Messenger services like Whatsapp and video chat platforms like Skype are the new venues for combined studies, students tell Ranjani Rajendra

There’s almost a frenetic buzz in student circles these days, with exams doing the rounds, there’s a mad scramble for notes . Not only is there a frantic rush to have notes photocopied, but friends are also being roped in to help explain crucial topics that were missed out in class. Little wonder then that phones are being kept fully charged and internet connections cranked up this exam season. While combined studies have long been popular, doing it over a social networking site, video chat or a messenger service is catching up quickly.

Sakshi Dubey, a student at Oakridge International School, says, “I find studying with friends on Skype very convenient. Honestly, I’m not that great with theory so while preparing for exams it’s easier to dial up a friend on Skype and get them to explain concepts to me as and when a doubt arises. It’s easier to do this at any point of time during our studies.” Taking recourse to a social networking site, video chat or a messenger service is fun and convenient, say youngsters. “For instance, I do most of my studying late in the night. If I’m suddenly unsure about something or need help with a certain topic it’s easier to get my friend to come on video conference and help me out. We can’t be rushing to each other’s homes in the middle of the night, can we?” says Aishwarya K., a B.Com student.

Varun Chand, an engineering student couldn’t agree more. “It helps to study with friends online because in case none of us know an answer we can quickly look things up on the internet. And it’s not always convenient to drop by a friend’s place while studying. It just works better this way,” he says.

Video chats apart, messenger services are also becoming huge hits with students. “We anyway have a class group on Whatsapp that we use to stay in touch with each other and update ourselves with what is going on with the rest of the members. During exams though, it serves well to exchange notes and important points through this group,” says Paul Oommen, final year engineering student at Vasavi College of Engineering. He adds, “While our class group is active on Whatsapp throughout the year, it seems to be buzzing even more during exams.”

Needless to say groups like these are a boon for stragglers who’ve either been too lazy to take down notes or remember important things until the very last moment. “When I was preparing for my final exams, we had few prescribed text books. So in subjects for which we didn’t have text books, we would take pictures of relevant matter from different books and then share it with each other via Whatsapp. That’s easier than photocopying pages from multiple books; all of us in the group can access the notes,” says Deepti Sardesai.