25 SMART Goals Examples for Students of All Ages

A goal is simply something that you want to achieve. It can be short-term or long-term.

 It’s about setting an intention towards something that you want to get. A goal is also a plan of action that you take to accomplish your intention.

Students need to set SMART goals for their academic success. They also need to develop self-awareness and self-control.

As a student, whether you are in freshmen, high school or college, or even in higher studies, it is crucial to have goals for your studies. 

You need to set goals for your classes, programs, and in fact, overall life and career goals as well. 

The best way to move forward strategically and actually make sure you fulfill your goals is to create SMART goals. 

Setting SMART goals helps students achieve their academic goals. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. These four components are essential to setting effective goals.

SMART Goals For Students

Here’s what these terms mean: 

Specific: Your goal must be specific enough so it can be measured by the teacher or school.

Measurable: You need to have some method to check the progress of your goal, something that tells you that you have achieved your said goal. 

Attainable: You must believe that you will succeed in reaching this goal.

Relevant: Your goal must relate to what you are learning at school.

Time-Bound: You need to set a time frame for your goal to achieve. Make sure it is realistic as well. 

By setting SMART goals, you would be making sure that they are actually attainable and you can practically achieve it in the given time. 

How To Set Better SMART Goals? 

To set better SMART Goals, you need to work on each aspect of goal setting, which is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 

So, let’s go through each of these and set a good and bad example comparison, so you would know how to set them accurately. 


It is about choosing a goal in the first place that is specific and detailed in nature, so you set the right mindset and have clarity for what you want to achieve exactly. 

Save yourself from setting vague goals such as  “be better,” “save money,” or “get better grades,” as they are not specific in the first place. 

Good example: I will focus on my core program course to get B or better in each of them to boost my GPA 

Bad Example:  I will get better grades this year. 


Set a measurable goal, simply something that can be tracked over time. Something where you can check the progress of the goal. 

Without setting actual figures, and quantifiable numbers, you are making it difficult or impossible to track progress or how far you worked. 

Good Example:  I will end up running 100 miles by the end of this year. 

Bad Example:  I will become a good runner this year. 


This is about making sure that the goal you are setting is actually achievable or attainable for you in the given circumstances, time, and resources. 

You need a balance here because you want to set a goal that challenges and stretches your abilities as well as not too much that it becomes impractical or too difficult to fulfill it. 

Good Example: I will attend at least four seminars this year for professional and skill development depending on my schedule and availability. 

Bad Example: I will start and complete my bachelor’s degree in under twelve months. 


When you set your SMART goal, it is important to make sure that the goal is something that helps you in your overall plans. 

It must be relevant to your other goals or overall life plan or long-term goals and must not be contradictory for sure. 

Good Example:  I will get myself an industry certification in SEO, so I can apply as an SEO expert for top companies. 

Bad Example: I will get myself a concerned piano lesson and illustration course where I also want to be an SEO expert in my career. 


Perhaps, the most important aspect of goal setting and setting a SMART goal is setting a time foundation for your goals. 

This makes sure that you complete your goal in the given time and actually have a deadline to check your progress. 

Good Example: I will read three books every month for this year. 

Bad Example:  I will read a lot of books. 

why is setting smart goals important

People who set SMART goals tend to be more successful than those who don’t. 

When you set SMART goals, it helps you focus on what you exactly want to achieve. It helps you become driven and motivated to work towards them but, more importantly, have the right goals to move towards.

Smart goals help you stay focused on your long-term goals as well. If you have many short-term goals, they may distract you from focusing on your long-term goals and make you less likely to reach them.

When you set smart goals, you’ll know exactly where you want to go. This makes it easier to get there.

When you set goals, you learn how to manage your time effectively. You also learn how to prioritize tasks.

steps for setting smart goals for students

SMART Goals Examples For Students 

How Teachers Can Set SMART Goals For Students? 

 The SMART goals are a set of guidelines for students to achieve their academic and personal objectives. 

They are also used in the classroom as well as at home. The SMART goals consist of: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed. Let us look at some examples of SMART goals that can be used by students.

Specific – To study for an exam or test, one needs to be very specific about what he/she wants to achieve. He/She should write down his/her objective clearly.

Measurable – One needs to be able to measure whether he/she has achieved his/her objective or not.

Achievable – One needs to find out ways to improve his/her performance so that he/she can achieve his/her objective.

Realistic – One needs to understand the importance of being realistic about achieving his/her objective. It is important to set reasonable goals.

Timed – One needs to set a deadline for himself/herself to achieve his/her objective by.

 Why Teachers Should Use SMART goals For Students? 

SMART goals help students focus on their strengths and weaknesses. It also gives students direction and purpose.

Setting SMART goals motivate them to work hard toward their set goals. Students also get this framework for planning and evaluating student progress.

Without setting specifications, time boundations, relevance, and quantification of the goal, students are prone to fail to achieve their goals in the first place. 

How Teachers Can Teach Students To Set A SMART goal?

Teachers can model good goal-setting skills. Teachers can ask questions like: What are your short-term and long-term goals? Why do you want to achieve those goals? How will you know when you reach your goals?

Teachers can also explain how to set SMART objectives. An objective is a measurable step toward your goal. Examples include: Read chapter 7 before class discussion. Complete one math problem per week. Answer two questions about the text.

How do Teachers encourage my students to set SMART goals each day?

You can encourage your students to set SMART objectives every day. You can also tell them that they will receive feedback from teachers and parents if they don’t meet their goals.

You can also motivate your students to set SMART goals for homework assignments as well, something that they have to do regularly. 

You can help your students set SMART goals by giving them examples of good homework goals. You can also show them how to write down their goals.

It is also important for teachers to constantly check up on their students’ SMART goals.

Every few days, you should check up on your students’ SMART objectives. This gives you a chance to make sure that they are meeting their goals. If not, you can discuss with them why they aren’t succeeding.

How do Teachers evaluate my students’ SMARTS goals?

You can evaluate your students’ goals after they have met them. Ask them to describe their experience. Did they meet all of their goals? Were there any surprises? Did they learn anything new?

If you notice that your students are not meeting their goals, you may decide to change your teaching methods. For example, you might try using different strategies to help your students meet their goals.

Tips For Teachers To Set SMART Goals For Their Students 

  • Tell students that they need to think about what they would like to accomplish during the next year. They should list five things they hope to achieve.
  • Have students share their lists with other students. Discuss which items were similar or different.
  • Encourage students to select three items from their lists that they feel confident they could accomplish. These items become their SMART goals.
  • Help students brainstorm ways to meet these goals.
  • Review the SMART criteria for setting goals.
  • Check back with students in six months to see whether they accomplished their goals.
  • If necessary, reevaluate your teaching methods so that you can help students succeed in school.
  • When students fail to meet their goals, talk with them about what went wrong.
  • Remind students that they will be graded based on their performance.
  • After students finish writing down their goals, have them read over their lists. Ask them to identify strengths and weaknesses in their plans.
  • Suggest that they use this information to plan future goals.
  • Encourage students to keep track of their progress.
  • At the end of the semester, ask students to rate themselves on their ability to complete tasks and meet goals.
  • Provide students with an opportunity to reflect on the past year.
  • Encourage students to look at their grades and determine where they want to improve.
  • Talk with students about what they learned during the year.
  • Suggest to the students that they can use the summer vacation to prepare the SMART goals for the upcoming academic year.
  • Reassure students that if they don’t meet their goals, they won’t lose points.
  • Let students know that they can always come to you with questions.
  • Show gratitude towards students who have participated in the goal setting.
  • Record student responses on the SMART Goal Evaluation Form.
  • Share the results with parents.
  • Use the SMART goal evaluation form as a guide when planning for the coming school year.
  • Make sure you keep records of the number of times you have to remind your students of their SMART goals.
  • Make notes about how often you evaluate students’ SMART goals.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your reminders by comparing the number of times you remind students to write down their goals each week.
  • Determine whether you need to make changes in your teaching methods.
  • Consider changing your teaching style to encourage more active participation.
  • Plan activities that will help students meet their goals. (For example, students may need to practice math skills before they are tested.)
  • Be sure to reward students who do well on tests and assignments.
  • Remember to check up on students periodically.
  • As needed, provide students with additional support.
  • Continue to monitor student progress.
  • Set new goals for next year.
  • Reflect on your own goals for the coming year.
  • Identify areas that need improvement.
  • Take time to celebrate successes.
  • Look forward to the challenges ahead!

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