Actually Setting goals for the grades you want will make it easier to ascertain the level of work required to receive them. The goal of simply “getting the best grades you can” is good, but not good enough. These goals need to be more specific and ideally very specific. Many students already have goals for the grades they want to achieve. If you don’t have any, start thinking about what yours could be now.
Having clear goals for the grades you want will make it easier to ascertain what you need to learn in order to achieve them. This is partly achieved by saving you from wasting time learning things you don’t need to. Some skills and information might take a lot of time to learn, but if they are beyond what you need tolearn it will be a waste of time. For example, for an essay-based exam, there is no use learning a large amount of quotations (enough to get an A) if your target is a B grade and your grasp of concepts isn’t nearly strong enough to get a B. Goals for grades will also allow you to celebrate successes and push you to do more when needed.
Once you have decided what your target grades are, find out precisely what you need to work on in order to achieve them. Then build your study schedule around working on these areas (with regular testing to ensure you are progressing well).