How to Maximise the Benefits of Group Study

There are times when studying alone simply doesn’t cut it. This can be the case when you often find yourself unable to focus while you’re all on your own. Studying with a group can be a great way of keeping yourself accountable and ensuring that you are able to focus on the task at hand. However, just like other forms of study, group study has its pitfalls as well. For instance, some people often find that getting together with friends to prepare for an exam can end up turning into a fun social event instead of an intense review session. 

How to Maximise the Benefits of Group Study
How to Maximise the Benefits of Group Study

The good news is that there are tips that your study group can use to make the most of this crucial time. If you’re planning on meeting with others to prepare for your upcoming exams or work on your requirements for your SkillsFuture courses, here’s how you can maximise the benefits of your group study sessions.


Gather the Right Number of People


To make the most of your study session as a group, you need to have just the right number of people in your team. This typically means sticking to about 3 or 4 participants. Gathering a larger number of people might not be too helpful if your aim is to keep everyone accountable and focused. Besides, having too many people in your group will make it a bit more difficult for you to find a place where you can study quietly together.  

Assign a Moderator for Your Group


If you’re worried about getting distracted, you can assign a moderator for your group. This person will have the responsibility of keeping your study group on track to finish your goals for the current session. The moderator can call the team’s attention if you’re straying too far from the topic or if you’re due for a break. To make this role less taxing on the team members, you can switch moderators after each meeting. 

Agree on an Agenda or List of Goals


An effective study session has defined goals. Talk about your goals with your team members. It’s perfectly fine if you’re just organising sessions so you have another person to study with. However, you can also aim for something more specific within your group. For example, you can choose to review a particular chapter in your reference book in a span of 2 hours. If you share the same goals with the rest of the team, then you can do mock quizzes at the end of the session to test your memory and understanding of your lessons. 

Pick a Format for Studying Together


Your goals for the study group as well as the individual study styles of the members can help inform the format that the session will take. If all of you understand and absorb information better by listening, for example, then maybe it would be beneficial for the team to hold a full group discussion. If you have a lot of ground to cover, perhaps the group members can each claim a chapter that you’ll discuss with the team in detail. There are different formats that you can adopt to ensure that your study sessions will be worth the time and effort of each team member, so make sure to explore and use them to your advantage. 

Prepare Study Materials for the Meeting


Reviewing for a test together will benefit your study group members if you have all the tools you need prior to meeting. Before the agreed-upon time, make sure that your review materials are ready and remind your study group members to do the same. Perhaps you can summarise your notes, highlight important points in your reference materials or write down a quiz to test your knowledge after reviewing. By preparing all these before the group study session, you can spend most of your time actually going over your tools and understanding your lessons.  

Make a Schedule of Activities


Breaks are an important aspect of an effective group study session. Depending on your needs as a group, you can use the Pomodoro method and schedule a 5-minute break after a 25-minute intense review session. You can also schedule longer breaks for when you need to eat or after completing four cycles of 25-minute work and 5-minute rest periods. 

Choose a Good Place and Time


The environment that you choose to study in has a big impact on whether you can study effectively with your team members or not. If you’re easily distracted by noise and movement, for example, it’s best to pick a quiet area that doesn’t see a lot of foot traffic or have small children around. If you can study effectively just about anywhere and your study buddies can do the same, then the world is your oyster.

When in doubt, simply follow these tips when preparing for an intense study session. Remember that maximising the benefits of group study sessions can be done easily, especially if you’ve found individuals who share the same passion for learning as you do. 


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