So you’re thinking about taking your study technique up a gear by forming a study group. Great idea. Study groups can help studying by engaging more parts of your brain, and they’re certainly a lot more fun than staring at your notes in silent solitude. The only issue is they can get a little bit out of control if not done right. So, without further ado, here are our tips on building the perfect study squad for exams!
Keep it small
An effective study crew shouldn’t have more than 5 people. A group that’s too large can be difficult to manoeuvre and you could find yourselves working through the learning material much slower than you would in a smaller group. There may be too many distractions and some people might be a little embarrassed to ask questions or raise certain concerns. Keep your group intimate for minimal drama.
Only the focused
You need people who show actual determination to pass the grade. The biggest mistake you could make is inviting people to join your study group just because they’re your friends. Members of the study crew should be students who generally get decent grades and are focused in school - steer clear of jokers who won’t put in any work.
Location, location, location
Pick a good place to study. A library isn’t always a good idea unless it has a lounge area where you can talk freely. Rather opt for a park or someone’s house if they have enough space. Otherwise, you can find out from your nearest community centre if there are vacant rooms that you can make use of.
Set your goals
It’s really important to talk to your prospective squad about what you hope to achieve. Are you studying a specific subject together or will you spread your subjects over all your sessions? Are you only studying together over the exam season or do you want to do this over the whole term? Setting objectives means that the whole group understands what the purpose of the squad is and each person is able to contribute based on this.
Have a plan
Once you’ve gathered your squad, it’s important to set a few ground rules for the group. What are the specific times and days that you’ll be meeting up? It’s a good idea to give each member a responsibility; for example, if someone is good at algebra, then they’re responsible for organising the sessions during which you’ll be doing algebra. This way, everyone knows what they need to do and they can prepare beforehand.
Sometimes the perfect cure for exam stress is a group of likeminded individuals who can benefit from each other’s strengths, and assist one another through their weaknesses. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers about starting a study squad, it could be just what you need to nudge you in the direction of those straight A’s.