Strengths for Academic Success


We are halfway through the semester and it’s a busy time for exams, papers and mid-term projects. As you manage all of these deadlines and responsibilities, have you ever really thought about how you use your CliftonStrengths as a student? Now is the perfect time to engage your talent themes in your classes, study habits or group project.

Let’s do a quick exercise and ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you process information? Are you an avid notetaker? Do you prefer to listen to recordings? Or do you enjoy finding your own materials to learn more about a topic?
  • What academic activities are most enjoyable to you? Do you like to organize class materials and notes? Do you prefer to study in groups where you can debate ideas? Do you like hands-on work like projects and labs where you can actually test out hypotheses and apply your ideas?
  • What does a successful day look like for you? Do you feel good marking off assignments? Do you like to follow a predictable schedule for studying and classes? Are you someone that enjoys “hunkering down” and devoting your full attention to a specific class or assignment?

These questions are all meant to have you reflect on the ways in which you best study and learn, creating “flow” – when you are so fully engaged and involved that time seems to fly by. If you struggle to find moments of flow, then maybe it’s time to lean more into your strengths!  Here are some examples of ow some students have described using their CliftonStrengths for academic success:

  • “My Competition strength is a big motivator for me to do well. My GPA and grades are sort of like my scorecard and I like to finish on top!”   – Emily, junior Journalism major
  • “I use my Empathy to watch how my professors emphasize information in lectures and think about what they want me to understand about the course material.”   – Marcus, sophomore Health Professions major
  • “After a quiz or test, I immediately go over the questions that I missed to see if they were small mistakes or if there are gaps in my understanding. With my Restorative strength, I want to figure out how to fill those gaps like meeting with my professor or talking with friends who got the right answers.”   – Tia, senior Business major
  • “I have Intellection and find that talking with professors, TAs and classmates really help me make sense of things so I can ask questions and refine my ideas.”   – Kaden, junior Engineering major

Knowing your strengths and developing learning styles and study habits that integrate your strengths should only improve how well you perform. To learn more, Consult with a Career Specialist about ways you can study, learn and even select classes that align with and leverage your strengths.