Okay, so it’s still July and maybe hunkering down with study groups aren’t quite on your mind just yet. In fact, you might not even think you’ll need one until finals come around. However, one of the best things you can do in your college career is to swap contacts and initiate study groups the first week of every course you take. Here’s a look at why:
The Importance of Study Groups During College
First, study groups help you achieve a more comprehensive understanding of course material. This is especially important in college as you will encounter material integral to later career success. Particular when you’re in major-specific courses. Additionally, more people means more perspectives. This results in a more well-rounded understanding as each person brings their unique experience and analysis to the material.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to get that perfect study group. It’s important to accept that some groups you have will work better than others but that either way, forming and working together will be a big net positive. If only because working with people you aren’t going to be friends with is going to be a major component of your life after college, regardless of your major.
Tips to Ensure an Effective Study Group
- Set a regular date and time. Make sure it works for everyone in the group, and stick with the date. This allows group members to ask for work off, or organize other activities around that set date.
- Set a regular meeting place. Make sure it’s easy to focus. While we love local coffee shops, they aren’t always the best option because you may not have room or the wifi could be down. The good news is that here at the Junction, you have access to study and conference rooms that make meeting up easy. This is a great place to meet up with study partners thanks to the facility’s multiple computers, printer, and free WiFi. There’s even a major television that you can use to hook up your laptop and display relevant class information.
- Show up prepared. Make a schedule that’s available online or elsewhere for everyone on the group and emphasize that coming to the group prepared is key. Group members should be familiar with the material before meeting up. Google Calendar is a great option for this, as anyone with a gmail address can access it, or you can make it public so that everyone in your class can participate.
- Assign material in advance. Have a basic structure for going over material, and assign it to different study group members ahead of time. For example, you might use a study guide provided by your professor or do a Q&A session. Note what works best for one of your groups might not be the right choice for another.
- Set-up a method to stay organized and focused. It often gets challenging for groups to stay focused on study topics. One key way to helping your group stay on topic and get back on topic easily is to appoint a person each meeting as the facilitator. It’ll be their attention to bring attention back should the conversation wander.
- Bring snacks. Even if it’s as simple of a bag of carrots and bottled water, have something on hand for everyone to munch on. One person can take responsibility for it, and then everyone else can Apple Pay or Venmo money to them to cover the cost.
Have Your Own Study Group Tips? Leave Them in the Comments
What are your favorite study group tips? Share them with others in the comments!