What Is the Difference Between Academic & Personal Goals?

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Personal and academic goals are so similar, they are often created together and achieved in a simultaneous time line. The goals for academics often affect the personal goals of the student. There are differences between the two, however, and understanding the differences may assist students in writing, and completing, each set of goals.

1 School Related

Academic goals are related directly to school, while personal goals encompass all aspects of life, including school. An academic goal relates to grades, consistent class attendance and note taking. A personal goal relating to school may be getting out of bed on time to arrive in class 10 minutes early. The line between academic and personal goals is fuzzy, but academic goals are always directly related to events happening within the school.

2 Support Systems

Academic support systems for goal completion includes professors, teachers, fellow students and school support staff. The academic support system includes professionals in addition to friends and family. A personal support system for goals includes spouses, parents, children, other relatives and friends. While the personal support system may cross over to the academic support area, it is far less frequent that the academic support system will cross into the personal goal support area.

3 Focus

The focus on academic goals is different than the focus on personal goals. The amount of focus a person places on each individual goal is contingent to the amount of desire for the goal's accomplishment. Academic goals may require more focus than personal goals; however, the complexity of the goal will determine the amount of focus required for its success.

4 Setting Standards

Academic goals may require higher standards than personal goals. Depending on the teacher, the subject matter and the complexity of the academic goal, the goal setter may have to raise the set standards to successfully reach the goal. Personal goals may not need high standards; if the personal goal is complex, the standard will need to be set high, but personal goals are normally set within the parameters of the individual's current set of standards.

Rebecca Mayglothling has worked directly with toddlers and preschoolers for more than three years. She has published numerous lesson plans online as well as parenting and teaching advice. She continues to keep ahead of parenting methods and is eager to share them through her professional writing.