The Benefits of Study Groups

May 28, 2019 Patrick Scubelek

Learning effective study techniques in college is crucial to your success as a student. It will help you retain the knowledge you learned in class and better prepare you for exams, assignments, class discussions, and will help you keep up with the course material. While there are many ways to study, one of the most effective methods is to study in a group. Here are the main benefits of studying in a group:

  1. Learn from your Peers

When studying in a group, you have the benefit of learning from a peer or peers that may understand the material better than you do. This allows you to ask questions about the material and have them explain it to you in a way that might be easier to understand than reading solo. Use study group time as a way to brush up on topics that you may have been foggy on in class (or were completely lost on).

On the other hand, if you have a better understanding of the topic material than your study group peers do, use this as an opportunity to teach them what you know. Explaining the material to them is an excellent way of reviewing for the class or upcoming exam because it enforces your understanding of the topic, while at the same time assists your peers. If you can teach it to someone else, you know it. This type of communicative studying is an incredibly effective way to study and retain information.

  1. Collaborative Learning

If there is a topic that everyone in the group doesn’t know, trying to figure it out as a group is much more effective than going it alone. Use your combined mental power to try to break down and understand the material. Each person can help the group try to piece together the information until it makes sense to everyone in the group. With the fresh perspectives or ideas, the odds of you coming away with a better understanding of the problem at hand of it are greatly increased. Of course, if everyone is really stuck on something, don’t hesitate to ask the professor about it. Regardless, teamwork is much more effective than solo work when trying to figure out new information!

  1. Better Focus

Studying in a group can greatly increase your focus on class material. When studying alone, it can be tempting to drift off, procrastinate, and think about things other than your notes,.But studying with your peers forces you to actively engage with both and the material, thus discouraging you from losing your focus. Each person can make sure that the group is actively engaged with the material and not goofing off or checking their phones. You must, however, make sure that the whole group doesn’t get off-topic, especially if you’re studying with friends. Take breaks from studying every now and again if you need to, but make sure you’re studying more than talking about irrelevant things!

  1. Confidence Building

Studying with others lets you know how well you understand the class material by letting you compare yourself to others before a test, quiz, or project is due. This way you can see if you are caught up with the rest of the class, ahead or behind, and you can focus on what you need to work on. This measure can build your confidence in the class and help to reduce the stress of not knowing if you’re where you need to be in terms of understanding the material. Even if you’re behind your peers, you can learn from them to catch up.

Studying in a group has so many more benefits as compared to studying alone. Actively talking to others about the material helps you to engage with it, thereby helping you learn and understand it. Group collaboration can help you learn the material you’re spotty on and increase your confidence in the knowledge in the class. Take advantage of study groups to improve your learning and lower your stress

About the Author

Patrick Scubelek is a Junior at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania majoring in Environmental Biology.

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