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How to Win at Homework

How to Win at Homework

Having a support system—both online and IRL—makes all experiences more fun. Even exams. Not only does studying suddenly become less awful when you’re surrounded by friends, but learning stuff alongside others can actually boost your GPA. According to recent research, students who collaborate with classmates on assignments and group projects develop better decision-making skills than those working solo. This means higher grades...and no offense to teachers, but the experience is likely more interesting than another long lecture.

Of course, sometimes friends aren’t up for an impromptu study session (and sometimes they’re really, really distracting). But you don’t have to hit the library with your pals to benefit from studying with others. Social networks have altered pretty much every aspect of life, and education is no exception. Reddit is filled with threads for literally every single thing you’d ever study, from Econ to English. And thanks to video chats and document sharing, Google+ is another surprisingly great tool to get stuff done in groups.

It’s easy to blame the internet as a straight-up homework distraction, but very real evidence shows that social networks can help you learn. A study from Baylor University found that students who participated in a closed Facebook group of 15,000 classmates actually benefitted (and so did their grades). This isn't an excuse to spend all night on Messenger instead of with your bio textbook, but school-specific social networks can help you finish your work faster (which leaves you more time to mess around online later if you want).

There’s also innovative online resources dedicated to this kind of thing. Brainly’s a free site-slash-community that has more than 80 million members from 35 countries, all of whom bring their brains together to tackle tough assignments. (Think of it as the ultimate global study group.) Danica, a 14-year-old from Oklahoma City, helps tons of fellow students with their most difficult homework questions. While searching online for support on a seemingly unsolvable geometry question, she came across the site—and after learning how to solve her problem, she wanted to help fellow students solve theirs. The best part: Since this is a community for students, by students, the answers are broken down into ways that you can actually get.

“It’s easy to blame the internet as a straight-up homework distraction, but very real evidence shows that social networks can help you learn.”

“I think it’s easier to learn with other people because everyone has a different way of learning and understanding different concepts, so you can help each other with your weaker points,” Danica said. “If my friend and I have trouble with something in science, then we can both explain what we know to the other person and combine our knowledge to understand all of it.”

Since you’re inevitably going to be spending too much time on homework in your lifetime—an average of 3,060 hours a year!—you might as well make it the least miserable experience possible. This is an A+ start.

This letter was brought to you by our pals at Brainly. The online resource gets you step-by-step homework help from thousands of other students. You can get help at Brainly.com, or download the iOS or Android mobile app.

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