What are the VARK Categories?

readingVARK is an acronym which stands for the four basic ways people learn: Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic. There is certainly overlap between these learning methods, but there is also a basic preference for most people to learn in a particular way. Here is a brief description of these four ways to learn.


Information is best processed through the sense of sight. For instance information delivered through maps, diagrams, charts, graphs, flow charts and the like are easily understood and remembered.


People who learn through the auditory mode prefer information which is “heard or spoken.” Students who learn aurally say that they learn best from lectures, group discussions, radio, email, mobile phone, speaking, web-chat and just plain talking.


People who learn through reading or writing learn best through the use of words. Many teachers and students report that this is their best learning method. The ability to read and write well is a much sought after skill set looked for by future employers. People who prefer this method of learning are often addicted to PowerPoint presentations; the internet; lists; diaries; dictionaries; quotations and more words.


Teachers might be advised to move over the school furniture if they believe they have kinesthetic learners in their class. According to Fleming & Mills, 1992, kinesthetic learners prefer to be connected to reality, “either through concrete personal experiences, examples, practice or simulation.” People who learn this way primarily learn through doing, valuing their own personal experiences rather than that of others.