While you may have heard that he who travels fastest travels alone, sometimes speed is not the priority. In academics, students strive towards a level of total comprehension that leads to outstanding grades, test scores, and project results. If working on your own doesn’t deliver the success you are looking for, realize you don’t need to go it alone.
Effective study groups supercharge learning in a wealth of ways, channeling shared knowledge and motivation to individual achievement. Study groups provide a social component that attracts extroverts while demanding the accountability procrastinators need to get work done on time. In many ways, the right study group is the solution for many academic woes… assuming you can find one.
If your school or teacher cannot connect you to the kind of study group, you need not worry. Creating a superior study group is easier than you think, especially if you follow some simple guidelines.
Your main priority centers around selecting the right people. Diversity of ability and personality an work well, but, for best results, find study partners who share your commitment. Study groups only work when members show up on time motivated to get excellent work done.
The optimal number for a team depends on its purpose. Obviously, a basketball team needs fewer members than, say, an orchestra. When organizing study groups, two members are too few, though in some cases, one good study partner can be enough to accomplish your goals. By the same reasoning, too many members creates a cacophony of social interactions that distract from learning. For best results, according to the David Eccles School of Business blog, an ideal study group should have between three and five members. Five is the magic number supported by many studies and a reasonable limit to members of s study group.
The Duke Academic Resource Center suggests that an effective study group should meet at least once a week. Sessions should last at least one hour but probably no more than two.
Depending on availability, classrooms can be perfect locations for study groups. Libraries that offer group study rooms also work well. Even a student’s home can be suitable as long as a quiet, distraction-free environment is available; parents serving up tasty snacks can be considered a bonus!
Of course, putting together the perfect study group is just the beginning. You’ll still need to pick a format, set goals, and designate a leader. But whether you are building your own super study group or joining an existing one, you can feel good about taking a positive step towards greater academic success.