Faculty often recommend study groups to students, especially in large courses or in courses where students typically struggle with the material.
Does participation in study groups formed this way make a difference in exam scores? Not according to a study of students in three sections of a 700-student, four-credit lecture and lab introductory biology course. Researchers had predicted that students who participated in study groups would score higher on exams in the course, but they did not. Their scores were not lower, but participating in a study group did not improve exam scores or scores on a pre- and post-content exam.