At the start of each semester, we all make the same promise to ourselves that we aren’t going to study last minute before a test and change up our study habits, but for most of us, these promises just about always fall through. With all of the responsibilities of college, time management can be a real challenge, not only in regards to homework and projects but especially with tests/exams. Because it can be difficult to manage time efficiently and balance your schedule, it can become easy to cram the night before a test and burn yourself out.
With several states closing schools and switching to virtual classes due to the Coronavirus outbreak, now more than ever, its important to take your studying seriously. Here are the top five tips to help you run the best study group!
A lot of us like to take the independent road and study by ourselves, perhaps because of previous bad experiences working in groups or learning preferences. Though there are benefits to studying independently, there are also benefits to studying with others in a group! In a blog post by Delaware Valley University, the benefits of studying in groups are noted as: the ability to reduce the potential to procrastinate, the opportunity to gain a new perspective on the material, and lastly, the chance to improve skills for the real world.
Pick a Study Space
Once you have all of the people together for your study group, the first most important step in running your study group is to pick a good study space. For starters, you’ll want a space with minimal distractions. Unfortunately, there are many distractions that can be super tempting when you’re working on schoolwork or studying for your next exam, so it’s important to have a space with adequate room, minimal distractions, and plenty of peace and quiet. With little to no distractions, you and your group will be able to accomplish each objective and study at your fullest potential.
Access to What You Need
One of the biggest things we can do to set ourselves back while working or studying is not being prepared! To help run the best study group, be sure to have all the supplies and materials you need, so you’re not rummaging around for some old notes or a textbook and wasting time. My suggestion? Have a notebook, a black and red pen, a pencil, a couple different-colored highlighters, your laptop (if you have one) and any notes/print-outs and books for the course together so you have one less thing to worry about and can follow along with everyone else!
Make a Lesson Plan
There’s nothing worse than not having a plan, especially when it comes to running a study group. Without a proper lesson plan, the people in your group, as well as yourself, will be scattered and lost, which can waste precious time that could be used studying! Before you meet up with your group, look at everything that the exam or test is going to cover. Highlight appropriate terms, subjects, people or places, units, chapters, etc. Collect these together and assign one person in your group to cover a specific topic, not only to help break down the work but to also gain a new perspective or idea on the subject!
Question and Quiz Each Other
After each person has properly prepared the material for the subject they’ve been assigned with, take turns asking questions and quizzing each other on important terms, subjects, and material. After that, switch the notes and material each person has collected among the group to distribute the information and make sure no one has skipped an important section.
Connect Outside the Classroom
Sometimes we can’t always meet up at a physical location due to specific responsibilities and obligations, such as a job or extracurricular activities. Despite this, you can still connect with your study group online! Create a group chat with your group, make a Google Doc to share with everyone so each person can have their input and include things they’ve studied, etc. Additionally, WikiHow suggests to utilize “a variety of different resources such as Course Hero that facilitate the exchange of study resources both old and new,” and further states that, “many courses will also have Facebook groups and if yours don’t you can always create one.”
Let’s face it, no one really likes to take the time to sit down and study. It can be super difficult at times and make you want to pull your hair out, however, with a study group, studying doesn’t have to be so bad!