The number one con of revising with friends is time wasted on segues about what you’re having for lunch, your weekend plans and the new TV show that will absolutely change all your lives.
That said, it can greatly influence your approach to learning new things and how you think about your module topics. The root of its effectiveness lies in the fact that we take in information in different ways but if you feel like your styles will clash, these tips can help you avoid that while maximising the opportunity to consolidate your learning:
- Do some lone studying beforehand. The aim is to revise with your friends not learn new material that you’ve just been introduced to in a lecture last week.
- Make sure to plan meeting times for studying so that it’s different from you usual meetups and and can be treated as such. Vaguely mentioning to your friend that you will discuss something you haven’t understood on your course may be motivated by good intentions. However, if you don’t explicitly plan to revise together, you may end up prioritising your social plans and forgetting all about it.
- Agree on what topics you’ll be going over together. It is well worth having a planning session where you decide the order in which you’ll be revising topics or parts of your module(s). So that every week, when you meet at say 12 pm on Wednesdays, it is a natural progression from the last week and you can be as efficient as possible.
- Choose a place you feel is best for your group study style. You can book group study spaces at The Diamond, IC or Western Bank and see how that goes. Depending on the module type, you may need to project slides or write your solution on a whiteboard which would narrow down your options. However, if your revision can be done properly by discussing with some notes handy or you’d prefer not to do it in the library, you may consider any of the cafes around. The downside is that you’ll have to at least buy a drink but from personal experience, Steam Yard, Tamper and 200 Degrees serve really good coffee. I have also heard good reviews about Ink & Water. Just be careful not to turn it into a full on brunch date that doesn’t involve any revision as the menus can be quite tempting.
Of course, there are other ways to benefit from having friends to discuss university work with besides revising together. Maybe you’d simply prefer asking your friends about questions you’ve struggled with or comparing solutions to problems. That’s equally great. We are all different so explore some options but in the end stick with what works best for you 😉