Studying Individually vs. Study Groups
We have all experienced, at some point, different study methods, but at the end, it all comes to one final face-off: studying individually vs. study groups.
You’ll find that each has its advantages, but when it comes to a personal choice, you may have doubts about what is convenient for you to do.
If you are a non-traditional student, you probably choose to study individually as your study habit, but have you ever wondered what you could be missing out on about studying in groups?
Maybe you don’t have a personal preference, and you were just wondering if, as a non-traditional student, which one could be best for you, in what ways are both beneficial and in what ways they are not.
Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional adult student’s most trusted resource, and we know that when it comes to our studies, our time becomes one of our most important tools!
In this article, we’ll compare studying individually vs. study groups and how you can better invest your time!
Benefits of Studying Individually
We all have different learning styles, and we can agree that not everyone works the same, right?
So, when we talk about studying individually, the main benefits are:
Go at Your Own Pace
You don’t have to stress and pressure yourself for being at the same levels as your peers and follow their pace or be bored because the class is still learning a subject that you already know.
If you study individually, you can do things your way and enjoy what you are learning.
Have Your Own Schedule
You don’t depend on others to get ahead in your studies and you can manage when is best for you to study. If you have other responsibilities having to set time to meet with someone else can be difficult, but by having your own schedule, you can enjoy individual learning more.
Set Your Own Ambiance
Having the perfect study environment can help you with motivation, inspiration, centering your attention, effectiveness, and sense of achievement.
If you want to learn the best tips to set up the ideal study environment, don’t miss out on our video!
Stop Whenever You Feel Like it
Knowing when to stop and when to keep going is vital for your productivity and to avoid burnout! When you study individually, you can stop whenever you think it will benefit you and as many times as you need without depending on others.
If you are by yourself studying, there are fewer reasons why people can go to interrupt you, and it is easier to accomplish what you need if you just focus on what you need to learn.
So, if you are responsible, you are on a tight schedule, know precisely what you are going for, can focus for a long time, and have excellent time management skills, you will get for sure all benefits from individual studying!
Benefits Of Study Groups
When it comes to study groups, there are also many benefits that you can take from this. One of the main reasons that people choose group studying is because:
Things Flow Easier
Especially around people who you feel comfortable with and enjoy their company. You also get to feel supported and that you have someone to count on if you need help!
Easier to Remember
If you had a discussion with your friends or classmates and everyone gave their point of view and gave you an open perspective. Also, if you have questions, they can help you clarify the subject.
Easier to Focus
So, in case you start getting distracted, there is a big chance that your classmates or friends will call you out and help you get back on track!
You feel motivated by being around others with the same need for accomplishment as you, and they’ll get motivated by you as well!
If you are someone who enjoys interaction, listening to different opinions, gets bored and distracted easily when you are alone, and likes to change dynamics and try new things, you’ll get full benefits from group studying!
And if you want to find better ways to improve your productivity, you can start with one of the best time-management methods: the Pomodoro Technique!
Disadvantages of Studying Individually
Now that we shared all the benefits that studying individually can give you, it is time to talk about the other side of the coin and address all the disadvantages that studying individually can have!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a slow-paced student, but when you are by yourself and have an exam coming, understanding each subject and going one by one can take longer than in study groups where you can talk, reflect and learn multiple subjects by everyone just sharing their knowledge and perspective.
Stress And Distraction
When you get stressed, your brain, as a defense mechanism, will try to keep you away from what is causing you that feeling. You lose focus and get distracted because of stress, making it harder to retain information and get back on track.
In a study group, you can talk about what is stressing you, reach a conclusion faster, and keep going. When you are around people you have fun with, you have fewer chances of getting stressed.
While it is undeniably true that consistency is important to get where you want to be, if you do it by always following up the same routine, monotony can make things harder than they should be.
As we mentioned above, there are fewer chances of getting stressed when you have fun, and this also applies to this point, there are less chances of you getting bored when you are with a motivated study group and sharing perspectives.
Perspective While Studying
When you only study individually, you may not be able to see or understand the subject objectively, meaning there are chances that you have a false interpretation of it.
Sometimes, after studying individually, you feel the need to exchange ideas and perspectives about this new subject you’ve been learning about. By doing this, it’s likely that you’ll remember better what you read because you have explained it to someone.
Lack of Resources
When you are studying individually, you can only go to resources and approach them in a way that worked for you in the past and is familiar to you.
However, the advantage of study groups is that people around you may come up with resources or solutions that you never thought about and can be more helpful; whether is a different approach to your studies or a new tool you can add to your list.
Disadvantages of Study Groups
Learning with study groups can be fun, productive, and an excellent way to approach your studies, but as we can expect, not everything is rainbow and butterflies. There are disadvantages that we should take into consideration.
There are more chances to get into disagreements, conflicts, and even fights when studying with a group than in individual study.
While having different opinions is not a bad thing, when it comes to habits, lack of reliability or a negative attitude that the other person may have, can be a turning point if it is causing conflict.
When it comes to study groups, distractions will be almost inevitable, but it will become a disadvantage if you distract more than what you can focus on.
If the group starts gossiping about things during study sessions that have nothing to do with the reason you are meeting, it can become unproductive and an obstacle that will do more bad than good for you.
Different Learning Pace
There is no number one rule to follow regarding how we can learn and process information. Some things can be helpful to everybody, but when it comes to speed is very personal and works differently for everyone.
If you are studying with a group, each one will have their own pace to learn. So, if you are a fast learner and meet with people that need more time to understand, the process can be exhausting and won’t be helpful for your progress.
Scheduling for getting together can be challenging even when it is about two people, so can you imagine a group with a very busy schedule trying to get together?
Also, let’s consider that when you are studying in a group, you will be dealing with more unpredictability than when studying individually because everyone relies on each other in one way or another.
Not everyone has the same level of commitment, so this could be the most challenging part to deal with when you are group studying.
Does it Have to be One Way or The Other?
To address some of the questions you may be having at this point, there’s one simple answer to this: NO, you don’t have to stick to studying in a group or just studying individually.
Even if you benefit more from one instead of the other, it is always good to switch and experience the benefits from both.
Which One is More Effective?
No method is better than the other, and honestly, it all depends on you and how you adjust your needs to your study plan.
If you are a non-traditional student with many responsibilities, you may consider individual study because you don’t want to deal with people canceling at the last minute.
But if you have trustworthy friends that are in the same situation as you, study groups can be way more effective and can help you achieve your academic goals faster.
And if you are also wondering whether it’s best to study online or on campus, see what works for you in our video!
When Should You Study Alone And When With a Group?
So, we have already got around the pros and cons of each. We set clear that it doesn’t have to be one or the other and that no one is more effective in comparison.
As a non-traditional student, you want to use your time as effectively as possible, so that brings us to the question: when is it convenient to study individually and in a group?
Tips for Studying Individually And in Study Groups
Time is very valuable, and when you are a non-traditional student, you don’t have time to waste!
Effectiveness is very important, so let’s talk about what we can do to guarantee that we will get the benefits from studying individually and in a group studying!
If you find yourself studying on your own to enjoy the benefits, the best tips we recommend are:
Prosper While Studying Individually and With Study Groups!
As a non-traditional student, it is important that you keep improving your studies, don’t lose motivation, and don’t lose sight of the goal!
We hope that after reading this article, it will be easier to compare studying individually vs. study groups. Now you know which one works better for you and how to take the best from both!
If you want more information about how to improve your life as a non-traditional student, you can check out our blogs or our services that will help you get your degree faster and achieve your goals!