Others need to be in a group in order to hear different perspectives, learn from the questions, example and mistakes of others. Below are some hints on how to prepare for the GMAT in groups, provided by one of the content directors at The Economist’s GMAT Tutor.
There are great benefits to learning in the company others! If you’d like to supplement your solo GMAT study prep with group learning, here are some ideas:
If you know a fellow student or colleague at work is also studying for the GMAT, suggest a study date. This is the simplest way to enjoy the benefits of peer support. You don’t even have to be working on the same topics; having another person in the same space working toward the same goal will help to anchor you in place and keep you focused.
To make a study date successful, you should define a timeframe for working individually. Schedule a break to debrief each other on what you have been doing and discuss difficulties and possible resolutions.
But remember, studying with others in the same space also requires discipline. Don’t get tempted to waste time together by talking about the latest gizmo you bought or game you played.
Study challenges or quests:
One way to motivate yourself and your co-learners is to devise challenges for each other with a promise of a reward at the end if the challenge is successfully completed. For example, each learner can begin by mentioning a topic s/he finds difficult, and the challenge could be to correctly solve three questions of that type in under two minutes. After racking up sufficient points, you and your co-learners can reward each other with say, a movie or a dessert.
Often when explaining a concept out loud, we gain greater insight into our own knowledge of the concept. One way of practicing synergistic learning could be to sit together and have each participant work individually on the same question. After solving the question, compare the methods you each used. By explaining to others what you did, or seeing what others have done, you can enhance your repertoire of strategies and discover blind spots in your process.
Remember though, there may be different ways to solve a problem correctly, and not all methods are optimal for the GMAT. Compare the strategies and evaluate them for what works best in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.