Managing Anxiety: Working with a Study Partner

By Robin Gluck on November 5, 2018

Study Group

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 can be quite effective in helping to 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?

  1.     It can help keep your motivation high when you’re accountable to someone else.
  2.     You can solidify your understanding of topics by discussing them with each other.
  3.     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.

Study Partner Questions to consider:

Group of study partners

  1.     Do I study better alone or with another person? Take time to consider past experiences during graduate or undergraduate school.
  2.     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?
  3.     What is this person’s style of learning? How does it compare to mine?
  4.     How does this person feel about the exam? Are they calm or anxious? If they’re anxious, how will it affect me?
  5.     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?
  6.     What study materials are they using? Many study programs, including ours, are single user only. It’s important to make sure your potential study partner has the same materials as you.
  7.     When are they able to study? Will this work with my schedule or cause greater stress working out logistics?

*If you’re considering a study 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?

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25 Responses to “Managing Anxiety: Working with a Study Partner”

  1. Isabell Springer


    Today is Nov. 5th and I am starting to study for the MFT Clinical exam. If you are also wanting to start studying for this exam, please email me!
    I would love this so much. I have a Zoom account and we create a small group to PASS with confidence. I am so excited for this idea.

    – Dr. Isabell Springer

    • Vi

      Ive taken the exam but haven’t passed and would love to start a group study or study partner. My
      Look forward to studying together.

      • Mary E. James

        Hello Vi, what exam are you studying for? I am studying for the LCSW exam.
        I am also looking for a study partner.

        • Kelly McBride

          Mary, I am studying for the clinical exam for LCSW and have signed up for my exam for 02/15/19. I am interested in a study group. I live in California.

          • Mary James

            Kelly that’s great! Less touch bases. I am in California too.
            Contact me via email and we can chat.

          • Mary E. James

            Kelly, I am studying for my LCSW as well. I would love to join a study group/ or have a study partner. My Email:

          • Germeen

            How did you do on your exam? Did you take it on 2/15? I am taking my lcsw exam on 2/20

        • Elee Ferguson

          I am studying for LCSW would love a study partner .
          Houston Texas

      • Kim

        I am taking my clinical ASWB in December and looking for a study partner. I live in South CA.
        My email:

  2. esther fried

    Hi I am starting to study for the lmsw I would love to have a study parter..plz

    • Mary E. James

      I have been studying for a while. I live in Sacramento, Ca. I am looking for a study partner, if anyone is available, lease contact me. Thank you.

    • Jodi Kurlander

      Hi Esther,
      What State are you taking exam in? I am also studying for LMSW. I just signed up for this program as I graduated in 2010 and have failed the exam a few times already. It has been a long time since I studied or attempted to take it again. At this point I cannot even get onto the program other then this part of it, so I am still navigating it. A friend told me about it and I am trying to figure it all out.

      Would love to study with you or in a group.

      Jodi Kurlander

  3. Victoria

    I’m in Michigan and now on zoom…I’m open for studying with a group

    • Isabell Springer

      VICTORIA and MARY E. JAMES what exam are you studying for LMFT/LCSW/LMHW?

      I am looking for a study partner for the MFT Clinical.

      email me:

      • Victoria Cheatham

        I’m studying for the LMSW exam

      • Mary E. J.

        I am studying for my LCSW exam.
        Please I would love to have a study partner.

        • Victoria Cheatham

          Mary did you sign up for Zoom?

  4. Victoria Cheatham

    I’m studying for clinical

  5. Mary E. J

    I am not sure how to sign up for Zoom. I would like to learn.

  6. mina badie

    I am studying for clinical and I would like to join your group on Zoom. I don’t have an account, but I can set up one or join yours.

  7. Germeen

    Would like any strategies from someone who has recently taken the lcsw exam. Taking exam 2/20 I am getting nervous

  8. ana

    Hello, I am starting to study for my LCSW exam, can anyone join me.. I am in California.

  9. Ana

    Hello I am Ana again,,, this is my email


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