Group study is a great way to socialise and get help on topics you’re stuck on whilst sharing your knowledge. That said, it can be challenging to keep your session focused on study rather than the last months’ worth of school gossip or Netflix drama. So, follow these simple steps to make sure your next group study session is a success.

1. Find some buddies

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise…you’re going to need someone to study with. Group study sessions are a great way to become better friends with your classmates or catch up with your close friends during exam time.

2. Pick a location

Location is key as it will determine the type of group study session you have. Some ideas include the library, a café, your house or a local park (get that Vitamin D!).

3. Buy Some Food

Food is hands down the best study motivator out there! Get some snacks that you and your friends love which you can use as study rewards (or eat it all in one go if you’re like me!). A good ol’ block of chocolate is my personal favourite. Adding food also makes it into a bit of a “study party”.

4. Set your goals

You’ve got your friend/s, you’ve got your spot and you’ve got the food. Now it’s crunch time. If you want your group study session to be a success, you need to make a group plan about what you want to get done and how you plan to study together. There are lots of different options. For example, you may want to do past papers together or test each other with flashcards. Or, you may all agree to discuss the themes in your English text. Choose what’s best for your group and make sure everyone is on the same page.

5. Bring a timer

A timer is the key to success when it comes to group study. Dividing your study time into “work” time and “chat” time is a great way to ensure you catch up on all the life gossip and don’t feel guilty about not talking when you’re in beast study mode. I’d suggest a 30-minute study to 5-minute chat ratio.

6. Teach each other

“People learn the most when teaching others” (P Drucker). If you’ve ever helped a friend in class, you’ll know just how true this is. Teaching other people is a great way to consolidate your knowledge whilst helping them out. So, dedicate some time at the end of each group study session to teach your friend/s everything you’ve just learnt and then switch!

7. Assess how it went

You’re in the local park, picnic rug and chocolate in hand with two of your classmates. You’ve got a full-proof timer system set up and you’ve decided you are going to spend 10 minutes teaching each other at the end. BUT. THEN. The inevitable happens…you get talking. It was a hectic week after all! You look at your watch and it’s been two hours and you’ve got nothing done! If this sounds familiar then DON’T stress but DO reflect. Some people are impossible to study with, and that’s okay. Be honest with yourself and each other about how the group study session went and examine if you think it would be useful to do again in the future.