Run an effective group study session

Get your friends together for group study to bounce ideas, share notes and get ahead.

Group studying has many benefits. It can push you to think more creatively and explore perspectives and solutions you wouldn't have otherwise. But it also has the potential to be a little distracting.

Here's some advice so you can keep on track and get the most out of your time:

Keep it small

You're not doing yourself any favours by inviting 10 people over for a study session. Keep your study group to no more than five people. An even number of people is ideal because it means you can pair off if you need to. That way everyone gets a turn to contribute and learn something valuable from the session.

Play to your strengths

One of the best things about group and pair study is that you get to learn from friends that may have different strengths to you. Maybe your friend is better at chemistry and you're acing modern history. Or maybe they're better at one module in English and you've done well in another. Listening to how others are approaching their best subjects and trading knowledge can help the collective group get further.

Have an agenda

Freestyling is great on the dancefloor, but not so much during a one-hour study session. Since your time is limited, it's important to have a plan or structure. Here are some ideas for setting a study agenda:

  • Get your mates to submit 1-2 goals or questions they want addressed before you get together or at the start of the session.
  • Have everyone do the same practice paper under exam conditions and go through the answers together.
  • Limit your discussions to one subject to manage the short time you have. It's better to have quality discussions than to jump from subject to subject.
  • Identify the person that's going to lead each topic for discussion, and come with questions for them. Take turns being the lead.

Everyone attending should know what's happening ahead of time so they can bring the right materials and their A-game.

Don't waste time

Make sure you start on time, and don't spent too much time recapping things that you all already know. At the end of the study session, go around the group and say one lesson you've learnt, even if it's a new way to studying. If you can't think of anything, you might not have found much value and it's time to reflect on why.

Change locations regularly

Group study gives you the opportunity to switch up your study conditions, whether you're hosting guests, going to your mate's house or studying at the library. This removes familar distractions. After all, you won't be sitting the HSC at home, so why not change things up?

We're wishing all Year 12 students the best of luck for their final exams!

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