Lesson 21: Group Study
When aiming to become a Laureate, most students make the mistake of thinking that they should do everything alone. You are competing with your peers, so, you should not seek or expect any help from them, right? WRONG! Before you became “competitors”, you were friends, right? Real friends help each other, irrespective of whether they are competing against each other, or not. You should not let the competition of becoming Laureates destroy your friendships. In a previous lesson, I recommended that you should distance yourself from “friends” who exert negative influences on you. In this lesson, I now recommend that:
You should always stay close to friends who exert positive influences on you.
In other words, I recommend that you have a circle of friends who always push you to become better. You should also push them to improve. In fact, if you only want to “take” from them, and not “give back”, you won’t reap any of the benefits that I shall mention below. Why? Because
You need to give something to get something.
As human beings, we like to get without giving. It is in our nature. However, if you want to become truly successful, you need to get rid of this “get something for nothing” mentality. Indeed, we rise by helping others. As Newton said,
Every action must have a reaction.
In your studies, this means that if you help someone, you will receive something in return. Whenever students are studying in a proper-functioning group, they are all helping each other, and they are all receiving help from each other. For example, whenever you teach or explain a topic to someone, your knowledge of the subject is fortified.
Here are the main benefits you’ll enjoy when engaging in group study:
Group study helps you identify and fill gaps in your understanding. For example, you could compare your notes with your friends. If you’ve missed something (or if you’ve missed the entire class), your friends can share it with you. Of course, you should share your notes when they’ve missed class as well! You could also help each other correct typos or errors in your notes, as well as sharing and explaining any additional comments you’ve written. As the saying goes:
Two heads are better than one, and three heads are better than two!
If you study a topic all by yourself, you will be able to see it from your own perspective only. To fully understand a topic (and be ready to tackle any exam question from that topic), you need to understand it from multiple angles. Why? Because sometimes, questions will ask you to work “backwards”. For example, in typical Accounting questions, we are asked to calculate profits, using sales revenue and cost. However, sometimes, the questions are turned upside down, in the sense that we are given the profit figure and need to use it to “work back” to calculate sales revenue. Group study can help see such things in ways you have not thought of before, and so:
Working in groups enables you to understand topics from different perspectives.
Suppose you are studying alone and you are struggling to understand a concept or question. What do you do? You try going through your notes, textbooks, or YouTube videos. This takes time because you are trying to figure it out by yourself. Or maybe you decide to wait until you meet the teacher in class to ask. This, too, takes time. If you are studying in a group, you can simply ask them questions and, assuming someone understands the concept, they’ll clear up your confusions immediately. Thus,
Group study can help you learn faster.
When you are alone, you are more likely to succumb to the temptation of leaving everything for the last minute. However, when you are part of a serious and dedicated group with excellent time-management skills, you are less likely to procrastinate because you’ll want to keep up with the others. You’ll obviously not want to lag behind because this will make you look bad in front of your friends. So, assuming your group meets regularly and that you keep each other accountable,
Group study can help you tackle procrastination.
When you are studying with others, you can observe and learn their different techniques. For example, you might share your tips and tricks for efficient studying with each other. Thus, by carefully considering the advantages and limitation of your friends’ study techniques, you could decide to adopt some of them for yourself. Hence,
You learn new study skills by working with others.
Studying with friends can be a lot more fun than studying alone! Studying on your own, especially for long periods, can get monotonous because you don’t necessarily have someone to talk to. Therefore, if you are studying in a group and having fun studying,
You can stay motivated for longer.
When studying in groups, you are building friendships and connections that can potentially last for years to come. This is much more valuable than the scholarship money or the glory associated with being proclaimed Laureate. Why? Because after it’s all over and done,
The memories of you spending time with your real friends are what you are going to remember and cherish the most!
Group study improves your team working skills, thereby preparing you for the “real” world. When you step into the world of work, you’ll soon realise that most employers look for people who work well in teams. So, working in groups at school can give you some practice in developing your teamworking skills. As the saying goes:
T.E.A.M. means Together Everyone Achieves More!
While it’s important to have a group, it’s more important to have a GOOD group. There are things you should consider before adding members to your study group. You should ensure that they:
Share the same objectives as you, that is, they should be aiming to become Laureates.
Are hardworking, dedicated, and always willing to help others.
Have a positive attitude.
It is up to you to decide how many students you study with. Even if you find or have only one friend to study with, it still counts as a group study, and you’ll still be gaining the benefits explained above. Moreover, your circle of friends does not need to be limited to students from your school or tuitions only. It can be anyone, as long as you are genuinely helping each other to succeed.
It is also up to you to decide how much time you want to dedicate to group study. There is no perfect answer to this. Each group needs to determine what works best for them. You don’t have to spend hours together if you don’t want to. Even a few minutes a day, whether face to face or virtually, can help tremendously.
Therefore, the Key Takeaway is:
Engage in sufficient group study.
Do you have any questions or comments? Post them below!