Some students prefer to study with others, and there are many benefits to this. Talking to your peers means that you get support from people who have access to the same taught materials. Discussion allows you all to think through the topics in a wider, informal setting, test out ideas, and develop your own conclusions after listening to other viewpoints.
- Studying with others can be useful if you struggle with sticking to a schedule alone. Planning to study in a group can feel like more of a priority that’s harder to postpone.
- Group study sessions might be informal, after a lecture, or arranging a fixed period to study, like a writing retreat. By asking around, you’ll probably find people who are after the same kind of study group.
- Spending time together outside learning events gives an opportunity to get to know your peers better, as well as sharing thoughts on the course. It can be reassuring to find that other people are having similar challenges to you.
- Groups provide support and can share a range of study approaches and ideas.
- Studying with others can also be a good way of preparing for any group work required in assessments.
- Actively discussing what you are learning can help you to remember the material and highlight areas where you need to learn more.
- Studying together can also take place online, which can be a good solution if people are geographically spread out or are available later in the evening.
- Online discussions, especially if written, can be more difficult to navigate as the absence of tone and body language make someone’s intentions easier to misinterpret. Be aware of online etiquette.
- Studying can feel isolating. Some students can be wary of sharing ideas, and specifically other students ‘taking’ their ideas. However, this isn’t a reason not to discuss points and theories, especially if you have questions.
- It’s important to be open and not dominate any discussion by being too fixed in your own position. Listening to alternative points of view is more important than winning the ‘argument’.
- Be aware that everyone has arrived at the same place with a range of experiences and a range of backgrounds - everyone has something to contribute.
It is important that studying with others doesn’t take place in preparation for or while writing assessments as this could be regarded as collusion.