Before talking about study groups, I want to say that generally I’m not a fan of study groups because that’s not the best way for me to personally study. I usually study alone, going through the material over and over again to myself. Because my notes are often abbreviated or simply illegible due to my use of cursive (yeah I use cursive), it forces me to reason from scratch practically each time and fill in the missing gaps. By the time exams come, starting from a blank page is no longer intimidating. However, I went to a few study groups and understand their merits.
The first study group I went to was earlier in the year. We recapped the cases and their rules one by one. It was quite a big crowd of really bright folks. However, this also meant that I sat their passively and ultimately ended up agreeing with everyone’s reasoning. Whenever I retreated into my mind to use my own usual study techniques, I ended up unconsciously tuning everyone out. I ultimately stopped attending simply because I didn’t feel like I was contributing at all, plus it wasn’t the way I studied anyways.
I recently attended another study group as finals looms. It was helpful but not necessarily for review reasons. Being at home can be distracting. Celtics games are going on (Yup, Celtics fan here. LARRY LEGEND BABY!), and I can easily get lost in my imagination when I’m listening to music. With finals ahead, it’s the time to outline. Physically being in a room with other students reviewing the material I’m trying to outline made it incredibly easy for me to focus on the task. Since we’re near the end of the semester, it’s also very apparent how study groups help other students. Those who are genuine confused on topics can get clarification from their peers. One friend of mine apparently learns best when he has to explain the material to others. Everyone benefits.
This is the ultimate cop out and clichéd answer (I’m sure pointing out how clichéd I am is inherently clichéd [Oh snap I’m going really Meta here], but I’m going to do it anyways), but study in the manner that best suits you. Nevertheless, it does not hurt to try studying in a group. You might reap some unforeseeable benefits. Even if that means preventing you from distracted from watching the Boston Celtics going 75-7 and winning the NBA championship (we’re 5-4 at the time I’m writing this post, but ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!).
P.S. If any of you find a study group that includes Jeff Britta Pierce Troy Abed Shirley and Annie, join them and you’ll have the time of your lives. Six Seasons and a Movie!