An effective study group can expand study skills and enhance academic performance. Study groups also help start friendships, make connections between students in the same major and improve study skills in different content areas.
Educational Services for Students (ESS) offers strategies to help create and sustain an effective study group.
- Sharing notes: Students in the group can help each other catch up on missed material, if necessary.
- Multiple perspectives: Each individual student brings his or her strengths from which members of the group can benefit.
- Built-in support system: A study group can help students stay focused and motivated, prepare for exams and get projects done. More can be completed on large projects when a group assigns portions of a task and brings it back to the rest of the group. Division of work among the group members based on their individual strengths is effective.
Bring together a strong group
Students should begin sharing email addresses and phone numbers with other students in the class early in the semester. Those who regularly attend lecture, pay attention and answer questions about the material are likely to be the most effective group members.
It is also important to diversify the group, with some students who take excellent notes, some who do well in lab, others who have effective test-taking skills and some students who attend all the classes. This way, students can ensure that the group has all of the most up-to-date course information and materials.
Avoid the study-group blues
To stay on track, members should agree on a few simple guidelines:
- A standard time and location to meet
- Goals to accomplish at each meeting
- Opportunities for all members of the group to participate and make decisions
- Tasks to be accomplished during the next meeting
More tips for academic success can be found on the ESS website.