How To Set Smart Study Goals

Setting goals allows you to focus your energy on action-oriented steps to lead you to your desired destination. Hence, if you want to improve your academic performance, one of the best ways to do that is through goal-setting itself. Setting study-related goals not only channels your focus toward what really matters, it also reduces procrastination and prevents you from finding excuses to avoid tackling subjects you aren’t interested in head-on. So, let’s take a look at six ways you can set smart study goals –

Step 1 – Set Specific, Measurable Goals

Rather than setting a goal that is very vague – i.e. I want to do “better” – set a goal that is much more targeted and measurable at a progress-tracking level.

Study-related goals often fall into the following categories –

* Grade-Based – Do you want to increase your GPA by a certain number? Do you want to receive a certain percentage on an essay?

* Habit-Based – Do you want to increase the amount of minutes/hours you study each day? Do you want to stop wasting time on social media while studying? Do you need to begin work on important assignments and projects earlier than you normally do?

Step 2 – Create A Realistic, Detailed Plan

Once you are clear about your study-related goals, the next step is to create a plan you can actually stick to, which outlines actionable items and strategies.

For example, if you want to improve your exam percentage, plan out when you will study for different chapters of each subject, when you will take practice tests and when you will receive extra coaching.

On the other hand, if your goal is to improve performance on written assignments, such as essays, then create a schedule that outlines milestones you need to cross each day so you don’t leave everything to the last minute out of sheer bad habits.

The more detailed your plan day by day or hour by hour, the more you will stay on track. It often helps to know what your ideal learning style is – i.e. are you a visual learning? kinaesthetic? auditory? – so you can stick to what works best for you.

Step 3 – Find A Reliable Point Person

Old habits die hard – this is why many people suffer from lack of discipline to meet their goals. Having a point-person, such as a family member, mentor, study group or friend, will help hold you accountable to stick to your plan. Create a support system so you can rise to the challenge and deliver! For example, the seasoned coaches at Speedlabs always double up as mentors – it prevents a student from floundering.

Step 4 – Harness The Power Of Technology

These days, technology is making life easier in every arena, including education. Reap the benefits of online study tools and tech-based coaching services. For example, SpeedLabs hybrid platform uses technology to identify each student’s unique strengths and weaknesses and coaches then offer customized study plans and practice tests that ensure students attain their full potential based on their specific needs, learning style and goals.

Step 5 – Monitor Yourself Closely

It is important to monitor progress at every step of the way, before it is too late to make changes. For example, if your goal is to get 90% on a specific test, you must engage in practice tests regularly to see if your scores are actually improving. Likewise, if you have a huge project due in 1 month, the last thing you want to realize is you have 3 days left and haven’t even gotten half-way through the deliverables.

Often times, technology-backed tools can help with scheduling and monitoring results. At SpeedLabs, we use technology at every step of the way to monitor a student’s progress so pace can be altered accordingly. Of course, this isn’t possible unless you are specific with your goals to begin with (Step 1).

Step 6 – Stay Persistent & Be Adaptable

Meeting your study-related goals might feel overwhelming in the beginning, but never give up. It is important to neither lose motivation nor to become overconfident. Stay positive. Take breaks as and when needed. Plan out rewards at set milestones to remain motivated to follow through on your study goals. And, keep reminding yourself of the long-term benefits of meeting your goals. If you make any mistakes, learn from them and tweak your study plan accordingly – for example, if you planned on studying at night for 1 hour each day, but are exhausted, perhaps switching your study time to first thing in the morning will be more effective. Some level of initial trial and error is normal – don’t panic.

We hope these six steps help you set smart study goals so you can perform to the best of your ability. If you have any questions about how SpeedLabs can help you study smartly to harness your maximum potential, contact us at

Also published on Medium.

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