How to run an effective study group in Medical School.
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We all know that working in groups is helpful. As the old adage says, a problem shared is problem halved. Do you recall that daunting feeling which is often associated with exams. The fear of failing is an issue, but a really big problem is procrastinating and being consumed with how much you have to do.
An effectively well organised study/revision group can be a helpful way to share the workload. Think about it, if you have 20 topics to cover and 5 people cover 4 topics well, to a high quality degree. You can therefore spend less time worrying and more time note taking and more time assimilating.
The fundamental thing underlying a good study/revision group is planning. It should be clear what the aims of the sessions are, it should also be clear what the learning outcomes are also.
Here are five top tips to running an effective study group.
1) Deciding on topic Matter:
It's really pleasant to work on topics that you find easy. But the truth is this adds no value to your success in the exam because if topics that you find difficult come up, your likely to loose marks because you avoided them. Therefore, the key is to flock to the topics you all find difficult as a group. You can do the easy things by yourself and work through the hard things as a collective. Therefore, making the experience less laborious
2) Room Bookings/Location:
You need somewhere reliable to conduct your study group. This might be better if you block book group rooms in the library. Some University libraries will allow you to do 1-2 weeks in advance. This is such an important aspect of the study group we would suggest making this one or two people’s sole job to book study rooms every week.
You need one or two people who are good with logistics. i.e creating a revision timetable for you guys to follow and to create a plan for what you realistically aim to achieve each week. It is quite important to know moving forward what exactly the objective of each session is so that you are not all just meeting for an idle chit chat.
4) Deciding who should attend the group:
It is really tempting to pick all your best pals because you get on with them. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you are productive when you meet and strict with time keeping. In addition to this a group of no more than 6 probably makes the most sense. Too many people can make it difficult to control the group.
Study groups can get used and abused. It is really important to have basic ground rules. Such as if you miss more than a x number of sessions you can't continue, let us know if you are going to be late or not attend in advance. Also letting people know the kind of quality of work you would like for them to produce i.e in a powerpoint format that everyone can share, in a word document etc.
As it is not fair if some people are producing nice high quality work and others are producing hand scrawled photocopied notes which are illegible.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article.
From the MR Revision Team.
Feel free to comment or send an email if you have further questions to info@mrrevision