The University of San Francisco: Learning and Writing Center

USF Welcome 150x150

Golden Gate Bridge purple

Structuring Study Group Sessions

  • Determine objectives and goals for each meeting. At the beginning of each meeting it is important to voice what each member would like to discuss during the meeting and what questions they would like answered. Then take time to determine what is critical to review, and how much time you can you commit to each. 
  • Come prepared. Each member should come to the meeting having done the readings and reviewed the notes necessary to participate in the groups planned discussion. Everyone in the group benefits more if all group members are prepared to contribute knowledge and understanding to each other. 
  • Take turns facilitating. Each group member should have a turn leading the group discussion and teaching material to others. This can help reinforce your knowledge.
  • Balance participation. Each person should participate in the discussion recognizing that they have valuable insights into the material, and may even have questions that others were too afraid to ask or didn’t know how to ask.
  • Keep on task. Study groups are a fun way to learn and review information, however it is easy to get off track and lose sight of the session’s goal(s). Try having a rotating time-keeper - a member who keeps the group on task for the entire meeting.
  • Remain positive. Avoid negative discussions about professors and courses. They are only distractions and can make members feel less motivated to study the material at hand.