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Do study groups really improve your study habits?

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Anwar’s Answer

Forming a study group has some big pros, but it also has a few cons as well. preparations can be complicated and it’s a major step in your life.  

Pretending that it isn’t a big deal might be tempting, but it really isn’t in your best interest. If you take a “whatever” attitude towards studying, you are doing harm to your friends as well, as you may influence their study habits and behavior.

It is vitally important that you realize with total clarity that despite what anyone ever told you, you are not competing against your classmates and friends in exama. This kind of thinking is primitive, foolish and highly misguided. 

Millions of students take exams every single year! The thought that you are competing against your friends is silly and you shouldn’t fall for it. Remember that so many students take this test that any actual competition between you and your classmates is beyond trivial.

Once you realize that there is no real, actual competition between you and your friends and classmates, the option of cooperation opens up. Why study alone if you have friends that are better at given subjects than you are? By cooperating with one another, it is possible to not just break down the exam, but to also pull on one another’s strengths and help with one another’s weaknesses as well.

Study Group Pros

1) Learn more as you can break down the test and study materials and split them up.

2) Pull on one another’s strengths

3) Get help with your weaknesses

4) Learn to see the test and test questions in different ways

5) Pull on collective resources, such as study guides and so on.

Study Group Cons

Unfortunately there are some cons to forming a study group for the SAT. Let’s take a look a few of these cons.

1) There will be differing levels of seriousness among your friends.

2) There is a risk that your study sessions could deviate into socializing instead of working.

3) Not everyone will pull his or her weight equally.

4) Egos may get in the way and interfere with overall progress.

5) People may not stick with the study group long enough to get the desired results and to justify the time it took to start the group in the first place.

You need to be sincere and mature to assess and handle group studies environment - All the best :)

Anwar points out a lot of pros and cons, but ultimately each individual has an optimal study environment. Remember, what works for someone else may not work for you. If you notice that study groups seem to put you behind evaluate the situation. Likewise, if studying alone seems to not work for you evaluate the situation. Scott Bedell

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Brittany’s Answer

Hello Madison, When it comes to study groups I never really perfered them in my four years of college as an undergrad. However, It all depends on the particular person.

  1. Do you like a quiet study space free from other distractions?
  2. Are you introverted ?
  3. How well could you study with other individuals around you ?
  4. Would it only cause more of a distraction ?

These are general questions you should ask yourself. If you seem to be good with the list of questions above then try out one or two study groups and monitor how well you stay focused when in those groups. If you are finding that the study group is only making your study habits fall down hill, then maybe studying in groups isn't necessarily designed for your individual study habits. If you have found that your studying has improved through the use of the study groups, then continue with staying in the groups when you need to study.

Remember, even though study groups may help your study habits, every one needs personal individual time to study alone to fully grasp what needs to be learned or comprehended. Good luck !

From personal experience, study groups really helped. Everyone has different ways of thinking/doing things and being able to collaborate and see things from a different perspective always helps. Sometimes just the way people are able to break things down to a simple form to make you understand it better. If it doesn't work for you though, you at least tried. Nicole Ponzini

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Jennifer’s Answer

This is a great questions and the answer will vary per person. You can definitely use study groups to your advantage, but I would suggest you do not rely on it as your own method to studying.

The method that worked for me was to study on my own first. Then I would meet up with friends. It always helped me to have a friend quiz me on the material. This helped me see what I was confident in and what I needed to go back and study some more. It was also helpful to see what others were studying and make sure I was not missing any material. After meeting with a group, I would then go back and study on my own again, focusing on the material I was not as confident with or any new material I discovered I needed to cover when meeting with others.