Freshman Five: Creating the Optimal Study Group

My Finals are officially over! YAY! But I know many of you haven't had them yet or they are slowly creeping up and you aren't feeling ready to acknowledge them. But that's okay, because you still have time. One of my biggest suggestions? Get a study group!

Study groups are a tool most people do not utilize. Arguably, this mostly applies in high school, but this really applies to college too - how many "study groups" have you seen that aren't really study groups? Actual study groups are not one person doing the homework and then passing it around for everyone else to copy. A real study group is when a few people understand the material and use their knowledge to help others understand it better and vice versa.

I cannot explain the number of times real study groups have saved my life. That last exam question I needed to ensure my A in the class? Study group had my back. Having a strong study group means well-roundedness and better, in-depth understandings of the material. Need some tips on how to make one? These aren't fool-proof, but I know they do help!

Talk to People You Don't Know | I know you love your friends, but not every set of friends is the the same - sometimes none of your friends understand a concept or all of you have similar perspectives and that neither promotes diversity of thought nor learning. Invite other people in your class to join your group! Just make sure you are not treating someone like a personal tutor - it is not okay to take advantage of people like that.

Re-Write Your Notes | Some of you may have heard of this before, but try doing it as a group! Have everyone open up their notes and utilize them to create an overall study guide. Color-coding is especially fun if everyone in the group is okay with it! Sometimes people develop different understandings of topics and being able to put together an explanation everyone can understand can be extremely helpful.

Make a Schedule for Your Sessions | You should definitely let your sessions flow and be adaptable when concepts take more or less time than usual. However, having a rough outline of what topics you want to cover and approximately how long you would like to do so is helpful not only for staying on track, but also if members have to come late or leave early and knowing what they can or cannot come for.

Talk to Your Professor | Contrary to popular belief, a lot of professors want you to succeed! Before meetings, try speaking with your professor about topics that are extremely difficult for you to understand and/or if there are any specific topics to focus on for future exams. If the professor finds a way to really help you understand a certain topic, then when you go to your study group, you are able to help others understand it and you can spend more time working on other areas.

Create Games | Studying can be fun. Wait, what? Yes, yes it can be! When you play games with the information, you are not only motivated to remember the information at this point in time (duh, you're a winner) but it's a lot easier to remember the information during exams. Flashcards are not the only option - playing Headbandz for vocabulary training is usually one of my favorite go-to's!

Have you used study groups? What do you find especially helpful to make study groups great?

Catch you next time.


  1. I love this especially since I'm a college student! Such great advice for anyone entering college!

  2. These are some great tips! I am no longer in school (graduated college 4 years ago), but I remember how much study group used to help me. Glad you finished yoru finals, now you can just sit back and enjoy the rest of the holiday season! Good luck with the new semester!

    From Grow your blog. www.shamirawest.com

  3. I love creating games! It's such a fun way to learn more intuitively!

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.

  4. I'm out of college, but these are great tips for life in general! I really need to work on talking to others that I don't know. Networking is SO important in all life stages!

  5. Definitely like creating games and re-writing notes to help myself further understand things.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  6. I was always better studying solo but these are great tips for collaborators!

  7. Rewriting notes always helped me too! Another great tip is teaching a concept to other members of your group–you have to make sure you really know it in order to explain it to others!

  8. Those are some great tips! I've been out of college for a few years but I just know they would have helped me!

    La Belle Sirene 

  9. Yes to re-writing notes, handwriting stuff down always helps me! Congrats on being done exams! :-)

    xoxo A

  10. Would have loved this advice back in college!

    Sugar & Something

  11. Ugh, these study guides do NOT make me miss college. Hope your finals are going well!

    Diary of a Debutante

  12. So many great tips especially during finals!

  13. This is so helpful, even for me as a senior in college!!:)
    Miss Olivia Says

  14. I definitely see study groups as helpful! I loved study groups in college!

  15. Yes, study groups are so good for college! They definitely helped me out most during finals season as well.


  16. study groups rock!! I loved mine and the amount of fun we had!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  17. I used to love making up study games!

  18. I have so many mixed feelings about study groups! On one hand, sometimes I get so much more done. Other times, I just wish some of them would shut up so I can study! You really just have to make sure you get the right people!


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