DON’T study with a group all the time. Remember, you recall best [hidepost]under the same circumstances in which you learned the material. Since you won’t be taking the test together the majority of your studying should take place outside the group.
However, a good group can really supercharge your comprehension and fast-track your time to master a concept. Just don’t make the group your main study time.
DON’T waste time. Duh … right? But one of the worst things about groups can be their almost infinite capacity for time-suck. Be extra double vigilant about it by establishing a clear start and stop time and having an agenda.
If it’s still a problem, try electing a group leader who the group agrees is responsible for suggesting the agenda, keeping everyone on track, and enforcing the start and stop times. Make sure you get group buy-in so everyone realizes this person is helping out the group, and not just being a toad. And make sure to praise them when they do their job by cracking that whip!
DON’T study with distractions. Agree to silence cell phones and not answer (voice or text) during study time. Head off trouble at the pass by choosing your study location carefully–somewhere friends won’t be dropping by, where coffee smells won’t be causing you to salivate all over your papers, and where you’ll be able to hear one another clearly without having to resort to megaphones.[/hidepost]
Study groups can be a real godsend. It can really boost comprehension and retention to work together with other serious students. Just remember to use study groups sparingly and wisely.