Tip # 13: The Study Buddy System
Friends studying together should not be a time for socialization and just having fun. Studying is serious business. But there is a place for studying together and that is the study buddy system. When do you want a study buddy? Studying mathematics with the use of a buddy is an effective way to learn math. The adage, “two heads are better than one” seems to true here. In the study halls and student lounges at the large university where I worked in Canada, I often saw Chinese students sitting together, discussing Math problems and Engineering and Science numerical problems. There was a consensus on campus that Chinese students, overall, did better than the mainstream Canadian students in Math courses. This achievement was contributed in part to their use of the study buddy system.
Dr. Gill, a Mathematics professor at an American university states that when studying Mathematics, students can often benefit from the study buddy system. He is a product of this study method. During his high school years he had 2 or 3 good friends with whom he studied. All were Grade “A” students. They would get together to study and discuss math problems together. Where one student may not fully understand the concept, or equation, another buddy would. This way they worked together to achieve a common end – high grades. They were also competitive. They all strived to outdo each other in exams. This friendly competition could result in Dr. Gill, , as a high school student, complaining that he only got 96% whereas one of his buddies got 98% in a math test. So next time the one who got the lowest strived to outdo his high scoring buddies.
Some things just have to be studied alone. But there is a definite place in studying Math and numerical problems with a buddy. If you are fortunate enough to have a friend who makes decent marks, see if you can’t study together to discuss, coach and teach each other math. You might just be glad you did because your marks will show the proof of this study method.