Out of all the ways that you can prepare for your exams in college, creating and conducting study groups can be extremely effective. However, a study group can easily become disorganized and ineffective if you don’t structure and streamline. Moreover, it can be easy to have a study group turn into a socializing experiment. The last thing you want is your study group to turn into a hang out session, because you may not get anything done. This is why you want to stick to a few essential organizational tenets. Here is how to conduct effective study groups in college.

Start Off with Only a Few Students and Let it Grow from There

It is important to grow your study group slowly, because you don’t know how a big crowd will interact. Ideally, you want to bring together three or four students and let things grow from there. Organic is always the best way to go when it comes to broadening your study group. Once you see that people are getting along, you can slowly bring on more members, but you always want to go one at a time.

Don’t Meet for Too Long at a Time

Most people have a lot to do during the day, especially in college. This is the case if you are getting Pepperdine’s AACSB online MBA or a business degree from Harvard. When it comes to conducting a study group, you want to make it short and sweet. You don’t need to spend all day in the study group and it shouldn’t be longer than a class in college. Usually, an hour or so is the best way to go.

Invite Students from Multiple Different Backgrounds

The truth of the matter is that diversity is critical when you are conducting and organizing a study group. When it comes down to it, people from different background will bring something different and unique to the table. If you are working on a complicated problem for a sociology degree program, having people from different racial and religious backgrounds will make the study session a lot more interesting.

Start an Email Chain for Easy Communication

When you are conducting a study group, you want to be in communication with your other study partners. When it comes down to it, there may be study location changes, time changes and more. If you don’t have someone’s email address, a change in scenery could cause a lot of confusion. When you have email addresses, you want to be careful not to CC everyone, because you don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy by making their email address known.

Track the Success of the Study Group and Make Amendments Accordingly

On top of everything, you want to know if the study group is actually working. The best way to find out is to take a poll of everyone’s grades – from the time they started the study group to the end of the semester. In the end, you want there to at least be a significant change in grade point average.