The University of San Francisco: Learning and Writing Center

USF Welcome 150x150

Golden Gate Bridge purple

Forming a Study Group

  • Identifying other members
    • Talk to classmates during class to learn about their interests in learning the material
    • Observe how classmates engage in the class.
    • Select individuals who have an interest in doing well and demonstrate an ability to be respectful and responsible with classmates.
    • Select individuals who have some grasp of the material and who you feel can teach others.
    • Speak with your professor to announce to have prospective members stay after class one day. 
  • Number of member
    • Create a group of 3-5 students. Keeping the group relatively small allows everyone to participate and benefit from the group. 
  • Where to meet
    • Study groups sessions should be held in locations that are free of distractions. Busy areas like the cafeteria or a coffee shop may be convenient, but they can be distracting to some individuals.
    • Try to select places dedicated to studying like Library Study Rooms (require a reservation), empty classrooms, the Learning & Writing Center (Conference Room can be booked at Front Desk), and Residence Hall Lounges.
  • Length of meetings
    • Choose to meet for no longer than three hours at a time. Limiting the length of meetings can help the group remain focused and stay on task.
  • Set goals for the group
    • Determining specific goals for the group (such as getting prepared for course exams or relating course information to group members’ majors) can help you better focus group discussions and study patterns.
  • Create contact list
    • It is important to know how to reach each group member to ask questions outside of meeting and relay changes to the schedule and study topic.