How to Start a Study Group



Some people like studying alone. Others feel it’s easier to learn if they’re part of a group. A formal study group offers the opportunity to not only express your own opinions but to listen to and absorb the thoughts of others. If you’re open minded, you will realize that not everyone thinks the same way, so finding out how other people approach a problem and solve it can be beneficial to you. Starting a study group isn’t difficult, but there are some things to keep in mind. Following are a few tips on how to start a study group.

Make a Plan
The first step in starting a study group is to make a plan. Decide what you want the group to accomplish. Define your goals. This is also the time to begin finding people who you feel will not only be an asset to a study group, but individuals that you will be able to get along with. Have at least an idea of the types of subjects you’ll be discussing and whether or not there will be limitations on subject matter. You don’t want your study group to include discussions on quantum physics if all the members but one are majoring in engineering.

Rules and Regulations
No one wants to be burdened with unnecessary rules and regulations, but some structure is required or the study group could go off on any number of non-productive tangents. Fooling around should be kept to a minimum. As college students, it’s pretty much a given that a little steam needs to be blown off intermittently, but the group should act as its own regulatory authority and keep it under control. If you’re too formal, the group probably won’t be productive, but at the same time, chaos is counter-productive.

Group Size
Realistically, the optimum number of people for a study group should be limited to five or six students or less. The reason for this is that larger numbers may lead to unnecessary disruptions if more than one person wants to speak at the same time. A study group should be structured enough to remain in control of itself, but not so regulated that it becomes stifling or boring. If more than the optimum number of students wants to be included in a group, then you may want to consider breaking up into a couple of smaller groups. If you do this it may be a good idea to interchange members within those groups from time to time. It will not only prevent one group from being stronger than another, but it will allow everyone to experience the opinions of everyone else.

Diversification
Your study group need not be limited to your circle of friends. Although you know you will be able to get along with your friends, allowing others to join your study group will open you and them up to new ideas and methods of problem solving. Schools of higher education pride themselves on the diversification of their student body. Your study group could benefit from the same thing. Having people from different areas of the country, or different backgrounds, could help your study group arrive at varying methods of learning and retaining that knowledge--and you may make new friends.

Formalization
Your study group should have a defined identity. Giving the group a name will provide a distinct personality--something for the individual members to identify with. You should decide on a regular meeting place and a time that is convenient to all the members.

Meetings
At your first meeting, everyone should be asked to let the other members know what they believe their strengths and weaknesses are. If you have a couple of people that need a lot of help with math, then your group needs members that are good at math. Everyone has some areas that they’re better in than others, so the math whizzes will benefit from other people’s knowledge and skills. In subsequent meetings, it would be a good idea to let everyone take a turn as leader of the group. One person would lead a study period or subject and other people would take over for other periods or subjects. It will be the job of the leader to keep the conversation on track.
Guest post from Quinn Green. Quinn writes about accredited online degrees for OnlineDegree.net.

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5 Response to How to Start a Study Group

September 7, 2011 at 4:42 AM

This is a really interesting post. Study groups are useful for some people.

September 14, 2011 at 4:51 AM

Study groups can be really helpful, especially in those subjects that lead to discussion and analysis.

September 17, 2011 at 1:52 AM

It is good to do study in group. Group study is always beneficial. We can know the views and opinions of others.

September 29, 2011 at 12:39 AM

great information..it is helpful for student good advantage about this.i really appreciated your effort.thanks for sharing with us.

September 30, 2011 at 5:10 AM

It is also important that your study group is made up of people who approaches studying in the same way as you do.

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