Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today, we worked on solving strategies for college entrance exam analogies and practiced sets of questions. We also did some vocabulary work and started sample reading comprehension questions."
"Today I gave the student two practice SSAT "Math challenges" where I asked him to complete a 25 section with the goal of getting every question right without worrying about time. I asked him to carefully check each answer and be as sure as he could that he had done everything possible to verify his answers, including plugging answers back in and reviewing the questions to make sure he was giving the answer they had actually asked for. Even taking the extra time to check everything, he still finished with significant time to spare. We discovered that he was losing some points by not reading the questions carefully, and we went over the answers to refine his approach. I then gave him another set under the same conditions and he missed only one question on the section set while still finishing under time. I think the student's nervousness about testing causes him to try and rush through to the end of the section just to get it over with, causing him to lose points he doesn't need to lose. I will be trying to coach him to be aware of this habit and work to limit it. After the math challenges, we worked on practice reading comprehension sections, with the same technique as last time of reading each section twice before answering questions. This continues to be helpful and the student seems to be regaining his confidence about his reading skills."
"The first thing we did was to review vocabulary. She has made a huge improvement on the older word lists, which indicates that she's been doing regular practice and that is starting to pay off. I added a large number of words to her list, and we talked more about context, word mnemonics, and roots/prefixes/suffixes. Her progress shows that she is capable of expanding her vocabulary substantially, as long as she practices regularly. Next, we did some arithmetic drills. I tested her on basic algebra, fractions, percentages, and decimals, and she did fine - I like doing these drills with her before she does questions directly from a practice test, because the drills boost her confidence and speed. Next, we went through some practice analogy and sentence completion questions - she practiced strategies that are test-specific, and we found that the SSAT tends to include vocab questions that test practical knowledge - for instance, she learned the expression, "in the black," in reference to accounting and business journalism. This week, she will learn what a lathe is - not typical SAT questions, but relevant to particular types of reading. Finally, she did timed drills out of a practice test. She practiced skipping harder questions, using process of elimination, and solving logic problems. We went over a couple of shortcuts for certain math problems that standardized tests tend to use. The test is coming up, and overall, she says that feels more comfortable with the practice tests than she did before she started. She requested that we work more on essay time management before she takes the test, so we'll do that next week."