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About PASS

Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) are facilitated study groups: voluntary, regularly scheduled, informal review study sessions in which students compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools and predict test items. Students work together to learn how to integrate course content and study skills.

PASS are facilitated by “peer leaders”, students who have previously done well in the course and who attend all class lectures, take notes, and act as model students. Unlike TAs, PASS Leaders do not re-lecture course material or solve assignments. Instead, they help students structure and prioritize their study routine, so that they can get the most out of their study time. PASS Leaders encourage students to work as a group to improve their understanding of the course material.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email inquiries to the PASS Program Coordinator at

PASS Program Goals


A course-specific Bethune College service that increases academic performance and student retention and enhances first- and second-year student experience through peer-assisted group study sessions.


  • Encourage the development of independent, enthusiastic, self-motivated peer leaders, capable of organizing and facilitating group study sessions.
  • Provide students with learning skills and study habits that will help them succeed academically in a group-based learning environment.


PASS stands for Peer-Assisted Study Sessions. PASS are structured study groups.

The PASS Leader is an upper year student who has completed the course with an A or an A+. They will be attending all of your lectures to be up to date with what you are learning. PASS Leaders do NOT re-instruct or re-teach the material. Rather, PASS Leaders facilitate the understanding of difficult topics already covered by professors in class. PASS Leaders are NOT profs or teaching assistants.

No! PASS is 100% FREE!

PASS is offered for Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Physics courses.

Refer to the schedule at PASS Schedule.

PASS is offers 1.5 hour sessions, 2 times per week for each course.

No, you don’t. You can come as often as your schedule allows and come and go as you please. However, data reveal that the more PASS you attend, the higher your exam/test/final course grade vs. average class grade.

While Peer Tutoring is a one-on-one, first-come-first-served, drop-in service, PASS take place at a particular time each week and are run in a group setting as a structured, facilitated study group. For more information on the times and location of Peer Tutoring see:

Yes! We, and other universities/institutions, have found that after attending at least 8-10 PASS, students have improved grades, on average, by 2 letter grades.

PASS Attendee Do's/Don'ts

• Be polite and respectful to the PASS leader and other attendees

• Ask for tips on how to study for a course

• Contribute to the session

• Feel free to ask for clarifications and ask questions

• Make use of other Bethune College and York academic support resources

• Make use of Bethune College Peer Tutors

• Listen to other attendees’ questions

• Make use of the PASS online group (Facebook Page)

• Do respect your PASS leader’s personal space

• Bring study materials to the session
• Ask the PASS leader on advice on whether or not to drop the course

• Ask for answers to graded assignments, or labs

• Monopolize the PASS leader

• Date or flirt with your PASS leader

• Solely rely on PASS leaders for your knowledge and solving course difficulties

• Wait until the last minute to seek assistance

• Treat your PASS leader as your personal therapist

• Expect immediate answers – work within the session to solve problems

• Expect mock examinations to be available online

• Don’t give money or gifts to your PASS leaders