Dora Copeland
Educational Services

My lifelong commitment to education and over sixteen years of teaching experience, mostly in London, have enabled me to develop the following academic skills:

What are academic skills?

Academic skills are any type of ability or method that individuals use to reach various academic goals. Many of these skills focus on the ability to understand and process information, such as literacy skills or critical thinking. Putting them into practice increases your chances of passing your tests well as well as getting more out of your studies. These skills are for life and can help in your working and/or personal life.

1. Study Skills

As good study skills include the ability to focus, summarise, take notes, and commit information to memory, mastering them will optimise your academic performance.

2. Academic Writing

Academic writing (the ability to write in a clear, concise and structured way that employs evidence to back up claims made) can help you improve the way you convey information, making it easier for the reader to understand your points.

3. Note Taking

Note-taking skills let you accurately notate, connect and review ideas. When you learn to take notes well, you will be able to:

● retain information better and stay engaged during lectures, etc.
● understand ideas more succinctly and organise your thoughts clearly
● organise your ideas logically
● identify key learning objectives and discard less useful ones
● plan and structure for revision, exam preparation and projects

4. Paraphrasing Skills

Since plagiarism in all written and oral pieces you submit at university is unacceptable, you will need to learn how to paraphrase. Paraphrasing involves interpreting information and re-presenting it in a way that shows your genuine understanding of the issue.

5. Revision Skills

Revision is a core skill that helps prepare you for tests, exams and assessments. Revision comprises of two steps, namely

I. Planning the revision:

● creating strategies for revising and using specific techniques to effectively revise
● taking appropriate steps to prepare for the day (e.g., getting a good sleep the night before)

II. Your actual performance during the assessment:

● creating a strategy for answering the questions
● taking the time to answer all questions exhaustively
● double-checking the answers to ensure all information is accurate and concise

6. Critical Thinking

It is a useful skill that allows you to:

● create logical arguments
● inspect information and arguments to identify crucial points to discuss
● justify your ideas through evidence and rational thinking

7. Research Skills

As students, you will be required to conduct rigorous research from high-quality and reliable sources. Developing academic research skills that will enable you to find and critically evaluate relevant sources of information is an absolute preliminary to academic success.

8. Organisational Skills

Being able to manage your time will be indispensable to your academic success. You will need to be able to keep track of deadlines, study/revise regularly and fit all of this around your personal life. To be successful at managing all of these, you need to be extremely well organised.

9. Prioritisation and Goal Setting

In order to achieve your goals, you need to be able to decide what tasks are the most important and deal with them first. Although essential, this can be a difficult skill to master. At university, you need to be able to set long-term goals and short-term goals as well as develop action plans to achieve them. Creating milestones and time management are inherent to planning how to achieve them.

10. Persistence

Persistence is one of the most essential soft skills for students. As there will be times when you just want to quit, the ability to get through those tough times will help you demonstrate that you are a strong person, which will then boost your self-confidence and self-esteem./h5>