At Chamberlain’s Atlanta campus, Plax Mandibaya, Raphaela Adadevoh and Hope Ragi meet almost every day. They go over their notes from class, break down what they’ve been reading and take turns teaching the others the sections that they know best.
Studying in a group has paid off – Plax is currently the highest scorer on campus for a course HESI exam.
“There are no shortcuts, no secret formula,” she said. “But being in a study group gives all of us an edge.”
The reasons to study in a group are numerous. Here are six tips for how to make study groups work for you:
- Choose the right people.
Friends generally aren’t the best choice for study partners – you tend to spend more time socializing than studying. Instead, look for classmates who share your commitment and your work ethic. You need people who are going to pull their own weight.
Keep it small
Study in a group of four to six people – more than that, and the group tends to lose focus.
- Establish rules
Hold people accountable. You might even consider developing and signing a contract with each other.
- Decide what you want to accomplish
When your time is limited, you need a specific agenda to make the best use of your time. Maybe mastering one chapter, or part of a chapter, will be your goal for a particular day.
- Study on your own first
The purpose of the group is to reinforce what you already know, not to learn from the ground up. Read on your own first, then meet as a group to discuss what you’ve already read. Talking about it will help you gain a deeper understanding of the material.
- Reassess as needed
Don’t feel the need to continue with the same group each session. If it’s working for you, great. If not, it’s OK to seek out a new set of people to study with.