Study groups are one of the most effective ways to prepare yourself for the NCLEX exam. Do you have an NCLEX study group? Why not? Decades of research by linguists, educators, and psychologists have shown that when students study in groups, they can absorb more information while covering more topics. This is perfect for when you have to study the mountain of information that the NCLEX covers.
Even if you have the best NCLEX rn examination book– studying it in a group can be more effective than studying alone. We’re going to show you why study groups are the perfect way to prepare yourself for the NCLEX exam and give you some tips to start your own.
Why Study Groups Work
You’ve got notes. You’ve got an NCLEX study guide. Maybe you’ve even been asking yourself, “Should I sign up for an online NCLEX prep course?” Those are all great ways to study, but they lack one thing: the group dynamic. We mentioned above how studies have shown that people learn better in groups. Even people who generally like to study alone can benefit from a group study session now and again.
But what exactly are the benefits of studying in a group that research has found? Here are a few of them:
- Students tend to learn faster, covering more concepts in a shorter amount of time
- Taking notes while listening to someone else talk helps you memorize information
- Study groups allow you to take your notes and make them your own
- Groups provide motivation and support
- People feel more of a commitment to studying when they’re in a study group
- The ability to ask questions, clear up any confusion, and share ideas
- You can teach the “class” to help you better grasp a concept
- Hits all four learning styles: auditory, visual, tactile, reading/writing
Those are all great reasons to form a study group – but there are a few downsides, such as:
- Distractions – distractions are the biggest downside of a study group – especially if you’re in a public place. Sometimes people in the group start talking, get off-topic, or lose focus.
- Inefficient time use – even if you all vote on what to study, sometimes you may have to work on topics you already know and skip things you need help with.
- Not your style – for some people, trying to study in a group is overwhelming. In that case, maybe only once a week (or less) and get notes from someone who is a member of a study group.
What Is A Study Group?
Let me put on my Capt. Obvious hat here, but it’s just a group of people who get together to study. You may think it’s only your fellow students you’re studying with, but why limit yourself? Think outside the box and invite some people with more experience too, like:
- Working nurses (who have the time)
Anyone willing to spend the time and lend their knowledge and experience to helping you pass the NCLEX exam should be welcome. You might have to buy them a coffee though.
How To Start A Study Group
Just ask. Ask your friends, fellow students, and anyone who can contribute. When you have some people together, put together these 5 things:
1. Your Goals
2. Study Targets
3. Time (that works with everyone’s schedule)
4. Place (coffee shops are great, but for more privacy and fewer distractions consider a library, classroom, or group member’s home)
5. How Often (at least once a week)
When you’ve got all the detail hammered and are ready for your first session, remember these tips;
- Stay on topic
- Stick to the schedule
- Show up and show up on time
- Don’t get too talkative
- Don’t forget to have a little fun
How To Make Study Groups Fun
Notice we mentioned that you shouldn’t forget to have a little fun? A study group doesn’t have to be another lecture or soul-crushingly boring. Try some quiz games or competitive team trivia contests. NCLEX questions (especially flashcards) are perfect to start a little game. For visual learners – doing a drawing game is perfect. How about charades – how would you act out giving someone an assessment? What’s also fun is studying smarter, not harder check out these NCLEX study hacks. If you’ve never tried a study group or have in the past and didn’t like it – give it a try (or another try) and you may be surprised.
The NCLEX is a monster of an exam and when you’re preparing for it you need every weapon at your disposal to slay that beast. Two heads are better than one – and 5 – 10, well that’s an army of brains to help you with all that studying. Grab some friends. Pack up your notes. Find a spot, some good coffee, and start your study group – the NCLEX exam doesn’t stand a chance against all of you.