Group work is a great study tool that lots of students automatically believe will not work. But if you plan and do it right, it can be extremely successful.
Benefits of studying with friends:
There are multiple benefits of studying with friends in a group including the idea that it avoids loneliness, it can be an efficient form of study, you can learn from each other, and it can stop you procrastinating:
During busy revision periods, it can sometimes be the case that students get so caught up in revising that they put their social life to the side. This can be quite damaging to your mental health. This is why it is important to still see your friends even during revision periods. Little and often studying works best. This gives you enough break periods. A great way to do both at once is to create a weekly study group where you can meet up with friends and get through your work. So, you are in the presence of others instead of at your desk at home.
Efficient form of study
Working in a group is an efficient form of study for many reasons including:
Learn from each other
There is no doubt that devoting time to read, learn, and study a subject or theory will result in a better understanding of that subject. Students can feel empowered and motivated to do well as a group. By actively engaging with the material, learning together, and genuinely learning about a subject your studying will become a lot more interesting. Sharing knowledge is key to group work.
Learning is a unique experience for each individual. Students can hear different perspectives on the subject and thus understand it from multiple perspectives. Turn to the group for help. If help is required on a particular topic, then there are a few people in your group who would be able to explain it to you in a student-friendly way instead of a textbook way. Which can sometimes be too hard to understand. This is useful in real-world situations where having more than one solution or point of view encourages creative and analytical thinking.
Other students in the group gain the ability to understand chapters at a deeper level by having each group member read, study, and summarise the most important points. This way you can talk over things and get your mind going. Different students may discover themes or theories that others may not notice at first. So, studying with others can be enlightening and you can hear more things than you would if you were sat in your bedroom. Students can analyse their findings, which can be used as a guideline to determine the most important points of a chapter. It can also help you create a study plan for your individual learning.
This is also a method of maximising the value of the class textbook (instead of just reading it and trying to consume all the information).
Not surprisingly, when we are alone, the desire to procrastinate is much stronger than when you are with others who are keen to learn more. Rather than sitting in your room and falling into the trap of the personal pressure of procrastination, students can surround themselves with motivated, serious students who can help you get on the right tracks in getting assignments or revision for exams started.
Some students are naturally more organised and have better time management skills than others. Being a part of a study group will help some people learn these valuable skills while working with the others in the group. This shows that sometimes studying with friends is more valuable to the student than working in the classroom.
How to study with friends:
There are a few things you should do to make your study session with your friends successful including booking a room, setting out a plan and using a timer for the session:
Book a room
Students can choose where to study. Try forming a study group chat and working out the best time and place for everyone. If people are bored of the library, then you can always try out a different student space or a coffee shop where there may be other students or working professionals around. Try different places!
However, if the library if good for you, then book a room to make sure you don’t turn up and waste your time if there is no space. By booking a room it also makes you 100% sure that the session will go ahead, and you have to turn up. You can’t pull out now!
Set a plan
Try setting a goal at the start. Setting a goal and a plan at the start of each session or even in advance is a great way to make sure you stay on track. You can track what gets done what needs to be done. There are many tools you can use online to do this. It might be good to use a version that is editable by all in the group such as Canva or any Microsoft apps.
Set a time
Set a time for the session so that you are not working all afternoon and all night. As much as you might want to, all-nighters in the library are not healthy! A good idea is to put the timer up on a big screen if you have one near you just in the bottom corner so everyone can keep track if they want to.
Jamworks is a great tool that can also be utilised in a group setting. By recording your lectures, especially the important bits, you can all look back and listen over things. This helps with not missing out any important content. It could be a good idea to mix and match your lecture recordings in case some students missed a certain class and therefore missed the content that day.
What not to do when studying with friends:
What can happen when you try and study with friends is that you all get carried away. If the work, you are doing is not that interesting students tend to tail off on another subject. Once you start it is hard to stop!
Run over time
As mentioned earlier, sticking to a time is very important. If you run over time the session will become too long and everyone will eventually lose focus. You will inevitably be wasting your time.
Working on how to study with friends at university can be a great help to your revision plan. However, this method might not work for everyone! You might be more inclined to work alone. Stay focused even if your study mates are slightly too chatty for your liking.