Strengthen Your Learning with Study Groups

Forming Study Groups

Forming study groups is a very effective strategy for enhancing learning. This is because groups share unique insights and learn from each other. Group members can also teach confusing concepts they understand to other group members.

Study groups are particularly effective for completing projects, developing presentations and preparing for exams. This guide will introduce some advantages of study groups and the strategies for making study groups effective.

Optimizing Study Group Sessions

The following are strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of time spent studying in groups:

Create clear objectives and goals

Prior to each session, group members should discuss what they hope to achieve, so the session is productive and stays on track.

Be prepared

Group study can be very ineffective if individual members come unprepared for sessions. Each member of the study group should review lecture notes, complete select readings from the textbook, and identify specific subjects to study.

Ensure participation

Every member of a study group should actively participate. A great way for each member to contribute is to assign specific topics and have each member instruct the group. Teaching is a great way for individuals to retain information.

Stay focused

Before each session, someone should be assigned to manage it. The person in charge of leading a session must ensure it is productive, stays on track and all necessary material is covered. The person responsible for managing the session should also schedule breaks to avoid getting burned out.

Advantages of Study Groups

The following are the greatest benefits of joining a study group.

Improve your notes

Study groups provide an excellent means for students to compare class lecture notes. Comparing notes allows students to fill in any information or important concepts they may have missed during lecture.

Sharing talents

Since everyone has individual talents and unique insights, group members can learn from each other. Study groups provides students an opportunity to benefit from the talents and knowledge of the other group members.

Support system

School can be very stressful, so it is advantageous to seek support from people in similar situations that can provide you support. Joining or forming a study group is a great way to give and receive motivation and support from fellow students and group members. And if you become sick or are unable to attend class, you can get notes from members of your study group.

Cover more material

Working in groups makes it possible to focus on more concepts since multiple people can review more material than just one. Many groups decide to assign topics to individual group members to research and study and then provide a summary for the group. This strategy allows students to learn a lot more, in a lot shorter time, than if they were to study each topic on their own.

It makes learning fun!

Studying with a group is a great way to liven up your study sessions. It can be very monotonous and draining to spend long hours alone in the library. Joining a study group and studying in a group environment makes learning much more fulfilling and enjoyable.

It fills in learning gaps

Study groups provide an excellent opportunity to fill in gaps in your notes. By comparing notes with other students, you can evaluate your accuracy, fix any errors, and get ideas for better note taking. If, on the other hand, you are a great note taker, you can help other students who had note taking problems fix their mistakes and learn better techniques

It breaks the monotony

Studying by yourself, especially for long periods of time, can become a monotonous activity. However, by joining a study group, you can break this monotony and learn faster! Because of the social aspect of a study group, you will always have someone to discuss the topic with when you start struggling or find the topic tedious. In addition, the auditory factor of study groups can help auditory learners and students who dislike the silence of studying alone. If you find some class particularly tedious, consider joining a study group to make it more enjoyable.

Developing an Effective Study Group

The following are recommendations for forming effective study groups.

How many

It's recommended to keep study groups between 4 to 6 people. People often socialize too much and cannot cover as much material in smaller groups. In bigger groups, some group members do not contribute as much and organization can be a problem. With 4 to 6 people in your group you'll minimize socialization and maximize individual contribution.


The most effective study is completed in study groups comprised of members with the common goal of earning good grades. Students dedicated to succeeding in school usually complete assigned reading, take extensive notes, and clear up confusion by asking questions and contributing to the group. Depending on the subject matter, sometimes it's advantageous to select group members with unique talents or knowledge.


It is best to study in environments without distractions and areas where group members can communicate freely. Most college libraries contain group study rooms. Studying out in the open can work, if your group isn't going to become a distraction to others.

How long

It is best not to study more than 2 to 3 hours at a time when studying in a group. During long sessions, group members tend to socialize more and do not study as productively. However, study sessions under an hour tend to be rushed and unproductive since only a few subjects can be discussed.


If you plan to meet regularly with a study group, organize sessions at the same location and time. This way, individual members can have time to properly prepare prior to meeting with the group. Having your study group at the same time each week allows students to fit it into their permanent schedule at time when they're going to be available the entire year.

Video Resources

How to study in groups

Tips about using study groups

Study Groups - secret to success