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When you need more than one head

Parents discourage group study while students have finished their revision and want to spend time discussing doubts and solving sample papers with their peers, reports Kiran Wadhwa. Special | On your mark

india Updated: Feb 24, 2008 20:53 IST
Kiran Wadhwa

A bunch of friends who have spent the last year hanging out in the canteen now frequently meets with their textbooks. They might meet at a friend’s place, a garden, a college campus or even at Juhu beach for a group study session. With only a few days left for the board exams to begin, students have finished their revision and want to spend time discussing doubts and solving sample papers with their peers.

“Group studies are lots of fun. It’s very useful for subjects like maths and science. Also, with so many corrections in the textbooks hitting us now, it is easier when you sought them out together,” said Joshua Rodricks, a class 10 student. He then sheepishly added, “Agreed that there are breaks in between that focus on parties we missed, cute girls and new PC games, but we do manage to study very effectively.” Other students form groups with students from other schools. “It is very helpful for maths and science. Also, we can share prelim papers and teacher’s tips,” said Hussain Changani, a Bandra-based student.

Parents though think that the method is a con scheme to have a good time. “I have stopped all this group study business,” said Sony Bajaj, a Juhu resident whose daughter studies in class ten. “It is an excuse to chit-chat and have fun. It is difficult to study in a group. Children get distracted easily.”

But experts feel that the method just might work wonders if taken seriously. “It depends from individual to individual. I would advocate the method to several students who will do well that way,” said K.S Jamali, Principal, Beacon High School. “If you sit with a serious mindset, a lot can be learned from other’s doubts and mistakes, especially in application subjects like Maths. For languages, I advice individual studying.”

Counsellor Prathiba Jain, too, feels group studies are very helpful. “A small group interaction is very helpful. Students can learn a lot from each other. It adds perceptive. Individual studying is very one-dimensional. Several students shy away from standing up in class and clarifying doubts with teachers, they are more comfortable with their peers,” said Jain.

Since several parents do not favour the group study method, Neha Mehta, a class 12 student has set up an e-mail chain. “We decide what to study in the morning and mail it out. We set a deadline to finish the topic and mail each other our doubts,” said the 17-year old.

The group mantra

•Choose students who are as motivated as you are.
•Decide on a time and place and have a study plan. Libraries are a good option.
•Compare lecture notes and points and also notes you have made.
•Quiz each other to aid memory.
•Take turns to explain the topic to the rest of the group. This facilitates understanding and speaking will highlight what you understand.