Academic Success Center

Success with Study Groups

What is a Study Group?

Study groups are formal or informal, student-driven groups designed to review class material and solve course-related problems. A study group usually includes 3-7 students enrolled in the same course.

If you would like to start your own study group, read the tips below and pick up a Study Group Packet from the ASC. 

Why a Study Group?

  • Study 2.5 times more in an hour than alone.
  • Learn study skills from the group.
  • Solve more challenging problems.
  • Divide and conquer the information.
  • Break up the monotony of studying alone.
  • Prepare for the working world.
  • Increase your motivation.
  • Feel supported by and accountable to others.
  • Benefit from other viewpoints.
  • Study information at a deeper level.
  • Teach to master the material.

Putting Together an Effective Study Group

How many?

It's recommended to keep study groups between 4 to 6 people. People often socialize too much and cannot cover as much material in smaller groups. In bigger groups, some group members do not contribute as much and organization can be a problem.


The most effective study is completed in study groups comprised of members (classmates) with the common goal of earning good grades. Students dedicated to succeeding in school usually complete assigned reading, take extensive notes, and clear up confusion by asking questions.


It is best to study in environments without distractions and areas where group members can communicate freely. Use study rooms, like in the Academic Success Center Building ( or Cooper Library (

How long?

Do not study more than 2 to 3 hours at a time when studying in a group. Understand the 45/15 rule where you study 45 minutes and take a 15 minute break, then come back together and summarize previous work. During long sessions, group members tend to socialize more and do not study as productively. Study sessions for an hour or less tend to be rushed and unproductive since only a few subjects can be discussed. Find a happy balance!


If you plan to meet regularly with a study group, organize sessions at the same mutually agreed upon location and time each week. Individual members can have time to properly prepare prior to meeting with the group. Do not wait until the night before an exam!

Have additional questions about Study Groups? Please contact Laurel Whisler, Assistant Director of Course Support Programs, at or 864-656-6214.