What Are Examples of Academic Strengths?

By Staff WriterLast Updated May 27, 2020 7:22:17 PM ET
Photo 1523050854058 8df90110c9f1
Vasily Koloda/Unsplash

Most people want to do well in school so they can earn excellent grades, graduate and then find a well-paying job. While many believe that some people are better built for academic performance than others, the truth is that anyone is capable of developing skills that will help them do well in school. 

Students can develop academic strengths early in life to help them succeed in the classroom and beyond. Some of the most important examples of academic strengths are critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, resilience and goal setting.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking might be one of the most important academic strengths to develop. When you can think critically, you can evaluate information and situations and form your own opinion about what is going on. As a critical thinker, you are actively engaging with information rather than just soaking it in.

One way to develop the ability to think critically is to carefully assess each piece of information you receive. For example, if someone tells you the sky is blue, consider who is telling you the information, what their relationship is to you and whether you trust them. It can also be worthwhile to consider whether you can prove what they said is true or not.


Creativity is another academic strength. It's also a skill that many people believe you are born with. In fact, you can develop creativity just as you can develop the ability to read, solve equations or cook dinner. When you are creative, you can come up with new ideas or options, which can help you solve problems.

According to Psychology Today, when a person thinks creativity, they build connections between different areas of the brain. One way to increase your creativity is by seeking out new knowledge and opportunities to learn. 

Problem Solving

Problem-solving is an important academic strength that goes beyond being able to solve equations. You will use problem-solving skills throughout your life, in many areas from the classroom to the boardroom and from the living room to the kitchen. At its most basic, problem-solving means being able to identify the issue, brainstorm possible solutions, try out a solution or two and decide on the best course of action.

Problem-solving is a multi-pronged academic strength. When you can solve problems, you likely have other strengths, too. Creativity and critical thinking are two strengths that go hand-in-hand with problem-solving.


From kindergarten through college, academic life can be full of its ups and downs. You might get an "A" on a paper one week only to get an "F" on a paper the next. Resilience is a strength that helps you bounce back and keep working even after a setback, such as a failing grade.

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines resilience as the ability to adapt when faced with challenges or trauma. The APA also notes that resilience is common; people are more resilient than they might think. Being able to bounce back after a bad grade or keep working even if the material is tough will help you succeed in your academic career.

Goal Setting

Being able to set and achieve goals is a must for academic success. Knowing how to tailor goals so you can work toward them and ultimately reach them is a vital skill. The goals you set can be small, such as study 15 minutes per night for a final exam, or large, such as write your college admissions essay. What matters most is that you have a plan for each goal. Goal-setting skills allow you to make plans for the future and decide the best way to pave a path towards success.