How can academic goals help high school students maximize their education? Learning academic and personal goal setting is an important part of the academic experience. Long-term academic, smaller short-term goals, and life-specific goals will help students identify what they want to do with their lives in the future, and how they need to behave and identify in order to get there. In this blog post, we’ll talk about some effective goals that can help you achieve success in not only academics but personal and long-term goals as well.
Get good grades in all classes. Even freshman and sophomore year.
This means more than not failing a class. It’s so important to get good grades in all classes and strive for the highest grades possible especially in your early years. This is when your GPA and class rank is truly set. Many students have this idea that freshman year doesn’t matter. This is simply not true and mathematically speaking, extremely difficult to pull your way out in the subsequent years. I’m not saying this to scare anyone or think you are doomed if you have one bad year. This is simply to say that students must treat every year the same, strive for excellence, and get yourself mentally and academically prepared for the hard work that comes in high school. Setting goals, creating healthy study habits, and taking specific steps to keep your GPA as high as it can be all 4 years is a good way to set yourself up for long-term success in school.
Helpful tip: If you are planning on letting loose at any point in your high school career, choose the end of your senior year. Colleges will have likely already received your transcripts and admitted you when you apply early in your senior year. Don’t go too far off the deep end because some schools do ask for your final grades to verify you kept up.
Our advice is to set realistic goals for your GPA before even starting high school. Having educational goals to obtain a certain GPA is important because it will motivate and force you to push harder on your studies. Some of our best advice tips would be:
1) Dedicate the proper amount of hours per week to study time, roughly 4-6 hours per week.
2) Review the notes you took in class daily
3) Surround yourself with a strong support network. This should include other high-performing students who prioritize their studies.
4) Come up with a goal-setting process at the beginning of each semester/quarter to make sure you are staying on track.
5) Maintain a direct relationship with your teachers and guidance counselors. Make sure they know you by name because you have gone in to visit them on a semi-regular basis. That is what they are there for, to help you and to play an active role in your academic success.
Take advanced courses such as AP and IB classes for class rank purposes.
Taking advanced courses are important steps to long-term success in school and will help you in four ways. For starters, it gives a better sense of personal academic achievement and satisfaction when you finish the year with passing grades in these difficult classes. These accomplishments are important and give you confidence and a positive feed loop to continue through the challenging moments. The second reason is that if your school has class rank, this can be very beneficial to have higher rankings within your grade level which in turn can put you in a better academic position for scholarships and college admissions. Third, having these important goals to take advanced courses will make students better prepared for what might be in store for them in college. Many students find the transition between high school and college to be a very challenging one. Advanced classes while in high school can better prepare and give students an idea of the rigors they will face come college. And finally, it shows that the student is willing to push themselves academically which is very important when applying for colleges. It shows admissions departments that they are receiving a candidate who is willing to push themselves academically and they will take college seriously.
Study and prepare for the ACT and SAT tests early and often.
If you have been around our site before or have read any of our other published blogs, you know how much we value preparation for the ACT and SAT tests. In our humble opinion, it is NEVER too early to start preparing for these standardized tests. In fact, the earlier you start, the better. Many students make the mistake of waiting until their junior or senior year to start test prep. This gives them less time to improve their scores and can lead to anxiety and stress during what should be an enjoyable academic experience. Studying and preparing for the ACT and SAT should be a continuous effort that starts in your freshman year. This will allow you to get comfortable with the format of the test, become familiar with the types of questions asked, and most importantly, develop a study routine that works best for you. There is no “one size fits all” approach to studying for these tests. A personal academic goal should be to take as many practice exams as possible each year, not just during your junior or senior years. This will help you become familiar with the types of questions that are asked on these standardized tests and give you a sense of what it is like having to sit through four hours of academic testing time.
Along with starting early for these tests, you should also consider a formalized test prep program to help bridge any learning or knowledge gaps you might be having with these tests. Look at your local community, local high schools, or an online test prep course that you trust and get started! Shameless plug: Here is our online test prep course if you are interested in joining our community. Regardless of who you decide to take classes from, make sure they are reputable and you feel like you are getting your money’s worth.
Develop skills that will make you great college students in the future.
Focus on honing skills that will make you great college students like time management, taking great notes, and learning effective study patterns and skills. These skills will not only make your academic experience in high school smoother, but they will also help you get the most out of your college education if you choose to go.
Many students struggle their freshman year of college with time management and note-taking skills. This is often because high school does not have a lot of academic rigor and structure like college does. It is important that you start developing these skills early on so that you are not struggling through school. High school is typically your first introduction to period blocking, changing of classes and teachers, and a mixture of advanced study courses. It is designed to challenge you in not only your academic ability but also your ability to juggle multiple experiences and get out of your comfort zone. This is brilliant with honing the time management skill because you have to be very diligent with your schedule making sure that everything has your proper attention. Remember, high school is a marathon, not a sprint. Make sure you are organizing your schedule to allow for proper attention. This will eliminate overwhelm and overwork.
Another great skill to tackle and master is note-taking. Many students who have come to us over the years don’t understand the importance of note-taking for their academic performance. We all know that the academic world is very much based on what you can recall in an academic discussion or presentation. This means, taking notes at lectures and when reading academic material is important so that you don’t have to rely solely on your memory during class discussions or presentations.
High school students should be learning how to take effective academic notes which will help them in college and beyond. There are a few things to consider when taking academic notes:
– listening and noting the main points of the lecture
– writing down important dates, definitions, formulas, etc. that will be included on exams
– paraphrasing or rewriting important information in your own words to help you understand it better
– drawing diagrams, graphs, and illustrations to accompany written notes
When you are reviewing for academic tests, having well-organized and effective notes will help you immensely. It is one less thing that you have to worry about on test day! Remember, go over your notes frequently, daily if you can. The repetition will allow it to be imbedded in your brain and it will be much easier to recall when you are taking exams. Don’t underestimate the note taking process. If you are interested in learning more about our learning program, contact us here and we can set you up!
Make SMART goals a part of your academic goals .
SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This is an acronym that outlines a strategy for reaching any objective. So let’s break it down into student lingo:
Specific: What classes do you want to take? What GPA do you want to maintain?
Measurable: How will you know if you’ve achieved your goal?
Achievable: Is the goal realistic for your current situation and abilities?
Relevant: Why is this academic goal important to you?
Time-bound: When do you want to achieve this goal?
Be sure that academic goals are realistic and achievable! You don’t need to aim for an “A+” if it is truly not a possibility this school year. Academic goals should always align with personal long-term career aspirations. If there’s something specific about college or university admissions requirements, make sure those factors are included in your academic goal – we can help you figure out where these kinds of things fit into your goal plan.
If there is anything unclear or you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re here to help.
While academic goals are important, it is also crucial to have personal goals in place during your high school career. These annual goals can be anything from wanting to get involved in more extracurricular activities, joining a new club, or volunteering at a local organization. The great thing about having personal goals is that they help you grow as an individual.
These personal goals can be a great academic tool as well because they can help you see what classes and extracurricular activities will best fit into your academic schedule. For example, if participating in an academic club or activity is important to you then that might mean taking electives with less academic rigor so that you have enough time to participate in the club. It is important to be realistic when setting personal goals. Don’t overload yourself with too many activities and commitments because you will not be able to succeed if you do not have balance in your personal life as well.
The best way to set personal goals is by sitting down and writing out what you want to achieve during your high school career. You need to write down specific, measurable, and time-based goals so that you can keep track of your progress over the years. This is a great way to set academic and personal long-term goals for high school students because it lays a good foundation and sets them up for success in college and beyond their academic careers!
Grow as a person through challenging leadership opportunities
One of the most important things you might be able to do for yourself would be to create situations and experiences where personal growth is available. These are often challenging and require extreme discipline but they are immensely rewarding and shape the person and adult you are set to become.
One way to challenge yourself is to run for a student body representative position. This role requires leadership, dedication, commitment, and sometimes a certain level of perseverance through failure. These are all characteristics that will not only build your academic resume for future endeavors (looks great on a college resume) but they will also shape the person you are set to become. It takes a lot to put yourself out there to be judged, made fun of, or rejected. It builds a solid foundation and allows you to navigate through some pretty scary waters. Take the risk, whatever the outcome is because the journey will be worth it!
Another interesting personal goal you can set for yourself is to get a part-time job and dip your feet into the professional world. Whether you get a job to get some extra spending money, take on an internship where the money is not there but you are learning a lot about a field you might want to turn into a career path, this time and experience is not wasted. It is a wonderful opportunity for you to work as a team member, develop critical thinking skills, be accountable for cash registers or other business responsibilities, and figure out how to manage your schedule between work and school obligations. There will be hiccups along the way but in the end, it will teach you very valuable skills.
Lastly, a great personal goal to tackle would be to volunteer and live from a place of service. I cannot stress enough how wonderful this experience will be for every student. Whether it’s feeding the homeless, walking dogs at your local shelter, tutoring underprivileged children, or playing games with the elderly- no experience will build you personally like being in service to someone in need. Doesn’t matter what the need is, every living being on this planet will need something at some point in their life. To be the person who is helping will give you a sense of purpose and truly expand your heart in ways that you can’t even imagine.
High school is a great way to set goals and start to figure out who you are and what your interests are outside of your core family unit. You figure out how you can contribute to your academic success, personal growth, and who are to the outside world.
These long term goals are not just about what you are going to be doing next year or even in your high school career. The long term goals are projecting way in the future to where you see yourself in 5, maybe 10 years from now. Nothing has to be set in stone. You don’t have to be married to these goals as they should always be fluid and lend themselves to flexibility. However, getting those juices flowing, setting high standards for yourself, and starting the exploration of where you see yourself in the next decade is important. If carpentry really fascinates you and it is a true passion, maybe studying law in college isn’t the path you should take even if it’s what your grandmother always had planned for you. This might be an opportunity for you to start looking for local apprenticeships, researching trade programs, or getting a summer job in the area that really holds your attention. Start the exploration process early. You will never regret thinking through these very big and rather expensive decisions.
Setting long term goals will help you develop a better understanding of who you are as an individual, what makes you happy, and challenges you to get outside of your comfort zone and support system. This is a maturation process, one that students of all ages need to tackle at some point in their lives. This is an important thing because it allows for more exploration into different fields and opportunities to see what reason if any, you might want to pursue a career in the future.
Having academic goals and seeing them through is such an important part to life. For students, they are almost imperative. If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our coaches to see how we can help you, feel free to schedule a consult!