[This is #3 of Back To School series.]
Do you ever get the question “why does education matter”? And what’s your thought on it? To me, it is more than just receiving knowledge. It is more of a time where you get to brush up your skills and get ready for challenges in different areas. It is a way to train yourself to open up a lot of great opportunities ahead.
But how to get the most in the process? How do you know what opportunities suit you better? Knowing yourself is probably the best way to start. After all, how would you what to do without actually understanding your ability and strength? How would you know how to present yourself without knowing yourself?
In this third post of Back to School series, I am going to introduce you to some psychological and learning tests that you should try best before school starts. This may help you to set your academic and new year goals (which is part of the 10 Ways to Prepare for a Successful Academic Year), give yourself a clearer direction, find out how to learn right in the new year and develop the right study skills.
Remember, they are by no means completely accurate, but they may give you an idea of how you think, or how you act generally. You may try taking them as a reference and to figure out what makes you unique and what makes you stand out from the crowd.
Do you ever wonder whether you are more of a left or right brain person? Here is the difference between the two hemispheres:
- Left brain: dominant for language (hearing and speech), logic, exact mathematical computations, remembering facts, analytical thought, reasoning, written, science and math etc.
- Right brain: spatial abilities, face recognition, processing music, mathematical estimation, and comparisons, comprehending visual image, art awareness, creativity, imagination, holistic thought etc.
This is not an exclusive list, and the brain is definitely more complex than that. But you can still get a rough picture of the difference of the two. By doing this test, you can check whether your left and right brain are more developed, and this will tell you a bit more about your abilities, talents, and weakness.
Knowing you learning style is fundamental. I get quite a lot of questions on Tumblr asking me how to study more effectively, or how to memorize things better. I always give the same answer: know your learning style. Some people learn better in one way, others learn better using other senses. With that, the most important thing is to understand how you learn best and use corresponding learning strategies. This is the way you can absorb knowledge the fastest and most effective way.
If you don’t already know, here are the few learning types:
- Visual: You can easily remember pictures and images. If that is the case, studying using mindmaps and drawing is very effective for you.
- Read and write: If you are a read and write learner, you tend to remember things by reading them and writing them out. Creating organized notes is a good way to study.
- Aural: You prefer using sound and music to learn. Try recording lectures and listen to them!
- Verbal: You prefer learning from words, both in speech and writing. Try reading the study materials out loud!
- Physical (kinesthetic): You like using your body, hands and sense of touch to learn. Moving around when studying is great for memorizing things.
While you may be able to guess your learning style by reading the description here or online, you may also try out the questionnaire linked above, which would tell you which type of learner you are in. Once knowing that you can try out the study methods corresponding to that learner type, and you may be able to see great results as you can learn things way more effectively! Once understanding your learning style, you can also start working on improving your learning skills in different areas.
Why does personality matters when it comes to learning ability? Because it is about the way you think. This is a very famous personality type test, and you can get it done with the help of a professional (though you have to pay a certain amount for it. You can also check out your university/college’s website, some offer discount or even free test!)
But if those are not available to you. Check this one out. One of the main reasons I like this site is because:
- It doesn’t take much time (and that matters a lot)
- It gives you detailed explanation on your personality, your pros and cons, your interest
- It also gives you some idea of what career you may be interested in.
4. Career tests
Feeling frustrated when you have to apply to college and internships but you don’t know what you want to do in your future? You may want to try out some career tests. Again, they are by no means completely accurate, but they may be able to evaluate your working attitude and values and picked some jobs that you may be interested in or may be suitable for you. You may use this as the first step, and do further research on the career suggested.
Another tip is that these career tests actually give you some idea on what skills and abilities you have for that particular job, and you can put those in your CV as your relevant skills, or they can inspire you on what you can show to your employer during the interview.
Managing your stress level is very important, and why not take the few days of back to school period to take this test and understand your stress level? Understand your tension, anxiety and depression level can allow you to take suitable help when needed and manage your stress in a right way. It is also a reminder to you to take some rest when necessary. Bear in mind that while your physical health is important, your mental health is too. Don’t neglect it. School may be very stressful, but your health should take the first priority.–
If you are into more of these quizzes, you may also want to check out this page which gives a list of tests related to health and personality. If you are looking for more tips and tricks for the new school year, do take a look at the Back to School series here!