As we all enter into college, or have been here for a couple semesters, studying still stands as something that can constantly be improved upon. Heading into every single quiz, exam, or project it is always impertinent that you study before hand to be as prepared as possible. However, what is the best way to study? Do I go sit in the deep gallows of the stacks, completely isolated, or do I gather with a few of my friends who are also studying?
Studying alone can also have many different parameters, from being completely isolated from all civilization in the stacks, to simply being a table by yourself with your headphones in. This strategy absolutely comes with different advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages to studying alone are that it minimizes distraction, allows you to pace yourself, and can improve your focus. When you are by yourself, distraction is minimized due to the lack of other interaction you have other than with your schoolwork. You can take breaks whenever you feel overwhelmed, or even read at a speed that suits you. This pacing of your own work can be extremely beneficial to you, for no one knows you better than yourself. Lastly, the improvement of focus that comes with studying alone is crucial. This lets you have the flexibility to learn different sections that you personally need improvement on as well as leave less stress on aspects you may have already mastered (Getcollegecredit.com).
Disadvantages to studying alone is not having your peers and friends around you to push you to study if you become off task. Even the best of studiers can sometimes become off task for hours without even realizing it. Having that group around you will allow you to push to maximize the time you spend studying (blog.bookrenter.com).
When you study in a group of people, like studying alone, will come with advantages and disadvantages. Group studying typically involves anywhere from one to four other people that will studying either the same, or different, material that you are. Some advantages to this study technique are it can increase retention, expand access to information, and boost motivation to study. This increased retention will come from the ability to vocalize ideas you may have to someone else, a technique that is proven to allow you to remember information better. Along with this will come the knowledge not just that you have, but the knowledge from everyone else around the table. The biggest advantage will come from the increased motivation that comes from a group study. Having others around you that are also studying, will prevent distraction and allow you to maximize this study effort (Getcollegecredit.com).
Disadvantage that accompany studying in a group is that you can only be as productive as the group’s weakest link. This means that if there is one person that is extremely distracted, too loud, or constantly being outlandish it can be detrimental to the group as a whole. If that one person is off, every single member of the group can suffer for his or her actions (classroom.synonym.com).
I think that one way in which this could be decided is through a study. This study could gather random people that are separated into random group. Then each group will either study individually or within a group, and given an exam to see who scores better. Obviously there will be a large amount of confounding variables such as previous intelligence and an individual’s habits. This is just an idea that could be purposed in order to determine which study method yields better school performance.
Every single person studies and performs in different ways, whether that be with a group of friends or independently. Studying is no different. In order to succeed you must try each option and stick to what works. Personally, I enjoy studying with groups because I feel less stress and feel like they keep me on task more often. When I am studying alone I can sometimes catch myself an hour into random videos on YouTube. Each method has several different advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you to decide which method will yield the best results.
Photo 1: http://cache3.asset-cache.net/gc/79741972-male-student-sitting-on-chair-and-studying-gettyimages.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=2PHUaSLM9uiyLJfbbuxr6WbonbyZJE%2Bgyaje3DxM7UNlbP3Z0jsnkll4I72mXrRU
Photo 2: http://mycollegeguide.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/study-group.jpg
Studying Alone vs. Group Study: Which is Better?
This is a guest post written by Thomas Edison State College
Every student has their own studying preferences and priorities; some prefer to immerse themselves in a certain environment, while others study best at certain times of the day. Creating a stress-free study environment is one way to improve your grades. Even so, there is still the question of who to study with: should you study alone or in a group study session? And how much of an impact will this have on your results?
One option isn’t necessarily better than the other. But one might be better for you. Maybe you prefer to study alone but retain more information if you’re part of a study group. Or maybe you enjoy the group dynamic but learn better in a quiet setting. No matter your learning style or preference, here are things to consider when deciding between studying alone or with a group of peers.
You may find it hard to stay on track when your group gets together. The conversation shifts from course material to current events, maximizing distractions as the clock ticks away. Studying alone allows you to concentrate and minimize the disruptions that can keep you from retaining the material. It’s easier to avoid temptations when you work alone, meaning fewer interruptions.
Allows you to pace yourself
The ability to study in solitude allows you to give your complete and undivided attention to the study materials. You can work at your own pace, reading and rereading concepts and problems at a suitable speed for you. Give more and more focus to the information you’re struggling with, and you’ll be able to tackle your exam with confidence.
Sometimes study partners are not as knowledgeable as you are. Sometimes they want to spend hours studying a topic that you already know like the back of your hand. When you study on your own, you’re able to completely focus on the material you choose, and spend less time on material you’ve already mastered. That means you can spend your already limited time more wisely.
Verbalizing concepts and explaining material to others helps to reinforce ideas and improves your knowledge retention. The more you repeat the text, the stronger your memory will become. Group study offers the opportunity to hear information from others, too, which can serve you well should you have a large amount of material to cover.
Expands access to information
Group study allows for varied views, insights and information to be shared in one place. That sharing creates an open discussion and enhances your thinking skills. Students who study together tend to share notes and other class materials, building and broadening your understanding of the subject. This wealth of knowledge can mean you have more time to focus on key concepts, and spend less time stuck on one idea that has you hung up.
Group study time is a great opportunity for effective review. Create mock tests, quiz one another, and assist those who may be struggling with course material. Having a team that depends on you can increase your motivation and improve your focus because you’ll feel obliged to help everyone succeed.
Which do you prefer – solo or group study – and why? Tell us in the comments!
About Thomas Edison State College
Thomas Edison State College provides flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults. One of New Jersey’s 11 senior public institutions of higher education, the College offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 100 areas of study that can be customized to meet their individual needs. The College is a national leader in the assessment of adult learning and a pioneer in the use of educational technologies. Learn more at www.tesc.edu.