Would you like to grow to your full potential?

Students everywhere face the same challenges — exam anxiety, planning, competition, or distractions.

Knowing your personal strengths and weaknessescan benefit you academically in many ways.

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Knowing your strengths will allow you to succeed where things come easy to you.

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Knowing your weaknesses will show you where there is room for improvement.

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Why should I know my academic strengths?

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Your academic strengths are your unique abilities, strategies, and habits that will help you to do well in an academic environment and accomplish your goals.

Benefits of knowing your strengths

  • Knowing your strengths before starting an assignment or task can help you "learn more effectively."

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  • The better you know yourself, the easier it will be to plan for what you want to achieve.

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  • Focusing on your strengths can help you stay confident and productive.

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  • Concentrating on your best qualities will help improve your motivation.

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What are they key academic skills?

Academic strengths can be grouped into five categories:

Image showing five categories of academic skills

To hear an audio description of the text in the above image, click the play button on the audio player below:

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Which of these academic skills are you best at in school?

Studying examples of possible academic strengths can be a good place to start:

  • Time management

  • Perseverance

  • Good reading and writing skills

  • Computer skills

  • Critical thinking

  • Effective communication

  • Multi-tasking

Most of these skills can be learned. Even if you don’t have them right now, you can develop them through hard work and dedication.

Quiz time!

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Jeffrey is applying for post-graduate studies. He is relying on a strong academic application to stand out amongst the other students. Below are two sentences Jeffrey wrote regarding his academic strengths:

  1. "When working with diverse groups I've continuously received compliments on my ability to convey information clearly and pay attention to others' needs."

  2. "I am fluent in three languages: English, Spanish and French."


What academic qualities has Jeffrey highlighted in his application?

What about my academic weaknesses?

Nobody is perfect. We all have strengths AND weaknesses!

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Our weaknesses are what we need to improve on to gain skills. There is always something we want to be better at, something we can work towards achieving.

Understanding your weaknesses will help you recognize the areas in which you still need to improve. Flaticon Icon

Don't look at your weaknesses with resentment...find solutions!

Recognizing your weaknesses is the first step towards turning them into strengths. Let's look at a few examples:


Leaving your work until the last minute will add to the overload and make you stress more.

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How to improve:

Draw up a study plan, make lists, and do difficult work first.

Poor communication skills

Not only will it affect your academic achievement but also your involvement in group projects if you find it difficult to express your ideas in writing tasks or conversations.

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What to do instead:

Become an active listener, develop presentation skills, study, and practice writing.

Poor time management

Not being able to plan for deadlines will cause your academics to fall behind and you may miss opportunities.

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Manage distractions, set clear goals, and prioritize.


Your biggest goals need patience and persistence for you to succeed.

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How to work on your patience:

Internalize your emotions and stop to look at the bigger picture.

How do I identify my strengths & weaknesses?

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Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I make clear, concise, and complete arguments with creative writing?

  • How do I react to constructive criticism?

  • How good are my problem-solving skills?

  • How organized am I?

  • Do I like public speaking?

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Seek advice from other people

Your parents, teachers, and close friends might be able to give you valuable feedback on your strengths that you may not have been aware of before this.

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Keeping a journal will help you look back on what you've achieved and what you've missed in school.

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How do I work on my academic weaknesses?

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  • Challenge yourself to become good enough in something.

  • Get advice from people who have the quality you lack.

  • Forgive yourself for setbacks — change takes time.

  • Get a routine — practice makes perfect!

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Take Action

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Identifying your personal strengths and weaknesses in academics can help you set specific goals, prioritize your happiness, and build your resilience.

Be proactive!


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