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TOEFL Tip #177: Studying In A Group Is Helpful

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on November 9, 2012

While group study has long been a staple (see adj, meaning 2) tool of education, this practice has increased sharply for the so-called digital native generation. Many students today expect to collaborate on projects and share information in a variety of formats. Once the bastion of silent study, even libraries are increasingly restructuring their facilities to accommodate students working in groups. Clearly, group study is a significant element in education today.

In light of this, consider studying for the TOEFL with others who are also learning English.

Group study benefits students in a variety of ways. Being accountable to the groups helps everyone to stay focused and get their work done. Preparing for the study session meeting becomes a mini-deadline that adds some structure to your own schedule. Group members not only share their knowledge, but also can work together to figure out missing information. In addition, explaining something to another person reinforces that information for yourself, making it easier to remember. Finally, the emotional support of a group helps students feel less isolated and eases their frustration.

While these are the benefits of group work for any subject, studying for the TOEFL in a group has the additional benefit of providing more opportunities to practice speaking English. The more you practice, the better your English will be.

Although group study can have some drawbacks, such as chatting about non-TOEFL topics and some group members being unprepared for the study session, these are issues that can be resolved by the group members as they occur. Compared with the benefits of group study, these challenges are relatively minor.

If you’re studying for the TOEFL on your own, consider joining a study group. If you’re already part of a study group, we’d love to hear about your experiences. Leave us a comment below!