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Speaking 1 Topic: Do you prefer studying for tests in a group or alone?

There are different approaches to academic studies, and all of them have specific benefits. Do you prefer to study for tests in a group, or to study alone? Include details and examples to support your explanation.

This TOEFL Speaking question is very practical.


  • Group
  • Support each other
  • No slacking off
  • Can get questions answered quickly

I would definitely study with a group of my classmates. When I study alone, I tend to slack off, and I would get distracted easily by TV or my phone, soon I will not be studying at all. But if I were studying in a group, since everyone is studying, the atmosphere will allow me to focus more on the books, and if there is something I have questions with, I can get help from my classmates right away. Therefore, studying in a group is a more effective method of studying for me.

radhikaj has reacted to this post.

Hi, Jackson. I really like the way you've articulated your response. I have a suggestion. Providing an example is a good way to make a point. You sound more convincing with an example. Also, when we share examples, we tend to relax and sound natural in our communication.

In the 15 seconds I have for note-taking, here's what I would jot down:

  1. Alone
  2. Reason 1: Focus
  3. Reason 2: No distractions
  4. Example: Plateaus

Here's my detailed response to the question:

Right from my early school years, I've seen that I perform better when I study on my own. First, when I study alone, I’m able to focus on specific topics that need attention. Also, when in a group, there are usually several distractions, such as food, music, ringing cell phones, and so on. When I’m alone, I’m able to control my environment and keep it free of distractions. I once had to prepare for a Geography test and decided to try studying in a group. I knew I had to read up on plateaus, because I didn’t really understand the topic. However, the group decided to skip that topic, and I ended up faring quite badly in the test.