Using the LASSI

Using the LASSI to Enhance Your Skills as a Strategic Learner

Beth Spencer, Ph.D.

Introduction to the LASSI

Developing solid study skills is a key component to successfully transitioning to a new college or university. You may feel skeptical about whether you need to or even can learn new skills—after all, you did well academically at your previous institution, and many students just stick to their “tried and true” approaches to studying—but for most transfer students at Tech, there is room for improvement in terms of strategic studying and learning. You may not have ever given much thought to identifying your own strengths or areas of improvement in terms of study strategies. But even if you have considered this, you may not know where to begin or have a clear idea of what, exactly, you want to change.

The Learning and Study Strategies Inventory, better known as the LASSI, can help you become a strategic or self-regulated learner. Unlike learning styles inventories, which tell you about your preferred ways of learning, the LASSI uses ten scales to diagnose your individual study and learning skills strengths and weaknesses. Your LASSI results will show you where you are in relation to other college students in the following areas: attitude, motivation, time management, anxiety, concentration, information processing, selecting main ideas, using academic resources, self-testing, and test strategies. In other words, the LASSI raises your self-awareness about and your use of learning and study strategies related to will (anxiety, motivation, attitude), skill (information processing, selecting main ideas, and test strategies), and self-regulation (concentration, self-testing, using academic resources, and time management) components of strategic learning. But that’s not all; you can then use your LASSI results as a starting point for setting academic goals and developing skills to strengthen your “weaknesses” as a learner.

The LASSI is available online and free-of-charge to all GT 2000 students through the Center for Academic Enrichment. You will receive instructions for accessing the LASSI from your GT 2000 instructor.

How to Interpret Your Results

After you complete the LASSI, you will immediately receive your results via email. These results will provide you with a score on a scale of 1-100 in each of the ten areas listed above, as well as guidelines to help you interpret them. Your report will explain that it is especially important to pay attention to any scale in which your score is between 0-50, as students scoring below the 50th percentile usually need to strengthen their study skills in order to avoid serious problems succeeding academically in college.

For example, if your score is below a 50 on the Motivation scale, you will be encouraged to accept more responsibility for your academic outcomes, which includes learning how to set and use goals related to accomplishing tasks in your academic life. If you often feel that you need to study “everything” or are responsible for every detail in your book or notes, you probably feel overwhelmed by the amount of material you could study. You may find that you have a low score on the Selecting Main Ideas scale, which means you want to develop strategies to help you identify the important content and concepts, enabling you to study more effectively and efficiently.

Goals of the LASSI

Your GT 2000 instructor may ask you to print your LASSI results and bring them to class so you can participate in a group discussion about learning strategies. You may also be asked to write a short journal entry or reflection essay on your results.

Remember that the LASSI is meant to help you become self-aware and set goals that not only utilize your strengths but also help you improve the areas that need work. You may even want to plan to take the LASSI again at the end of the semester so you can check on your progress. If you would like to discuss your results or explore more resources and tips than are available in your GT 2000 class, you can make an appointment with an Academic Coach in the Center for Academic Success by visiting their website at success.gatech.edu.


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