Updated: May 11, 2020
As you prepare for your project management exam, you want to have the most effective studying techniques so you can maximize your time and ensure you pass on the first try. This is a first in the series of preparing you to pass your PMP Exam.
In this article, we will focus on exploring your learning style as a crucial component to get you started on your studying strategy.
Know your learning style
Many students dive into material and try to digest it all without recognizing what is best suited for their learning style. As a learner, you will have a preference for the materials that will help you to interpret and understand the information. There is a plethora of studying material for the project management exam, and all useful in their own way. However, to strengthen your studying strategy, you must first discover how you learn and then identify the material that works best for you.
This is important because it will make no sense trying to read a book when you are not able to digest information like this. Once you know your learning style, then you can adjust your study habits accordingly. So how do you determine your learning style? There are many quizzes you can do online but in the meantime, consider answering questions like:
a. Do you like to read? If so, do you prefer lots of words or pictures?
b. How to retain information? Through listening only? Writing notes to remember? Having someone quiz you?
c. Do you prefer to be in a group?
d. Can you read and understand material on your own?
e. Do you learn better under stress with tight deadlines?
f. If you wanted to learn something, would you observe, read, listen or use diagrams?
Answering these questions can help understand which style you prefer and, therefore, can choose your study materials accordingly.
Here is a list to help you better understand which category of learners you fall under.
Visual/spatial learners: these learners are always drawing during their lectures, or they emphasize gathering flow charts, graphs, schematics, books with pictures, and infographics to support their learning. Everything has to be in a graphical format so that these learners can "see" the information to understand and retain the content. The additional material presented on handouts, DVDs, or PPTs are often comprehended easily.
Auditory Learners: videos, lectures, podcasts, and discussions are best suited for these leaners. Lecturers can be recorded so that learners can listen and digest information. The ability to speed up and slow down the content is preferred. Explaining concepts out loud is not only helpful to this learner, but to their classmates. Therefore, a study buddy is valuable. Music may boost the concentration and mood to study.
Verbal Learners: this learner likes talking through a concept, reading aloud, developing mnemonics, and rhymes. Discussions can be by themselves or with a group and the instructor.
Reading/Writing Learners: these learners like to take notes. They read material and rewrite in their own words. Summaries, bullet points, and using flashcards are helpful. Depending on how detailed the content is, such a learner may benefit from videos that can be started and stopped, as well as learning at their own pace.
Kinesthetic Learners: activities to apply the information learned as an individual or as part of a group are suited for this type of learner. Therefore, sitting through a lecture without hands-on activity may be difficult for this learner. Hands-on activities may include drawing flow charts, role-playing, building, or designing with others. Activities can be big such as walking while listening to a project management lecture or small such as tapping your fingers, bouncing legs, to enhance your learning.
Sequential/Logical Learners: for this type of learner, the content as to be presented in a systematic linear manner, with each step building upon each other before they can "get it." These learners cannot jump around various types of content or topics otherwise;, they will have difficulty remembering.
Global Learners: this learner has no sequential or organized pattern. This learner skills topics and content flow is random. Learning does not continually happen, but at some point, the lightbulb goes off! These learners may think they are "slow," but their brains function differently, and it's almost like information is collected randomly, and then the piece is finalized with the ah-ha moment of "I got it!"
Social Learners: this learner loves group study. This learner uses strong communication skills, this content is solidified with conversation from both instructor and other classmates. Notes are shared, and listening to different explanations are valued.
Keep in mind, the content and delivery method may influence how you learn as well. For example, though you may be a reader, reading the PMBOK guide may not be ideal for you, and as such, you may end up choosing a different method.
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