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How to Start a Study Group

Starting a study group will keep you driven, help you to process information and remember it long-term. Ace your exams and build friendships at the same time. A true win-win.

1 - Find your dream team

Keep it to 3-4 people. Be upfront about what your goals are and encourage others to do the same. Figure out how many times you'll be meeting up, for how long and where. Determine how you'll stay connected (Facebook group or group chat?). Establish some ground rules. Study groups work best when everyone involved is equally committed. So, it's important to set out some expectations around what will happen if someone isn't pulling their weight.

2 - Divide and conquer

Figure out how to divide the work. Have one person summarize the material from the week and provide a "cheat sheet" - a simple, one-page summary of the key concepts. At the end of term, you'll have all the "cheat sheets" from the term, which will make studying for the final exam feel easy, as all your notes will be well-organized and include everything from the term.

3 - Talk about it

Share your questions and findings. Set practice questions for each member to complete on their own and then take the answers up as a group. Gamify your progress by writing quizzes to challenge each other. Nothing wrong with a healthy dose of friendly competition.

4 - Everyone needs to feel heard

Make sure the group continues to feel balanced and that everyone feels heard, seen, and appreciated. Some of us take up more space than others, so think about how you might structure the meet-ups to equalize things. Include a check-in at the start and end of every meet-up to keep the communication open and to ensure you are all leaving feeling motivated. Because really, that's the whole point.

Having a study group (or just a single study partner) can be a real lifesaver. It's an investment of time and energy that will deliver outsized returns - better grades and lasting friendships.

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