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Active Group Study

Tips for making the most of study groups

Timeline

Before studying with others, decide on your goals for study. Ask yourself what do I need to focus on?

When planning how much time to study for finals,

  • allow more time than you think you'll need
  • allow for reading, reviewing AND active study
  • you probably need at least 3-4 weeks for finals, so you should start before reading day. For early December finals, start in early November.
    • Didn't start until Reading Day? Don't give up.
      • Divide each class into types of study work. This will vary according to major, so make your own categories if the ones below don't apply.
        • Items you are reading over for the first time (usually a good early reading day task)
        • Items you are familiar with, but need to be memorized (try to start 2-3 days before the test if you have the time)
        • Items that require problem solving and practice (try with a study group)

When planning a group study session, the group should agree on how to spend the time.

  • Allow a small amount of social time at the beginning and stick to it.
  • After social time, everyone should have time to bring up problems or questions that came up since last time.
  • Schedule time for breaks.

At the end of the session, make sure:

  • the group agrees what to cover next time
  • if you're rotating tasks, like quizzing or teaching, everyone knows their roles for next time.

 

Organization

  • Study groups run better when one person is designated to facilitate the session, schedule meetings, and keep everyone on target. You can always switch off this role if it seems too much for one person.
  • Try to stick to a consistent method of communication.

Study spaces