How to Study if You’re an Independent Learner

An independent learner is a student who learns best by themselves, rather than in a group

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Some people study better in a group, others prefer to learn on their own. These latter students are known as independent learners, sometimes called solitary or intrapersonal learners. An independent learner can focus in on a task when left to their own devices.

Often, independent learners are adept at analysis and can develop interesting ideas when given time to think. Below are a few study tips for solitary learners to try out for themselves!

Find a personal interest in what you’re studying

Studying is so easier when you relate to it somehow. Finding subject matter interesting, curious, or fascinating can also be a big help—especially on big research papers. So really dig deep and make a connection with the material. Being engaged will keep you on task.

Write a Journal

Jotting down your thoughts can be not only cathartic, but academically helpful. Even if you’re just repeating what you’re thinking on paper, studies show that handwriting notes can help increase your memory and recall! Ask yourself questions while you read or work—what does that make you think of? What do you associate it with? How does X affect Y?

One-on-One with a Teacher

Though this is all about solitary learners, completely isolating yourself may only hinder you in the long run. Sometimes you need to get out of your own head to see a new perspective. If you’ve hit a mental wall, try visiting your professor’s office hours for a one-on-one chat about the material. It’s a lot less crowded than a group discussion would be.

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