Executive and Cognitive Skills for Students

Executive and Cognitive Skills for Students

In this article, executive and cognitive skills are briefly described. In learning and studying, students make use of these skills all the time. Some students may be better at these skills naturally. Others may find it challenging to utilize these skills.

Perceptive and Cerebral Critical Thinking Skills

Students who have high academic goals and are academically driven, contain adaptable perceptibility. This means that they are not only able to absorb newly acquired knowledge but also think about it critically and share their independent view about how it can be utilized effectively. Much of the advancement and discoveries in the fields of both sciences and the arts come from perceptive and cerebral thinking and trying out of ideas. When the intellectual climate is ripe with inspirational content and teaching, perceptive students can truly become wonderful fountains of acquired knowledge.

Decision Making Skills

Good decision making ability is to really think through given all the resources that one has at the time. It is the ability to make the best decision based on beliefs and values that one holds and idealizes along with keeping in mind limitations and realistic goal setting.  Students who have developed good decision-making skills, are able to pick options and decide based on what the best course of action looks like given the information they have. They are realistic in their decision-making ability and do not necessarily take risks which can impede their academic success.

For instance, studying properly for the exams and having adequate preparation, instead of taking the exams without any or little preparation. Another example is subject or discipline selection for college and university course of studies and degree programs.

For a student with strong decision-making skills, picking a subject or discipline in which they will do well and have interest in, will be their likely choice and they would not be attempting to opt for studying a subject which they absolutely have no foundational knowledge of nor any aptitude in or the capability to commit to learning the other subject. A practical approach can be to select more than one discipline and study both and see how the student does.

Focus and Attention

Concentration is imperative when a goal is to be attained with best results. Distracted and inattentive forms of negligence can not only lead to failure and lack of discipline but also dampen the inner confidence in being able to have any goals at all.

Example: Students who do not do well throughout their schooling and their attention and focus are always off base. There can be an undiagnosed psychological disorder – condition of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But, unless one does not get professional help for it through behavioral counseling, achieving academic goals will be challenging for the student because the attentional foundation and focus is missing.

One effective way to deal with weak attentiveness and hyperactive behaviors is to set a designated studying space with minimal distractions and complete the studying routine at this spot. To avoid boredom and to stretch, take small breaks every hour, for 5-10 minutes. And for the rest of the time, focus on studying goals for the day, week, month, or the year and onwards.

Choice Selection Skills

At any stage and age from primary school onwards, engaging the student in their academic and educational goals is the key to maintaining their self interest in doing well in studies. Whenever, students are not included in the choice selection processes around their educational goals, over time, they will not be able to develop a personal sense of being able to choose wisely on their own. It has to do with guided practice which then can be generalized to independent practice of making better choices around educational goals attainment.  Simple issues like better study habits formation and asking for additional help will not easily come to minds of students who never learned that they must actively participate in their own educational routines for their academic successes. Example: Choosing Science or Arts courses when entering college and choices around elective courses.