A KFP study group is a great way to stay on track and engage with the curriculum. Studying with other people helps you personalise and interact with KFP study material in a way that you really can’t achieve by yourself.
Studying in a group gives you the opportunity to figure out what you don’t know—and what you do know. I remember meeting up with my study group weekly and realising that there were some areas that I needed to do more study for. This allows you to target your remaining study time on topics you are not so familiar with, thereby making your studying more efficient and saving you time in the long run.
For some, studying in groups may be daunting. It’s OK to fear the group dynamic might be too competitive or that the style of group study will clash with your own study preferences. It’s important that you choose study partners carefully, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Research shows that when we’re uncomfortable in a certain situation we remember and retain knowledge versus when we’re passive in the process. So sometimes a “painful experience” can deliver a positive result!
6 Tips for an Effective KFP Study Group
Here are some tips that may help you conduct a more productive study group session.
1. Form a study group carefully. KFP study group will be most effective if it is comprised of people who are all committed to achieving a good grade. An ideal study group should have between three and five members. If the group isn’t working and being valuable for each of you, it’s important to call it out and change.
2. Use your time wisely. Group sessions are best done for between one and three hours. Study sessions less than an hour are likely to be rushed. If the study session is too long, productivity tends to decrease, and members of the group may lose focus.
3. Show up prepared. Each member should come to the group prepared. Before attending your group session, you should be familiar with the material, and you should know what areas you are having difficulty with.
4. Stay organised and focused. This tip may be obvious but staying organised and focused can be challenging when working with a group. There should be a group leader. In many cases, the person who started the study group and/or invited others to the study group is the leader of that session.
5. Pick an appropriate meeting place. Zoom is a good place now for those in lockdown. However, a quiet café, a library or someone’s home can also be a great spot and a little bit social as well…
6. Pick a format/agenda for your KFP study group session. A study group session will be much more effective if you know ahead of time what you plan to cover in that session and in what order you will cover it.
Here are a few ideas for how you can structure your group study session:
- Use a RACGP study guide
- Use practice KFP exam questions
- If you have multiple chapters to review, or multiple topics to cover, you could assign each person in the group-specific topics or guidelines to present to the group.
- Go around the room to each person and ask each person what they would like to discuss or what they would like more help with. This concept of going around the room is a bit informal, but it also provides some structure and it gives each person a chance to both contribute and to seek help.
These are just a few examples of approaches you can take. Choose a format that is appropriate for what you are trying to achieve with the group study session.
Additional things to consider:
- Bring your notes. This will give you the option of comparing your notes to other people in the study group.
- Time management: Make great use of your time in the study session.
- Take breaks at scheduled intervals. For example, plan a 10-minute break halfway through your study session.
- Do a quick “review” or “wrap-up” at the end of the study session to recap on what was covered. Plan this during the last ten or fifteen minutes of the review session. Anticipate that there may be some questions, or somebody may need some additional help on a specific problem or topic.
- And remember, stay focused.
If you need an exam preparation advantage and support KFP Online has a free weekly KFP study group for all subscribers. It’s a great forum to interact and practise your clinical reasoning. KFP Online study group is guided by experienced medical educators and examiners and we go through new KFP Online exam cases each week to practice your KFP technique, go through important topic areas and support you to pass the KFP exam.
Register today and join our next KFP study group session!