In grade 9, I was a 60s student. In fact, I failed my first French test. I was barely managing to get 60s in all my other subjects when my classmates were getting 80s and 90s. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. I did my homework, I did my readings, I felt that I studied hard, but I never did as well as my classmates. What was my problem? I didn’t know what it was, nor did I know who I could ask help from. My parents didn’t know how they could help me and who they could approach. They felt that this was my potential because they saw me really giving it my all My grades stagnated. I never believed that one day I would ever become a 90s student.
But, one day, it all changed. It was the winter of my Grade 9 year and we had all gotten back from Christmas holidays. It was my new years resolution to improve my grades and I was willing to do whatever it took. I sought the guidance of an academic advisor. Ever since that session, my academic career trajectory has completely changed and everything has started to click for me. The advice I received from this academic advisor was really life-changing. What the advisory told me that what I was doing wrong had nothing to do with the amount of time I spent on homework or studying for tests, but rather for failing to properly plan out my goals. After speaking to me, he reiterated that I had built myself this high-level goal of getting 90s, but I had not actually come up with a specific plan on how to get there. What he suggested we do is to come up with a roadmap and a timeline on when I could realistically expected to start getting 90s student. What that meant was that I was not going to suddenly make a jump to get there, but that it would be a gradual step that would take time and would require patience. Realistically, as a 60s student, I needed to work my way up the ladder and set specific milestones for myself. I should be measuring 5% and 10% improvements and ensuring that I maintain those grades, before thinking about attaining 90s.
So, together, over the course of the coming days and weeks, we sat down and developed a 2-year roadmap which included specific targets for every semester along the way. What I had to ensure was that I was working towards hitting smaller milestones. This not only helped me with better planning and a more fresh mindset, but this roadmap approach translated to me developing study plans for my individual classes. By creating study plans for each class, I was able to break down my goals into specific, measurable steps. I was no longer stressing out about being behind my peers because I knew that I had developed a thorough plan that would ensure my academic success in the coming years if I just stuck to it.
I started to see results almost immediately, within weeks of implementing the new approach. As I pursued this new goals plan, all the hard work I was putting started to bear fruit. Firstly, my mind just felt a lot more clear and I was able to concentrate much more both in class and when completing homework at homework. Schoolwork that previously took me hours to complete, I was now completing within 30 minutes. By the end of my second semester of Grade 9, I was getting high 60s / low 70s. By Fall of Grade 10, I was into the mid 70s, and I ended the school year with an average of low 80s, which I was very proud of. I started my Grade 11 on a very strong foot, as I was doing summer prep classes, and I was already achieving high 80s in all my classes. I was even obtaining 90s in some classes. As a matter of fact, I was ahead of schedule and had hit all my goals by the second semester of Grade 11. By trusting the process, I really positioned myself for success. I can’t explain how this goals planning approach changed my life and I recommend it to everyone out there who thinks they may not be achieving their full academic potential.
At Prepsmart Tutoring, we help make a difference in the lives of all our students by helping them reach their academic goals. We really believe in the goals-based approach described by the student above and develop a goals-based study plan for all of our students. With the right study plan, hard work, dedication and the right tutors nothing is impossible.