Studying in groups vs. studying alone

Lirona Joshi

Staff Writer

With only two weeks of classes remaining for the semester, students are putting everything into giving that one final push to save their grades. As deadlines for research papers and the pressure of exams loom over them, students look to get the most of out the little time they have left: to either cram the course or maybe just get a little extra credit for their class,

And in this last-ditch effort, study groups seem to serve as a viable and an effective option for many.

“When I am studying in a group, I get the motivation to actually go and study because people may rely on me,” said Agnes Ribet, a senior social science major from Avon, France. “It’s easier to get started when you are in a group and not alone.”

“And because in the group, we are all from the same class, everyone has some basic idea of what the end goal for the study meet is. People can motivate each other and keep a check on if everyone is on track.”

For Ribet, group study sessions help her stick to the schedule she sets for her out of class readings.

Study groups, for some students, serve as a means of gathering knowledge from a common pool.

Madison Pettebone, a junior risk management and insurance major, from Destin, Florida, finds study groups to be helpful in revisiting the material taught in class and catching up on notes that she missed during lectures.

Group study sessions also serve as a good means of exchanging ideas and looking at a topic from different perspectives. Students get to widen up their views on a topic and group discussions help, especially in research works and critical analysis.

“When you are working with a problem, you might miss something and somebody else might have picked it up, and they can show you how to solve it,” said Seth Justice, a junior accounting major from Slocomb. “And once they show you how, teaching someone else is the best way to learn something.”

However, students preferring to study by themselves explain that individual study sessions are usually great for memorizing vocabulary.

“I feel that in studying by myself, I am in control a little bit more,” said Nicholas Westbrook, a sophomore psychology major from Eufaula. “With other people, you are all working together on something, but if it’s just you, filling out something, you are free to go look something up and you don’t have to explain it to everyone else.”

Justice said it depends on what he is hoping to accomplish.

“If I am working, like, problems, I prefer groups,” said Justice. “If I am just memorizing stuff, like learning terms, vocabulary and stuff, then I prefer doing it by myself.”

Studying in a pack is also helpful in exploring different study methods for the students.

“Sometimes you are trying to approach your course with one type of method,” said Ribet. “You are trying to mug it up or write notes, but they just don’t seem to work; when you sit down in a group, someone or the other must have tried another approach which might have worked.

“This becomes a life saver when it’s a day before the test, and you don’t have a lot of time to experiment on study methods.”

For Chirag Awale, a sophomore computer science major from Lalitpur, Nepal, studying as a group is essential to be updated on different techniques that are being used by different faculty teaching the same topic.

“My teacher might be teaching me to solve a problem with one way, some other teacher might be teaching with another approach,” said Awale. “When you sit together with people from different sections of the same class, you will now be exposed to a wider knowledge pool and can work on the most easy and effective way to tackle a problem.”

The university library has study rooms in which groups can reserve for up to two hours per checkout. Students can ask for markers and erasers to be used on the white boards in the room or also utilize the television screens provided in some of the rooms.

If looking for a more relaxed setting, the seating section in the second floor of TC, the Barnes and Noble patio, the amphitheater at Janice Hawkins Park and the seating place outside the Moe’s are some of the popular places for students to gather and study in groups.

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