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Professor George E Holmes DL | President & Vice Chancellor
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Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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Should you study alone or in a group? Here’s our guide on how to find the best way to study.
Everyone is different when it comes to learning, and knowing how to find the best way to study starts with understanding your own personal study style.
So how do you know what’s right for you, and what are some good ways to study? We believe it helps to mix it up, with some modules or projects better suited to one or the other. Read the pros and cons of both below to see what could work best for you, and in what situation.
The great thing about self-study is having complete control over your schedule, your methods and your environment. Some students work better in the morning while others are at their mental peak at night, and studying alone allows you to maximise this time.
As well as having fewer distractions, you may also feel less pressure to grasp concepts quickly in order to keep up with others. If there are modules you feel less confident about, working on your own means you can discover things at your own pace.
But watch out for…
While self-study is great for a lot of people, it can sometimes be limiting as you don’t have others to share your thoughts and ideas with. It’s also easy to get stuck in the same routine, forgetting to challenge theories or apply creative problem-solving.
Self-study can also be lonely and a little dull, so for those who want to know how to study in a fun way, bringing other people into the mix could be a great way to make revision more appealing.
There are a lot of benefits to studying with friends and fellow course mates. A Washington University study conducted by psychology professor, R. Keith Sawyer, Ph.D., suggests that group study is actually more effective for learning.
By working with others, you can play to different people’s strengths. You can also have open discussions and bounce ideas around. For students who feel unsure about a particular topic, group interaction allows you to get clarity.
Plus, if you’re a procrastinator, the good thing about group study is having others to motivate you.
But watch out for…
Talkative groups can be a major distraction, so studying with friends is only beneficial when there’s enough discipline involved. Create a schedule and try to stick to it, and build a structured session so it doesn’t turn into a social gathering.
If you want to know how to find the best way to study, it’s important to know the pros and cons of every study style.
A collaborative approach not only helps you study better, but it can hone your teamwork skills for your future workplace. But knowing when you need to be on your own is just as vital. Make time for both self-study and group study if you can. And remember, if your study group gets too talkative, it may be time to go solo.
Furthermore, if you don’t feel like you are keeping pace with other students in a particular module, task or project, don’t be afraid to take yourself away.
Course work doesn’t have to be stressful, and the dedicated, passionate lecturers at the University of Bolton will support you throughout your studies. If you ever feel like your workload or any aspects of university life are affecting your mental health, be sure to use our Mental Health Advisor service.
We are proud to have a student-first approach, putting you, and your needs first. That’s why we’re in the Top 5 in the UK for Teaching Quality* and have been No.1 for Student Satisfaction** for four years running.
To find out more about applying at the University of Bolton, see our undergraduate and postgraduate courses for 2021/22.
* The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 2019
** Complete University Guide in 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019 North West Region