Exam Preparation

How to Make the Most of Group Studying - 5 Quick Tips

8th April 2022 at 2:00am
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Sometimes, your child might find studying to be a very lonely experience. But it doesn't have to be that way. They can form a study group together with other peers their age.

When students study in groups, each of them might learn the material better and in their own way. A good study group addresses doubts that each group member may have, and makes learning with each other enjoyable instead of being boring.

With that said, be careful about having too much fun! A study group should avoid getting distracted, such as talking too much or overusing social media.

If your child is wondering how to make the most of group studying, we’ve got them (and you) covered.

#1: Decide the goals of the study group

Before creating a study group, think about what objective it should achieve: is it to master a difficult topic, tackling a piece of homework, or a general revision of the syllabus? This is applicable for any subject such as Maths, Science, English or Mother Tongue. Don’t be afraid to ask teachers for guidance on how to shape the goals of the study group if needed.

#2: Invite productive friends to your group

For a study group to be successful, only invite group members that are likely to attend regular study sessions and who are motivated to work hard.

Your child might be tempted to invite only their closest friends, but remember that not all of them might be as enthusiastic about this idea - it’s more important to gather people who are warm to the idea of group studying.

On the other hand, there’s always the option of choosing schoolmates outside of their immediate circle of friends. It wouldn’t feel the same of course, but remember that the overall objective is to study, not to have fun. And there’s also the potential for your child to make new, more studious friends in the process, too.

Whichever option they go with in the end, a productive study group should ideally have between 4–6 members; nothing too big or too small.

#3: Create study group rules

It’s always a good idea to create clear rules for working along with other study group members. These should cover break times, time spent studying, and if needed, a regular rotation of group members who have different responsibilities each week. Each student can take turns creating weekly study group goals subject-wise, learning objectives for each week, creating a list of doubts each of them may have, and moderating the group. Make sure each group member is given equal responsibilities.

It’s also important to include rules on avoiding distractions such as using social media and talking aimlessly for a long time. The group members should decide together on these rules.

#4: Discuss how to study material in different ways

There is no one correct way to study, of course. Each study group member can discuss methods they use to understand the material. For instance, some might prefer using cue cards and diagrams, whereas others prefer to learn by speaking about the topic to others.

It can be a good idea to have a decent mix of several methods. Do revision activities, worksheets, and games individually first, share findings in pairs, and then with the entire group. It might also be helpful to work on GenieSmart worksheets together. Then, leave time in a weekly session for one or two study group members to demonstrate examples of methods when looking at difficult topic areas or challenging homework questions.

#5: Observe and manage the group

No study group will operate successfully from the beginning! Give your study group time to adjust.

Unfortunately, some only find out that study groups are not for them when they’re actually in one. Unmotivated team members will eventually attend sessions irregularly, do less work than others, and distract the entire group.

To prevent this from affecting the group, it’s worth having a rule that members will be removed from the group after a maximum of two warnings. Don’t lose heart if members leave or if there was a conflict in the group. Remember that you are learning through these experiences. Encourage everyone to learn how to manage misunderstandings and know when to say no to certain behaviors. Don’t give in to unhealthy peer pressure. Your study group should be a safe space where there is no bullying or discrimination and where your peers can discuss their learning freely.

Study groups are a very effective way to learn in an engaging way. Aside from learning academically, your child will also be learning important life skills on how to interact with other people. They will also learn how to set healthy ground rules and create clear learning objectives in their study group.

If done right, a study group is more than just a place to learn productively - it can be a place where new friendships are created that will last a lifetime.

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