Study Group Suggestions

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  • by AmyB
    Specializes in LTC.

What are the best aspects of your study group? Do you have an agenda? How do you make it an effective use of time? Is it, in the end, a positive, mutually beneficial experience?

I'm looking to get in on a study group and would appreciate any suggestions you may have. Thanks!


121 Posts

I am not one that really likes a study group. It seems like every time I have participated in one there are people there who just want to chit chat and not help the others. I have found that I really like swapping notes. What I mean is I will outline a chapter along with a couple other people in the class and we will make copies of our notes for each other. We do this with the lecture notes as well. That way, if someone picks up on something that they think is important that you have left out you will have it in their notes and vice versa. I really like the trading of notes and outlines, but a group study session has never worked for me.



739 Posts

Specializes in OBGYN, Neonatal.

It really depends on the group and their goals for the study session I think. I've never been a group study person either. I did get in a group study this past semester and we all agreed to get down to business.

We used our study guides (as the teachers told us the book publisher is who creates the exams). It worked out well.

Trading notes also sounds like a good idea!


215 Posts

I prefer to do online study groups - where the group members email the group with practice questions for exams, any lightbulb moments they have for "getting something" and interesting ways to remember things.

We also send each other stuff we are working on and get feedback for essays etc...although I'm careful about sharing essays and tend to only do that if I know my group picked different questions.

Before an exam, our study group splits the learning outcomes up and sends word docs to the group which we all use to study from. It's a good way to cut down the work.

Even doing it online, there are still those who prefer to muck around. I'm a bit harsh with them I have to say. If they are not pulling their weight, I'll cut them from the group. They know this up front, so I figure it's fair.


113 Posts

Our college runs special tutoring sessions for some classes, which are like big study groups, lead by a trained volunteer tutor (usually a good student from an earlier semester). Unfortunately, I haven't been able to attend any of them because they always seem to be at inconvenient times...

I am very much a self-studier, and tend to be a bit of a loner if I let myself get away with it - so I do deliberately join study groups, but mainly for the social aspect. It's a good way to get to know your classmates better, and I've made quite a few good friends that way. If I'm honest, it probably doesn't help me too much academically....I study to a pre-determined schedule, am usually running ahead of the class, and so often the study groups are on something I've already covered. I can also be a bit of a control freak, and am very aware of that fact - so I deliberately go along with the other student's ideas on what to study, which can be frustrating at times...but it's good for me LOL! What I do enjoy very much, is being able to help other people with stuff they are having problems understanding - I've been told many times that I'd make a good teacher, because I'm very good at simplifying things and making them understandable LOL! So, all-in-all, the social aspect and being able to help others makes it worthwhile for me.



355 Posts

Specializes in School, Camp, Hospice, Critical Care.

I'm a loner studier myself.

Our faculty has recommended setting up study groups in this way:

Find three classmates who are as strong or stronger students than you. Divide the reading up equally. Each person is responsible for notetaking/outlining on her sections of the reading, making copies for everyone in the group, and *teaching* the content to the other members at study sessions. That way your individual reading is cut down to 1/4 of what's assigned, but you cover all the material together in study group.

For this to be successful, you really have to trust your fellow group members and believe they will cover the material thoroughly. To be honest, I don't know of a single study group at our instituion that works this way. Most just go over NCLEX questions.

Personally, I do a first and second pass at the readings on my own, notetaking the readings on top of my class notes (our faculty ususally leaves adequate room on the hand outs), then sometimes meet with one friend I trust a day or two before the exams to clarify questions we might have and do some NCLEX questions together.

I do find it is hard to keep on task in study groups; they do easily turn into chat sessions--and the more members, the harder it is.

BTW, I never read in advance of the lectures (OK, maybe a quick skim--but I mean 10 minutes). I want the teacher to focus on what she thinks is important as a guide to dissecting the reading myself. Most of our lectures are straight lecture--no class participation--so I feel no pressure to pre-read the chapters, though I can imagine some folks like to do so as a preview.

best of luck!


27 Posts

I'm a study group person. I hve 2 to 3 people I get together with.....After we have class, we'll take our notes, notecards, whatever, and go to the gym get on the treadmills and start quizzing/discussing everything we talked about in class. Also for tests, we divide everything (notes/handouts) up in sections, make our own questions on our section and then will email or give our questions to each other, so then we have all of the material covered to study. We get together the night before exams, make dinner and just quiz each other.

I also travel alot for clinicals, so I will also go through my notes, read the info info a little mini tape recorder, and then when I'm driving, I can listen to it.

suzy253, RN

3,815 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

I do both. I pretty much study on my own but there's a group of 4 of us that are real close friends and we get together to study as a group. It is helpful to me because sometimes hearing someone explain something you might get a better grasp of it. And sometimes you plain don't understand something and they can explain it to you. Also, when I explain things it just reinforces it a bit more and makes me feel confident that, 'hey I do know this'. But then again, sometimes we get a bit off-subject but we all need a break and get right back to it. You just have to experiment and see if it works for you.


260 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I really appreciate all your input.

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