How to organize a study group

A study group is designed to help you improve your grades academically, and also be able to catch up with lectures that you may have failed to attend.

When organizing an efficient study group, one should look for people who are very committed to their studies and are ready to compromise to boost their grades. The study group members should be focused on their academic work. The group should have three to five members, for easier communication and understanding. The study periods should last for two to three hours to avoid speedy discussions or less productive discussions as long study periods make members to lose focus.

Before attending the study group discussions, each member should familiarize himself/herself with the content, and not down the areas that he/she did not understand. Showing up prepared motivates the group members to look forward to the study group sessions as they are productive and no time is wasted.

Observing time is also a crucial matter as no one wants his/her time wasted. Time is a precious commodity and respecting the time of other members speaks volumes on the level of your integrity. The group should have a leader. The leader helps in overseeing the group study sessions; he/she organizes the study periods and ensures the group remains relevant.

The group members should pick a study format that works best for them; they can decide to discuss textbooks cover-to-cover, or discuss using past revision papers. The members should agree on what works for them so that the study group can be helpful.

For study groups to be useful one should also consider the meeting place for the study meeting. Libraries are often preferred as they have an extensive resource of materials, and the environment is very conducive to learning. Avoid meeting in areas that have distractions, or people can interrupt you.

To break the boredom introduce practical activities in which people can participate in, this makes the group members enjoy the meetings more. Make a timetable on the areas of study, so that one can know the subject of study before the meeting. The schedule helps one to remain focused and save time.

When heading for learning sessions, make sure that you carry your class notes with you, make use of the study meetings, ask any burning questions, stay focused and always be open to the areas that you don’t understand. Do not be shy when you don’t understand anything.

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One should not be in a hurry to leave study session; the group members should have lengthy conversations and debates about their area of study. These debates assist them in remembering what they have discussed.

You can create online study groups, in which you do not have to wait till the study session period. One can ask questions when he/she comes across something that they don’t understand, members of the group can share their ideas on different topics, and also engage their professors when the questions are very challenging.