Exploring My Own Learning Style


cia exam learning style

Annette is our first exam blogger from Namibia. She passed Part 1 and 2, and is working on the last part. This is going to be her 6th attempt for Part 3.

Every person has his/her own learning style, and it took me until end of last year to actually look up mine.

I realised that I can sit in the most quite environment with 4 walls around me, my phone on silent, but my thoughts still drift and I lose focus. I then had a couple of study sessions with a colleague and we answered the questions together on the whiteboard by using examples. Somehow that helped greatly and I could focus, but why?

I researched and came upon Neil Fleming’s VARK model. The acronym VARK stands for Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinesthetic sensory modalities that are used for learning information. A short explanation for each modality:

Visual (V)

The depiction of information in maps, spider diagrams, charts, graphs, flow charts, labelled diagrams, and all the symbolic arrows, circles, hierarchies and other devices, that people use to represent what could have been presented in words.

Aural / Auditory (A)

Information that is “heard or spoken”. One learns best from lectures, group discussion, radio, email, using mobile phones, speaking, web-chat and talking things through.

Read/write (R)

Reading and writing in all its forms but especially manuals, reports, essays and assignments. People enjoy PowerPoint, the Internet, lists, diaries, dictionaries, thesauri, quotations and words.

Kinesthetic (K)

Demonstrations, simulations, videos and movies of “real” things, as well as case studies, practice and applications. People learn from the experience of doing something and they value their own background of experiences.

By doing multiple online free and quick tests I always came up strongly as a Kinesthetic learner “You need to do things to understand it”.

So for this study round I will try to structure my study sessions in a way that fits me and my learning style best.

Note from Stephanie

Yes, people do have vastly different learning style. My family is a good example. My daughter learns best by writing — it could be writing and organizing notes. I can totally see her as a R.

My son is definitely the Kinesthetic type. For his studying, instead of reading the text book or writing down summary, he dives straight into the exercise books. He also tries recording a question and asks himself at a later time.

They are kids and they’ve already developed their own learning style.

For the purpose of the CIA exam, it’s worth the time to explore your own. Maybe more than one method fit — you don’t know until you give it a try. If you can afford it, the integrated review courses, with all the videos, audio, books and so on, is a good place to start. You don’t need to use all the tools, but it is convenient for you to give them a try.

About the Author Annette S

Hello, I was born, raised and have been working in Namibia as an internal auditor. I finally passed my CIA exam after 7 attempts on Part 3!