Studying is obviously an important part of being a student and a lot of us do it alone. However, at a certain point, studying alone can become ineffective due to procrastination or distractions such as social media. For the longest time, I only relied on studying alone because I had always had the impression that studying with friends would lead to more distractions. But due to the volume of studying I needed to do for my veterinary technician courses, studying alone was just not enough. Therefore, it was time to change my methods and studying with friends became an important factor in my studying success. Here are a few tips and games that my classmates and I have developed in order to study effectively as a group:
- Come prepared. Just because you are studying in a group doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study alone first. To be effective, everyone in your group should have studied alone first for a couple of hours. That way everyone can be more or less on the same level and will have an idea of the information that they know and don’t know. That way you can fill in the blanks together and work on what you don’t understand.
- Flash cards. Flash cards are my personal savior. I always try to make flash cards on my own time, and then bring them to the study group. We then take turns quizzing each other with the flash cards. It adds a little competition and energy to the group. Adding pictures to the flash cards are an extra plus. If you are studying something like parasites, it is nice to have a picture to associate with the information.
- Talk it out. Verbalizing the information helps with understanding. Turning the information into a conversation makes what you are learning less abstract. Take turns adding facts and side notes to the main topic you are discussing. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more questions, the clearer your understanding will be.
- Present to each other. If you have a large volume of information to learn in a short amount of time, try to separate it into smaller pieces and take turns teaching it to each other. Take out some colorful construction paper and some markers and go nuts making a miniature presentation board. Pretend to be the teacher and answer questions. When you are all done presenting to each other you can line your “boards” out on the floor and compare and visualize them. This method works great near the end of the night when everyone is losing energy and is a good way to re-engage everyone. We used this method to study viruses.
Using these methods and switching them up is a good way to keep focused and keep everyone engaged during your group study night. I can personally say that this has helped me a lot. Find a group of classmates that you think you can study well with and give it a try!