Learning Style Analysis for Adults

is an online assessment instrument for:

  • students aged 18+ years at universities, vocational colleges and further education institutions
  • particularly suitable for re-entry to academic studies, for the 'learning-damaged' who still want to continue their education
  • older people who are returning to studying, wanting to participate in continuing education or senior study programmes
  • all those who are frustrated and were previously unsuccessful learners


It's becoming general knowledge that children have a learning style that evolves while they are growing up - but adults?

Believe it or not, even adults do have a learning style, but it is much more complex and stable. Over a lifetime it influences more or less one's ability of information intake - whether they are good at it and successful, or frustrated and unsuccessful.

The LSA Pyramid Model below offers an initial overview of this complex overall structure. You will be amazed how many small, mostly unnoticed things determine someone's learning success!


This pyramid model was created to represent in a simple and understandable form the combination of personal learning style elements and their complex relationships - based on neurophysiological processes - to be described in individual, personal LSA profiles. The Learning Style Analysis was created to help achieve a theoretical as well as an academic performance increase.

This is especially important for regular students, those returning to formal studies, wanting continuing education and are frustrated, or have been previously unsuccessful learners.

The LSA Pyramid consists of 49 elements, clearly arranged in six layers according to brain function and behavior - with brain dominance at the top. This left/right brain dominance is the most important area because brain processes generally affect all other subordinate elements of style. 

The upper four layers contain biological/natural (congenital, relatively stable) style elements and the two lower layers include acquired/conditioned/learned (frequently changing) style elements.

How important are biological/natural style elements?

They are particularly active in the concentration process when participating in study sessions, reading difficult study texts, doing home assignments, are involved in the acquisition of new and/or difficult learning content and are grouped into the following layers:

1. Brain Dominance:

Here strategies for analytic as well as holistic information processing are visible plus preferences for a reflective as well as an impulsive/spontaneous thinking style; also showing general analytical or holistic/global tendencies of someone’s personal overall learning style. 

2. Sensory Modalities:

This section is divided into auditory preferences (hearing, listening, speaking, inner dialogue); visual (reading, looking/watching, visualising/imagination), tactile (manipulating, touching) and kinesthetic (doing, feeling) elements in their variations of flexibilities, preferences and non-preferences. 

3. Physical Needs:

These include preferences, non-preferences and flexibilities for movement (stationary or movement needed); food intake and mouth stimulation (chewing, eating, nibbling, drinking); and for certain times of day (individual bio-rhythm).

4. Environment:

Preferences for sounds and music (silence or noise); light (dim or bright); room temperature (cool or warm); and study area (formal or informal/comfortable) are being described here. 

These preferences and non-preferences (dislikes) grow from childhood onwards, are usually difficult to influence and remain generally stable over a life time. Non-preferences become weaknesses when they have to be used in the learning process over longer periods of time. This can lead to frustration, concentration problems, low motivation, learning difficulties, and underachievement.

For lasting school success is vital that the biological learning needs are met most of the time. Preferences then become personal strengths when they can be used in difficult learning situations. These significantly contribute to reducing learning frustration, developing a positive attitude towards studying but most importantly, learning motivation can be retained.  

The significance of conditioned/learned/acquired elements:

The two layers at the bottom of the LSA Pyramid contain acquired or conditioned style features. These are particularly relevant when it comes to dealing with rules and regulations in study environments and at home, to collaborating with classmates, in doing course work/assignments, having to learn something new and/or difficult and preparing for exams.  

They are grouped in the following way:

5. Social Aspects:

These show whether a student prefers to work alone, in a pair with a classmate, in a peer group or in a team; with or without an authority figure (tutor, lecturer or course leader).

6. Attitudes:

This is about learning motivation (internal/external), persistence (high/systematic or fluctuating/low), conformity (high or low/rebellious), responsibility (high/strong or low), need for structure/guidance (other or self-directed) and variety (need for routine or desire for change).

The results in this graph reveal acquired learning attitudes, the reactions of a student to 'the system' as a whole and show in which social setting someone can learn best.

However, these elements are not stable, they change several times in the course of someone's live. This can often happen in the shortest possible time - sometimes even overnight! Often these changes depend on the circumstances and sometimes they are even influenced by the actual mood, time of day or state of mind.


What do flexibilities mean in an LSA profile?

Flexibilities are unstable elements, especially in the biological area. They develop as human beings grow up and are partly responsible for people’s ability to cope better with changing learning situations.

Particularly in the area of sensory modalities flexibilities will become preferences if interest in a topic is high or can be reduced to non-preferences if interest and motivation wane.

Our practical work with LSA profiles has shown that the number of flexibilities in this area is directly proportional to the fluctuations in the learning achievements of the student concerned. That is, as long as the subject matter is INTERESTING and thus MOTIVATING, learning performance is good. If interest decreases, they simply disengage and under some circumstances even pretend that they do not understand what it is all about, for not having to participate in discussions. 

Lack of interest is also often the cause when students just tune out during boring lectures, probably taking notes automatically, but without being able to remember any of the content later. The reasons remain a mystery as long as the interconnection of learning style factors are not recognized and one’s own learning style remains a mystery.

Are your students also affected?

There is only one solution: Immediately let them generate an LS Analysis and use the results of the LSA-Adult instrument. This will enable them to actually activate their learning potential, reduce threir ‘suffering’ in learning and ultimately avoid learning frustration and failure.

What is the meaning of question marks in the Graphs?

The more QUESTION MARKS are visible in your profile, the more it is likely that you:

a) are under stress,

b) are currently experiencing confusion or are undergoing change in these areas,

c) were confused about the questionnaire (occurs very rarely).

This can lead to behaviour problems, loss of motivation, learning difficulties, underachievement, and ultimately dropping out of formal education. It is important that teachers and parents talk to the student about these areas in their LSA profile and attempt to find out the reasons for these inconsistencies. It is also recommended to redo the analysis in 2-3 months' time when the situation has settled down.

How to interpret question marks? 

Since question marks usually point to problem areas, they are reliable signs of stress, which the young person concerned is currently experiencing. When thinking strategies are changing or there are profound upheavals in someone's environment (family turmoil, moving house, an addition to the family or a death), then the number of question marks increases. They are based on contradictory answers to the questionaire.

The more question marks, the more frequent are contradictions, the higher uncertainty or stress.

Therefore, a tip for you when interpreting your own LSA Profile:

Consider first those style elements which have question marks and think about what could be the reasons for it. If necessary, discuss the results with someone you trust. You will be surprised what problems come to light because under the study stress one often does not have time for profound thoughts about the causes of learning problems, or won’t talk about them - maybe because no-one asks or because you might not be aware. 

However, discussing is not enough, you must take actions that will change your unproductive, not purposeful study habits. You will be surprised how even small changes (for example, in the learning environment or with physical needs) can lead to better learning strategies and finally bring about an overall performance improvement in academic/theoretical learning.

Another tip:

When the learning recommendations have been implemented, learning problems thereby have been solved and learning stress has consequently been reduced, we recommend that you create a new LSA profile within 6 months. You will notice that question marks have been reduced or have disappeared altogether. Such a profile is now completely valuable in its explanatory power, which remains valid for about five years until learning needs change again in a natural way.

The Meaningfulness of an LSA profile

If you do not recognize yourself in some areas and are surprised by the results that does not mean this profile is inaccurate or even wrong! It rather means that during the first responding to the questionnaire your conditioning shines through, meaning the influence you have experienced through the school system or through teachers and parents is still very strong when it comes to learning. In this case is what you see in your profile a conditioned, a so called ‘acquired’ learning style. The drama is this: ‘well-intentioned’ learning advice from school teachers and parents have shaped this ‘acquired’ learning style - unfortunately, very often in contrast to your own actual, natural learning needs. In this case too, there will be disproportionately many question marks as our experience shows with thousands of LSA profiles.

Generally, it is important to have an LS Analysis done every two years while studying to be always up to date with your current learning style needs.

Really important to know:

An LSA Profile is no intelligence test but the results reveal your personal learning potential, even if in the past you had problems in academic subjects, might have dropped out of school or never completed your studies - your learning potential still exists. All you have to do is re-activate it through the results in your LSA profile.  

You know that you are not stupid, you are interested in many things, actually want to learn or continue your studies - even if you might have had private tuition during schooling years and still were not able show constant, good learning performance in some academic subjects. You may have also heard from some of your teachers in the past that you “could do much better” - or that you are simply “lazy and inattentive/distracted”. Such experiences are very painful but now the time has come for you wanting to change all that.

What do you do in such a situation?

  Take the first step – purchase an LS-Adult Profile and respond to the on-line questionnaire. 

  Then download your profile as a PDF document, carefully read the Personal Report with the learning recommendations and show the results if applicable, your family, your partner or someone you trust. It may also be helpful to discuss your learning style characteristics with a tutor or trainer - which can be a real eye opener for you all!

  Finally you can see black on white, that you have possibly a learning style that does not fit to the teaching methods of some (a few) teachers in subjects you had - or still have - problems. 

  This is the true reason for study frustration, concentration problems and learning difficulties.

  So, you finally have proof in hand that you can learn well, you actually want to learn, but in your own way, if you are just allowed to do so.

  In the LSA Profile you’ll find enough advice (perhaps surprising for you) on how to improve studying at home, learning with media, online but also in tutorials and lectures. Then learning is no longer a chore – you will enjoy it and success will come!

  Product Overview


Available in: English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian

• For all students aged 18+ years at universities, vocational colleges and further education institutions

• Particularly suitable for re-entry to academic studies, for the ‘learning-damaged' who still want to continue their education

• For older people who aspire to senior study programs

  more info

LSA Interpretation Manual

In-depth explanations of students' learning style combinations.

Contains recommendations for teaching diverse student groups, improving learning motivation and creating the most appropriate study environment at school.  more info