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UG CamGuides: What skills will I develop as an undergraduate?

Generic academic skills useful to all students

What was in this section?

This section introduced some of the generic skills that most students will need to develop during their degree at Cambridge. You may pick them up during the first few weeks or it may take you years to perfect them. However, if you feel that there are any skills that you might require extra help with in the first term, remember that your Tutor, Director of Studies, Librarians and peers will be happy to help, so get in touch with them when you have settled in to ask how you can improve.

The key skills we introduced in this section were:

  • Self-directed learning - taking control of your learning by making choices about how and what you learn
  • Time management - planning effectively so that you have time for your studies and extra-curricular interests
  • Critical reading - analysing research, engaging with alternative narratives and developing your own argument
  • Note making - establishing methods to record only the most important points so that you can write and revise effectively
  • Academic writing - understanding the stages involved: comprehension, planning, developing a clear style, proofreading
  • Verbal communication - becoming familiar with how to respond to, and ask questions of, your supervisor
  • Dealing with feedback - developing an awareness of the value of feedback and what you can usefully do with it
  • Online communication - reflecting on the way you communicate with a variety of people in an online environment

checklist iconChecklist

We hope that you found the information in this section useful and will return here during the course of your studies to remind yourself about some of the skills you will develop as a student in Cambridge.

You can download a checklist to tick off the pages you have covered, make a note of areas you wish to revisit, or highlight topics you have yet to engage with.

Click on the icon to the left to listen to this summary as an audio recording

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