Thoroughly learning a subject takes more than just reading about it, or watching videos. It helps to discuss and apply your new knowledge, which is why it’s so smart to pair up with a classmate to study together. What if you’re studying on your own, though? It turns out you don’t need your study buddy to be knowledgeable about your subject at all.
We love this tip from redditor u/ElboMan, who is helping their partner study:
My girlfriend is studying for her CPA Exam, and we’ve recently worked this out as a very effective study method for her. She sets up practice questions, we both say what we think is right, we check, and then she explains to me in detail why I’m wrong. 90% of it completely goes over my head, and if I’m being honest I’m guessing at random most of the time, but it’s helping her a lot. And as a bonus I am learning just a bit about accounting.
Explaining something to another person is a great way to test how well you know it. And even if you just learned a fact or concept a minute ago, putting it into words can help cement it in your mind. Many of us have done this as a one-off thing, explaining a concept to a friend the night before a test, for example. But buddying up to do it as an ongoing practice sounds like a great way to structure your studying.
If you’re the buddy, though, remember that the idea here is to help the studier, not to have a conversation until you’ve learned it to your satisfaction. “If I’m just not getting it and she’s satisfied that she understands it, we can move on without it being an issue,” ElboMan writes. And if you’re the one studying, make sure you’ve established roles with your buddy. You’re not tutoring them, they’re helping you.