Textbook Note Taking
Coping with Tests
of this Material
a Study Tip
@ 2011 by
Many students find that
studying with a group of classmates is an effective way to study for a
class or prepare for an examination.
So what is a study group? A
study group is a small group of students (usually three to six) who are
studying the same subject. They
meet informally to review and compare their notes, insights, and ideas
so that everyone understands the material better.
Benefits of having a study group
Helps you stay motivated.
The interaction and responsibilities of a study group will
keep you thinking about what you are learning.
Keeps you focused.
When studying alone it is easy to stray from the subject or
lose interest. Study
group members can remind you to stay on task and keep you plugging
Gets you to see material from
other points of view.
Provides additional forms of
input. In other words,
you hear the material out loud when participants speak, you work to
answer the questions of others, and you are often asked to defend or
explain your positions. This
requires you to put the material under study in your own words which
is a really potent way of remembering and understanding something.
Gives you a chance to have
your questions answered. If
you don’t fully understand something, someone in your group
Helps you see what content is
both important and testable.
Reminds you of important
points that perhaps you have missed.
Others in your group will help you fill in the missing pieces
from your own notes.
Ground Rules for Successful Study Groups
all study groups are successful. Sometimes
they fail because of scheduling issues, personality conflicts,
unproductive sessions, etc. Your
best chance for success is to agree to adhere to the following ground
on meeting mechanics: A. How often you will meet, B. Where you will
meet, C. How long sessions will last, D. How to best contact one
even insist, that all members engage equally in discussion and
on task. Don’t gobble
up your study group time by wandering off onto other subjects or
speaking make certain that what you say is relevant and to the
point. Avoid long,
allow one person to dominate.
tolerant of different learning style or approaches to study.
Remember that everyone has different strengths and
to every session prepared with something to offer.
each other questions and respectfully challenge one another, but
keep an open and curious mind.
or, at least limit, complaining about the course or the teacher.
predicting test questions—create a “test question bank.”
turns “teaching” something from the material
to each other carefully and respectfully.
Only one person in the group speaks at a time.
the end of each session, take a moment to evaluate how things went:
What worked and how the group can have even a better session next
time. Then make
assignments for the next session.
positive and have a little fun.