A study buddy is someone you meet with in person or virtually to help you learn and retain the information you’re required to know as part of your academic classes. While some college students study alone, there are several advantages of making this action a group effort.

If you’re on the fence about whether studying with someone else is the right decision for you, here are five benefits of having a study partner in college.

#1: It makes study sessions more enjoyable.

Some people dread studying because it’s a solitary task. They already spend a lot of time alone, and studying by themselves only adds to the loneliness. Or they have a social personality and find that studying on their own contradicts the type of environment that they do best in.

In both cases, having a study buddy can make out-of-the-classroom learning more enjoyable. Knowing that you have someone going through the same process with you provides a sense of collaboration, making you feel like you’re part of something bigger…and better.

#2: A study buddy motivates you to study more.

What happens if studying becomes more enjoyable? You’re apt to do it more. And the more you study, the better your chances of learning and remembering the information.

Having a study partner motivates you in other ways as well. This person holds you more accountable, for example. So, if you don’t show up for a study session when you said you will, they’re going to call you on it.

A study buddy can also provide motivation in the form of being a coach or cheerleader. When you get an answer right, they’re there to congratulate you and celebrate your success. When you get an answer wrong, they’re there to remind you that learning is a process and you will get there as long as you keep studying the materials.

#3: It gives you someone with whom you can brainstorm study questions.

Have you ever taken a quiz or test only to realize that you studied the wrong information beforehand? Or maybe you studied the right information but didn’t dive into it deep enough. Having a study partner can help you avoid these types of situations.

When there are two of you studying, you have someone else to brainstorm the questions that you need to know. They may come up with topic areas that you forgot about. They might also point out different portions of the material that may be on an upcoming test.

#4: It enables you to split the study work.

Another benefit of having a study buddy is that you get to split the work. It’s like when you have a group assignment and each member takes one section. When you study with a partner, you’re able to split the work during the studying process.

If you use flashcards, for instance, you can write up some of them and they can write up others. If you study by answering multiple choice or essay questions, instead of you having to come up with them all, your study buddy is responsible for coming up with half.

#5: You can learn from your study partner.

Not only is a study buddy good for helping you learn materials presented in class, but you can also learn from them as individuals. They may understand things you don’t, enabling them to share their knowledge with you or explain it in a way that increases your understanding.

A study partner may also know a different study method that will work better for you. Perhaps they color code certain information making it easier to identify when reviewing it for a test, or they might do mind maps to visually organize specific information. If you’ve never used these study methods, learning them can provide additional ways to learn and remember.

How to Find a Good Study Buddy

If you decide that a study partner is a good option for you, the next step is to find this person. Before you do, consider how much time you want to study together and how you plan to study (such as online or in person). This helps set the expectations for what you want in a study buddy.

It can also be helpful to consider what type of learner you are (such as visual versus auditory), the type of person you are most compatible with, and your study goals. Once you have a clearer image of what an ideal study buddy looks like for you, it becomes easier to find this person.

Identifying a Study Partner

You can find a study partner in a few different ways. Here are some to consider:

  • Reach out to others in your classes.
  • Post in your class discussion forum.
  • Ask your instructors if they know another student looking for a study partner.

If you want more help learning, Saint Leo University also offers academic support. Services provided include peer-assisted learning (PAL), coaching peer tutoring, and more. Check out our Center for Academic Vision & Excellence, also referred to as the CAVE, to learn more about how we can help you.