and studying style that best suits you. 

General Note-Taking Tips 

  • Be on the look-out for main ideas, whether it is in a lecture or in an article you're reading 
  • Think about how new ideas you come across relate back to old ideas you've already encountered. 
  • Find an organizational method that works best for you 
  • Use aids to help you remember key points, whether it's charts or color-coding 


Check out Drury University's Study Skills and Academic Success guide for links and resources. 

Read this excellent LifeHacker post about taking notes 

See Princeton's quick guide to taking great notes 

Visit Hack College for posts on developing study skills, including this one on organization and time management

Image courtesy Neil Conway, via Flickr and the Creative Commons

Organizational Tools

There are a lot of tools out there to help you keep organized. See more at the Managing Your Research guide.

Storage Tools

  • Evernote-- A suite of tools (including apps, a desktop application, and a web service) designed for note-taking and archiving. Evernote lets you clip PDFs and web pages, and you can sync content across devices.
  • Dropbox -- A free cloud storage service that lets you share and access your videos, docs, photos, etc. from various devices.
  • Google Drive -- Store, collaborate, and work on documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.

Mind Mapping

  • -- Free online brainstorming and mind mapping tool
  • Mind42 - Another free online mind mapping tool.
  • XMind - Mind mapping software that lets you create a variety of different maps.
  • Scriblink -- A free online whiteboard.

Note Taking

  • Squareleaf -- Create virtual sticky notes and arrange your notes and lists however you like.
  • Simplenote -- An online note-taking application.
  • MS One Note -- A Microsoft Office add-on (paid) where you can take notes, embed files, and annotate documents.

Organization and Productivity Tools

  • Track Class - A free online application that helps you keep track of your school work. Track Class sends you reminders, lets you schedule assignments, and also functions as a note-taking tool.
  • Soshiku -- Another free tool that helps you manage your assignments and stay on track with your work.
  • Outliner -- An iPad and iPhone app that helps you take organized notes.
  • Self-Control - A free Mac app that block distracting websites.
  • Focus Booster - Focus on one task for 25 minutes
  • f.lux - Brightens or dims your computer, depending on the time of day 


  • Podio -- Coordinate tasks, share updates, and share files in real-time.
  • Doodle - Schedule events with groups, large and small 

To-do lists

Learning Styles and the Research Process

Knowing more about your learning style can also help you tackle bigger research projects. Research is a process that tends to involve the following steps: 

You can think of a research project a bit like a recipe. You need to gather up ingredients (or sources) and complete certain tasks in order to make something (in this case a final project or paper). But how you go about those tasks can be up to you.

Based on your learning style, you might find that making outlines helps you stay organized or that you have a visual way of organizing your sources, by creating a chart or a map, for example. 

Read more about the research process at the Getting Started with Your Research Guide. 

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Guide TOC

Right Column 

Identifying and Using Your Learning Style Preferences

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Study Skills Tips and Resources

Organizational Tools

Learning Styles and the Research Process

Left Column

Class instructor

Campus Resources

Take the Myers-Briggs Test

Myers-Briggs in Pop Culture 

Take the Myers Briggs Test

You can contact Loyola's Career Development Center to take the official Myers Briggs test. There are also free tests online that you can use to get a sense of your Myers Briggs type. 

Free Jung Typology Test 

You can learn more about Myers-Briggs types and download an infographic for your type at

Myers-Briggs in Pop Culture

Wondering who your MBTI Harry Potter equivalent is or which state has the most INFJs? Check out these links for Myers-Briggs types in pop culture. 

Blog post: , including Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Star Trek Next Generation 

What's My Type? Blog, exploring MBTI in pop culture 

16 Fiction Book Characters' Myers-Briggs Personality Types at Huff Post

16 Myers Briggs Personality Types and the Celebrities Who Have Them at Babble

The Myers Briggs States of America at The Atlantic 

Adventure Time MBTI chart at Deviant Art (pictured below)