Learning new things can be fun. More often though, we are forced to learn things that do not fill us with excitement and passion, merely to pass a test or complete a classroom requirement. Cramming all of that new information into our brain can be hard, but having a study buddy can help. Here are some tips for success with a study buddy.
A study buddy can multiply your learning effectiveness. You can't always make it to every lecture, so a study buddy can cover those rare occasions when you need to be somewhere else. Be sure that your buddy has reasonable note-taking skills, with an emphasis on penmanship rather than doodle creativity. You will want to work out an understanding up front on how you are going to cover for each other in classes. You can't both take that Monday morning lecture from your bed; one of you needs to make it into the lecture hall. Maybe a Sunday afternoon game of rock-paper-scissors to decide who attends that great Monday lecture?
Your study buddy should be compatible with you, but not your clone. It is great to find a study buddy who has strengths where you have weaknesses and vice versa. That way you can fill in each other's gaps and further exercise your strengths as you help your buddy over their weak areas. This informal tutoring is a great way to reinforce your knowledge and build your confidence, too.
Mental health can be challenged during those difficult times right before big tests. Having a study buddy to help keep you sane can make all the difference. With a study buddy you can take breaks with some certainty that you will actually return to studying. Keeping each other on track and focused can cut our actual study hours and get to the after-studying chill much faster. Just be sure to choose a study buddy who is at least as serious about grades as you are!
Choosing a study buddy can be tricky. You need to match personalities, class schedules and general approach to grades and test preparation. Be sure to check out your prospective buddy before you meet in person, and make that first meeting in a very public place just in case things aren't exactly on the level. Personal safety if important! Ask about study habits, note taking approach, grade point average and extracurricular commitments. This can be a great, long-term relationship, so it pays to ask the hard questions up front and avoid an uncomfortable break-up right before finals.
Having a study buddy can increase your learning effectiveness, strengthen your command of the subject matter and boost your confidence. You get more time for fun and spend less time frustrated and pulling out your hair. So get a study buddy and get back on that Dean's List!