The pros and cons of group study for MBA entrance exam

MBA aspirantsMBA entrance exams that ensure admission to premier B-schools in India need the right mix of hard work and smart work.  However, preparations for MBA entrance exams need careful planning owing to their complexity level. They don’t just test you on aptitude and knowledge but they focus equally on your social skills. To prepare for all kinds of assessments, you need to prepare in different ways. Some traits are honed at a personal level while others need practicing with your peers appearing at such exams.

Group study is a characteristic feature of entrance preparation. If you are preparing for MBA entrance exam, all you need to know about group study are its pros and cons to guide you how to balance it and get the most out of it. You must be able to discern when it is effective and when to avoid group study.

Best utilization of group study will definitely take you one step closer to your dream of cracking MBA entrance exam. To keep it simple, the advantages of group study in preparing for MBA entrance exams are listed below.

  1. Keeps you motivated : Group study for MBA entrance exam will keep you encouraged till the last moment. Knowing the progress and improvement of your peer group will definitely motivate you to put in more hard work. All of you who get bored easily while studying or lose interest quickly can benefit a lot with group study for MBA entrance exam.
  1. Easy help : Being hesitant in asking questions during a class is the most common issue encountered by students. When you attend a class in a coaching institute where students are cramped to the limit, you are likely to face difficulty in comprehending things easily or putting up a question to clear doubts. You can tackle this in a group study, where you can ask for help from the other members of your study group.
  1. Different perspectives : While going for group study for MBA entrance exam, you can benefit a lot in all the sections by getting different perspectives on every question. Different ideas, perspectives, and inputs help all the students of the group in gaining better understanding.
  1. Ease in erasing doubts : Any doubts you have about some of those complicated and confusing questions can be sorted outwith the help of other member students of the group. Quantitative aptitude will become slightly easy for you with a fellow group member explaining the solution with patience and in a casual way. You have the freedom to ask questions many times to clear ambiguity. The comfort level you share with the other students of the group makes it easy for you to come up with your problems and get them solved without any fear and apprehensions.
  1. Keeps you updated when you miss any class : If you happen to miss any of the coaching classes for MBA entrance exam due to illness or any other reason, you can easily cover up in your group study. Help can pour in from any other student of the group who will explain the concepts you missed owing to missing the class.
  1. Easy to get inputs on General Awareness : Studying in a group will help you get information on what all is happening in the world. Discussions with the study group members can hone your general awareness, especially for those who do not want to read newspapers. General awareness is an important section in all of the MBA entrance exams and it also helps to give good performance in Group Discussions and Personal Interviews. So, utilize the knowledge of the fellow members of the study group and get information on important things.
  1. Relieves you of the stress and monotony : Studying in a group will keep you high spirited as whenever monotony or boredom sets in, a lively joke or narration of an adventurous experience will give you the much needed break. Rejuvenation in the middle of serious group study actually adds to the energy levels with every member getting back to studying with a refreshed mood.

mba programmeBut as every coin has two sides, so does every situation. Group study is vital and carries benefits but it might prove futile in a situation where the following disadvantages may act as spoilers.

  1. Straying away from the motive : One of the biggest drawbacks of group study for MBA entrance exams is you might drift away from the motive due to several distractions. When students sit together for group study, it’s natural for them to engage in conversations which can take them away from their goal.
  1. Idle- talk defeats the very purpose of group study : While going for group study for MBA entrance exam, you need to make sure the members do not indulge in idle-talk. Discussing everyday affairs or personal issues will create unfavourable environment for studying. Idle-talk, gossips, pointless conversations will mutilate the objective of group study, causing more harm than good.
  1. Overt domination in a study group proves detrimental : Leadership is a good trait and having a strong headed leader is a boon for any group. But group formed to prepare for MBA entrance exam should be the last group to have a dominating leader. Avoid letting any student dominate the group or else you will always lack behind with no voice of your own. All the members are students and everyone should be equally treated and allowed to share views and thoughts freely.
  1. Negative talks create unpleasant environment : Students have the habit of discussing their feedback of professors, or their teaching style or classroom happenings that might create a negative environment in the study group. The negativity will hamper your concentration and progress towards cracking the MBA entrance exams.
  1. Study group of friends might fail to serve the purpose : If you are forming a group to prepare for MBA entrance exam, having your close friends as members of it might deviate you from the aim. It is natural to end up chit-chatting with them, wasting the precious time. Having friends is not an issue, but stay focused and determined to achieve your goal as preparing for MBA entrance exams is not an easy job.

Remember, this is the most important phase of your academic life, where you need to put in serious efforts to achieve your goal. Securing admission in a good B-school requires a good score in MBA entrance exams. You have to put your best foot forward, so avoid all the distractions and take the best of everything to scale heights of success; this includes group study as well.

Contributed by Qais Mujeeb ( Class of 2001, IBS Hyderabad )

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