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tips & resources ‘a’ level examinations

Studying in a Group – Boon or Bane?

Mon, 11/30/-0001 Deanna Bonaparte
Studying in a Group – Boon or Bane? With the 'A' Levels and other examinations looming, some of your peers might decide to form a study group to dissect notes together. This study group can be collaborative in nature, where notes are shared and theories discussed among all present. Or it can also be where everyone is physically together but studying autonomously. Whatever the case, there are pros and cons of studying in a group. Here's what we think.

Pro #1: Increases Retention

If you are stronger in a subject than your study group mates, you might end up having to explain lesson materials to them. This can be beneficial for you – verbalising concepts helps you to crystallise your thoughts and improves knowledge retention.

Con #1: Not Productive

On the other hand, having to explain concepts to your peers might thwart your study efforts. You don't want to end up explaining concepts throughout the study session and leave for home void of new knowledge.

Pro #2: Added Motivation

If left to our own devices at home, we risk facing our enemy that is procrastination. Some of us will be tempted by the prospect of taking a nap, engaging in endless social media activity (even if ‘activity' merely means scrolling through our news feeds aimlessly), and making frequent trips to the kitchen for a snack. By studying in a group outside of home, your peers will act as your motivators, ensuring you keep your distractions down to a minimum.

Con #2: Tendency to Go Off-Topic

However, a single occurrence might spark conversation or debate among your study group mates. It only takes one news notification or one unusual happening to lead to an intense discussion. The danger in this is that everyone involved in the discussion might get carried away and fail to keep track of time!

Pro #3: Access to Resources

Being in a study group allows one to clear doubts about a certain topic with others in the group. If you have unselfish study mates, they will also share their notes with you and offer you some tips on how to score well for your paper(s).

Con #3: Pressurising

If you are not as fast as your study group mates, it can be pressurising to see them study at a much faster pace or be several chapters ahead of you. While some pressure does us good sometimes, it can backfire if we allow our feelings of anxiety to get the better of us and demotivate us. As you can tell, there are various benefits and disadvantages to studying in a group. When contemplating the feasibility of this study method, consider several factors such as the people with whom you are studying, the complexity of the papers you are studying for, and the amount of time left before your papers. Always remember that whatever works for someone else may not necessarily work for you, and only you can assess the extent of productivity in a group study session. With all that said, we hope you find your preferred study method soon. All the best for your papers!

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