Do’s and Don’ts: College Study Groups

Flickr user: Leo Hidalgo

Flickr user: Leo Hidalgo

Academics in college can be more time-consuming than what you are used to. There are lots of different ways to study and prepare to succeed in your classes. A popular study method is to meet in groups. Here are some tips for how to successfully participate in a study group on your college campus.

Do: Set up a weekly schedule.

You will want to make sure that this schedule works for everyone in the group. Try to meet at least once a week, and be sure to find a meeting space that is centrally located. Consider using your campus library, a residence hall study area, or even your student union as a place to meet your group.

Don’t: Rely solely on the group.

While study groups can be a great resource for learning class information, still take the time outside of class and your group study to put in work on your own. There might be certain aspects of the material from class that will be easier to understand if you go over it by yourself. Then, you can bring what you know to the study group and help other members.

Do: Invite your classmates.

They are in the class with you, hearing from the same professor, going over the same readings and notes. Utilize them! If you are having trouble with a certain topic, you can turn to these people and they might be able to help you get a grasp on it.

Don’t: Have too many members.

While study groups can be a great way to learn classroom material, if there are too many people it can be easy to get distracted. If a lot of people from your class are interested in getting together to study, consider having two different study groups that meet on different days. Then students can go to whatever one works best for them, and the groups should be smaller.

Do: Ask your study-mates questions.

While you may be an expert in some material and lacking in others, they might have the knowledge you are looking for. Don’t be afraid about asking them questions; you are all at the study group to help each other succeed.

Don’t: Be completely unprepared.

While it is certainly acceptable to ask others questions, be sure that you are not showing up to the study group without anything to contribute. Complete the readings, start the homework assignments, and come prepared with notes and questions so the group can be productive.

Those are just some of the do’s and don’ts recommended for a study group. Be proactive in all of your classes; it is easier to start out on top of everything and stay that way than it is to dig yourself out of a hole. Your classmates can help you a lot, and remember that it is perfectly all right to go to your professor or teaching assistant with any big questions or concerns you have.

Liz Skogerboe

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