One of the most important questions to answer is “Can I study when I am with my friends?”. Some students are great friends, but they cannot work together on an assignment or study together because they never sit down and complete the work. This is completely normal, and no one is saying you need to study with these friends. Other students work very well with their friends and can buckle down and complete the assigned work. In short, it depends on your view of whether you can study with your friends or not.

If you choose to study in groups, an important concept to keep in mind is which style of group work will be used. The two most popular ones are working on the same problems together or having each student prepare a topic and teaching it to the rest of the group. There are a variety of different styles of learning in a group; however, we’ve found that these two are the most common. Another important point to consider is that you might prefer one style of group, while your friends prefer the other. This can be a deal-breaker for some students who then choose to study alone.

One of the largest points in favour of working in groups (of either style) is that you can teach each other concepts that are unclear and you have people to ask when you are stuck. Chances are that not everyone in the group will be struggling with the same topic (though it does happen). By explaining concepts to each other, students often understand the topic better than if they were not expected to explain it to their peers. When some students get stuck on an assignment or a question, there are others around who can explain it or who can help the student with their problem.

One of the bigger disadvantages of working with a group is that sometimes the students get ideas or whole topics wrong. If this happens, the whole group misunderstands and will not do well on the test. This is one of the negatives one needs to consider when deciding whether to study in a group or alone. That is not to say that the same thing could happen when studying alone, but, there is no added pressure of having to teach everything to your groupmates.

Helpful Hint

You can try both studying alone and in a group and see which option you prefer. Some students study in groups with subjects that they are less comfortable with and study alone for their favourite courses.

With working alone, it really comes down to your comfort level with preparing topics on your own and how well you can work by yourself. Some student might prefer to work alone in a group setting. While seemingly impossible, we are talking about libraries or study hall where students are not necessarily studying together, but they are (or they should be) working quietly. Sometimes, students just need the atmosphere of others working or an environment with few distractions to dive into studying themselves.

Working alone has the positive aspect of being able to set your own schedule without having to coordinate with your peers. This can be a great advantage when you simply feel like studying or gaining a better understanding of the subject matter. Some students who study in groups feel that the only time they should be studying is when they are with their group or when they are preparing a topic to present.

A big disadvantage of working alone is that if you get stuck on a problem or topic, it can be difficult to find people who are available to answer your questions. This is where you can ask your teacher, TA, tutor or professor for help. Though, they might not be able to answer right away. With a group, chances are that someone is available to be able to help.

Of course, no one is saying that a student cannot try both styles and decide which works better for them. Some students might even have different studying methods for different courses. For courses where they might be struggling, they might choose groups, while in courses where they feel comfortable, they opt for studying alone.

Whether you select working alone or in a group, there is an element of the other. For example, if you choose to study alone, you will need to work with your peers (and explain concepts to each other) in labs, tutorials, or during class. On the other hand, when studying in a group, you will also need some time to read on your own, or prepare a topic to teach each other.

There is no one correct way to answer the question. In short it really depends on the student and the student’s peers. Some students are better able to study alone while others are better at studying in a group. When it comes down to it, the only people who can truly answer the question are the students themselves. We’ve provided a brief overview of the pros and cons of both sides, but ultimately it will be up to the student to decide their preference.