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75 Examples of SMART Student Goals

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SMART student goals are targets for your academic career and student life that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. The following is a summary of the SMART criteria followed by various examples for students.


The goal identifies a specific action you will take and outcome you will achieve.


The goal includes a measurement that can be used to confirm it was achieved. This can be a true or false measurement.


The goal is realistic and can be achieved in a specific period of time.


The goal is relevant to your academic career.


The goal includes a deadline.
The SMART criteria are intuitive. For example, why would you set a goal that isn't relevant or achievable? The difficult part that people struggle with is the measurable criteria. It's important to note here that anything that can be measured as true or false is measurable. For example, "submit my homework on time" is fully measurable. There is no need to include pointless numbers such as "submit my next 7 assignments on time."

Academic Goals

Goals that directly relate to your academic performance and results.
Achieve a GPA of 3.6 this year.

Get an A in chemistry this year.

Complete the science project a month before the deadline.

Improve my participation mark to 80% in comparative politics this semester.

Gain admission to a good college this year.

Improve my statistics grade to at least a B.

Study physics this summer to catch up and improve my mark to an A next semester.

Study 20 new vocabulary flashcards every day this month.

Publish a research paper this year.

Consistently score above 85% on all homework assignments.

Pass a language proficiency test.

Cultivate my curiosity and interest in computing to make learning feel easy and intuitive. Measurement: self-reported interest and enjoyment of computer science subjects.

Time Management Goals

The demand on a student's time can be very high such that strategies for using time productively are a common type of student goal.
Actively take notes in every class this semester.

Study in 2 hour focused sessions followed by 1 hour breaks next week.

Limit social and streaming media to 2 hours a day.

Completely disconnect from my phone every Sunday this month.

Join the law study group this semester.

Get a tutor for math next semester.

Study every morning from 7-8 this semester.

Limit study to a maximum of 4 hours a day.

Begin studying for exams from the start of the semester. Goal: Four hours a week of exam study every week before exams begin.

Understand the core concepts of each chapter before moving on.
Measurement: create a list of core concepts and check them off as I understand them.

Attend office hours of professors when I need help. Measurement: visit each professor at least once this term.

Attend 90% of classes this term.

Don’t use phone during study sessions this month.

Carefully review and edit assignments before turning them in this year.

Goals for School Life

Goals for involvement in school life, culture and extracurriculars.
Run for student government this year.

Try out for the soccer team this year.

Attend all the school’s football games this year.

Engage more in class this semester. Measure: self-reported perceptions of engagement.

Take on a leadership role in a student club.

Take the lead on group work. Measure: volunteer to take a primary role such as presenting results every time I join group work this semester.

Compete in an athletic event.

Don’t miss any football practices this season.

Help to plan a campus event this year.

Audition for a theater production this Autumn.

Contribute to a student publication this semester.

Join a cultural organization at school this year.

Compete in an academic competition this year.

Submit a work to an student art exhibition this semester.

Meet new people and be open to social invitations this year. Measure: attend at least three events where I’d be likely to meet different people.

Become more involved in campus life this year. Target: participate in at least 3-4 campus events.

Personal Development Goals

Goals to develop your talents, character and experience while you are a student.
Find two public speaking opportunities this year.

Write a journal for 15 minutes each morning this semester.

Jog 3-5 times a week this summer.

Stop drinking sugary drinks this year.

Read each evening this month.

Volunteer on Saturdays this summer.

Apply for the ___ study abroad program on Monday.

Take a year off for a working holiday in ____ next year.

Begin to take French lessons this summer.

Save ____ this year for travel.

Volunteer to dance in the ____ festival this summer.

Start dance classes again this semester.

Cut my course load by 20% this year to have time for more diverse pursuits.

Secure a teaching assistant position this year.

Learn how to code in my free time this year. Measurement: spend at least 10 hours on coding exercises and tutorials.

Learn to cook healthy meals. Target: cook at home at least 4 times a week.

Sleep before midnight on school nights this term.

Prioritize time to practice skating at least once a week this winter.

Career and Professional Goals

If you are planning to explore career options, gain experience or build qualifications for a career these can be measured with SMART goals.
Complete an Engineering internship this summer.

Pass a professional certification exam in April.

Create a resume over the Christmas break.

Build a professional social media profile this weekend.

Develop 50+ new connections on my professional social media profile this year.

Obtain professional experience coding this year.

Develop a career plan this month.

Get a job within a month of graduation.

Attend at least 3 career fairs or networking events this semester.

Apply for 3-5 jobs this month.

Build a personal portfolio before March.

Ask ___ for feedback regarding my resume next week.

Reach out to 2-3 professors for recommendations this month.

Join the interview skills workshop in February.

Study 3-4 hours for the interview on Monday.

Prepare for the career fair by researching companies. Target: research 3-4 firms for 1-2 hours each before the event.


SMART goals apply to things that you will do this week, month or year. They aren't useful for long term goals that involve no specific and achievable action now.
SMART goals originated as a management technique in the early 1980s and have become a popular standard for setting formal goals in any area of life including personal goals.
Next: Student Goals
More about academic goals:
Academic Goals
Academic Interests
Learning Goals
Smart Student Goals
Student Goals
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