A study group is a group of people in the same program who get together to study or work on class material. They might meet every week, or just before tests and exams. In this module, you can discover how to have your own study group, and some study strategies to help you get the most out of it.
There are a lot of benefits to studying with other people, including the following:
Watch the video and read the information below for some strategies to help you create an effective study group.
What do you want to get out of your study group? Possible goals include:
There are two basic approaches to study groups. You can choose how to approach studying based on the needs of your group.
Informal Study Groups: The group meets and either goes through class material or reviews questions. (Easy! Just get together with your notes)
Structured Study Groups: You and your group decide what you would like to go over in advance so that you can prepare. The group may even assign tasks or parts of the material for each person to be the “expert.” (Harder! - More work is required before you meet)
When different people work together, they can all contribute in different ways. People have different strengths and skills that they bring to a group, and they can fill different roles that match their skills. These roles, such as Facilitator, Innovator, or Resource Gatherer, work together to help the group succeed. You can learn more about some different roles in a group in the Group Roles tab.
When you decide to form a study group, begin by planning how you would like the study group to run. Decide on the following things with your group members:
You can use this Planning Your Study Group checklist - opens in a new window to help you form your study group.
In study groups, you can use the fact that you are working with others to your advantage. There are some study activities that you need other people for! Here are some study techniques that you can use with your group.
Have each person come up with study questions from class notes or the textbook. You can also use a test review or the questions in a textbook. Once your group has come up with questions, you can all use them to come up with your own answers. For example, if you have an upcoming anatomy test, you can try to figure out what questions are most likely to appear on the test.
Come up with a list of terms or key concepts. Then, take turns having people summarize each term or concept in their own words.
You can even turn this into a game. Have each person write down what they think the definition of a term is, then have one person read the actual definition.
Games are a good way to make studying a bit more fun. Here are examples of the types of games you can come up with to help you remember information:
On campus, you can make use of a range of resources, such as those that follow, to help you study:
Figure out what concepts group members are having trouble remembering. Divide these concepts up and have each person come up with a memory tool, a song, a rhyme, etc. to remember the idea. Share your tools with the group. For example, are you having trouble remembering the names of essential amino acids? Try an acronym (like PVT. TIM HALL) to remember. For help, check out the module on Memorizing and Understanding Concepts.
People have different strengths and skills that they bring to a group, and they can fill different roles that match their skills. Read more about the different types of roles in a study group below so you can figure out how you and other members can contribute.
These roles are adapted from the following lists:
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