My study partner and I met once a week while preparing for our licensing exams. We worked really well together; so well in fact that we continued to work together following our exams and continue to collaborate to this day. My study partner was actually my wonderful TDC colleague and dear friend, Asya Mourraille! To this day, we work as a team to provide support for the MFT programs and collaboratively participate in program development. Needless to say, having a study partner was a great experience for me and helped in managing anxiety.
You may be wondering what this topic has to do with managing anxiety. In short, a lot! Working with a study partner can be a wonderful addition to your studies and help in managing anxiety. However, to ensure it is successful and to keep anxiety at bay, it’s important to find the right partner and lay the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship.
How can a study partner help?
- It can help keep your motivation high when you’re accountable to someone else.
- You can solidify your understanding of topics by discussing them with each other.
- It’s nice to know you are not alone when going through this process.
Before you dive into studying with another person, it is important to make sure you and that person are a good fit! Below are some questions to ask yourself and your potential study partner before you decide to work together.
Questions to consider:
- Do I study better alone or with another person? Take time to consider past experiences during graduate or undergraduate school.
- How well do I know this person? Did I go to graduate school with them and know how they performed in school? Are they hardworking and focused?
- What is this person’s style of learning? How does it compare to mine?
- How does this person feel about the exam? Are they calm or anxious? If they’re anxious, how will it affect me?
- What is their attitude toward achievement? Are they a team player? Are they competitive? Am I competitive? Will this make me work harder or feel inadequate?
- What study materials are they using? Many study programs, including ours, are single user only. It’s important to make sure the other person has the same materials as you.
- When are they able to study? Will this work with my schedule or cause greater stress working out logistics?
*If you’re considering a group, the optimal size is 3-4 people. It would be important to consider the above questions for all group members, too.
Managing anxiety through a healthy partnership:
If you decide to work with a study partner, it would be good to establish a study plan that works for both of you. It is important to set boundaries to ensure the relationship meets both of your needs.
In addition to starting off on the right foot, it’s also important to reevaluate the relationship over the course of studying. Is the relationship working out in the way you envisioned? Is your study partner contributing to greater confidence, or are they causing self-doubt or anxious thoughts? Are you progressing at the agreed upon pace? If you have any concerns, address it with your study partner. You may decide the concerns can be addressed, which is great. But if not, consider studying with someone else or tackling it on your own.
A study partner should help you feel more confident and less anxious, don’t settle for anything less!
Study partner or not, you are not in this alone. TDC coaches are always available to provide support and guidance as you study. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to your coach.
Of course, one of the best strategies to reducing anxiety is to start with a program that provides you with direction, a clear starting and stopping point, and helps you feel adequately prepared for your exam. And that is where we come in. Learn all you need to know for your LMFT or LCSW exams by signing up for one of TDC’s exam prep program to help you prepare for your exams today! Amanda Rowan has helped thousands of therapists and social workers pass their licensing exams. Are you our next success story?