“All children in some form or another have genius; the trick is to bring it out in them.” - Charlie Chaplin
Nearly a third of students believe they’ve chosen the wrong degree. This might be due to a lack of information or support when choosing their studies. However, there are ways to better understand what you need to study, the right degrees to choose, and the right career for you. You might consider appraising your skills and ambitions and using this appraisal to get help from an organisation or service dedicated to career choices.
In this article, we’ll be looking at academic appraisals, how they can help you improve your study skills, study methods, time management, and how they can lead to academic success!
Find personal development training with a coach on Superprof.
What Is an Academic Appraisal?
An academic appraisal is when you evaluate your exam results and performance at school so that you have a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, what you like to study, and what you’d like to do in the future. Thanks to the appraisal, you might discover a new career path that you hadn’t previously thought about.
Your academic appraisal, along with questions about your personality, likes and dislikes, and ambitions, will help you work out exactly the best jobs for you in the future and the subjects you can study. A student’s academic appraisal is also useful if they opt for academic support coaching as it will give the tutor an idea of their strengths. Similarly, this can also work for their professional life, too.
Do you think you’ve chosen the wrong path in terms of your studies or career?
An appraisal could help you reorientate yourself.
Find out more about career resources.
Who is an Academic Appraisal for?
It’s never too early to think about your professional future. It might be a good idea to start thinking about it before your GCSEs. To be fair, you’ll be regularly asked about your future while you’re in school.
During this time in their lives, students can change a lot in a short space of time. This is why they should be regularly thinking about what they want to study and do in their lives. Different learning styles require different learning strategies.
For example, you may love test-taking and have some great note-taking strategies to ensure you can recite everything from memory on the day of the exam or you may struggle to recall key information during an exam but remember everything the teacher said in a particular class.
There are advisors and tutors at school that can help them by asking them what they like to do and what they’re good at. However, primary school students can also consider an academic appraisal before they go to secondary school.
After an academic appraisal, academic guidance tutors could help you with several things:
- Writing a covering letter
- Looking for your first job
- Reorientating students
- Applying to degrees
- Catching up with studies
Developing effective study skills such as taking good notes, making flashcards, mind maps, or index cards. If you start feeling a bit lost and your grades start slipping, an academic appraisal might be worthwhile. After all, the goal is to guide the student from school to work.
Once you've decided on what you want to do with your life, you can start looking more closely at different degrees. To find the best universities, consider looking at the QS World University Rankings and don't just narrow your search to universities in the UK. After all, there are a lot of universities that accept lots of international students!
Wondering what you can do with certain degrees?
Check out Prospects.ac.uk.
How to Do an Academic Appraisal
You can take your first steps towards your career as early as your GCSEs when you choose what to study. For example, you pick whether or not to study foreign languages, art, history, etc.
Guidance counsellors or tutors can help you to think about your future and are accessible throughout the year. However, you mightn’t have as much time to meet with them during school or at every moment you need to so an appraisal might set you on the right path.
There are many ways to study and an academic appraisal can help you work out what you want to study, help you review your notes, and help a lot with test preparation.
Applying to university?
Preparing an Academic Appraisal
If the student has an idea of what they want to do, several things may help them feel more comfortable about their choice than meeting with a counsellor:
- Check that they fully understand what they want to study or the job they want to do. Sometimes, students will have a romanticised idea of it. For example, many may be interested in law but have no prior experience of what that entails. Make sure they don’t get carried away with what they see on TV and in films. After all, studying law can be very demanding.
- Put their motivation to the test. If the student wants to become a doctor, they need to be very driven. It can be difficult to get onto courses and when they do, they’ll need to work hard. Will the student be able to cope?
- Teach them more about the entry requirements for certain degrees and jobs. Some courses and careers are more accessible than others. They might end up changing their mind. It’s something you need to take into account.
- Avoid shortcuts. They might need to go back to the fundamentals.
If they don’t know what they want to do with their life, the appraisal will be useful for establishing what they enjoy. Whether you're studying the humanities, social sciences, liberal arts, or hard sciences, you can improve your academic performance by working out your strengths and weaknesses, how to apply them to your areas of study, how to create a study space that works with your study strategies, and how to avoid bad study habits, like cramming and procrastination.
If you find yourself struggling after a study session, it might be time to do an academic appraisal.
How to Create a Professional Orientation Test
An academic appraisal could be a great way to work out what you need to study and the best jobs for you. It's all about finding ways to help you work out what you want to do with your career and outlining ways to help you study, be it through note-taking skills, active learning, or avoiding distracting yourself when you're supposed to be studying.
Nothing is stopping you from making one for yourself.
Need more career advice?
Find out more about the services available from the National Careers Service.
Where Can You Do an Academic Appraisal
You’ll find plenty of personality tests and career tests online. These might be a good first step on working out what you want to do or reaffirm what you already thought. Guidance counsellors could help you with doing an academic appraisal. That said, this may mean that it focuses on academic results too much.
If you’d like a balanced appraisal, there are careers services. There are also advisors you can meet with and work on an appraisal. You can often get a free appraisal. You can even do a skills appraisal while studying. Students studying a degree might need to learn how to study, work with a particular learning style, or taking notes.
You’ll also be able to get in touch with an academic support tutor from online platforms like Superprof. You’ll get personalised and bespoke academic guidance to help you through your choices. You may have to pay several hundred for an appraisal from a specialist or consultant.
If you need more help with study techniques, suffer from test anxiety, or just need some useful study tips, there are three different types of tutorial available from the tutors on Superprof: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.
Study groups could benefit from group tutorials at a lower cost. After all, the cost of the tutor's time is shared among the students in attendance.
If you want to learn how to study effectively, you might want to consider getting face-to-face tutorials. As the only student, you can get bespoke tutoring and help with writing skills, reading strategies, and other academic skills.
Finally, online study support is useful for those on a budget as they tend to be cheaper than face-to-face tutorials. After all, the tutor doesn't need to travel and can fit more lessons into their schedule. Similarly, you can get a tutor from anywhere in the world as long as you both have a webcam and a decent internet connection!
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