You may have been able to get through your high school classes without doing a lot of studying or by studying on your own. In college, however, courses can move very quickly. If you are in any particularly difficult courses, it may be necessary to form some kind of a study group so that you can team up and help each other learn all of the material together. Unfortunately, a lot of college students aren’t committed enough to studying and mature enough to not confuse it with socializing. Here is how to create a successful study group in college.
Create Rules for Inclusion
When you create a study group, be sure that you make some ground rules that everyone needs to follow in order to be included in the group. These rules should include consistent attendance in class and at study sessions, taking thorough notes, behavior during study sessions, and anything else that might be important to you. You want to be sure everyone is contributing positively.
Invite High Achievers
When you choose people to join your group, you want to be sure that those people are high achievers who will be on par with the rest of the group in their understanding of the material and their discipline for completing the work. If you allow people to join your group who are not coming consistently to class or taking good notes, then they will bring down the momentum and confidence of group, and pretty soon the group will dissolve in frustration.
Require Equal Participation
Some people may be high achievers, but that doesn’t mean that they participate equally with others when they are working with a group. One of the best ways to make the most of a study group is by assigning certain pages or chapters of the material to each member so that they can break it down for the rest of the group in detail during each session. If someone is not doing their part, you may want to consider cutting them loose.
If you are not earning your degree at a physical college – for example, you might be studying at PSU online – then it might be easy to keep things focused when you study with a group. However, if you know your study buddies very well and spend a lot of time with them, it can be easy to mix your social time with study time. Be sure that you put a ban on social conversations during study sessions, and make sure that everyone holds each person accountable until the end of the session.
Meet at a Designated Place
If you want your study group to be solid and consistent, it’s important that you find a designated place for the group to meet each time. This place should be quiet enough that you can concentrate, and if there is a whiteboard or large conference table available, then you can really spread out your things and make it easy for everyone to share information with one another.