Examples of SMART Goals for Students
The best way to achieve success is through goal setting, right? Sort of! The way we plan our goals has a massive impact on following through. Creating measurable metrics and a strong plan allows students to find a pathway towards academic success.
One of the more highly recommended methods for establishing truly worthwhile goals is through the mnemonic S.M.A.R.T., which stands for:
- Specific: Instead of trying to meet broad goals that can become overwhelming, focus on one outcome you’d like to achieve. A precise goal encompasses the traditional ‘who, what, when, where, or why’.
- Measurable: Creating a goal that has milestones doesn’t have to be tricky. Whether it’s a time, date, grade, or something similar, it feels great to reach steps towards your main objective.
- Achievable: Try to think of a realistic goal–not too easy, but not so challenging that you stress too much about reaching it. You’re aiming for something that will help motivate you as you make progress.
- Relevant: If you’re struggling in an area or want to achieve more, create a goal that aligns with what matters most to you. A worthwhile goal that brings you closer to your ultimate destination will make it more difficult to abandon if you hit an obstacle along the way.
- Time-Bound: This is key! It’s essential to put a little pressure on yourself to achieve your goals without feeling as though you’re rushing to meet them. Having a deadline helps keep the focus as you establish what needs to be done daily, weekly, and monthly.
Starting with an overall goal, we then break it down into bits that drive motivation for success. Let’s discuss a few examples of these goals based on an individual pupil’s academics.
Primary School Example
Overall Goal: I want to be able to focus during class at school.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal: I will target Maths with a tutor, as this is the subject that I have the most difficulty paying attention to, so I can get better at listening and sitting still during school.
Specific: I want to focus better so I can make the most out of my education.
Measurable: I will practise my subject lesson outside of school to better understand it while in class. Practising will help me to pay attention because I know more about what is going on.
Achievable: I will meet with a Maths tutor every week to help me exercise my Executive Function skills.
Relevant: I’d like to pay attention during lessons. Working with a tutor will help me improve my focus in Maths which will help me understand how to pay attention in other classes.
Time-Bound: I have six weeks until winter break, which gives me plenty of time to work on my focus.
Secondary School Example
Overall Goal: I want to prepare for my General Certificate of Secondary Education (GSCE) exam.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal: I will practise with a tutor to revisit subject content and plan for studies leading up to the exam.
Specific: I want to receive good marks so I can open doors for my future.
Measurable: I will get a grade of 7 or above on my G.S.C.E. 7 is the equivalent of an A in the prior grading system.
Achievable: I will meet with a GSCE tutor twice a week to help me improve my weak spots.
Relevant: I’d like to join an apprenticeship program before university, and getting good marks on my GSCE will help lead me there.
Time-Bound: I still have seven weeks until my exam, which gives me plenty of time to create a plan with a tutor and prepare in full.
Adult Learners Example
Overall Goal: I want to improve my fluency in French.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal: I will become more comfortable speaking the French language after finding a one-on-one tutor.
Specific: I want to develop my French skills in preparation for my summer holiday.
Measurable: I will navigate the French language basics for travelling with ease–asking for directions, introducing myself, etc.
Achievable: I will meet with a French tutor every week to help me focus on the areas that need improvement.
Relevant: Better understanding a foreign language will be helpful for my holiday, so I don’t get lost and know how to pay for transactions properly. It will also open doors for more travel in the future.
Time-Bound: I have eight months before my holiday, leaving me enough time to meet with a tutor regularly. I can also determine whether I need tutoring more than once a week to continue improving.
Match with an Online Tutor
As a powerful way to support students through their academic endeavours, having a tutor help set S.M.A.R.T. goals provide a lifelong skill that students will benefit from beyond the classroom. Rather than a vague goal that one can more easily miss the mark on, this goal-setting technique helps teach one how to focus effectively, manage time appropriately, and feel a sense of achievement at every milestone.
At Tutor Doctor – UK the tutors we work with assist students of all ages and learning levels to meet their goals, build confidence and retain skills they can bring beyond the world of academics.