Study groups make a great setting for TV shows about college life but do they work in reality? For social butterflies, study groups are a great way to stay motivated and draw on the support of peers. For lone wolves, the thought of studying with others could be a nightmare. Determining your study style can help you get the most out of your college career.
The Solo Scholar
You don’t mind reading and have a pretty good attention span. You are self-motivated and like to set your own schedule. If you agreed to these statements, you might want to forgo that invite to join a study group. Likely, you are already earning good marks and may be more motivated than other students. In a group setting, you may find yourself getting frustrated by interruptions and the other members’ lack of concentration. You can still get some benefits from social studies, however. If you feel you’ve done a thorough study session for an exam, your classmates can help you improve your results by coming up with sample test questions. Getting a second opinion on an essay is always a great idea too. Just because you function best on your own, doesn’t mean you should rule out group work entirely. After all, in most jobs you will find yourself forced to work in groups so better learn how to do it now rather than later.
The Group Go-Getter
Does the very idea of sitting alone in a library for hours put you to sleep? Do you understand your subject better when you can discuss it with others? Clearly a study club is the way to go for you. In fact, you might just be the right person to initiate such a group. Talk to other students in your class and see if you can find some like-minded peers. Just remember that there can be too much of a good thing. If you find the group tends to veer off topic and starts meeting at the local pub for study sessions, you may have to face the fact that this isn’t really going to help you earn better grades. Finding the right balance of socialization and studiousness is the key to a high-functioning study group.
The Online Student
Just because you are doing a degree online doesn’t mean you’re destined to study alone. In fact, online study groups can be more accommodating because location is not a factor. Live chat groups can be a lively and fun way to discuss your most recent class or reading materials. Online message boards are also a great source of information and a way to connect with your peers. You may even find students who are studying in the same town as you, opening up the possibility of a library meet up.