The Kolb's Test to Determine Learning Styles

We are all different and this reflects on all aspects of our life. The way each person learns is also unique. With that in mind, in this article we'll talk about ways to determine different learning styles in children.
The Kolb's Test to Determine Learning Styles

Last update: 18 March, 2021

All people are different, and everybody has different ways of processing information. The Kolb’s test can help teachers determine learning styles in students. Teachers can use this interesting tool to identify their students’ different ways of acquiring knowledge and thus create effective teaching strategies.

The Kolb's Test to Determine Learning Styles

What are learning styles?

A style references a unique characteristic. A learning style is someone’s own way of learning.

Therefore, if learning means obtaining knowledge, there are different ways to learn, depending on each person’s intellectual characteristics and preferences.

Considering the content to be learned, it’ll be easier for some people to learn something new with notes or books. For others, it’ll be easier to understand by using examples. There are also people who learn best with practice, drawing diagrams or concept maps.

Kolb’s model to describe learning processes

David Kolb developed categories for different learning styles. He considers two necessary dimensions for learning. On the one hand, the perception of the environment, reached through:

  • Concrete experience (CE)
  • Abstract conceptualization (AC)

On the other hand, the processing of information the environment gives us from:

  • Active experience (AE)
  • Reflective observation (RO)
The Kolb's Test to Determine Learning Styles

Combining these four characteristics gives you the following learning styles:

  • Converger (AC + AE). A rational and practical person. Someone who is pragmatic, organized, analytical, oriented to things, capable of solving problems with a hypothetical and deductive rationalization.
  • Diverger (CE + RO). They have a lot of imagination and consider different perspectives to solve issues. They’re said to be kinaesthetic and learn with movement. They’re also flexible, creative, spontaneous and experimental.
  • Assimilator (AC + RO). These are less social individuals, more closed off. They’re characterized by being more reflective and theoretical. Reasoning with an inductive and observant logic, until they achieve abstraction and theorization. They’re organized and methodical.
  • Accommodator (CE + AE). These individuals are involved in new things with great intuitive abilities. They’re pragmatic people, who analyze and rule out different theories. They’re observant and capable of relating aspects and content. They also know how to adapt to different circumstances and relate well with people.
The Kolb's Test to Determine Learning Styles

Kolb’s test to determine learning styles

For this test, you need to answer hypothetical learning situations. You’re given four options, giving a 4 to the situation you benefit the most, and a 1 to the least.

Thus, Kolb’s test uses a chart and a coordinates system to calculate and establish scores. This determines the way you learn (CE, AC, AE, RO) and the different styles of learning (converger, diverger, assimilator, accommodator).

It’s worth noting that Kolb’s model and test doesn’t describe how students learn, but it guides and helps education professionals to improve their teaching strategies and their student’s learning techniques. Teachers should consider a mix of learning styles, as described by Kolb.

Lastly, having the right tools for each characteristic is very important, as it allows teachers to adapt their lessons to their students’ different learning styles. This can help everybody achieve the best results possible.


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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.