There is no substitute for hard work. It doesn't matter what fancy stationary, gadgets or study techniques you have if you fail to do the basics. Your non negotiables must be: participating in class, taking notes, asking questions, doing your homework, handing in completed assignments and revising for exams. There is no real way around this, you just need to get it done. It's exactly what separates average and high achieving students. If you struggle to commit to it, then something is better than nothing and the more the merrier.
Study groups can be useful, but often aren't due to the high possibility of being distracted. To get the most out of study groups, all members should have learned at least the basics and have questions prepared. Time spent together should mostly consist of people asking questions and them being answered by other members of the group. Explaining concepts to other people consolidates their understanding and forces them to think critically to, it also helps the asker.
A few quick study tips:
- Write it down, studies show that writing is better than typing. Also you remove the possibilities to be distracted by the internet.
- Turn you phone off; classes don't go for that long!
- Try to revise in smaller amounts more frequently rather than cramming all night. You'll feel better the next day!