Are Better Goals the Key to Successful Studying?

April 28th, 2017

By David Gutierrez

 Have you ever wondered why so many of your peers appear unfazed and totally prepared when final exams roll around? While you’re pulling all-nighters and chugging caffeine like it’s water, they’re casually reviewing their notes and getting a full eight hours of sleep. But how can they do it?

It all comes down to preparation. Those classmates enjoy the luxury of relaxing and taking it easy before the exam because they’ve already put in the hard work and sweat. They’ve spent the entire semester studying and staying on track, which means they don’t have to cram everything in during the last 48-72 hours.

But do you want to know what really sets them apart? They have a game plan. They don’t just mindlessly flip through lecture notes and read a few paragraphs from their textbooks. These students know how to set goals – which is the key to successful studying.

How Can You Set Better Studying Goals?

 If you want to know something about goal setting, just spend a few minutes talking to entrepreneur Sam Ovens. Once a struggling millennial with multiple failed businesses, Ovens had an “aha” moment when he was invited to a beach house on a private island owned by an acquaintance who happened to be an ultra successful entrepreneur.

 “I looked around and thought there was no way I could ever buy an island with my job at Vodafone,” Ovens said at the time. It was then that he set the goal of becoming insanely wealthy and started making calculated decisions to get there. Talk to him now and he’ll admit that the act of setting concrete goals has been the driving factor in his success.

 The thing about goals is that they transcend any one application and permeate every aspect of life. Whether it’s becoming an insanely wealthy entrepreneur or passing your calculus exam, goals play a vital role in success.

With that being said, let’s check out a few practical tips that will allow you to set better goals.


  1. Plan a Studying Schedule

 You can’t just wake up on the morning of a big exam and decide that you want to get serious about studying. The key is to get started at the beginning of the semester. Sit down and have a study planning session where you pull out your calendar and syllabi and create a semester-long plan. This helps you stay on track and keeps you from becoming overwhelmed.


  1. Set SMART Goals

 Are you familiar with the SMART goals acronym? It’s used by students, professionals, and people in all walks of life. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. If you’re going to set a goal – a studying goal, in this case – it needs to abide by each of these five characteristics.


  1. Motivate Yourself

 Very few people – if any – are able to stay on track without some sort of motivation. If you want to consistently accomplish your studying goals, there needs to be a motivating factor (beyond good grades). Reward yourself for satisfying checkpoints and objectives and be flexible enough to take some time off when you’ve surpassed certain goals. These are the sorts of things that allow you to keep pushing through when times get tough.

 Become a Goal-Setter

Goals are the lifeblood of success. It’s nearly impossible to be successful at anything – sports, business, studying, etc. – without first setting concrete objectives for getting there. While there are many different schools of thought on how to set goals, the point is that you need to become more focused.

As you approach exams, keep the tips mentioned above in mind. They’ll help you cross the finish line

David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.


2 Responses

  1. Sam is a good example, however I’m also certain he would say that college & university is not necessarily the best option for people who intend to go into business these days. Mr Ovens represnts the emerging group of people who fully recognize the value of information freely available to us all-even taking the case of ‘YouTube’ you can train yourself to build websites very easily from that public resource; there are many such sources of incredibly valuable information to the erstwhile business builder that are 100% on target, as opposed to the vague and often behind the times tertiary institutions.

  2. David Gutierrez says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts! I completely agree with you.

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