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Why you need to have a study group

By Sarah Separovich on 27 April 2021NSWblogStudy tips#StudySkills

That’s right, you need to have a study group. Okay, maybe you don’t need to, but we highly recommend it. While sometimes you need to just tuck yourself away in the corner of a library and smash out some individual study, studying with a group has a number of benefits that you just don’t get studying solo.

So, why should you study with a group?

It’s an opportunity to practice retrieval

Practicing retrieval is an essential skill if you want to ace your exams. This is the act of trying to recall or retrieve information from our memory. Instead of just re-reading your notes, studying in a group gives you the chance to actually discuss the content with one another. This forces us to retrieve the info from our memories, which helps it to actually stick!

So, rather than sitting in the corner of the library on your own, reading over the same set of notes, you can actually have a discussion about the content which will ensure you actually understand it. This will allow you to go into an assessment or exam confident in your ability to recall and retrieve the information you need to answer *those* questions that you always find yourself stumbling on.

It allows you to teach someone else

Teaching someone else is one of the best forms of learning… really!

Numerous studies have shown that students who teach what they’ve learned to someone else show better understanding and knowledge retention than those who spend the same time just re-studying. So, while you might be helping your mate to understand floating exchange rates or applying infrared spectroscopy, you’re also reaffirming that information for yourself.

It’s a win-win situation!

It helps to identify gaps in your knowledge

When studying alone, students will often revisit the content they already know, rather than focusing on the areas they don’t. We do this because it’s easier to study something we know, rather than taking the time to learn something that we aren't familiar with. But when it comes to assessments and exams, you need to know the syllabus dot points back to front, meaning you can’t afford to skip over the areas you don’t feel confident in!

Studying in a group holds you accountable for studying everything, so it gives you a great opportunity to identify gaps in your knowledge, and then fill them!

Group study is a great place to ask questions and clarify those concepts you aren't as strong on. Different students start out stronger in different topics, so group members can exchange what they know and enhance the knowledge of everyone in the group. You can also pick up new tricks and tips for remembering content!


These are just some of the reasons you should be studying in a group. Even if you're schooling from home, virtual group study sessions can be just as effective as doing them in person 🧑‍💻

For a full look into how you can use study groups to enhance your learning, check out our video on ‘Creating a Great Study Group’ as part of our Study Skills module! This lesson covers things to avoid in a group study session plus everything you need to create an effective study group.

GIF of Atomi's 'Creating a Great Study Group' video lesson

You can access the video here:

You can also download the Atomi Group Study Planner to help plan your next group study session, plus plenty more resources to enhance your study skills.


So, actionable items from here are:

  • Log in to your Atomi account,
  • Watch our lesson on creating a great study group,
  • And, get a study group started!

With that, you’ll be on your way to acing your assessments and exams (and making a few friends along the way).

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