Annabel and Erika are college freshmen taking up a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy. Whereas both of the girls have exemplary records in their respective high schools (both of them graduated on top of their class), anyone who has read the girls’ assignment on their respective goal in college could easily predict that Erika will do better. Compared to Annabel’s “I’m gonna do well in class” goal, Erika bravely has her eyes set on the goal of “Managing my time well to be able to get a 3.4 grade-point average in all my subjects”.
Obviously, Erika knows about educational smart goals. Just an FYI, SMART goal is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals. Here are a few examples of educational smart goals:
• Educational smart goals are specific—there is no room for vague goals which are overwhelming and unachievable. Your goals need to be detailed, concise and clear. Instead of saying “I’m going to study better”, an educational smart goal says “I will devote 2 hours every night to do my schoolwork”. The educational smart goal version of “I’m going to finish my term paper” is “I will begin doing my term paper a month before the deadline.”
• Educational smart goals are measurable. Time frames, dates, amounts – anything that could measure your success – are essential as they provide the means to help you determine whether you have attained your goal. Rather than aiming for “better grades”, target a particular grade-point average by the end of the semester.
• Educational smart goals are attainable. Take action not a reaction—in short, be realistic in your goals. Graduating on top of the class may be unlikely if your consistently on probation or if your average is just 2.2. Try aiming for a 3.0 instead—with a lot of effort that is more realistic.
• Educational smart goals are relevant. Goals need be set up with a clear purpose. If your goal is to ace your mid-term exam in biology that is four days away, don’t get distracted by starting on your home reading report that is not due for another week.
• Educational smart goals are time-bound. Goals need to have a starting point, a time frame and an ending point. Working on a detailed thesis paper is praiseworthy, but not if you only have one week to finish it.
If you want quality and consistent improvement in your life, goal setting is a process you must master. And students are not exempted from this fact. Knowing how to set goals is an indispensable capability for students. But what is even more essential is that students make their goals smart. Indeed, goal setting is an important skill students must have—and it is a most daunting thing to master. But taking time to make your educational goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound might make all the difference. Here we have more smart goals examples to give you a better idea of how you can apply this to your daily routine.
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