Everyone in year 12, at one point, has been told that they definitely need to form study groups in order to maximize their effort and make their cohort benefit as a whole. But, it is sometimes not clear why it benefits you or how to do so successfully. In this article, I’m going to tell you what you need to know, and what you can do to get the most out of your study group!
It’s proven that when you’re able to teach someone a concept, you’re able to understand and explain that concept much more proficiently. More commonly referred to as the Learning by Teaching effect, or, The Protégé Effect, by retrieving the relevant information and having to explain the information, you not only train your ability to recall relevant information at will but also strengthen the ability to convey the concept in an understandable manner. This will help for exams immensely, as you will need to be able to remember the correct information for the given question, yet also be able to relay that information to the marker in a manner that is understandable. In essence, if you can teach other students what you know, you can teach the markers what you know.
In my own experience, running my economics study group allowed me to memorise concepts much more effectively, and be able to explain them a lot more proficiently. It helped that the students I picked also had a studious work ethic similar to my own, and were willing to put in the effort needed to contribute to the study group. This also meant that not much time was wasted on teaching easy/basic terms, and we got straight to covering harder concepts and planning for longer responses. For instance, they could come in and ask about a certain topic, and that would allow me to examine how well I knew that harder topic/concept. Even though I was mostly able to teach them proficiently, there were times where I realised I didn’t understand as well as I needed to, and that’s ok! It’s much better to realise a hole in your knowledge when teaching your group than in a test, especially because you won’t really get judged by your group mates for getting something wrong. That’s what the group is there to correct, anyway.
Now, we move onto the more indirect, yet just as helpful benefits of leading study groups, which can help beyond your school life. Specifically, when managing and coordinating a study group, you gain skills in collaboration and leadership, allowing you to be more confident when speaking to multiple people. This is especially helpful for things such as job interviews and just generally socialising more, potentially helping you get more leadership positions in school (especially because you’re seen as kinder for helping people with this study group) and in life.
It also allows you to connect with the people in your study group better. For instance, one of the students within the group I barely knew, but afterwards, we had become good friends due to this time we spent together, and even met up after Year 12!
Furthermore, this gives you much-valued experience when it comes to tutoring, allowing you to become a much more proficient teacher with other students, as you’ve effectively done the same thing with your study groups, except this time it makes you money! Whether you go private, or to a tutoring college, it’ll help in both for sure (even for working with ATAR Notes). I managed to receive an offer from employment from a tutoring college on the basis of this study group, as it allows you to have experience tutoring, so I was considered not because of my ATAR, but due to my effectively one year of experience in ‘tutoring’.
This one is quite subtle, yet important. This will add one more thing to your already busy Year 12 schedule (or even more if you run multiple!), meaning you will have to employ better time management in order to execute these lessons more effectively. As a consequence, running these study groups will teach you the importance of planning, and make you much more likely to plan, allowing you to accomplish a lot more in much less time. Time management is actually a fairly common trait amongst the most successful students, as they’re able to learn just enough to do really well, while still being able to honour their co-curricular commitments. Effective time management was extremely common among those in our school that achieved 98+ ATARs, who, from what I heard, also frequented parties held by other classmates. Thus, that’s made me realise that this is a skill that is very important to train yourself in, and something as simple as this that allows you to train this skill will be very important, not just for school, but for life.
Overall, study groups, when you get similarly hard working people like you, can be immensely beneficial to you and the members, not just in your schooling life, but your life in general. So, why not ask around to people you know will put in the time, and start a study group right away!