When you’re preparing to study for the HRCI or SHRM certification exams, it’s important to understand that it’s not the same as a college exam. You can use the same methods that got most of us through college: repetition and memorization. However, there are situational knowledge questions that require you to really think through processes. This is where different methods of learning come in.
Seven Different Types of Learning Styles
It’s important to be able to adapt your study methodology to your specific learning style. There are seven types, and you may fall under more than one. It’s important to know how you learn in order to absorb information in the most efficient way. The seven types are:
– Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
– Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
– Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
– Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
– Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
– Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.
– Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
Knowing how you learn best and adapting your study methods to your own learning style can both speed up the process and make it easier for you to retain the information you need to pass your HRCI and SHRM certification exams. Here, we’re going to specifically talk about auditory learning, or how audio learning methods can support your preparation efforts as you study for your certification.
The Benefits of Audio Learning for Your HR Certification Exam
Auditory learners are good at remembering what they hear as they learn information through auditory representation. As I mentioned above, most of us don’t fall into a single category for learning style and most of us can benefit from multiple methods. Audio learning is one of the most adaptable and common learning styles, and for HRCI and SHRM certification prep, there are lots of advantages to audio courses. I love audio learning. I’ve baked it into our Ace the HR Exam course with an audio glossary for you to leverage as you prepare for your HRCI and SHRM certification exams.
– Convenience. Especially for those of us studying for certification while holding down full-time jobs and maintaining our households and family, audio courses can go with you anywhere. You don’t have to see or read in order to learn. You can listen during your commute, in your earbuds while exercising or making dinner, on a Bluetooth® speaker while in the shower, and anywhere you currently consume podcasts or music.
– Improved retention. By playing audio recordings repeatedly wherever you are able, there is an increased possibility of improved retention in the memory bank. Repetition increases retention!
– Learn while you sleep. Researchers have long known that sleep plays an important role in the learning process. While we sleep, our brains are busy organizing and consolidating the information we encountered that day. Important stuff gets filed away, while unimportant stuff gets deleted to make room for new learning. This is why scientists didn’t think it was possible to actually learn new things while we sleep.
However, a new study from the Decoding Sleep Interfaculty Research Cooperation at the University of Bern, Switzerland, has shown that the brain’s channels for learning are also open during sleep. Researchers found participants were able to correctly classify foreign words at an accuracy rate that was 10 percent higher than random chance, as long as they heard the word at precise times during slow wave sleep.
The result suggests that the approach the researchers used causes the brain to form memory traces, or changes in the brain that help us store a memory, effectively letting your subconscious do the work. While this study was testing language learning, it applies to any type of memorization or vocabulary learning.
– Adjust the speed to your ability to take in information. Just as some of us read more quickly than others, audio learning allows us to increase the speed (from 1x to 1.25x, for example) to suit our intake speed. If you have 10 hours of learning unit audio, you could effectively listen to these units in less time by even slightly increase the audio speed. I do this a lot when I’m at the gym, am able to move my body and focus my full attention on the audio, and want my audio listening to match my elliptical speed.
Another benefit of listening while exercising: Maren Schmidt-Kassow, a professor at the Institute of Medical Psychology at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany was quoted in The New York Times discussing the relationship between exercise and learning:
“Light-intensity exercise will elicit low but noticeable levels of physiological arousal, which, in turn, presumably help to prime the brain for the intake of new information and the encoding of that information into memories.”
– Double your learning ability with multi-style activities. If you are an aural, visual and verbal learner, listening to audio and taking notes (either by hand on a notepad with pen and paper or in a notes app), you’re essentially doubling or tripling down on retention of information. If you’re writing while listening, or even sketching a visual chart of the information to which you’re hearing while you’re hearing it, you’re much more likely to remember what you’ve learned – even if you don’t return to those notes.
What’s really important is to have a variety of learning methodologies that set you up for success, A learning roadmap, schedule, milestones, an online community, and different learning modalities are key to being able to tackle the study necessary to ace your exam.