An understanding of how students approach their learning has important implications for medical education. Of particular interest is the fact that the approach students use in their study has a significant impact on both the quality of the learning and their academic success. It would clearly be of value to identify students whose approach to learning was predictive of unsatisfactory performance. This paper describes the initial development of two versions of an inventory (questionnaire) which was designed to aid in the diagnosis of student learning problems. Preliminary information is given on the reliability and validity of these instruments. Factor analyses support the underlying design. Correlation of subscales with academic performance has provided encouraging evidence of the potential of these inventories in identifying students with specific learning or study problems.