Learning goals, feedback loops and life lessons from Vanilla Sky

How has 2020 begun for you? Did you set learning goals for this year?


We find you should always write goals down to help you stay focused. Not only is it important to write them down but to also write them out in a SMART way. You may already know that SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. There is plenty of guidance online about the application of this if this is new to you and you wish to learn more.

Now you might wonder: I’ve got exams in the summer so my goal is to get the best grades as possible which I will do by going to school, doing homework and revising so why do I need to write this down???

The main reason why you should write SMART goals is that going through the process can force you to think more deeply about how you will improve your grades (or maintain them if your attainment levels are already high).

Many of you will have done some mocks in recent weeks and will have got feedback. In those areas where you were weakest, it is worth identifying what needs to be done to improve your attainment. Is there a gap in understanding or a step missing in the application of your knowledge?

Getting detailed feedback can sometimes be as simple as scheduling a short meeting with your teacher. Developing a feedback loop where you assess your knowledge and application, identify where you are going wrong and using that to improve is part of the “Measurable” criteria of goals.

The mock exams are merely part of the feedback loop that help you on your way to your learning goals. Of course, they may form part of your predicted grades which may be important in determining what and where you go to study next but your focus should primarily be based on your learning goal.

Developing the habit of using feedback loops to your advantage early in life can pay off immeasurably. The good thing is that it is not too late as every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

Related Articles