Studying with a group can be a good way to learn information for exams and can be fun as well. If done well, group study can be very effective. If done poorly, it can end up being a frustrating waste of time. Follow these tips when setting up your group study sessions.
Don’t Study With Your Best Friend
It’s natural to choose your best buddies for your study group. After all, you get along well, and studying together can make the process more fun. Maybe too fun. It’s easy to get off track when hanging out with your friends. You may find two hours have passed, while you and your study buddies have gotten nothing accomplished.
Vary Your Group
It’s better to mix things up a little. You may want to ask the guy who sits next to you to join your study group because he seems to have a really good grasp of the material. Consider branching out to include people of various strengths and skills in your group. Doing so will increase your success factor.
Plan Your Attack
Arrange for a planning session. It can be shorter than your regular study sessions. Just set aside enough time to plan who will do what. Assess your strengths and use them to your advantage. If one group member seems to be the expert on cell structure, put him in charge of that chapter. Knowing each person’s role will provide a sense of accountability and will help to make your study sessions more efficient. Be sure to have a game plan in place so that you don’t spend a half hour of study time deciding the best way to get started.
Divide and Conquer
Break the material into sections, making each personal responsible for one part. This is an efficient way to handle the presentation of the material. Each person can take a part to be responsible for learning, and other group members can fill in any gaps.
Become a Teacher
Once each person has been assigned their task, you can choose a date for your next session. Between now and then, you’ll all spend time learning your material and come back prepared to teach a lesson. This is a great way to learn the material. It allows for interaction within the group. Also, saying the information outloud and talking about it helps in retention. You’ll remember it longer and will be more likely to be able to produce it for the test.
There are lots more tips to ensure your study session doesn’t end up being a big waste of time. Check them out in this article at the College Board. As always, don’t hesitate to contact me or leave your questions in the comments.