Study groups are the best way to pass a test.
I am taking a demanding course. The professor is an attorney and sets the class up similar to a law course. The book is almost as thick as a phone book. It’s filled with words like “fundamental freedoms” or “scheme of ordered liberties”.
One of the hardest assignments I have, is summarizing the decisions of the US supreme courts cases. If you’re not sure of how this works, it requires re-reading , re-reading and a ton of second guessing. So, as you could see, I thought I was going to fail this course.
However, I realized that study groups are the best way to pass the exam and learn information.
I have met up with a study group before each test and both times I have made an A. Last Friday, Midterms were due, and I currently have an A in that course. This is what I learned.
Good Elements of a Study Group?
– Meet in an Academic Setting
We met in a classroom and a library; Thus, meeting in a place that it designed for learning helped us stay focus.
– Bring All Materials Essential to Studying
We brought the following items: Our Books, Class Notes, and Text Book Notes. We also brought pens, paper and our electronic devices for additional resources.
-Only 4 People, One/ Two people who have taken the Professor/ knows the material well:
Our group consisted of 4 people. Within the group we had one student who had taken the professor before. This was an advantage because she knew what the professor would ask, what things to look for , and how the test would be structured.
-Drill Questions from Day one, Study Hard from Day One:
Using our notes, we questioned each other about the terms and courts cases we had to learn. We also taught concepts to each other.One important thing to note is to challenge each other. From the first day we asked rigorous questions.
– Clarify Unknown Terms/Concepts, Use of Electronic Devices:
We clarified concepts we didn’t know and went over them repetitively. When there was a concept we didn’t agree on, we used our phones to look up the concepts.
-3 Days, 1-2 hours each, serious people:
A study group should last 3 days. The first day should be a week from the test. The 2nd day should be the Sunday before the test. The third should be the night before the test. Each session should be 1-2 hours long and should be comprehensive in topic. This is the strategy we used.
– You also need serous people.
What did I do to get ready for a Study Group/In-between Groups?
-Studied Material in between classes. (Use a tomato timer to study for at least 25 minutes a day)
-Created a study guide of class notes, text notes and study group notes.
-Come to study group with an invisible outline, or hard outline of questions that need to be discussed.
Advantages of a Study Group?
Takes Pressure off of studying. You study with a group so you don’t have to study as much.
Makes it easier to comprehend information; makes it easier to study.
Helps Clarify concepts you don’t know. You get a different outlook on concepts.
You get notes you may have missed.