General Chemistry

Study Groups

A study group is a small group of students who meet together regularly once a week with the aid of a trained tutor to discuss concepts, confusions, and insights into course material. There can be a stigma that study groups are only for students having trouble in the course, but these groups are not remedial. Students of all abilities can benefit from them. Each group is unique, contains students with different backgrounds and abilities, and determines its own pace and the material that will be covered. This allows each group to address the needs of the individuals in the group.

In general, students review class notes and the assigned reading, attempt the current problem set, and jot down points that are unclear or questions they would like to discuss before coming to the study group. In the study group, the tutor helps the students to get organized and to decide which questions are most basic or important and encourages the students to work together and to answer their own questions. The tutor is an additional resource who encourages the students to understand the process behind finding an answer rather than simply supplying the answer. In fact, a tutor should be referred to only after the students have discussed and attempted to answer questions themselves. The main role of the study group is to help students organize their thoughts, test their understanding by asking and answering questions, learn how to approach the material, and understand the basic concepts involved. In addition, students have often commented that they enjoy the subject more, are relieved to find that other students also have problems with the material, and study more when they participate in a group. We encourage you to give it a try.

You can sign up to join a study group at the Academic Skills Center (224 Baker) in the first week of classes. Students receiving financial aid pay $10 for the term for joining a study group, while non-financial aid students pay $30 for the term. Sign-up deadlines and details are found through links on the web page here.

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