How to Set Exam Goals

Want to know How to Set Exam Goals? Find out the importance of goal setting, how to set SMART goals and practical ways to stick to your goals.

Getting ready to write exams and need some clear focus? Find out how to set exam goals the SMART way. This means setting study goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific. Get the know how right here. 

The Importance of Setting Goals

You might be wondering why setting exam goals is important. Goal setting allows you to: 

  • Focus your studies 
  • Holds you accountable 
  • Tracks your progress 
  • Motivates you

How to Set SMART Goals

When setting exam goals, it is important that they are realistic and will work practically. How do you ensure this? By setting SMART goals. This is a proven method that works. 


Set a clear, specific goal. Be as detailed as possible. What are you trying to achieve? Simply saying, “I want to do well on my test” is not enough.  Instead try, “ I want to improve my overall performance by 5%”. 


Tracking process allows you to measure whether or not you have actually achieved your exam goals and if you need to make adjustments to your study schedule. A measurable goal like “I want to read 5 chapters of work per week” works well. 


Do you have all the necessary tools to work towards your goals? If not, get these before you get started on working towards them. Attainable goals simply means that you will be able to reach them. 


Your goals need to be both relevant and realistic. If you’re setting exam goals, keep them relevant to this. For example, wanting to find a revision method that works for you is a good goal to set in preparation for finals


Setting time-specific goals ensures that you’ll actually go ahead and work towards them. To help with this, it will be easier to create a study timetable. Make sure you stick to this and work towards your goals everyday.

Sticking to Your Goals

How to set exam goals is the first step. Sticking to your goals is sometimes a little harder. Listed below are some tips to help guide you. 

Be Consistent: Get into the habit of working on your study objectives daily. Consistency is key. 

Write Your Goals Down: Make a list of your goals and place them where you can see them daily.  

Revisit Your Goals Often: Revisit your goals to ensure you’re still on track. 

Set new Goals When Needed: You can set new goals at any given time if you feel the older ones are no longer relevant. 

Reward Yourself: Whether this is with a sweet snack or some TV time, reward yourself throughout the process.

Exam Goals Examples

Find exam goals examples below. Use these as a template for when you set your own study objectives. Remember to make sure each of them are SMART goals. 

Keep my Study Space Clean and Organised 

Specific: I will keep my study space clean in order to study effectively 

Measurable: I will use files and organisational tools to keep things organised 

Attainable: Each week I will clean my study space and throw out things I no longer need

Relevant: Having everything in its place will make revising for exams easier

Time-Specific: I will organise my study space before my study session. I will clean it once a week. 

Find an Effective Study Method

Specific: I will look at a minimum of three study methods to help me understand my options

Measurable: by the end of exams, my overall grades will improve by 5%

Attainable: I will keep track of my test scores before and after using my new method of study. Then I will compare averages. 

Relevant: i want to find a study method that plays to my strengths so i can do well in exams

Time-specific: I have two weeks to explore study methods and then a month to implement my new strategy 

Besides exam goals, what other study goals do you have? If some of these include studying further, have a look into some of our distance learning courses.  Let’s reach your goals, together. 

Put Your Exam Goals in Action!

It’s time to ace your exams! If you need any assistance reaching your study aims, give us a call on the following: 

  • Call us on 0800 39 00 27 – it’s free
  • Or fill out a contact form for a call back

We have skilled tutors and lecturers who are ready to help. 

Last Updated: 2 September 2021