What Are the Good Goals to Set for Yourself in School?

Goals are essential for keeping you on track with your progress and limiting various conflicting interests from throwing you off your journey. Like all goals in life, academic goals give your efforts bearing, helping rally your actions towards a desirable achievement.

Unfortunately, many people are unfamiliar with the right approach for setting good goals for school. often, students set ambitious goals only to get frustrated after failing to attain any target towards the end of an academic year. 

This article will discuss how to set effective goals for the school year and tips to ensure that your goals pay off. We will also highlight some short-term and long-term goals to inspire your goal-setting process.

Why is it important to set academic goals for high school?

Some of the benefits of good learning goals for students include:

  • They set a pace for learning by defining your activities for a given duration
  • Goals bring about accountability for your action throughout an academic semester
  • Helps overcome conflicting interests that may side-track your efforts toward a desirable end
  • Serve as benchmarks to gauge your progress in your academic pursuit
  • They help you develop healthy habits essential for your academic performance

How to set smart goals for school

What makes a great academic goal? While a setting goals activity for students results in multiple reasonable targets, few goals pass the quality test. Often, these activities lead to goals such as getting first-class honors without defining how they are to be achieved.

As such, there is little difference between some goals for students and wishful thinking. When going about your goals, we recommend that you employ the SMART goal-setting criterion. This criterion stands for:


Planning to get first-class honors is a broad goal that barely points you to the right trajectory. A good goal ought to be clear and free of ambiguity. 

For instance, 

Goal 1: study a topic each week to improve your score in calculus 

Is more definitive of the action to take towards achieving the goal as opposed to

Goal 2: to pass calculus


How will you tell if your goal has been satisfied? When setting goals, it is essential to state them in a manner that allows you to gauge their achievement. For instance, a common entry among various learning goals for students is: 

Goal A: To become the best in my class

Although this goal dictates ambition, it fails to define the criteria for its assessment, preferably, set a goal like:

Goal B: To improve my score in all subjects by revising weak areas 

This is easier to gauge and can be defined in actionable terms, making it easier to realize.


Planning to become a computer programming guru is equally as good a goal as wishing to become the spider man. When setting goals, it is best that you set goals that are attainable with the resources at your disposal. 

As such, gauge each aspect of your goal, ensuring that it can be met within the available time. For instance:

Goal: To tackle a chapter of calculus per week and consult on various challenges encountered. 

This goal is easy to manage as you have ample time and can easily access the resources to see it to completion. 


We all agree that the goal to become the best student in the world is quite ambiguous. Ideally, a goal should be within reach and have a measurable parameter. As such, plan something that you can gauge and ensure that you can easily receive the input to measure the achievement. 


Let’s gauge these two goals. 

Goal 1: to learn how to code 

Goal 2: to learn how to code before November

Although both these goals have the same target, one indicates the period you intend to have attained your goal. As such, the second goal can be easily planned and measured, ensuring hastened progress. The latter might even inspire procrastination, making its achievement less likely. 

School goals examples

If you are struggling with your new semester resolution, here are some school goals to set for the upcoming term. 

Short-term goals for students

  • Create a learning schedule for each week 
  • Go over multiple past papers before the cat to score high in algebra
  • Get a tutor for calculus and identify my weak areas in differentiation
  • Start a study group for the study of biology and organize biweekly meetings

Long-term goals for students

  • To score an A in the Biology end-of-semester exam
  • To attain quality grades and secure a scholarship
  • To connect with peers and professionals in my field before graduation
  • Attain a 3.0 GPA upon graduation
  • Finish my degree within four years
  • Get an internship before my third year of study 

Tips for setting goals for school

  1. Have a goal for each subject to avoid prioritizing various units over others.
  2. Start off by setting long-term goals and break them down into actionable short-term goals.
  3. Set milestones and gauge your achievement on regular basis to determine how you can overcome various deterrents you encounter along the way.
  4. Plan incremental rewards to gain impetus to see various goals through.
  5. Work with a guide to understand the feasibility of your goals before putting them into action.