Students have to face a lot of exams and academic activities throughout their academic life. And studying for exams could be stressful, especially if you study alone. But there is a way to make learning much less stressful and more effortless.
Activities such as traveling, partying are much more fun when doing them with a group, and they feel easier than doing them alone. The same thing can be done for studying. That’s by forming or joining a study group rather than studying alone.
Without further ado, let’s find out things about study groups that you may not have known before.
What Are Study Groups?
Students have to get through countless academic activities such as assignments, quizzes, coursework, vivas, and presentations throughout a semester. And in the end, they have to face the final exams which are harder to get by without studying and revising the subject material. Self-studying is a good way to learn but when the exams are just days away revising academic content won’t be easy nor can be done quicker.
Study groups are formed containing a few students to study and discuss academic content, which helps the learning process move much quicker. Especially if you are preparing for exams nearby studying as a group will help everyone learn things better and faster.
Why Students Avoid Study Groups
As you already know, studying in groups is better for anyone preparing for an upcoming exam. Even though that study groups are pretty effective compared to self-studying, some students still avoid joining study groups due to some common myths about the study groups.
01. Self-Studying in Isolation Mode is The Best
It is a common belief among students that self-studying in isolation is the best way to study. This may be true if you are a top student, or your preferred studying style is studying alone inside a room because we all have a studying style that works best.
However, while it’s true if you aren’t the person to understand subject content, joining a study group could be the best way to learn things faster. This goes true for all students since interactive learning is better than studying in isolation. And you also have to do a little bit of self-studying anyway to catch up with the things you missed.
02. Not Ready to Leave the Comfort Zone
Even though most students are aware of this, they refuse to believe it. And some even make silly excuses to avoid study groups. Studying in a group is way different than studying by yourself.
You might have to face that you are not that smart, or you haven’t studied better, or you didn’t understand things even if you attended the classes. This is why most students are afraid of joining a study group. But if you leave your comfort zone, you may get better grades on your exams.
Procrastination among students doesn’t just apply to studying or studying activities. But it is one of the main reasons why they don’t join study groups. They think it’s not the right time to start a study group since the exams months away.
When the exam is just a few weeks away, they start to panic and realize they should have created a study group months ago. Before it’s far too late, join or start a study group with your friends.
Top 10 Benefits of Study Groups
Compared to other studying methods, study groups tend to claim the upper ground. There are many benefits you could get from studying as a group. Some of them are well known, while there are some that you may not know.
01. Good-Bye Procrastination
It’s a fact that most student who gets bad grades are the ones who put off studying until the exam is weeks away. But group study sessions could help you evade procrastination since you have to be prepared to participate in study groups.
02. Faster Learning
Students who study by themselves are more likely to study less time or take massive study breaks, which will waste your time. Group studying will push you to study more time and make it a more easy study experience with fewer distractions. And that will help you learn things faster than studying alone.
03. Sharpen Your Study Skills
Everybody has their own study style; studying as a group will help you observe other study group members’ study methods. Even though your study method could be a good one, learning new ways to study won’t hurt you. In fact, you may be able to combine those study methods to get better results.
05. New Perspectives
Everyone has their own way of seeing things. In this case, every student has their own perspective of subject-related things. When you participate in group study sessions, you will see how other group members think and see the subject matter and how their view is different from yours. Maybe you will find ways to learn things faster and easier.
04.Fill The Learning Gaps
When attending classes, sometimes students miss essential stuff for many reasons, such as not paying attention or distractions. Later, they can’t solve problems or face exams because they didn’t learn and noted them down correctly. Studying as a group with your friends will help fill these learning gaps and make necessary changes to your notes.
06. Better Understanding of The Subject
To get good grades in exams, you need to have a good understanding of the subject. Attending the classes, quizzes, and assessments could help you do that, but there will still things you don’t understand clearly at the end. A great benefit of study groups is you could discuss subject-related matters with your group. And that will help you clear your doubts and get a deeper level of subject understanding.
07. Improve People Skills
Having good communication skills and interpersonal skills are soft skills that will help your student life and the career you are building. Study groups rather than self-studying will help you improve your communication skills.
08. More Fun Learning
Studying can be a pretty exhausting thing to do, especially if you study for long periods without many study breaks. However, you could the subject materials with your friends while studying, which will be more fun than self-studying.
09. Great Support
While studying, you would come across things that are hard for you to learn. And to understand them, you will need more help from others or other materials. Seeking support from your professor or teacher sometimes could be a tricky thing to do. But when you are in a study group, you could get help from your group members. And they will always motivate you to study more.
10. Get Better Grades
As you see studying with your friends has more benefits than self-studying. All of those will help you prepare for exams much better, which will eventually help you get much better grades on your exams.
Making an Effective Study Group
Study groups are a way to study effectively, as you already know. But you need to consider things before making or joining a study group to get the most out of it.
01. Study Group Members
It’s recommended to make study groups with members who have the same goal of getting better grades at exams. Students dedicated to getting better grades, completing assignments, group projects, and taking notes tend to contribute more in group study sessions. And by choosing students who are comfortable and have unique skills and knowledge, the discussions would be much smoother, and clearing up confusion on the subject matter would be easier.
- Choose Students with Goal of Getting Better Grades.
- Choosing the Right People Will Provide Enough Study Motivation.
02. How Many People
When people gather, they are more likely to socialize. And this would also happen in study groups which will beat the purpose of studying. Discussion is needed, but it should be about study materials. So, keep a strict limit of group members to avoid such distractions. And if the group is too big, there will be less contribution from group members.
- It’s Recommended to create study groups with 4-7 members per group.
- Avoid creating big study groups.
03. Study Place
Study environment could affect how you study and how much will it be effective, as you know. The study group environment could be different than other study places since, in group study sessions, you need to communicate freely. But you also need much fewer distractions too. If you are looking to study in college as a group, then check out the library. Most of the time, they have group study rooms available.
- A place with Less Distraction
- Place You Could Freely Communicate
04. The Time
When studying as a group, sometimes every member won’t be able to get together simultaneously. So, to avoid this, you need to discuss and organize a time slot available for every group member. This will help you hold an effective group study session, and every group member will be able to participate every day.
- Discuss a time slot that’s Available For Everyone
05. Session Duration
Just because group studying is the best way to study, it does not mean that you should study for a short time or long time periods. Especially without study breaks in between. It’s recommended to study for 1 to 3 hours with small study breaks to get the best out of the session. Study sessions that will last less than an hour tend to be less productive, and long study sessions could distract you from your studies.
- 1-3 Hour Study Sessions with Study Breaks
06. Create a Study Plan
Creating a study schedule could help achieve goals much faster; the same goes for group studying. Before starting study sessions, discuss what you will be studying with your group members, the timeline for the subject, and set a few goals to achieve in each group study session. This will keep every group study session on track and more productive.
- Create A Study Schedule
Study distractions are one reason that most students aren’t able to study for more than an hour. It’s no different in group study sessions; if there are distractors around you, they will distract the group from studying. Therefore, it is vital to remove common distractions such as mobile phones, TVs, laptops prior to starting the session.
Virtual Study Group Online
Taking a step further from traditional study groups by creating virtual study groups is possible due to today’s digital tools. There is a lot of digital tools you could use to make an effective virtual study group online.
01. Meeting Platforms
There are a lot of online meeting platforms available. They all have their own set of features such as video conferencing, screen sharing, document sharing, texting. Some of them are paid tools, and some are free with a few limitations. Discuss with your group members and find the most suitable platform to hold group study sessions.
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Hangouts
02. Online Storage Platforms
When you are in a virtual study group, you might need to share documents such as PDFs, scanned images. Even though some meeting platforms have this feature, you might encounter some errors if the file is too big. And sometimes, you might need to upload the required documents before the study session. That’s when you might need to use an online storage platform.
- Google Drive
- Amazon Drive
Getting More Out of Group Study Sessions
Make sure that every member is actively participating in group study sessions. Teaching is another way to help the learning process. Assigning a topic to each member and let them teach that topic to other group members. It will help make the learning process much faster.
02. Come Prepared
Since you have made a study schedule for group study sessions, you already know what will be discussed on a particular day. Therefore before that date, make sure that you have reviewed the topic that’s going to be discussed.
03. Share Notes
Each group member will have their own way of seeing the things taught in lectures. That means all of their lecture notes will be different. By sharing lecture notes with others
Assign a group leader to make sure that everyone is focused on studying. The group leader should be someone that other members will listen to and someone who can keep the meeting on track.
A group study session without proper communication won’t help you study anything effectively. So always discuss the things you learned with your study group whether they are things you understand better or things that hard for you to learn. That will help to learn things faster and your memorization.
When preparing for exams, studying won’t be nearly enough; reviewing what you learned is also important if you want to get better grades. So, make sure to revise the topics you covered in group study sessions and clear any doubts you still have.
In a Nutshell
Study groups have many gains, and it is a way of studying with higher effectiveness without a doubt. But if you create a study group without considering things said here, you would be creating a study group that will distract you from your studies. Make sure to create a study group that will benefit you and every other group member and gets good grades in exams.