Evening Degree undergrads boost academic performance thanks to study group

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CHINA 18 June 2019: IFT’s evening bachelor degree programmes enable working adults to return to formal education and learn new things. The programmes offer flexible schedules for such students; nonetheless it can still be a challenge for students to make time for out-of-class study, especially if they have a full-time job.

With that in mind, and in order to support and motivate each other, some Year 1 Tourism Retail and Marketing Management evening students established in March, during the second semester of academic year 2018/19, a voluntary, student-led study group. The group focused on accounting as an academic subject.

During their study time together, students reviewed what they had learned in class and did exercises in accounting. They mostly met on weekends or before tests, on either the IFT Mong-Há Campus or the Taipa Campus.

The group had around 10 participants. It was led by Elaine Cheong, a student confident she had a good understanding of accounting principles.

“I had taken accounting-related courses before, so I knew the importance of attention to detail and logical thinking in order to have good grades in accounting,” she says. Elaine adds that one of the benefits of the study group was the positive attitude shown by each participant, which had a beneficial and reinforcing effect on the whole group.

Student study groups can help participants accelerate their individual accumulation of knowledge, according to education experts. Benefits include helping participants to avoid procrastination on academic tasks, and assisting them in learning new study techniques and filling gaps in knowledge.

Erik Kuan was one of the members of the study group. She is a mother-of-one, with a full-time job, and says the study group helped her achieve a balance between work, study and family.

“With work in the daytime and study in the evening, I’m living a busy but fulfilling life. I was glad that our study group had very flexible arrangements,” she says. “We practised through exercises, or mock tests: in this way, I got to review topics that during class I hadn’t fully understood.”

Summer Leong says the study group had a positive impact on her academic performance. Summer had since childhood found mathematics and related subjects hard to understand.

“During my senior secondary school years, I failed all of my math tests and exams. I had become very negative toward any number- or calculation-related subject,” she says. But with the support of the study group, Summer was able at IFT to reverse the trend.

The study group organised a total of 8 gatherings over a period of 2 months up to the time of the students’ final accounting exam in mid-May. “We became closer… because we spent a lot of time studying together,” says participant Kyle Ao Ieong.

“Very often, we’re too busy with our own lives – going to work, going to class – and we just can’t make time to get to know our IFT classmates better,” he says. “Yet, because of our mutual goal to achieve better results in accounting, we had the chance to bond together through this community.” Friendship was an extra benefit of the study group, he notes.