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My Learning Centre Experience: peer tutoring sessions

September 21, 2021

What are peer tutoring sessions?

Peer tutoring sessions are led by upper-year students who have taken the class they’re tutoring and have gotten an A. These sessions are around 45 minutes long and are a great opportunity to get 1:1 peer assistance on topics you need help with.

Why I chose to attend a peer tutoring session

I chose to go to peer tutoring sessions when I was taking calculus because I thought it’d be less intimidating to get 1:1 help from a peer than anyone else. As well, I thought I’d benefit from the 1:1 setting instead of group study sessions because I could ask more questions specific to areas I needed help reviewing. I was so confused with limits at first so I spent an entire session just on limits with my peer tutor and was an expert by the end of it. I think this was because: 

  1. We have amazing peer tutors who really know their stuff.
  2. I got to focus specifically on the topic I was having trouble with and practiced it until I was an expert.
  3. I didn’t have any interruptions or distractions to hinder my learning. I got my peer tutor’s full and undivided attention.

Tips for attending peer tutoring sessions 

It can be tricky to ask for help or to know when to ask for help. My biggest tip is to start studying early and keep up with course content to identify any weaknesses so that you can bring them up with your peer tutor! 

Come prepared with questions 

Even if I’m completely lost on a subject, I like to show up to sessions with questions prepared or with a list of topics I’d like to go over. This ensures that I’ll be able to fully maximize my time during the session by being organized beforehand! 

Show that you’ve made an attempt  

It’s not ideal to go into a peer tutoring session saying “I know absolutely nothing and my midterm is tomorrow, please help”. I like to show that I’ve at least tried some of the questions or have made an attempt to retain the material. This is a good habit in general! If you get stuck on one question, who's to say that the next one is going to leave you stumped too? Don’t get discouraged! Showing that you’ve made an effort helps narrow down an area of weakness especially in multi-step problems. If you can get through steps 1-3 but get lost after that, that’s a great start and will go a long way in helping your peer tutor help you!

If you don’t know where to start… that’s okay too

At times I won’t know where to start but that’s helpful feedback! Sometimes it’s just a matter of needing help setting up a question and I’ll be able to zip through it after that. Acknowledge that you don’t know where to start and try to fit the pieces together with your peer tutor. 

If you’re really lost… go back to the basics 

In any class that I’ve ever taken since high school, I always try to redo the lecture practice problems on my own. If I’m able to redo all of those questions correctly without looking at the solutions then I know I’ll be equipped to go through any additional homework or assignment questions. I’ve used my peer tutor time to go through lecture notes and in-class problems and it has made a world of a difference in my understanding! 

Book a peer tutor appointment 

If you think you’d benefit from a peer tutoring session, book an appointment today! 

  • Sign in to the Student Life Portal
  • Select Dashboard
  • Select Book an appointment
  • Select Book an Appointment with a Peer Tutor and follow the remaining prompts

Book a peer tutor appointment