If you do know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you won’t know where you’re likely to succeed or where you need help.
When answering questions about your academic skills during a self-assessment, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Think about which classes you like in school and which ones you struggle with each year. If you find that you’re having a hard time with a specific topic, you should consider getting a tutor to help balance your skill set. Having a wider breadth of academic skills will help increase your opportunities in college, and later, your career options.
Yet a self-assessment isn’t meant to just point out where you need to improve your high school education. Figuring out which subjects come more easily to you can provide insight into possible fields that you can pursue in college and a job.
For example, if you’re having trouble with liberal arts classes, but you do well in math and science, you should consider pursuing a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) major and career.
However, if you aren’t good at math and get squeamish in biology class, but you excel in your English and history classes, becoming a doctor or a vet might not be the best option for you.
Ultimately, if you do know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you won’t know where you’re likely to succeed or where you need help if you do not complete a self-assessment. It can help you understand the education path that is best for you, whether it’s a certificate program at a technical school or a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university.
Assessing Your Academic Strengths
Your grade point average (GPA) and SAT/ACT scores aren’t the only indicators of your academic skills and the type of school you should attend after high school. A number of questions, some that really get to the core of your personality, but are still related to academics, can provide insight into whether you belong at a large or small college, one that is public or private, or whether you should consider options outside of a four-year college.
As you’re answering some of these questions below, you might realize you don’t know yourself as much as you thought. If you need help, talk to some of your favorite teachers, your coach, or your guidance counselor. They can help provide input about your performance with their impressions of you and your work. For example, your teacher might notice you are a natural leader, when you were originally self-conscious about your leadership skills. They might also recommend a career to you that you’ve never considered.
Answering the following questions related to academic skills can help you start your self-assessment:
- What classes do enjoy the most?
- What classes do you like the least?
- Which classes did you take and receive the highest grades?
- Which classes did you take and receive the worst grades?
- Do you like to study?
- Do you take good notes in class?
- How are your test-taking skills?
- Are you comfortable asking questions in class?
- Where do you sit in class?
- How often do you participate in class: always, sometimes or never?
- Do you prefer in-class work or projects?
- Do you work better alone or in a group?
- Do you have a good work ethic or do you struggle to concentrate?
- Do you prefer studying on your own or do you seek help from teachers or tutors?
- Do you like weekly assignments or 2-3 major assignments a term?
- Are you good at daily pop quizzes?
- Do you try to get good grades each term?
- What’s your GPA? Are you happy with it?
- What could you do to improve your grades?
- Do you perform better on tests or papers?
- Do you review your tests and papers to see what you can learn from them?
Now that you've carefully reviewed your academic skills, interests and learning style, it's time to move on to extracurricular activities and your career goals!