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Do we learn better by reading or listeningFeatured science projectScience project video


This experiment was performed to find out if students are able to learn better by listening or by reading. The experiment was done by giving the participants one comprehension passage to read and one to listen to.


Students who listen to the comprehension passage read to them will retain more information compared to students who read the comprehension passage themselves.

Scientific Terms

Brain, left brain, right brain, comprehension


Learning by reading and listening

Learning in a classroom consists of both reading and listening. As the teacher scribbles away on the whiteboard or blackboard, we are rushing to read what is being written and copying it down in our exercise book. While writing, the teacher is also trying to explain the lesson to us. We usually have to listen, understand, read and write at the same time!
But which is the better method for learning, reading or listening? It may depend on the individual and the subject being taught.

Although people use both sides of their brain to comprehend and learn, most people have the tendency to use one side more than the other. This will actually determine how the person learns and which subject  he will be better at.

It has been said that subjects that are fact or information-based like languages, history and geography are easier to learn through listening the taking down of notes. However subjects like science, mathematics and engineering that require analysis and understanding require more time to learn and are better studied by reading.

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