Do you think SMART goals could help you in school?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

SMART goals could be helpful to you if you’re in school because of their detailed and carefully considered nature. Creating a goal that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely can help and inspire a student to perform to the best of his or her ability.

The first thing we need to do to answer this question is to define SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Basically, a SMART goal is a goal that’s been well thought out, and I would argue that these could be extremely helpful for a school student. Without goals, you have nothing specific or concrete to work toward, and goals that are vague and unrealistic will only lead to frustration and disappointment for students.

Let’s unpack every element of a SMART goal to better understand how these goals can help you in school. For a goal to be specific, you must ask yourself what you want to achieve, when you want to achieve it by, and why you want to achieve it. An example would be deciding to work toward raising your math grades from C’s to A’s within a year to give you a better chance at getting into the college of your dreams. The specificity of this goal will help you as a student by keeping you focused. This goal is also easy to measure because it specifies the grade that you want to receive. In other words, there can be no doubt at the end as to whether or not you achieved your goal.

Achievability looks at what you need to achieve that goal. Using the above example again, making this math goal achievable may involve hiring a tutor or asking your teacher for more help. Thinking about achievability is useful to a school student because it can help to make your goal a reality rather than just a dream.

Keeping goals realistic is very important for a student’s morale. If you’re currently failing math and you set yourself a goal of being a straight-A student in the subject, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and demoralization.

The final aspect of SMART goals—timeliness—is extremely important for students because it sets a deadline and the school year occupies a finite amount of time. A deadline could be the date when your next paper is due or the end of a school year.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on