How to Organize an Effective College Study Group

Studying for college final exams often requires a lot of time. To reduce study time, college students can organize study groups with their classmates. The following sections offer tips on how to organize an effective college study group.

Establish the Logistics in Advance

The simplest, yet most important, component of organizing an effective study group is establishing the logistics in advance. This means that the date, time, and place must be set prior to the meeting. If the location requires a reservation, such as a library study room, the reservation should also be made several days in advance.

Ask Each Person to Create Mock Test Questions

Before the study group meets, each student can create mock test questions to bring to the meeting. During the meeting each student in the study group can ask his or her questions and then explain the corresponding answers.

The number of students in the study group will determine the number of questions each student is responsible for. Generally, the more students in the study group the fewer test questions each students needs to create.

Assign a Topic to Each Student for the Group Study Guide

Students can assign each member of the study group a specific topic to become an “expert” on. Each student expert should read the material pertaining to his or her assigned topic and create a document that highlights the most important information. The student should then bring copies of their document for the entire study group. Therefore, everyone receives a comprehensive study guide, with only having spent a fraction of the time working on it.

Complete Review Guides before the Study Group Meets

Instructors often pass out review guides prior to giving a final exam. Review guides often direct students to specific concepts that will appear on the exam as well as provide students with practice questions.

Before meeting for a study group, students should complete their review guides and bring these guides to the meeting. The students in the study group can share their answers. If any of the students had trouble with a particular question, the other students can work together to explain the answer.

Bring Questions to the Study Group’s Meeting

Study groups are valuable tools for helping students understand difficult course material. Prior to meeting, each student in the study group can write down any concepts or topics they don’t understand or any questions they have from past homework assignments. During the meeting each student can share his or her concerns with the group and the group can work together to explain the difficult material or answer the questions.

In addition to helping students better understand course material, study groups provide many other opportunities for helping college students prepare for final exams. Discussing review guides, creating a group study guide, and answering mock test questions are great ways for students to prepare for tests and reduce their study time. An effective study group not only reduces study time but also helps students earn good grades in college.

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