40 thoughts we have while studying in groups


When you understand the material

“Do they understand what I’m saying or are they just nodding?”

“I feel like I’m teaching everything.”

“Psychology claims that teaching the material will help me understand it better too.”

“I’m not sure if I believe that.”

“Have I ever seen these people at lecture before?”

“She doesn’t even go here!”

“What did they get on the last test?”

“Did anyone do better than me?”

“I need to check my Facebook for just a second.”

“Hopefully the exam looks exactly like the practice.”

“I want to practice the concepts instead of just broadly brushing over them.”

“Would we cover the study guide with enough time to accomplish some actual studying?”

“How did they even finish their homework without having the basic concepts down?”

“Maybe I’m not freaking out about the test as much as I should.”

“I’m not Google!”

“Oh boy, there will be no learning being done on my part.”

“At least this makes me feel better about the curve.”

“Hopefully I get at least one standard deviation above the average.”

“I don’t learn anything from studying in groups.”

“I work better alone.”


When you don’t understand the material

“How did I get accepted into UC Berkeley?”

“I’m just going to nod and pretend like I understand their explanations.”

“Our test is not going to look anything like the practice.”

“We are going to go through all the concepts on the study guide and it’s not going to be enough.”

“Did we even learn this?”

“I hope my study partners get these concepts because I’m lost.”

“I hope no one can tell that I haven’t been to lecture all semester.”

“I feel like I’m just now learning everything.”

“Why are they checking Facebook right now?”

“Are they not as freaked out about the exam as I am?”

“I need to stop freaking myself out.”

“There are probably tons of people in my situation right now.”

“Is it past the pass/no pass deadline?”

“I might as well just broadly cover the concepts and hope for the best.”

“I wonder if my study partners can summarize the material enough for me to pass.”

“I should have gone to more of my discussions.”

“Okay, if I at least finish the study guide today before I fall asleep, I can probably score the mean … ”

“ … or less than one standard deviation below the mean.”

“Studying in a group doesn’t help me as much as I thought it would.”

“If only we had one more day!”

Contact Catherine Straus at [email protected].