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Studying and Taking Exams

Study Groups

Meeting peers in small groups is a great way to become an active studier. They can also increase your motivation, keep you accountable to your studies and help you learn from others' perspectives.

Where to find group members?

  • Reach out to students who are writing insightful and thoughtful discussion posts or participating in lectures
  • Sit in the same area in lecture halls – you will likely find that others do the same
  • Post a message on A2L or other class platform

How to set up for success?

  • Maximum number of group members should be 5, to allow for rich discussions and accommodate schedules
  • Meet often and in the same place
  • Length of session shouldn’t be too long (to avoid fatigue); take breaks
  • Discuss common goals for what you want to achieve from the sessions
  • Agree on rules, i.e. come prepared, no devices, stay on topic, be responsible for guiding portion of content

What does a successful session look like?

  • Begin by discussing session goals
  • Review lecture materials from last session
  • Share perspectives and clarify key concepts
  • Take turns teaching concepts and being asked questions on what was reviewed
  • Quiz each other using old tests or textbook questions, or make up new questions
  • Create graphic organizers to see connections between concepts
  • Have a quick review of session and assign new roles or assign content to cover for next session
  • Agree when to meet again

Looking for extra support? Check out these resources:
Academic Skills webpage: 
https://studentsuccess.mcmaster.ca/academic-skills/
LibGuides (skills tip sheets): 
https://libguides.mcmaster.ca/sb.php?subject_id=133401
Email us: 
skills@mcmaster.ca
 
We also offer 1-1 support from Academic Coaches and The Writing Centre. Book appointments on OSCARplus - SSC - Appointments - Academic Skills

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