BY MORGAN MARTIN
As her chapter test in AP European History approaches, sophomore Eva Hale reviews the material with her classmate. She said studying with a buddy enables her to retain the information in a more interactive way, but it can also be a distraction.
“Studying with friends can give you a different perspective of the information,” Hale said. “The group can sometimes hold you back if they are not as productive as you would like.”
Behavioral psychologist Edward Wallach said the proper study environments depend on the type of student. Some need to be alone, while others thrive when working in groups.
“Some students need a particular study environment that provides quiet and low sensory input to learn, memorize and repeat material,” Dr. Wallach said. “Other students thrive on being with one or more students to learn from, be quizzed by and discuss material with.”
Math teacher Christina Harden-Moros said she encourages her students to study together in small groups.
“Students should form small study groups to work toward the same goal in a class and scoring higher on tests,” Mrs. Harden-Moros said.
Hale said it helps to study with others because they have a different perspective on the information.
“I like that my buddy keeps me on track with the work,” Hale said. “I also ask them questions to see how they feel about a topic.”
Mrs. Harden-Moros said working in groups not only enhances learning, it also enables you to meet new people.
“Studying together may need to come with a warning because that is how I met my husband,” she said. “We were studying Calculus problems at the University of Miami in 1991.”
Senior Jared Cruz said he loves to work in groups because he doesn’t like to do all the work on his own.
“I think it’s pretty great to work in groups considering I’m so lazy,” Cruz said. “Honestly, I love doing as little work as possible.”
Dr. Wallach said it is important to learn the information prior to studying with a group.
“Studying with a buddy comes second,” Dr. Wallach said. “After you have learned the material, you can use your buddy or the group to review material and ask questions about anything you did not understand.”
Junior Gillian Couture said studying with someone smarter than she is is beneficial because that person might have better methods for how to do the work.
“I like studying for math with buddies because in math there are many ways to do one problem so they may have a more efficient way of doing it,” Couture said.
Couture said classes that require mostly memorization are difficult to study for with someone else. She said she prepares for Anatomy exams alone because other people can’t help her retain information.
“The concepts in those classes are memorization, so I don’t like working with anyone,” Couture said.
Sophomore Amanda Wasserman said it can be difficult to focus when working in a group.
“Working in a group is sometimes a distraction,” Wasserman said. “I get distracted very easily so sometimes in a group I don’t work as hard, which isn’t good.”
Junior Shana Popper said she finds studying with a friend more effective and much easier.
“I like having the reassurance from a friend,” Popper said. “They always keep me focused on the book we’re studying.”