How to Develop an Effective Study Group

Jul 17
TAGS study-group 
Forming a study group is an effective way of improving your learning. There are many factors to consider when forming a study group with your peers for revision

Two heads are better than one. Forming a study group is an effective way of improving your learning. It allow students to learn and gather valuable insights from each other. Students can seek guidance from their peers to clarify any conceptual doubts or misconceptions. Through this, students can gain help in understanding certain key concepts they may have trouble with. The question is, how do one go about forming a study group that maximize its effectiveness in enhancing learning? There are many factors to consider when forming a study group with your peers for revision.


1) Number of members.

A major factor to consider before developing a study group is the quantity of members. Choose members that you feel comfortable and have an amicable relationship with them. It is best if they are your close friends. Ideally, a study group should comprise of about 3 to 4 members at most. Don’t have a study group that is too small as sharing of knowledge will be limited and defeat the purpose of having a study group in the first place.  If the study group is too big, some people may not contribute as much. Organization of meeting up may prove to be an issue as it will be challenging to fit and please everyone. In short, best to study with 3 to 4 members.


2) Location

Where you study with your study group is equally important if you want your study group to effectively improve your studies. Try to study in a conducive environment where students can feel relaxed. It should be free of distractions and allow students to concentrate and focus on their studies. Also, as the purpose of a study group is the sharing and communicating of ideas between members, it is therefore imperative that the location is an area where members can communicate freely without disturbing the public. An example is the discussion rooms in library where students are free to have the whole space to themselves to present and talk ideas. With a conducive environment, students can learn in an optimal manner with their peers, allowing them to efficiently acquire knowledge and score well in their exams.


3) Duration

Study groups should be short and simple. It is recommended that members meet up about 2 to 3 hours for each study session. If the study session takes too long, there is a tendency for students to socialize and engage in small talk. The longer the session, the more students lose focus and concentration in their studies. Students start to no longer be studying efficiently and productively. Take note that having a study session that is too short like 1 hour will also result in rushed and fast paced work. Students may not be able to get the help they need to understand key concepts in such a short period of time. Thus, meet up about 2 to 3 hours.


4) Preparation

Most importantly, in order to maximise the effectiveness of time spent studying in groups, preparation must be made before every study session. Know what you plan to study! Have a clear objective in mind and work towards it. For example, if you are having trouble with vectors in Math, have a list of questions relating to your doubts that you want to ask your study members. This way, your study members can start to address your conceptual issues more efficiently rather than having to waste time during the study session figuring out your conceptual gap. You will be able to get a clearer understanding of your weaknesses and work towards tackling it.



Study groups are not for everyone. Some students prefer studying alone where they are able to collect their thoughts peacefully to understand concepts. However, if study groups are for you, it is best if you take note of all the above factors when forming a study group. It may make the difference between an effective study group or a study group that drag your studies down. Do share with us what you look out for when you are forming your own study group to aid you in your revision.