If you are a student looking for some guidance on what academic skills is all about and how to develop them, a good start would be to read through this page. Often, we associate learning in school with strengths in reading and writing.

Though it is true that reading and writing are important academic skills, there are other skills you should be aware of and learning about them will contribute to successful learning. Moreover, developing and practising these academic skills while you are studying will better equip you for the workplace.

Academic skills are learned behaviours, a collection of study habits, learning strategies that help students learn and absorb what they are been taught in school lessons. For most students, learning is about much more than access to information. These skills not only benefit the students during school assessment but can also help in the future.

Practising these skills leads to the development of graduate attributes, such as problem-solving and analytical ability, effective communication, and creativity and innovation. There are 14 academic skills mentioned on this page but I will only give you a brief note on a few of them.


Academic Skills Examples

  1. Writing
  2. Speaking
  3. Listening
  4. Reading
  5. Note-taking
  6. Critical thinking
  7. Computer Literacy
  8. Referencing
  9. Revision and exams
  10. Searching for information
  11. Time management
  12. Reasoning
  13. Technical literacy
  14. Attention to detail
  15. Data analysis

Writing skill

Employers look for people with strong writing skills to represent their company and grow into leadership roles. Thus, writing skill is one of the basic but principal academic skills that is required of any student. This academic skill allows you to communicate clearly with others within and outside the school environment.


Speaking skill

Speaking is one of the main academic skills which allow us to communicate effectively. Speaking gives us the ability to convey information verbally and in a way that the listener can understand. Any student with good speaking skill speak with conviction and passion; it will help the audience relate to you, believe in you, and remember you.


Reading Skill

Reading is the process of looking at written symbols and letters and understanding their meaning of them. Reading is one of the four main academic skills alongside listening, speaking and writing. Reading is usually the third language skill that you learn in your language – it comes after listening and speaking.

Having strong reading abilities can enable you to interpret and find meaning in everything you read, and when you continuously improve these skills, you can develop your ability to communicate effectively through writing.


Listening Skill

Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. This academic skill is key to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood. Listening is so important that many schools provide listening skills training for their student.

This is not surprising when you consider that good listening skills can lead to student success, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, and increased sharing of information that in turn can lead to more productivity.


Effective note-taking is an important transferable academic skill, a skill that can be applied in all aspects of life, socially, at work and during the study. Note-taking is a powerful aid to communication, a way of summarising and retaining the key points from what you’ve heard and understood. Taking notes during lectures is a skill, just like riding a bike.

If you have never taken notes while someone else is speaking before, it’s important to know that you will not be an expert at it right away. It is challenging to listen to someone speak and then make a note about what they said, while at the same time continuing to listen to their next thought.

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