Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Group Studying

I've never been a fan of group studying. I tend to avoid it whenever possible, mainly because I'd rather do an effective study session by myself, and then hang out with my friends later without any stress. However, I understand that sometimes such situations cannot be avoided, and may even be beneficial. In what situations is group studying useful? Classes that are very note and lecture based (rather than textbook based) are particularly well suited to group study sessions, since students can compare their notes, and fill each other in on what they've missed. However, from personal experience, I can tell you that having more than three people in a study group almost always turns ugly. More than three people, especially if they're good friends, will not stay focused for long. In fact, even three people is pushing it. If you're going to participate in a group session, try to make the effort to have as little people as possible. When organizing a group study session, ask yourself seriously: Am I doing this in order to study for this test, or to hangout with my friends? There's nothing wrong with the latter. Just don't go thinking to yourself that this is the best way to go about studying, when deep down you know could have done a much better job by yourself. If you're actually serious about the studying, do yourself a favor and try to avoid the group sessions. There'll be plenty of future chances to hit on that girl two seats to the left of you. If you're going to group study anyway, take heed of a few pointers. Firstly, if no one else does, try to control the scene as best as you can without being annoying. If people start getting off topic, remind them politely what the purpose of this get together was. Secondly, make the most of having other people there with you, and ask questions about stuff you're unsure about. Not only will this help you out, but it'll help keep everyone else focused. Thirdly, try to keep group study sessions short and sweet. Everyone's attention span drifts after a while, and three people losing focus is worse than one. Long group study sessions degenerate three times faster than solo ones (Note: Not a proven fact) , so try to reap the benefits of two extra heads in as little time as possible. If done effectively, group sessions can be very helpful. If done incorrectly, they can be a massive and costly waste of time.

4 comments:

swputh said...

Wonderful article. Good tips:). I had this habit. We 4 friends at college had this way of group study during exam leaves. We will meet and divide the topic at hand, among us. Then we fix a time to meet again. Each will go and try to get a good grasp of the respective portion with him. When we meet again each in turn will tell in good detail and clarity of what he learned. We can discuss, ask doubt and interrogate!. We often take notes when others talk. Then we will go through the whole topic individually. This was helpful especially for topics not taught in college and assigned as self study .

Serge said...

Thanks for the insightful comment man, means a lot to us.

Rae said...

Wow! Thanks for posting this! This is really great advice, especially since I'll be starting college soon. :)

Serge said...

No problem, man. Glad you found it helpful.

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