Succeed with learning
Succeed with learning

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

5 Your academic skills

Although many of the academic skills covered this week may be new to you, and take a while to absorb and practise, please do not forget the academic skills you already have. Some you will have had before you started the course, even if you were not feeling very confident about them; others you have been developing.

The next activity is an opportunity to see how transferable to other aspects of life some of these ‘academic’ skills can be.

Activity 4 How transferable are academic skills?

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes for this activity.
  • Draw up a table similar to the one below.
  • Identify and note down at least four academic skills that you have used – either on this course or elsewhere.
  • Do you remember how academic skills can often be used in the real world too? Try to think of any other ways you could use those skills, and list those in the second column.
Table 1 My academic skills and their ‘real-world’ applications
What academic skills did I use and how? What other ways could I use this skill in the ‘real world’?
Focused reading: I read the section on PROMPT a couple of times to really try and understand the key points. My daughter’s school has just been evaluated. I want to read the report to understand why the school did not do very well.
Mind mapping: I used this in two activities. I’m going to use this to help me decide where to go on holiday.


Can you see from this activity that academic skills can be very useful in other situations, too? They are often as transferable as the ‘real-world’ skills. Being aware of this can help them become more natural to you, and studying thus becomes less of a daunting prospect.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371