Tips From An Orange County Tutor: Keeping a Study Session on Track

Many students choose to work in groups because it allows for socialization but it also helps students pool together their different talents and skills to comprehend difficult subject matter. Additionally, students are often encouraged or required to work in a group to finish a project. Group study is nothing new and it’s a helpful way for students to complete high quality work in a timely manner.


However, having friends nearby makes it easy for some students to get distracted, which makes the study group more about socializing and less about learning. For instance, it may take a group five hours to complete what was meant to be a three-hour project. Distractions also leave students with less time to complete their other solo assignments. So how can groups keep their study sessions on track?

1. Elect a note-taker

Elect a person who is responsible for taking basic notes at any given study session. Students will then be able to identify how much the group has already completed as well as how much is left to be covered. The person taking notes will be responsible for letting the group know if they are on track to finish on time or if they need to pick up the pace.

2. Assign different jobs to different people

If there are five people in the group, each person should be responsible for about one-fifth of the study material. Every student should be required to present a summary of information to the group, as a result each individual knows that they have to self-regulate so that they are an equal contributor to the group at the end of the session (READ: “The Student’s Guide to Study Breaks”).

3. Assign a study leader for the day

Students can take turns being the leader of the study group for the day or for a particular project. This person will be responsible for helping students keep each other on track and completing their share of the assignment in a timely manner. This person is not meant to take the place of a teacher but rather provide friendly reminders to their classmates to help them manage their time as well as decide how much time the group should allocate for each section of the assignment (READ: “5 Steps for Surviving Literature Class”).

4. Meet for a set amount of time

Some students will meet at a coffee shop or library with no particular end time to their study session. This can be a good thing or it can lead to procrastination, preventing the project from being completed in a timely manner. Students can set a specific amount of time for their session, for example 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., this way they know they should reach a certain point in their studies by 6 in the evening (READ: “7 Tips For Studying While Traveling”).

5.  Plan something fun after the session

If students know they are going straight from their study session back home to do more self-study, they will be tempted to procrastinate and chat with friends. However, if students plan to chat at a coffee shop or go for frozen yogurt or pizza after their session, they are more likely to self-regulate their time during the study session.

In short

Although working in a group can be fun and also helps students complete projects without feeling the isolation self study, study time can become more social and less productive without basic organization and time management. Students deserve time to socialize with friends and classmates as well as take breaks. However, it’s important that assignments are completed in a timely manner to ensure high grades and test scores in the classroom.

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