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Tips for Academic Goal Setting Success

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This article will provide you with some tips for academic goal setting.

The Big Picture- First of all you need a clear long term goal. This should be the grade that you are aiming for by the end of the semester or year. This is the big picture. Draw this number or grade on a big piece of paper and put it above the desk where you study. Don't aim too high or too low with this number. I suggest aiming for a number that you have about a 70% chance of achieving.

Break it Down - We need to set goals for the grade you want to get in each class to achieve the big picture goal. Within each class divide that grade and work out the marks you need for each assessment that you will be getting marked on to add up to the grade for the subject. What I mean is that by breaking it down you will have a target grade for each test, essay, exam etc. You need to put these up on your wall as well. You can later measure your progress by writing the marks you get alongside the target marks.

Get Organized - Hopefully you know that being organized and having things planned out will reduce your stress levels while you are studying. At the start of the semester you need to plan out how you will get your target grade in each assessment. So allocate the proper study time now that you will need for each assessment in advance on a big wall calender. (If you have any room left on your wall!)

The Small Stuff- Also plan out a regular study schedule. This is for activities that are not directly involved with an assessment. For example collecting notes, going to group study, doing required reading etc.

Weekly and Daily Goals - Hopefully now you have all your time that is devoted to studying scheduled about the semester. We are going to break things down more. At the start of the week you need to set goals that relate to the amount and type of study that you have scheduled. Your weekly goals may look like this"
-----Finish research for the essay due in X
-----Have all notes ready for topic X
-----Essay is due this Friday!

Each day you need to set daily goals as well. These will be based off your weekly goals and any small stuff that is scheduled for the day.

I think a key point in goal setting is working out what you want and then deconstructing it so much that you know what you should be doing on a daily and weekly basis to reach that goal. Good luck with your academic goal setting!
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