Make A Change: Why Study Goals Matter.
Before getting into this article, take a moment to think about your favourite fictional series. Think about the characters, their relationship to each other, the storylines, how it developed over time, and so on. Now, imagine you had to introduce this series to someone who had never heard of it; can you think of some strategies for doing so? Let’s say your favourite series is the Garfield comic, about the sarcastic cat. You might want to tell a newcomer about what makes Garfield so cool, his relationship with his owner, fellow pets, and so on. But then, you think, you would need to explain how Garfield has evolved over time. You may need to explain why he looks different from how he was originally drawn and how his humour has changed. This may seem overwhelming, and that is why it is important to develop clear goals, and work towards them.
Therefore, before introducing a newcomer into the wonder that is Garfield, it is important to develop a strategy for how to go about this. The beginning is a good place to start. You could explain how Garfield began in 1978 as a slice of life comic strip about the daily musings of a witty cat and his socially inept owner. By taking small steps, you could develop a clear strategy for explaining how the series evolved from a small newspaper comic strip into the multimedia franchise it is today.
By setting clear study goals it is easier to achieve them
The same principle works with study goals. We at Evergreen Tutoring Services have occasionally seen students become overwhelmed by what seems like a huge task.
“What I have to read all of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, understand its central themes, how the characters drive them and then write an essay on it? That seems like an enormous task!”
It may seem like an overwhelming task to begin with, but once you start breaking it down into manageable chunks, it becomes a lot easier and more doable.
It is important to pace yourself so you do not feel burned out. For example, The Great Gatsby may seem like a huge book when you first get assigned it, but can you think of some ways to make it seem more manageable? Setting clear study goals allows you to work at your own pace
Instead of trying to read the whole text at once, read it at a pace that you feel comfortable with. If reading one chapter a day feels more manageable for you, and it fits within your assigned class time on it, then read just one chapter a day. This strategy has the added bonus of actually being more effective for some students, as it allows them time to fully ‘absorb’ the individual chapters after reading them, as they have free time to reflect on the content.
Work at doing better than how you did before, rather than being the best
This is one of the most crucial study tips there is. Some students experience performance anxiety over clearly setting their study goals, as they become overly focused on being ‘the best’. On getting a 10 out of 10, straight A’s, being top of the class, and so on. While it is certainly great to aim high, it is also important to set realistic, clearly achievable study goals. For example, if you got a grade of 59 out of 100 for your last maths test, you might figure that if you study really hard, then for your next test, you can score a perfect 100. However, this can be a misguided mindset, as setting unrealistic goals can lead to getting stressed, burning out, and becoming upset if you do not achieve what you set out to do.
Instead, make your study goals work for you, in a way that suits your learning style. If you scored 59 out of 100 last time, you got just enough to pass the test, a D grade.
Instead of aiming for an A plus, strive to do a little bit better than you did last time, and commit to getting at least a C grade on your next test. Study a little bit more than you did for the last test, revise for two hours instead of one, and so on. Strategies such as this may seem minor, but they help develop a self-improvement mindset. And if on your next test you get a 65 out of 100, you will see that you have successfully achieved your study goal. You know what you can do then? Aim to get that little bit higher for the next one, working your way up to a score of 70, then 73, and so on.
Many little steps are equivalent to several large strides
By taking small step after small step, you are working towards achieving your larger overall study goals. Same with Garfield; you are not going to be able to effectively introduce your friend to the entire Garfield universe in one discussion, but by patiently discussing it bit by bit with them, soon they may be as much as a Garfield fan as you are. Then you can have epic debates about whether Garfield is better with or without Odie. Whether Macbeth’s overarching ambition led to his downfall. Whether the central theme of The Great Gatsby is that you cannot relive the past, and so on.
Contact Evergreen Tutoring Services to work at developing your study goals
If reading this article has left you wanting to find out more about how to clearly develop achievable study goals, and clear strategies for working towards them, then please contact Evergreen Tutoring Services today on 0409 083 909, for a short discussion about your study goals, and how we can help you achieve them.
We have some of the best tutors around, who specialise in everything from English to Mathematics to Personal Development, and by clearly discussing your study goals with us, we can help you develop straightforward strategies to work towards achieving them.
Remember: Aim to do a little better than you did last time.
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