"The student and I began by going over the vocabulary homework I had asked her to complete after our last session; she did a very thorough and thoughtful job of coming up with both the meanings of the roots and prefixes I had asked her to consider and example words that contain them. Even better, she seemed much calmer and more confident when we saw how those roots, prefixes and, in some cases, whole words showed up in the synonyms and analogies questions of a sample verbal section. She performed well above her grade level on both types of questions throughout our practice and appeared more relaxed about questions where she wasn't entirely sure of the answer than she had been in our first session. I'm very proud of her progress!
After working on the verbal section, we switched focus to the math section. She had taken and scored the math section of a practice test, so we started by reviewing the questions she had gotten wrong or left blank. Most of our skill review targeted geometry and algebra problems that went a little beyond the basics, which wasn't at all surprising considering her grade and the range of grade levels covered by the upper-level SSAT. Still, she caught on quickly to new concepts and to ways that she could use the fundamentals she already knows to narrow down the answer choices on more advanced problems. We discussed the importance of tackling the math section in multiple rounds so that she answers all of the questions she can solve quickly and easily before spending time on the more difficult or involved problems.
In addition, we laid the groundwork for next session's likely focus on the reading section of the test by exploring a few different approaches to reading passages. She was responsive to the idea of reading the questions before the passages but feels that the 'scavenger hunt' approach of tackling the passages only as needed to answer each question might be confusing or frustrating to her. It's likely that she'll end up thriving best when she reads the questions and then either the entire passage or substantial chunks of it at a time. We'll see for sure in our next session."