Although most people agree that the final classification of your degree is not the only thing that counts, your final marks will represent a significant signal to yourself, to prospective employers or to other universities should you decide to embark on doctoral studies). Examinations make up for a significant component of your final marks. The way you study for them makes a great difference not only to your success but also to the development of softer skills, such as communication and networking skills, that are highly prized in today's environment.
Study groups are a very efficient way to prepare for exams. By bringing a number of students together, study groups bring the following benefits:
Other members of your group may have knowledge or experience which may help you.
Discussing a subject with others can often help you to understand things that you find difficult because it allows you to hear different explanations.
By helping others to learn, you may develop your own understanding.
Working with a group of other students can also give you opportunities to work in a team and develop your communication skills.
Study tip posted by Bibiana Bucher:
A problem shared is a problem halved!
Everybody knows that exam preparations can be stressful. Preparing for exams in the company of friends alleviates a lot of the pressure and increases motivation. This is why it is a good idea to get some classmates together and form a study group! There are many different ways of going about studying together as a group; here is one example of how an OSP 2008/2009 study group went about it:
For our study sessions, we usually met in a quiet room somewhere on the LSE campus. At the start of a session, everybody chose a past exam question and each of us then spent one hour trying to answer it; formulating arguments while sitting in silence next to colleagues felt like a proper dress rehearsal. After we had finished, we would pass on the answers to another person who then read the essay, corrected it and - most importantly - added ideas of their own. Next, we spent about 20 minutes on each essay: summarizing the main argument, commenting on the writing style and the format of the essay and adding any relevant ideas to the topic at hand. This part of our meeting was actually the most beneficial as it often prompted insightful connections about the topic. As a matter of fact, it was quite fascinating how much we all learned about the other persons' topics - passively - without actually having been involved in the writing or correcting of that specific answer!
Sometimes, we were a little bit bored from writing practice exams and then we opted for a general - and many times heated - discussion about a topic that we were particularly interested in. Other times we would try to figure out how aspects of the course were connected by drawing mind maps on the blackboard together. Mostly though we shared ideas, encouragement, and (very important!) food.