Should I have a study partner?

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Pairing up with a pal not only makes studying less lonely and more fun, it’ll also identify any knowledge gaps and may result in better exam results. But is it right for you? 

The benefits of study partners 

You might not feel like Laura Kenny or Mo Farah, but revising for assessments is a bit like training for the Olympics. Think about it… there’s a long trudge towards the finish line that requires hours of personal sacrifice and summoning superhero-like skills of perseverance and discipline. But as all top athletes know, a strong team spirit can also help you train effectively too. Studying can be a lonely experience, but it doesn’t have to be so isolating, particularly if you get a study partner. 

“Your fellow students are a great source of support, which has become really important, particularly during the pandemic,” says Suzie Webb, director of education and development at AAT. “Many students have formed WhatsApp groups or got together on Zoom where they can moan about the same thing. Not only is it very cathartic, but it’s also helpful because it shows you’re not on your own.” 

There are other advantages… Sharing notes and talking difficult concepts through with your course-mates can make you aware of gaps in your own knowledge. If you’re struggling to work out the difference between an operating and a financing lease, then a study partner could put you right. It’s also a brilliant way to test what you’ve learned so far – you and your study partner can quiz each other or take practice papers online. 

Suzie also notes that “other people have different ideas on how to address something”, so you could pick up a different studying style. 

A study partner can be massively beneficial when it comes to the written elements of synoptic assessments. Reading your work out loud in front of your revision amigo is a great way to find out whether you’re communicating in simple terms that any audience can understand. 

And if you’re forgetful with dates or likely to sleep in on the morning of the exam, a study partner is a surefire way of ensuring you turn up at the assessment centre on time. 

Is having a study partner right for you? 

Studying with other people can be distracting, particularly if they’re the type of person to whisper “the assessment is months away, let’s go for a cheeky pint” five minutes after you’ve opened the textbooks. 

Also, you’d need to find a compatible study partner, not somebody who’s forever asking you to explain what depreciation is, or a student who’s losing interest in the course. 

Where to find a study partner 

The best starting point is asking around your fellow course-mates. Maybe put a request on social media or the AAT forums. You could even try setting up a study WhatsApp group and invite others to join. Some training providers have well-established buddying systems with colleges providing classrooms or equipment to aid your revision – ask your AAT tutor to find out more.   

Further reading:

Hannah Dolan is AAT Comment’s Content Editor.

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