Learning Questionnaire


How do you learn?

From a very early age, there is a need for all of us to be able to digest and retain information. However, despite this common need, the vast majority of people are not aware how they most efficiently learn.

An individual being aware of their most effective learning strategies will help maximise their efforts to seek and learn new ideas, concepts and skills that are so often required within the financial services industry.

If you are reading this, you are most likely to be in the process of, or considering undertaking, a series of professional exams. Taking the CII’s Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning as an example, the estimated total study time for this is 370 hours! You therefore probably don’t need to be told that it can be difficult to find time to revise, alongside your family, friends and career.

Given the pressures you are most likely feeling, it’s important to get the most value out of the time you have to dedicate to revising. Even better, find strategies to help make revising fit around your life. Why not check out how Audio material can help make passing your R0 exams easy by clicking here.

Whilst speed of revision is important, it’s not the only important factor. In our experience, candidates who properly succeed with their professional exams are those who are able to not only revise large quantities of material quickly, but also those who are able to digest information accurately and are also able to recall it at a later time. See our exam technique and study hub for tips on how to prepare ahead of your exam.

These candidates more often than not complete the qualifications quickest but are also able to use the learned information effectiely in a wide variety of situations in the future.

What these candidates all have in common is they know how best they learn, which we will explain in greater detail below.


The VAK Model

People learn in different ways, but it’s important to point out that no one has a better learning style than anyone else.

First proposed by Walter Burke Barbe, the VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic) Learning Style seeks to help individuals understand how best they learn. By knowing how best you learn and retain information will make you more productive and help you gain the most benefit out of time you put aside to learn.

Walter Burke Barbe sugggested there are three primary types of learners:

  • Visual learners – learn by seeing and prefer using visual representations, such as mindmaps, graphs and posters.
  • Auditory learners – learn by listening and have a high ability for auditory recall, such as podcasts and summaries.
  • Kinesthetic learners – learn by doing and depend on interactions, such as physical activity and manipulating objects.

There has been a number of studies conducted on VAK learning styles, including the International Education Study (2019, Vol.12, No.6) that provided the following results to discover the dominant learning style of 626 participants:


Whilst an individual usually has a dominate or preferred learning style, it is still important to use and be aware of all three methods to receive information.

Let’s use the example of providing a presentation at work. If you are tasked with presenting, it will naturally suit those who learn best via auditory styles given they will be primarily listening to the content. However, if you are not careful, you may alienate the kinesthetic, and to a lesser degree visual learners.

Therefore it’s important to be aware of the three primary learning styles and incorporate this as best you can into the task at hand. So ellaborating on the above example of a presentation, why not include breakout sessions to encourage kinesthetic learners to put the information they have learned into practice? Or use brightly coloured graphs within the slides to appeal to the visial learners?


Do you know your best learning style? Try our free questionnaire at the top of this page!


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