Guest post from Capstone Vietnam: Group study - How to do it effectively

Guest post from Capstone Vietnam: Group study - How to do it effectively

In our effort to bring good content to as many people as possible the text in this blog post has been machine translated so please excuse any mistakes. Thank you!

by Linh Nguyễn

For most students, studying in a group is one of the most effective ways to study because of the potential benefits of having a lot of people around who are focused on the same topic. However, to some, it is a waste of time since people spending more time socializing than studying. So, how do you make group study more effective to get the most out of it?


Here are some tips that took me 2 years to generate:

1. Study in a group of 3-5 people. This is a good size for group study because it’s big enough to go through all the material you need and small enough to listen to one another idea.

2. Have a moderator, who will yell out a funny word (like “swim in”) when the group gets distracted. This person will prevent the group from getting distracted for too long during the study session. This role can rotate every time the group meets.

3. Read and prepare questions before you meet. All of the members should prepare before the group study session. Prepare what and how to prepare? Read through the material by yourself and note down what questions you have or what exercises you do not know how to do. Doing this will prevent the situation where members of the group do not know what topics to discuss.


4. Schedule a specific time period of the group study session (i.e., 1.5 hours or 2 hours). By doing this, you will not spend the whole night studying together and not get anything done.

5. Set goals that you need to achieve after the study session. Whether it’s finishing the assignments or having a list of questions that the whole group cannot answer so that you can get help from the professor, setting goals will help you all stick with it and try your best to achieve those goals.

6. Take it seriously and be prepared. Do not think that study in group means people will do your homework for you. Everybody deserves help when it comes to group study. Being prepared and being helpful will give you a group of friends and knowledge.

It took me two years and three study groups to collect these tips (I did it the hard way :))). So, what do you think? Share this blog if you think it is helpful or send me an email at, if you have any comments!

Linh Nguyễn is a sophomore at Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa, where she is majoring in Computer Science and Statistics.

A big thank you to Capstone Vietnam for sharing this article with Study in the USA.