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Students in the Central Library

What is PASS?

Peer-Assisted Study Sessions or PASS support student success through weekly 50-minute interactive study groups. These groups are facilitated by 2nd- or 3rd-year students (known as PASS facilitators), who were successful in first year and have knowledge of the course content.

At PASS, you work with your peers on subject-related problems / questions to help you better understand the course material, while also developing the study skills you need to do well at university. In other words, PASS integrates the course or paper content (what to learn) with academic reasoning and study skills (how to learn).

PASS runs from week 2 to week 13 of both semesters, allowing you to regularly revise the course material in a social, collaborative, and interactive environment.

PASS registrations will be available from Thursday afternoon during the first week of semester.

Please register for only ONE session per paper.

Register for a PASS session

Notification of absence

Please ensure that you complete this form if you are going to miss a PASS session. If you are absent for two consecutive sessions, you will be unregistered from PASS. We have a very large waiting list for most sessions, so we need to monitor attendance closely.

Why should I register for PASS?

A recent review of 29 PASS programmes in Australasia (Dawson, van der Meer, Skalicky and Cowley, 2014) found that:

  • Students who attended 8 or more sessions of PASS had a higher final grade, compared to students who attended no sessions
  • Students who attended PASS sessions reported greater satisfaction with their knowledge and improved confidence in applying their knowledge in new situations
  • Students reported that PASS had helped to develop their sense of belonging and retention in their various institutions

Here's what some students have said about the PASS programme at Otago:

“The groups helped me to think about the content in new ways, helped me to understand it better and remember it better too. I especially liked the discussions of the answers as a group because other people would bring in ideas I'd missed and we were able to help each other rather than sit and struggle on our own.”

“The PASS group that I participated in last year helped me to form a better understanding of the course material and allowed me to discuss the topics with like-minded students who wanted to get the most out of their academic experience. The facilitator was excellent – they enabled us to work in a safe space that respected our differing abilities and viewpoints. I would recommend the PASS program to any student and believe it enabled me to become one of the top achievers in the subject. Everyone should take advantage of this wonderful resource.”

“(PASS)… helps you get a deeper understanding when you work through problems with peers.”

If you have any questions about PASS, or would like to see a PASS session run for a paper that is not yet offered, please contact Student Learning Development reception.

Tel +64 3 479 8801
Freephone 0800 808 098

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