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Undergraduate Advice: Working Successfully With A Study Buddy
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Undergraduate Advice: Working Successfully With A Study Buddy

When you embark on your degree course, some students find that in order to keep themselves motivated and ensure that they keep their studies on track that it’s useful to work with a 'Study Buddy'.  A study buddy may be someone you decide to work with frequently or you can decide to work with them just occasionally.  The important thing if a study buddy relationship is going to work, that you choose the right person.  Here are 10 tips for working successfully with a study buddy.

1. What do you want? 

Don’t just fall into the trap of deciding that you need a study buddy and then choosing someone without thinking about it.  Before you talk to anyone, think about what it is that you want and how having a study buddy would help you.

2. Finding a study buddy

Some universities set up a formal study buddy system which you will be told about.  However, many universities leave it up to the student themselves to sort out their study relationships.  Don't be offended if someone doesn't want to work with you.

3. Agree how you'll work together

A study buddy relationship must be a two way relationship where you both benefit.  It’s really important that you take the time to discuss how you're going to work together including how often, where, how you will keep in contact with each other, what will you work on, what you will do if the relationship doesn’t work .... Agreeing as much as you can before you start will help you to avoid some of the difficulties in working with someone else, but will also help to determine whether you really want to work together at all.

4. Be organised

One of the key study skills that all undergraduates should have is to be organised.  It’s even more important when you’re working with someone.  Have a schedule for what you are to do together and review it as appropriate.

5. Don’t be over-reliant on your study buddy

A study buddy relationship is supposed to bring you mutual benefit.  Don’t use a study buddy hoping to pick their brains and have them do most of the work.

6. Don’t waste time

It may sound obvious, but the worst thing you can do is spend time chatting to your study buddy rather than working together.  A study buddy –is just that!

7. Be reliable:

If you’ve agreed to do certain things by a certain date and time you should stick to it.  Your study buddy will not appreciate it if you keep shifting deadlines or let them down.  If you feel you couldn’t commit in the first place, then don’t.

8. Avoid criticism

It can really be difficult when you’re working with someone else if they work in a different way from you, or if you think they’re doing something wrong.  Avoid being overly critical.  If you’re asked to give feedback on any of their work, make sure that your advice is objective not subjective.

9. If problems arise ...

If either one of you is finding that the relationship doesn’t work – don’t let problems fester.  Bring it up and talk about it.  If the issues can’t be resolved then it’s better that you decide you will work by yourself or someone else.

10. Change study buddy if appropriate

It’s not necessary to always work with the same person.  You might work with someone on a particular topic that you’re having difficulties with and want to discuss and then work with someone quite different on some research.  It’s up to you – but be flexible.

Summary

Working with a study buddy can be really useful when you have so much new information to learn when you start a degree.  If you have additional questions about a study buddy and what you might work on together, there is information available. If you choose the right person it can really make a difference to your studies.

What would you look for in a study buddy?


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