Could Your Teen Need a Study Partner or Group?

j0178426As the new school year begins, many parents are concerned with helping their teen establish better study habits. Every student learns in different ways, so what may work for one teen, may not work for another. One idea that may help to improve grades is to encourage your teen to join a study group or connect with a study partner. Of course, it’s important that your teen have the right people in their study group who are serious about studying. Assuming, they have found other students interested in improving their grades, there are many benefits to study groups, such as:

  • Less likely to procrastinate. Because study groups meet at regular times, attending students cannot procrastinate. In addition, there is positive peer pressure – it may be easy for your student to put off an assignment when they are only answering to themselves, but when one or more people are depending on them, your teen will be much more likely to complete the work.
  • More likely to learn quickly. When your teen finds a specific topic confusing, they have others to turn to who might have a better understanding. In this way, students in a study group are able to learn quickly and move on, rather than spending large amounts of time trying to understand a particular problem or question.
  • Improved memory. By working together, students are speaking and listening to others and actively working out problems or solutions out loud. Students can also quiz each other before an exam, which is far more effective for some students than just reading through notes. These practices all improve recall.
  • Improved study skills. By joining a study group, your student will have opportunity to observe a wide variety of study methods and organization tips in action. Your teen may be able to mix and match techniques that they see others use to improve their own studying and organization skills.
  • Gain new perspectives. One of the most valuable benefits group study offers is being exposed to new ideas and thoughts that your teen would otherwise have never considered. Seeing the class material from different viewpoints can make a topic more interesting and provide deeper learning. As your student is forced to consider others’ ideas, they will be developing their critical thinking skills, which is essential for success in adulthood.
  • Improved test preparation. A study partner might have better insight for thinking like the teacher and predicting test questions. We all have different strengths, so two heads can be better than one when it comes to preparing for exams.
  • Improved note-taking. Group members may have notes that your teen missed or copied down wrong. Sometimes, teens can think they are taking good notes as they listen to a lecture, but then get home and realize they don’t understand what they wrote down! By comparing notes with other students, your teen can fill in missing parts, evaluate their note-taking accuracy, and get ideas for improving their note-taking skills.
  • Less monotony. Trying to plow through notes alone can become tedious. Joining others in studying can make the entire process more engaging for your student.
  • Builds skills for the future. Group study can build important skills in your teen that they will need as an adult. Working and speaking in small groups is essential in the workforce, and study groups offer the opportunity for your teen to build their self-confidence. Tell your teen that if they come across a difficult situation in your study group, it is an opportunity for them to practice their collaboration abilities.


Final Thoughts…

Study groups may be a great way for your student to improve their grades. Your student can benefit from the strength of their study partner(s), and their partner(s) can benefit from your teen’s strengths. A note of caution, though. Your teen needs to find like-minded students who share their goals for success. If your teen is just using “study group” to justify more time with their boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend, then you might just see their grades decline, rather than improve.

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