How to Study Based on Your Personality

Graduate school is the perfect place to gain a stronger sense of self. As you encounter challenges and success both inside and outside the classroom, you start to understand who you are as a person and the characteristics that make up your personality. Recognizing your personality traits does more than give you insight into yourself — it can also aid you from an educational standpoint.

There's a strong link between personality types and learning styles. Assessment tools, like the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI), can provide you with a list of questions that help break down your personal attributes into four distinct scales — introversion to extroversion, sensing to intuition, feeling to thinking and judging to perceiving. Knowing what makes you tick can help you make the most of your study time.

Study Habits for Extroverts

Extroverts find being with others energizing and exhilarating. You come alive when you're socializing, talking and interacting with people, which means you should incorporate others into your learning style. A few ways to do so include:

  • Discussing course topics with others both in and outside of class
  • Thinking out loud if you're alone
  • Teaching someone else, which will help you retain information
  • Creating a study group
  • Finding places to study with lots of people and activity, like a park or coffee shop

Studying Techniques for Introverts

On the opposite end of the spectrum from extroverts are those who prefer personal reflection and contemplation. If you're an introvert, you may not speak up in class very often. Quiet study techniques are quite useful for your academic success, such as:

  • Studying independently
  • Creating a study group free from overly extroverted people
  • Making outlines or mind maps that help you see relationships in the course material
  • Finding quiet, solitary places where you won't be disturbed to study

Studying for Sensing Types

Those with sensing type personalities rely on their five senses to help them absorb information. These observational and detail-oriented people could benefit from study habits like:

  • Making diagrams and outlines to organize the information
  • Creating hands-on learning aids, like flashcards, games or songs, to remember facts
  • Taking extensive notes

Intuitive Type Study Style

Those who are more intuitive tend to want to know the "why" of things. You see the big picture yet sometimes miss out on the smaller details. Intuitives tend to be more creative and less literal, so some study tips that may help include:

  • Studying in small chunks to conserve creative energy
  • Creating interesting devices to help memorize concepts, like stories, jingles or mnemonics
  • Noting the bigger picture during a lecture and writing the small, supporting details in another column
  • Seeking connections between facts to avoid boredom while studying

Thinking Types and Studying

Thinkers usually find it quite easy to study, as they love learning, logic and the value of truth. In general, thinking types thrive in any kind of learning scenario and study not just out of necessity, but for the joy it brings. For that reason, thinkers don't necessarily need studying suggestions.

Studying Tips for Feeling Types

If you follow your heart over your head, you're probably a feeling type personality. You may not think before you act or speak. However, your orientation toward the feelings of others makes you seek to create peace with those around you. Some tips that may help feeling type people study include:

  • Finding personal connections with the material and relating it back to their life
  • Surrounding themselves with positive energy as they study and avoiding other people's drama

Judging Type Study Techniques

A love of order, organization, structure and efficiency is what defines a judging type. These individuals like firm decisions and deadlines and tend to be more black and white. Study techniques that help judging types are:

  • Maintaining a structured study environment free from clutter
  • Trying something new, as most judging types avoid change
  • Taking a second look at an assignment that's already complete
  • Playing devil's advocate to open up to new concepts
  • Maintaining highly structured notes

Study Habits for Perceiving Types

Perceiving types often have a go-with-the-flow mentality. Because you get bored easily, you may have experienced trouble or difficulties in school. Although you dislike rote memorization, a few study habits could serve you well. Try:

  • Giving yourself mini-deadlines to avoid procrastination
  • Downloading anti-procrastination apps
  • Rewarding yourself when you complete a task
  • Trying different methods and places to study so that you don't get bored

Utilize Successful Study Habits in the University Setting

As you begin to understand your personality more and more, you'll find that college life takes on a more exciting dynamic in your graduate years. You'll see yourself succeed in ways you never thought possible. 

Are you ready to put your newfound study skills to use while you pursue a new degree? Request information for a specific program, attend an info session, or start your application.

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