A hotly-contested staple of university assessment that reveals the true character of your course classmates, here’s a list of the types of people you’ll meet on a group project.

The Leader 🧐

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You can spot a leader within the first 30 seconds of starting any group task. They’re a sort of mythical being distinct from the rest of us mere mortals as they swagger in with their assertive comments, taking charge of the disparate group of fellow undergrads they see before them and designating responsibilities like a pro. They probably rehearse their best Alan Sugar impression in the mirror every morning.

The Control Freak 🤪

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So who’s doing what bit then? What time is our meeting next week? So have you finished your section yet Natasha? Disclosure alert, this is probably much me. Some people call it being a control freak, I call it getting organised. This person tries to make sure everyone in the group pulls their weight (to mixed success of course), usually they end up doing 99% of the work and look on through gritted teeth as they furiously type out the names of their fellow group members on the front page of the project.

The Ghost 👻

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We all know this one… Or rather we don’t, since they turn up for the first class before making a swift exit never to be seen or heard from again. Thanks for nothing.

The Cowboy 🤠

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Also known as the ‘too cool for this (let’s say) stuff’, the ‘doesn’t give a toss’ or the ‘who cares about uni anyway?’. This group member is also an also easy spot, whether it be thanks to a belligerent attitude from the offset or shoddy workmanship when it comes to their contribution to the final project. On rare occasion, they can be well-meaning souls who try their best but can’t string a sentence together. Well, at least they tried.

The Procrastinator 😴

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A familiar stereotype but an accurate one nonetheless. These people usually possess the gift of the gab, waxing lyrical about everyone’s great ideas and how they’re more than happy to pull their weight and get stuck in with the best of them and then…. Nothing. Or, rather nothing until roughly a couple of hours before the deadline. Latecomers who sort of come good in the end. Or let’s hope so, since by that point it’s too late to change anything anyway.

The Motivator 😎

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We can do this! We’re so far ahead of the other groups! Sounds like a plan! I’m really glad we ended up working together! Insert generic upbeat phrase here! Yes, that person. Perhaps I’m being a little cynical (again) but treat motivators with the utmost scepticism. The motivation to work ratio is often dubiously disproportionate. As the King once said, a little less conversation a little more action please.

The Martyr 😑

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“I know it’s the hardest part but I’ll do the introduction” and “I don’t mind doing the methodology if nobody else wants to do it”. Well thank god you’re here, what would we do without you martyrs? Well, we’d probably get on just fine actually. Martyrs tend to live off their unbridled generosity in taking on the more unpalatable work for the remainder of the project, making themselves seem more of an asset than they actually are – a sure-fire excuse to get away with doing less in the long run.

The Confused One 🤷‍♀️

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And, finally, another classic. The confused group member is arguably the most difficult to suss out. They conceal their motives by asking a multitude of questions and a somewhat blank expression on their face. They show interest in the project but often these people suffer from WAD (Work Avoidance Syndrome), using their tendency to misunderstand as a front for doing little to no work, or worse, fooling others into doing it for them.