Humans are visual beings. It’s true! According to Social Science Research Network, 65 percent of us are visual learners. Whether you are learning new topics in college or a post-graduate program with Picmonic, teaching young children math with pieces of candy, or learning how to install your new dishwasher with video tutorials, we all rely on visual learning skills and tactics.
Thankfully, at least for now, Picmonic isn’t here to help you install your dishwasher. But we should be one of your trusted resources as you study to become a Nurse (RN, LPN, or NP), Doctor (MD or DO), Physician Assistant (PA), Physical Therapist (PT), or Occupational Therapist (OT).
Regardless of if you are a predominantly visual learner or a hybrid of learning styles, you will benefit from these Picmonic Visual Learning Tips.
1. Take Notes In Class
We are assuming you are already comfortable with note taking in class. If not, we suggest jumping on the note taking bandwagon! We want you to get in the habit of taking notes about what was taught, what you learned and how you learned it. Don’t just copy what your instructor is saying or what is on the presentation. Always take it further so that you associate it with what you learned to trigger your memory. Having too much information won’t help you as much as having the RIGHT information. This takes a little practice. If you are used to writing down everything your instructor says during class you can always record your lectures so you can focus your attention and you still have everything your instructor said without having to write or type it.
2. Write Outlines
We love outlines because they organize all the information you are learning. And, if you do it digitally on an iPad or laptop, you can add in your notes, recordings, charts and graphs, Picmonics and more. If you are still using a notebook and pen, well, you’re a creature after our hearts, but you may benefit from transcribing them onto whatever device you use for school. Outlines help you visually scan through information and those outlines are easier for your brain to retain.
3. Graphs and Charts
Did you see how we mentioned that adding graphs and charts into your outlines is helpful? We love these visual learning tools. You can use graphs and charts from your instructor or make your own. Either way, these are great visual learning tactics and there are plenty of programs to help you build your notes and information into the best visual resource.
4. Color Code Notes
If you’re the student who gets excited about the rainbow set of Sharpie markers, we have great news for you – you’re ready for an excellent note-taking method. Color coding your notes is a wonderful visual studying tip. If you are a paper and pen note-taker, get yourself a set of highlighters and maybe some colored markers and a plan! If you are using a laptop or iPad for online note-taking, you have plenty of highlighting options. Color-code things by topic, by day or instructor, or by your level of understanding. Like most note-taking tips, the best method is the one that works best for your learning style.
5. Find a Quiet Space
Most people will have better results studying and retaining information if they do so in a quiet space. And when we say “quiet” we mean from noise and also from other distractions. If you are reviewing all of your visual notes and color-coded graphs and charts, you need to be able to focus on the material. If you can, find a place that doesn’t have other people, activities, noise or other things happening in the background. If that’s not possible, get headphones and try to block out everything else.
6. Add Picmonic
We know mnemonics work. The Picmonic learning system has shown to increase retention 331 percent! So for all of the possible tools and resources to use for your visual studying practices, be sure to incorporate them into your notes. Print out your Picmonics if you are a pen and paper kind of studier. Regardless, be sure to include whatever visual resource that complements and helps solidify the information you have in your notes.
Here’s a quick infographic you can download so you’ll never forget:
Lastly, not a tip so much as a rule, keep your notes well-organized. If you have all the great information, color-coded with appropriate visual resources, but it is a mess, then it won’t be helpful. You’ve got this!
Picmonic is here for your courses, daily quizzes, on-the go studying with our Picmonic app on Android or iOS, or through the web app on your laptop (insider tip – the trial is 100% free, no credit card required). You’re on a great path toward your future career. It’s going to take hard work and determination, but Picmonic is here to help you succeed. Try it for free today to get started.