Study Tips & Tools

Study Groups

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One of the most effective ways to learn ANYTHING

Even medical schools often require that students form study groups because they know from centuries of experience that this is a vital form of learning –remember the movie Patch Adams?  And modern research shows it’s true: there’s just about nothing you can try that will work better to help you learn new concepts.

Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt - Anatomy lesson of Dr. Willem van der Meer

Here’s a study group working on their human anatomy lesson. Studying in a group is always popular when working with cadavers—possibly because nobody wants to be alone in the room with one!

You can find people to study with more easily than you think . . . even if you’re the shy type.  The folks at your table in lab class or A&P Supplement session are a good start.  How about the table next to yours, too?  The folks sitting around you in the lecture class might have a few minutes after class to go over things with you, too.

The science specialists in the SCC ACE Center are more than happy to help you form a study group for A&P!  Once you form a study group, they can also help you with ideas for how use your time well as a group and can make an appointment to visit with your group in the ACE Center and work on material together.  Dr. Patton can meet with your group to answer questions, too!

You don’t have to meet on campus, of course.  You can meet just about anywhere.  But be aware: party places such as bars and swimming pools don’t lend themselves to good study time!

Here are some ideas for how to study in a group

Make up practice test items for each other

Review your notes together, filling in each other “blank spots”

Compare flash cards and use them to quiz each other

Help each other make a personal study plan & schedule to prepare for each test

Make concept maps and concept lists together

Make a list of “trouble spots” while studying alone and bring them for a group help session

Teach others in your group a new concept you just learned

As a group, make up  silly mnemonics and analogies to help you understand and remember difficult concepts.

Make up poems or songs to help you remember important concepts.  For example, the anatomical order of skin layers or the steps of synaptic transmission.

Here are some more tips and resources

Learning Skills Program – USING STUDY GROUPS TO INCREASE LEARNING from the University of Victoria

Using Study Groups Effectively from the University of Dayton

Study Groups  from on how to form and use ONLINE study groups

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Last updated: November 25, 2016 at 9:39 am