The Best Way to Learn is to Teach

Looking for a way to improve your return on your study time? One of the most effective ways to learn something on your course is to teach it to others. You can do it informally by helping your colleagues or arranging a study group, or formally by offering your services as a tutor. Whichever you choose you’ll be the one to benefit most!


  • If you can explain it to others, then you know you have it well prepared. You can face the exam with confidence, a confidence you won’t get from many other study techniques. You will have been tested already, and passed!
  • You will find your understanding deepens when you have to explain to someone else. Teaching a topic always involves knowing that bit more than what you actually need to pass on. You always need a bit more background information to teach successfully. So you will be forced to increase your knowledge of your topic to a standard more than adequate for your exam.
  • From a simple time management point of view, arranging to explain to someone else at a set time, what you have decided to share, will keep the pressure on. Working alone as you so often do when studying makes discipline and meeting deadlines difficult. It’s very easy for time to slip by as you all know, without much progress. If you know you’ll have to present the information the next day, you will be far more focussed than you would be if you were studying on your own.
  • You don’t have to be an expert, you need only stay one step ahead of your colleagues, so it’s not as difficult as it may seem. Even offering to help a friend through a course, while you study it the day before, will improve your grades immensely, not to mention the satisfaction you will feel from helping someone else get to grips with a subject they thought they couldn’t manage.
  • If you are helping a younger student, through grinds or tutoring, though the content may not be an immediate part of your own study, you will be consolidating the information you might have covered in previous years of your course, which will help you absorb and understand the higher level material you yourself have to cover. This is particularly true of mathematical or scientific studies. And maybe you can make some pocket money in the process!
  • Recalling what you’ve learned is essential for study. And there is no better way to recall than to explain it again to someone else.
  • If you all take turns leading a group, it’s a great way to share the workload. Although you will still be best prepared in the topics you yourself present, if you are in hurry, you will at least cover a lot of your course in a short time.
  • There is tremendous satisfaction in seeing the light bulb go on in someone else’s face as they understand a concept you are trying to explain. Who knows, you may get the teaching bug and follow it as a career!
  • If you get a reputation as someone who’s good at explaining or who’s good to approach about questions, you will find more and more people will ask you, which in turn will push you to higher and higher levels. The informal social support structure that grows from this too will greatly increase your enjoyment of college or school.

Whether you have an opportunity to become a tutor, give grinds, lead your own study group, or just help out a friend you will find that having to explain your course material to other people will increase your own understanding immensely. It can’t be beaten as a way to further your studies! Try it today – you won’t regret it.

  • Partner links