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The VAK System

A widely accepted approach to looking at learning styles is the VAK system that bases one’s learning preferences on the three main sensory receivers. In the VAK system, learning styles include:

  • Visual – Visual learners prefer to see or observe things, such as pictures, photographs, diagrams, demonstrations, displays, handouts, films, flip-chart, etc.
  • Auditory – Auditory learners prefer to learn by listening – to the spoken word (either themselves or from others) or from sounds and noises.
  • Kinesthetic (movement) – Kinesthetic learners prefer physical experience – touching, feeling, holding, doing, and practical hands-on experiences.

To get an idea of the learning styles makeup in your organization, consider having each of your team members take this quick learning style assessment.

  1. When you don’t quite understand or remember something:
    1. It doesn’t ring a bell or resonate
    2. It seems hazy or unclear
    3. You can’t get a handle on it or feel it
  2. You are about to give a friend directions to your home. Would you:
    1. Draw a map on paper?
    2. Tell her the directions?
    3. Pick her up in your car?
  3. You are staying in a hotel and have a rental car. You would like to visit a friend whose address you do not know. Would you like them to:
    1. Draw you a map?
    2. Tell you directions?
    3. Pick you up in their car?
  4. Learning technical material is easiest for you when:
    1. Someone explains the ideas to you
    2. You visualize the concepts and see the whole picture
    3. You can learn by doing or get a feel for the ideas
  5. You are going to cook a dessert as a special treat for your family. Do you:
    1. Cook something familiar?
    2. Look through a cookbook for ideas?
    3. Ask for the advice of others?
  6. You are about to purchase a new sound system. Other than the price, what would most influence your decision?
    1. A friend speaking about it
    2. How it makes you feel
    3. Its distinctive look or appearance
  7. Recall a time in your life when you learned how to do something like playing a new board game. Try to avoid choosing a very physical skill like riding a bike. How did you learn best? By:
    1. Looking at the directions, pictures, diagrams, or charts
    2. Listening to somebody explain it
    3. Doing it
  8. Which of these games to you prefer?
    1. Pictionary
    2. 20 Questions
    3. Charades
  9. You are about to learn how to use a new program on a computer. Would you:
    1. Read the instructions?
    2. Call a friend and ask questions about it?
    3. Turn it on and learn by experimentation?
  1. You most easily are aware of and notice:
    1. The quality of music from a sound system
    2. If colors, shapes, or patterns clash
    3. If clothes feel uncomfortable
  2. You are not sure whether a word should be spelled “separate” or “seperate.” Do you:
    1. See the word in your mind and choose the best way it looks?
    2. Sound it out?
    3. Write down both versions?
  3. A new movie has arrived in town. What would most influence your decision to go or not go?
    1. Friends/family talking about it
    2. You have an intuition or sense about it
    3. You saw a preview of it
  4. You most easily remember directions when you:
    1. Repeat them to yourself as you hear them
    2. Visualize them
    3. Intuitively sense how to get there
  5. Do you prefer a teacher or trainer who likes to use:
    1. Handouts, flow diagrams, charts, and visuals?
    2. Field trips, experiments, and applications?
    3. Discussions, guest speakers, and conversations?
  6. Once you completely understand a new idea:
    1. It is now concrete, or you have a feel for it
    2. You have it loud and clear
    3. You can envision it
  7. You make decisions best when you rely on:
    1. Your gut instinct
    2. What looks clearest to you
    3. What sounds best to you
  8. At a party, you are most interested in people who
    1. Are interesting and articulate speakers
    2. Convey a warm and relaxing feeling
    3. Radiate a visual beauty

Once you’ve written down your answers, use this insight to see which type of learning comes most naturally to you.

1: a (A) b (V) c (K),
2: a (V) b (A) c (K),
3: a (V) b (A) c (K),
4: a (A) b (V) c (K),
5: a (K) b (V) c (A),
6: a (A) b (K) c (V),
7: a (V) b (A) c (K),
8: a (V) b (A) c (K),
9: a (V) b (A) c (K),
10: a (A) b (V) c (K),
11: a (V) b (A) c (K),
12: a (A) b (K) c (V),
13: a (A) b (V) c (K),
14: a (V) b (K) c (A),
15: a (K) b (A) c (V),
16: a (K) b (V) c (A),
17: a (A) b (K) c (V)


“Your answers will give you a good sense of the kind of learner you are. In all likelihood, you’ll be some mix of audio (A), visual (V), and kinesthetic (K). But you might see a real dominance in one of these, and that can prove to be extremely useful as you embark on unlimiting your thinking, as you can make a conscious effort to bring others into the mix.” – Jim Kwik

Kyaw Wai Yan Tun

Hi, I'm Wai Yan. I love designing visuals and writing insightful articles online. I see it as my way of making the world a more beautiful and insightful place.