For many of the more difficult majors, the only way to get through college is to have a study group. A study group is a collection of students who work together in most of their classes, especially ones in their major.
Typically a study group is formed when you start taking courses in your major. For most majors, this will be the sophomore year. You will find that your study group will also become your closest friends in college. Forming a successful study group can be a challenge, especially if you are shy.
Here are some guidelines for forming a study group:
- Look for classmates who complement you.
- If you are outgoing, don’t look for another student who is also outgoing. You’ll never get any work done because you’ll spend most of your time talking.
- If you are a dominating type, don’t join with another who likes to dominate. You will battle each other all of the time. You probably need one dominating type on each team.
- Find someone who is a stickler for the rules. This teammate can be a pain, but can also help your team maximize its grades.
- The most desirable classmates are those who are steady and dependable.
- Don’t be afraid to ask others to become a part of your study group. Often other students are just as reluctant as you are to make the first move toward forming a study group.
- Set up a regular time and place for your study group. Generally 2 or 3 times a week is the desired frequency of getting together. The best place to meet is away from your rooms. A good place to meet is a classroom in the evenings when no class is in session. A classroom has a chalkboard that you can use to work out assignments.
- Don’t be bashful about replacing a study group member who isn’t contributing. This should be a mutual discussion of your other team members.
- A study group works best when everyone contributes. Don’t let a classmate simply copy from others
Some typical activities of study groups include:
- Doing homework together
- Sharing study guides and notes
- Making up test questions to challenge each other
Your study group will also likely become your best friends. If this happens, you’ll have to learn how to separate your friendship from the academic assignments you have to do..