Study With Friends, Improve Your Grades
Group studying is nothing new, and no doubt you’ve already experienced it during your high school career. Yet, while you may or may not have enjoyed the experience then, you should give group studying another shot in college. Harvard University found that students who study at least once a week in a small study group of four to six other students are more likely to have a better understanding of the course materials, ask good questions in class, and be more engaged in discussions. That is reason enough to consider forming a regular study group to help you get through your otherwise nightmarish Organic Chemistry class.
It is important to keep in mind the correct ways to hold a study group session. First, find fellow classmates who have the same professor. Make sure that your fellow classmates make up the majority of your study group because some professors tend to emphasize different aspects of the course materials, so if you all have the same professor, you can be sure to focus on the same relevant things. In addition, though you may be tempted to socialize during your study sessions – that is, spending the hour-long session discussing the latest action movie or weekend plans rather than going over lecture notes – it is important to stick to the topic at hand so that you do not waste your time. After all, if you only wanted to socialize, you could have gone out to coffee instead and left the notes and textbooks at home.
Assigning someone to be an informal study group arbitrator is useful as well. This person can help guide discussions, making sure that group remains focused and does not stray off-topic too often. Study group arbitrators, or leaders, are also good for breaking the ice and getting the conversation flowing. With one person doing most of the talking, other group members will feel more relaxed and begin contributing as well. You should take on this role if no one else seems poised to take action. Begin by beginning a conversation about what you want to discuss and what you think about it. Ask the other group members for their thoughts as well. Soon, you will find your study group sharing ideas and learning instead of sitting around and staring awkwardly at one another.
Study groups are effective because most students do not want to feel inferior to others, so they will be more encouraged to study in order to keep up with the other members of the study group. This friendly competition will help all the members of the group to become more engaged in the course materials, leading to better grades.