Depending on your personality and your review habits, you may gravitate toward working alone or in groups. Certain assignments may require you to complete them independently, but when possible, consider joining or creating a study group. The benefits of group study are many, especially as you progress through high school and college. Here are just three:
Shared knowledge and resources
Each student in a study group boasts a unique skill set and understanding of the subject. If, for example, you do not grasp an algebra concept, you can easily ask your groupmates to explain it to you during a review session. More than likely, one of your peers will be able to assist you. In turn, he or she will better cement his or her knowledge of the topic while clarifying it for you. Your group’s pool of shared knowledge will almost always be greater than your own, and you will be able to draw from this reservoir in a time of need. Here are some tips on how to deal with group projects.
Even if your groupmates are not able to assist you at that precise moment, they may have resources to recommend to you. Perhaps one of your classmate’s siblings is an algebra tutor, or perhaps another student’s notes are descriptive in a way that yours are not. Group study will allow you to contribute to and benefit from others’ knowledge and resources.
Greater focus and accountability
When you have an important test approaching, it is not always easy to plan out and adhere to a review schedule. Participating in a study group can help in that regard. Arrange in-person or online meetings with your groupmates at least one week before an exam date. Stay committed to these meetings as much as possible, especially as a group performs better when all of its members are present. A successful group can provide you with set times to study, as well as with greater focus during your actual review time. Working alongside others who are also studying often encourages deeper and more productive sessions. It is a win-win for all parties involved – and one of the benefits of group study!
Development of social skills and teamwork
Working with others inevitably expands your social and team-building skills. When you are in the practice of scheduling meetings, asking and answering questions, and collaborating with others to meet a common goal, you learn to become socially adaptable. You will improve your skills in communication, as well as gain experience in taking initiative – which are the qualities of an excellent student and career-minded individual. Of course, there may be situations that try your patience. You cannot permit a study group to simply happen to you: you must engage with your groupmates and the topic at hand. When you do, you will develop socially and academically, with the ability to push yourself individually and to work on a team. If you are a parent you can help your child work well in groups with these tips.
Ask your teachers or classmates about study groups that already exist. If there is not one for a subject you are interested in, consider rallying several students to form one. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of group study, and you may even make a friend or two while you are at it!