Study Groups

Studying with a group can be an effective part of your studying strategy. When you study with a group, you’ll have support when you need help and enjoy the sense of community created by working toward a common goal. You’ll also use more effective study strategies and be more prepared and focused, knowing your group is relying on you.

How to Form a Group

It can be hard to create a new study group. But the Study Buddies feature in Navigate Student makes it easy. To get started, simply join the Study Buddies group for your class on the Navigate Student app or website.

Here are some other ways to connect with classmates:

  • Use the chat feature on Zoom or Teams to ask if anyone wants to join a group.
  • Use Blackboard Messages to send your classmates a message.
  • Ask your instructor. They might be able to connect you with a group or send a message to the class for you.

Keep your group small enough that everyone has time to ask and answer questions. Choose students who will come to the session prepared and ready to participate.

Meeting Times and Locations

Your group should meet about once a week for 60-90 minutes. The FindTime tool in Microsoft can help you find a time in your NIU Outlook calendar that works for everyone. Try to find a time when people are likely to be focused. Consider designating time at the beginning or end for socializing.

Look for a quiet space that allows discussion and has outlets for laptops. Whiteboards are also a plus. You can meet in a study room at the library, or you can reserve a study room at the Holmes Student Center.

There are also many options for meeting online, such as ZoomSlackMicrosoft Teams and GroupMe.

Study Group Tips

  • Set rules to help your session run smoothly (no phones, be prepared, etc.).
  • Pick a leader (same or different person every week) to keep track of time and help the group stay on track.
  • Set the structure and agenda in advance. Decide as a group how you want the session to go and what you want to cover. Make sure everyone is able to suggest topics.
  • Start with time to vent. Take a few minutes to share frustrations, then move on to studying.
  • Go over new material. Review what you learned the past week, allowing people to ask questions.
  • Brainstorm possible exam questions. Answer them as a group or do them as homework for the next session. Focus on higher order thinkingquestions that ask you to apply skills, analyze situations and synthesize concepts.
  • Use active study strategies like creating a concept map, teaching each other, making a lecture outline or creating an exam study guide.
  • End with a review and plan for next time. Finish by going over what you discussed and consider what you want to cover and improve upon for next time. Update and store your agendas, plans, etc. in a central location like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive.

View All Student Tips

Get Help

Huskie Academic Success Center


Learn More
Back to top