While learning in groups may appear to be a negative idea, it may really be a great study approach. Group study improves knowledge retention and makes it easier for you to explain in your own words and engage with the material, both of which are challenging when studying alone.
Studying in a group is a great to discover what you know way, and what you don’t know so that you can figure out how to proceed. This article explains how to conduct a group study so that you can get the most out of it. But first, let’s quickly go over some suggestions for setting up a productive study group.
Tips on how to create an effective study group
- Not too big: when forming a study group, ensure it’s not too big to avoid distractions that could encourage unfocused study. An ideal number is 4 students. Though, it can be greater or higher depending.
- Choose a common topic: This will make the study more engaging because each participant will have prepared their materials and mindset before the meeting. Having a shared topic will also prevent any division during the study and promote the ability to concentrate and learn effectively.
- Establish a regular time to study: To avoid excuses of being late, and to avoid wasting your valuable study time. It is much more committing to setting aside a specific study time. Each member must agree on a time that is ideal for everyone in the group.
- Discourse and test each other after study: After each group study session, it is appropriate to first discuss the material and share opinions on it before testing one another as if it were an oral exam. As a result, each participant will be well-prepared and able to identify their own areas of understanding and weakness.
How to effectively study in groups
1. Make a list of the things you are unclear about
It is important to identify your weak areas to create an action plan and set aside enough time to study these challenging topics, which will help you understand them thoroughly. After each study session:
- Make sure to note the areas that are still challenging for you to understand.
- Bring them up.
- Get the help you need.
2. List the subjects you are so knowledgeable about
Others will undoubtedly experience a problem similar to yours and require your knowledge and explanation in order to understand, just as you need the assistance of your members for the challenging topic.
So be sure to assess what you are already knowledgeable about, keeping in mind that you will need to impart this knowledge to others for them to comprehend it more fully. It is crucial to write down only the subjects you are extremely familiar with. And to succeed in getting good grades, you should have thoroughly reviewed all of your material before your exams.
3. Learn the material and engage with it
This is something you can’t do when you’re studying by yourself. To familiarize yourself, you must interact with your study partners to assimilate information even more, and when you do, let it become ingrained in your memory. So, if you read the materials over and over again, you stand a chance of making the information ingrained in you. You should always review your notes and take quizzes because by doing so, you are interacting with your material.
4. Study the material thoroughly before class
This pattern is so important to your understanding that you should study each topic as much as you can privately before participating in a group study on the same topics. Doing so won’t help you understand the material better; instead, you’ll use the group study time to expand on what you already know and fill in the gaps on the information you are unclear about.
5. Get ready earlier
Although group study sessions typically last until the end of test preparation, it is still preferable to plan your study group in advance by making a list of the types of people you want to invite and who you won’t even consider participating in the session.
You should also decide on the ideal location for the sessions, whether it be a comfortable home, a library, or a classroom setting. In order to make the most of group study by only using it as a review of what you already know, if at all possible, put a date on a calendar that will serve as your deadline for trying to learn the material on your own.
Finally, after taking note of everyone’s input and remembering to add your own, the group members should decide on the most important topics they would like to discuss. Starting with the simplest material encourages interest in order to build momentum. Having a group moderator is preferable in order to take control of the agenda when it becomes necessary to add or remove items after careful deliberation.
The moderator should make sure that every step is completely agreed upon by each member, particularly the choice of topics and the allotment of time for short breaks. In addition to studying in a group, it is a great skill to learn to work in a group with a shared goal even at work because it teaches you how to listen to others and persuade them to listen to you, which is an excellent quality in developing your leadership skill.