A Partner in Academic Success | Dr. Peter Gemellaro details the importance of collaboration between students

Dr. Peter Gemellaro
Guest Contributor

Why should you have a study group or study partner?

You are not alone. Sometimes it may feel as though nobody knows what you are going through as a student. You have many demands on your time in addition to your school work. If you are in your first semester, you may still be trying to figure it all out.

“How am I supposed to do all of this work? I wonder if anyone else feels the same pressure or feels as lost as I do.” If you are feeling like this, don’t worry — you are not alone. There are others who feel the same way. So, what can you do?

· Find a study partner or study group. Study groups are used at all levels of higher education. Here are some ways that having a study partner or being in a study group can help you right now:

· When you realize that you aren’t the only one who feels lost, confused or frustrated, it allows you to move beyond those feelings and focus on moving forward and concentrate on trying to get the most out of class.

· You find out what you missed in class. You can get notes if you miss a class and can also compare notes to make sure you did not miss anything important during class.

· Some students find it easier to visit their instructor with someone else or in a group. Meeting as a group with your instructor might help in case you miss something during the meeting. Your instructor will be happy to meet as a group. Just make sure to let the instructor know ahead of time so space can be made available to accommodate everyone.

· After each chapter, it is helpful to do a brief review. This way, you aren’t scrambling or trying to cram for your finals. You might also use vocabulary cards as a study aid in order to quiz each other. Try to think of questions that you might ask if you were the instructor.

· You can also put your notes in an outline form. Here, it is helpful to compare your outline to what others have done so that you don’t miss anything. An outline gives you the main ideas for each chapter which helps you study more efficiently for finals that are usually closed-book exams.

· One technique that I found useful was to teach someone else a concept. If you ask yourself, “How would I teach this?” it reframes it in your own words so that it makes sense to you. You could also quiz your study partner or group based on past tests or assignments or make up your own questions.

So, how do you meet others who share your goals and interests? Join one of the student organizations on campus. For example, we have a criminal justice club where students who have an interest in this subject meet, socialize, listen to guest speakers, talk about their goals and help each other. By joining one of these organizations you never know who you might meet. Good luck.

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