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What are Peer-Led Study Sessions?

students working together

Every NSE department offers study sessions outside of class that are led by peer assistants. These are students who have taken the class before and get some training in how to help current students learn.

Every department has its own name for the peer assistants, and sometimes for the sessions as well. But they all have the same purpose: to provide an environment where you can come together with your fellow students to get your questions answered and learn together.

Activities vary across departments, so pay attention to what the peer assistants share about how to approach these and what your goal is.

Why Should I Go?

Go to get to know the peer assistants and to learn from them! As students who recently took the class, they have a great perspective on how to learn the material. Often, they themselves had difficulty learning the material initially, but figured out how to work effectively and mastered the course. Ask them about how to work effectively as well as your questions about the material.

These sessions offer a natural opportunity to collaborate with your peers. You might find others who are stuck on the same problems that you are and/or can explain their thought process. Or you might be able to teach some problems to others, which increases your own understanding.

Some Tips

Try to limit going to help sessions right before homework assignments are due, because the peer assistants will be much busier and you will be less likely to receive one-on-one help.

It's also best to split up the work over several days so that you don't have to do it all the night before. Professors sometimes assign problems before you have covered the material in class, so a good rule of thumb is to focus on the problems that you have covered first, and then turn your attention to the others.

You can also form study groups with other students to help hold you accountable.

Who Are the Peer Assistants in Each Department?

Click on the underlined department name for a subpage with resources directly related to that discipline.




Life Cycle of a Problem Set

This video skit demonstrates that you shouldn't procrastinate on homework assignments. Start as early as possible so that you have time to ask questions at problem sessions and during office hours.