Individuals that possess solid academic skills are much more likely to succeed in any type of educational venture, but they do take practice to develop. Note taking, studying, and test taking skills all need to be mastered in order to do well in any subject, and each individual may find that certain methods work better for him or her than others. Taking a brief course in improving academic skills might be a good place to start, and they are often offered at the beginning of the school year or semester. Working with a tutor might also be a good way to develop better study habits and improve academic habits in general.
Each individual may struggle more in a certain area of academic skills than others, and it is important to be able to recognize this. For instance, some students are great note-takers, but then don't know how to study these notes effectively, and will freeze up on tests. With regards to note-taking, it is important to find a happy medium between taking so many notes that it is impossible to follow along in class and listen the lecture, and so few notes that they do not cover the most important facts and details provided. This will make it easier to study the notes later on.
Good study skills are some of the most important academic skills an individual can possess. There are some general tips that can make studying easier and more productive; these include studying in shorter bursts, such as half an hour to one hour, and taking frequent breaks to prevent getting burned out. Scheduling time to study and minimizing distractions, such as shutting off the cell phone and staying off the Internet, can also make study sessions more productive. Some people study well independently, others do better with friends and using flash cards or quizzing each other.
For some people, developing academic skills requires some extra work and the completion of dedicated exercises. In this case, working one-on-one with a tutor or teacher can be a good way to receive some extra attention and focus on the specific problem areas. There are even some educational computer games now that can help students to learn the material they are studying and to develop better study skills. Finding ways to make education and studying more fun, such as through educational games, is one of the best ways to get kids excited about learning from an early age.