Setting Goals For School Success
February 7, 2019

Having goals is important in everyday life—it helps give a sense of direction and purpose, and it sets bars by which we can navigate almost everything that we do.  While there are many opportunities to set goals, nowhere is goal-setting more important than setting goals for school success among students.

Setting goals for school success can be challenging for students—most students merely exist from day to day, from test to test, a project to project without much thought to where they are going or where they currently are. This is not surprising as skills such as time management, organization, and goal setting are not generally focused on in school.

“Students usually just tread water. Goal setting helps them to see a bigger picture and set a target to aim for, which gives them an advantage over students who are simply staying afloat,” said Lindsey Peralta, Education Director of Grade Power Learning Elk Grove.

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Set Goals For School Success among students

When setting goals for school success, students need to take a look at their current academic standing. Usually, there is one area that could use special attention, such as science, math, or completing homework.  Before students begin to set goals, they should become familiar with the CAM method.

The CAM method: Goals need to be Clear, Achievable, and Measurable.  Here’s how students can apply the CAM method.

  • Clear.  Make specific goals that are not too broad in scope. The goal shouldn’t be “improve my science grade”, but “I want to understand the periodic table of elements and mitosis.”
  • Achievable.  Keep goals realistic. A C minus student has a better chance of getting a C plus on the next test than an A. Once the higher target is achieved, continue moving the bar up until the realistic goal is an A…!  
  • Measurable. By setting a goal that has benchmarks, you can track success.  Last week Tim only knew 3 periodic elements; this week he knows 10! Next week he could know 15 to 20 or more!
Set Goals For School Success among students

The CAM method makes academic resolutions easy to keep. Students won’t get discouraged and abandon their resolutions because they can track their progress, no matter how minor the achievement is.

It is however important to remember that this is not something that will happen overnight. It is important to use this process over time with many goals. Using the CAM method repeatedly will turn the process into a habit. Once it is a habit, it is done naturally and projects will be a little easier to manage throughout school and into life.

One technique to help make goal setting a habit is to review your goals every day. Write them down and then say them out loud every morning. This will engage different parts of the brain and keep your goals at the forefront of your thoughts. Reviewing, using a technique such as this, will help keep you accountable and make you want to check off on one more completed item!

Students also need to understand the real change in habit is difficult. There will probably be challenges and some goals may be more difficult to achieve. Having difficulties is not a sign of failure. These challenges are learning opportunities.

If you made a goal that was Clear, Achievable, and Measurable but outside influences are interfering with the goal being met, take time to reflect on how the goal might have been set differently. It may also be necessary to modify what the goal is and how to achieve it. Learning how to make changes in the middle of pursuing a goal shows flexibility and will help you set better goals in the future.

Grade Power Learning | Elk Grove Tutor

For 25 years Grade Power Learning has been helping students reach their academic potential with uniquely developed programs that make a real difference in the way that children approach their learning. With Grade Power Learning, better grades are just the beginning.  

Check out the Grade Power Learning Elk Grove website for details on parent seminars for this and other topics. has a huge resource of tutoring providers. To find out more, visit the Tutoring Category. You can also read more of the Education Category blog post.

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