Buoyancy control is undeniably a very important skill. Honestly it's not something that can be mastered instantly by many divers.
So how to gauge our buoyancy control proficiency? I'll break it down into 3 levels (base on my personal opinion)
** Still adjusting for proper weighting
** Moving up and down with each breath
** Sculling with hands and legs to stabilize
** Able to steadily hover in a relaxed and trim position
** Hands and arms are stationary (least movements)
** Able to control ascend and descend through continuous, conscious breathing.
** No sculling with hands and legs
** Multitasking while steadily hovering with no apparent difference in depth.
To me the best place to practice and fine-tune our buoyancy is in shallow areas.