You made the big decision: It's time to form a study group. What's next? Choosing the members! Here are our top tips for how to find the right people to invite.
Finding The One(s)
While it's common wisdom that study groups are a useful tool in the pursuit of academic success, they might also be one of those things that's easier said than done. After all, how does one even go about organizing a study group? How do you find the right people to be in a study group with? Luckily, this blog post will tell you exactly how.
Identify Eligible Classmates
You can start in the most obvious place by choosing which of your classmates might be a good fit. You'll want to consider a few different factors, including:
- Ability - In the same way that you wouldn't want to go to just any doctor, but instead choose one who's experienced and good at his or her job, you also wouldn't want to be in a study group with just any old student. You'll get the most out of studying with peers who are diligent, focused, organized, and trustworthy. Study groups require communication skills and a certain level of dependability. You want to make sure that your study mates actually show up to study sessions, and that they do their fair share of the work. It might also be to your benefit to pick people who are successful in the subject you're studying. Just saying.
- Personality - Since you're choosing study group members with whom you'll be spending a significant number of hours outside of your usual interactions, you'll want to be sure that they're people with whom you're compatible with and enjoy (or even just tolerate). For example, if gum-chewing or high-pitched voices are a pet peeve of yours, you might not want to study with somebody who only pauses their Juicy Fruit-chewing to speak in the voice of SpongeBob.
- Convenience - Let's be realistic here, you should choose study group members who are actually available to study. That is, you don't want to form a study group composed of people who live too far away from you or have no free time due to an excess of extracurricular activities.
Pursue Less Obvious Choices
Though it's a great idea to choose study group mates who are in the exact same class as yourself, it's also worth opening up your group to other students as well. Teachers don't always teach all of their classes in the exact same manner, so there's a possibility that students in different classes are receiving information that you're not. By not limiting your study group to the students in your class, you'll benefit from receiving a potentially more holistic picture of the subject you're learning. That's a study hack if we've ever heard of one.
We probably don't need to tell you this, but when you're looking for study group members, it's probably worth a shot to take your search online. We are, after all, two decades into the 21st century and the Internet can be useful in almost every situation. For larger classes, like college lectures with hundreds of students, you probably won't know all of your classmates. So try to find out if any of your classes have a Facebook page, WhatsApp group, or something similar. Post your interest in starting a study group and see who might be into it. Remember, the internet isn't just for funny cat videos anymore.
Plan for Contingencies
Here are a few words of caution before we let you go:
- What should you do if it turns out that a lot of people are interested in joining your study group, particularly for an especially difficult class? If this happens, don't be afraid to be selective. Having too large of a study group (more than 5-10 people) can make it unwieldy and counterproductive.
- If, through the course of your study group's regular meetings, you find that certain members aren't contributing in a way that benefits the group, don't hesitate to tell them that they need to clean up their act or hit the road, Jack. (Okay, maybe use different phrasing.) The group should be helping everybody and, therefore, it's everybody's job to pull their weight equally. That's right, sometimes you have to be the bad guy. All's fair in love and war. And studying. Good luck!
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