Wouldn’t it be lovely if all of our friends had the same goals, drive and study styles? Unfortunately, when it comes to academics, some ‘alliances’ are more influential than others. Sometimes it’s better to connect with someone that’s not in your social circle in order to establish the right dynamic of support and accountability.
The Benefits of Having a Study Buddy:
- Discuss the subject matter
- Review answers and the assignment
- Accountability and structure
- Keeps you motivated
- Share experiences and resources
- Adds a social element to test preparation
- Test and quiz each other
- Communicate goals and vision
Let’s take a look at things to consider when choosing your study partner.
Availability and Location
If you plan on studying with a friend, it’s important to get your structure in place. Consider your availability and routine, and check whether you can set consistent times for studying together. If it takes you more than an hour to get to your study partner’s house, it might not be ideal for your time management, so having someone nearby to study with would be best.
Team Player or One-on-One
Consider your study style when choosing study buddies. Do you prefer to work in a group and discuss topics ‘casually,’ or do you prefer to have someone that is focused in the same room as you? Maybe you would like a bit of both? In that case, you can create one-on-one study sessions as well as group discussion as a part of your preparation.
Give and Take Relationship
There is a big difference between having a study buddy and a tutor. Since both parties will be focused on preparing for the exam, constantly having to ‘help’ or assist the other person might steal time from your own work. Try to find an individual that matches your academic level or challenges you so that you can improve and work together instead of holding each other back. Of course, your study buddy might find certain areas of study easier and will be able to provide clear explanations and tips, and you might be able to help him/her with other subjects or areas as well.
If, however, you are more in need of someone to assist with your studies, a private tutor would be the best option. Apart from keeping you accountable, they can guide you through difficult material and address any questions you may have.
Routine and Structure
Your study buddy needs to respect your routine and structure and vice versa. Choose someone that is punctual, focused, and diligent so that your partnership brings calm and does not add stress to your study times. Read our post about setting your social boundaries when it comes to studying to help you manage your time with your friends and family.
More Focus and Less Distraction
A study partner needs to be someone that won’t distract you during study times. This person needs to be as goal-oriented as you are and provide a setting/location where studying is a priority. Having your best friend as your study partner might not be the best idea since you will have hundreds of things to chat about other than the work at hand.
A Positive Influence
We all know that preparing for an exam or test can be rather stressful, but it’s important to surround yourself with positive influence during these times. It’s easy for self-doubt to creep in and choosing a study buddy with a positive attitude and can-do spirit can really help boost your morale when feeling overwhelmed.
After you’ve found the perfect partner, the following steps need to take place:
- Set up a meeting to plan and compare your calendars
- Decide on how many days and hours you will be studying together
- Choose a study space that would suit you both
- Discuss which work will be covered first
- Compile all your notes and resources
- Prepare your work ahead of time
- Set times for homework and discussions
- Consider additional study tools, trackers, and software
- Plan breaks, meals, and snacks ahead of time
- Decide on a means of communication
- Set rules for study times
- Make the commitment to support each other
Remember, everything that you are looking for in your study buddy is also something that you need to be willing to provide. Study partners are there to support each other, but not carry each other’s loads. Have a look at your own study strengths and weaknesses to assess how you can compromise and improve to become a valuable study partner for someone else as well.