Are you finding it difficult to stay motivated in studying for IELTS? Do you sometimes lack self-discipline? One really good way to stay on track is working with others in a study group. A study group is a group of people who meet regularly, to encourage and support each other. This may be particularly helpful if you are easily distracted or if you don’t enjoy working on your own.
There are a few things to consider when organising an IELTS study group:
Make sure the group is relatively small, so meetings are easy to organise and each member gets plenty of time to contribute.
Make sure you have a suitable online space to meet (Zoom is a great option).
Agree on the length of the session in advance. A fixed end-time helps everybody stay focussed and motivated.
Make sure the session starts on time. Show respect to your group members and to your own studies by treating each session as an important appointment.
Make session time a social media-free zone. Put away your phones and focus on your studies.
Have plenty of breaks to chat and relax. This is especially important for longer study sessions. However, make sure you agree on the length of the break in advance.
Agree the date and time for the next session at the end of each meeting.
Identify a clear goal for each session.
Find suitable materials to use for each session in advance.
Set ‘homework’ for members to complete in preparation for the next session.
Keep a list of goals you want to achieve with the group.
Celebrate your successes and reward yourselves.
It’s a good idea to appoint a session leader for each session in advance. Their job is to ensure that you stick to the rules above and to lead discussions, making sure all group members get to contribute. Then, they clearly communicate what the group has decided, e.g. the aim for the next session and the preparation to be done. They may, for example, send an email summary to everyone after their session. Session leaders will also be the one in charge of finding materials and activities for their session.
This could include some of the following activities:
Do you have any good ideas for study groups? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know.
If it’s well-organised, a study group is a great tool in helping you progress towards your IELTS goal and, if you remember to keep it positive and fun, you may even make some really good friends.