Whether it’s midterms, finals or quizzes that happen in between, you need studying tips to help you reduce stress and perform at your best. Time management tips are a good place to start. Nothing brings on stress like an impending deadline or a to-do list that’s crammed with high-priority tasks. But you don’t have to suffer alone. Try a little teamwork. Interested? Read on.
How to reduce stress
Learn how to work and play well with others. That’s right. Don’t suffer alone with your deadlines and final exams. Find other students who are as serious about getting good grades as you are and pool your resources. It’s called a study group.
To be successful, the first rule of a study group is “there is no study group.” No, that’s not right. That’s for the fight club. Let’s try this again. The first rule of a study group is “you must be willing to study.” If all you want to do is eat pizza and gossip about your professors and fellow students, then forget it
– study groups are not for you.
An effective study group keeps you motivated and helps you study because you can:
- share ideas with fellow students
- compare your work with that of others
- share resources
- give and get moral support
Don’t just believe me. Listen to an actual student talk about how a study group can work best in this YouTube video from MrStudyTV titled, “Study Tips: How to Effectively Study in a Group.”
The rules of study groups
Abide by the rules and you’ll find that your hard work will pay off. Our first suggestions come from the folks at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA, where, like many universities, study groups are facilitated by students who receive special training in how to run a study group.
When attending a study group, first of all, come prepared.
- Do some studying beforehand so you know what material you don’t feel comfortable with yet.
- Bring any necessary course materials. You’ll need them in order to complete study group activities as designed by the facilitator.
- Be prepared to work.
- Don’t expect the facilitator to read the material and explain it all to you.
- Don’t expect the facilitator to hand out answers like candy.
- Be prepared to work together to find your answers.
Being a member of a study group is not a free ride on getting your homework done. You have to be willing to work at it. But as the old saying goes, “Many hands make light work.”
Hi tech study groups
What if you have a tight work schedule or issues with child care? No problem. Social media to the rescue. You can use social media tools like Skype, Twitter or email to connect with fellow students.
In an April 29, 2013, article for The Chronicle of Higher Education titled, “Btw paper is due 2day,” Sharan Paul described how she and her fellow students use email to prepare for an exam.
“When the review sheet for a test comes out, one person types it up along with his or her answers and emails it to the other students. Individually, we check it for accuracy, make corrections and fill in missing answers. We email it back to everyone in the group. In the space of a few hours, the four of us have a complete and accurate study guide,” Paul explained.
Paul added that she knows of other students who use Facebook instant messaging to share information and work on projects. Others with tight work schedules have received tutoring on their lunch breaks by using the iPhone application FaceTime to meet with their tutor.
For a visual look at how college students are gaining benefit from digital tools and technology, take a look at the infographic in the April 23, 2013, article by Shane Cleghorn for Presta.com titled, “How Tech Is Changing College Life.”
Be sure to ask your professors, school counselor or librarian for help on finding or starting a study group on your campus.
Are you a member of a study group? What are your tips for running a successful study group? Tell us in the comments below.