Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I covered the ACT Writing portion in this session. She wasn't quite sure about the essay portion previously, so we went over the general format and what the ACT is looking for. We went over several example prompts, working on organization, brainstorming, and transitions. Brainstorming is often the most difficult part of the essay, and she was able to improve her skills through outlining. We looked at essays that were scored very highly so she could see what to aim for. She seems to be a good writer, and I have high hopes. Next session, we will cover the math and science before the exam."
"The student and I went over the subjects of acids and bases. We worked out some problems of determining a conjugate acid and conjugate base pair. We also worked on problems from the SAT II subject workbook."
"Continued with science and math sections of admissions test. The student is very quick and a great learner, she also understands her mistakes quickly. The student has the most trouble with the science section which we will focus on more in future lessons."
"The student and I started by debriefing his reading assessment. His projected score is 28-29, with the only pattern of error observed in negotiating test mechanics (question phrasing, connection between answer choice and relevant text). He paced himself very well; if we need to adjust his speed to allow more time for careful reading of test content, we have that option available. Then we transitioned to a survey of ACT English content, which significantly overlaps with recently covered PSAT writing questions. He asked good clarifying questions on specific points of punctuation and pronoun use, but overall was able to use his prior learning to support correct responses to the exercise set. I assigned a timed English prep for homework based on his performance. If the assessment results are below target, we will return to the survey; if not, we will move forward to the next stage of the prep."
"In these most recent two meetings, the student and I discussed her performance on her first attempt, and began fine tuning for her second attempt on the SSAT. She did not do as well as she would have liked, and that was mainly due to her reaction to the math and quantitative sections. She was troubled with several word problems and felt restricted by the time limit. For the next few sessions, I will exclusively target basic math skills related to algebra, geometry, and data analysis. For extra practice, I suggested completing more practice problems under a realistic time constraint."
"The student and I worked on geometry and writing during this session. She is very determined to do well and worked hard during the session. Her ability to eliminate choices has also improved. I sent two essay prompts and a link to an online test prep site for practice during the upcoming week."
"First, we looked over the student's score reports from the first SAT. We used this information to make a schedule for the next few tutor sessions before the exam date. We focused this lesson on grammar and vocabulary in order to build a stronger foundation for the next SAT exam. We used some of these skills to strengthen our strategy for the Reading Passages and the Sentence Completions sections."
"The student and I covered the remaining math problems from her practice test section and moved onto the reading comp. She answered 23 out of 30 reading questions correctly. A couple of the incorrects were vocab questions but as far as her actual comprehension questions she did quite well. As she is taking the test next Saturday and has never taken it before, I made sure to go over scoring, time, and guessing with her. We also looked at the verbal portion. I wanted to make sure she had sound strategy for the sentence completions where context evaluation makes all the difference. She answered 11 correctly and missed two of the sentence completions on her practice verbal section. I assigned the remaining math section and explained the quant comp question format."
"Today, the student and I went over humanities passages. He had taken a practice test prior to the session and got all of the multiple choice questions correct. However, his responses to the short answer questions showed a less comprehensive understanding of the content, so we spent a good amount of time discussing the author's purpose in writing the passage and the construction of supporting arguments by the author. We also discussed satire and the most common example of it, Mark Twain. We spent a lot of time discussing common themes in humanities essays- nature, religion, literature, philosophy and art- as well as the importance of context for understanding. He will receive a homework assignment due Monday via email tomorrow."
"We continued our discussion of the student's practice test. We went over both the grammar and reading comprehension sections in details. Her grammar is in general very good but I will review the most important points with her anyway next session just to make sure they've been covered. I gave her my word root list to take a look at so she could apply word root logic to her vocabulary questions. We then reviewed her reading comprehension sections and discussed her errors. Generally she does a good job on these as far as getting her choices down to the "okay" and "best" choices, but she says she has a hard time figuring out the "best" choice reliably, so we discussed ways to help spot which answer is actually the one the SAT is looking for."
"Today, we worked on some English questions, and then we went over the practice test we assigned. The student's English skills have improved greatly! He is also doing well with science related passages on the critical reading but struggles with those passages he finds boring. We are working on him focusing when he reads the passages he doesn't enjoy."
"We finished our lesson in geometric and arithmetic sequences, reviewing the concepts I had introduced last week as well as introducing some new information. We worked through some practice problems together, and I'm sending the student a worksheet for additional practice. We also worked on developing stronger writing skills. He is familiar with the rules of essay writing, but he has some trouble putting them to use. He has told me that he wants to see more examples of effective writing, so we looked at a couple of good essays, focusing on their organization. In the remaining time, we began a set of passage-based reading problems. I am emailing the passage to him so he can reread and annotate it before our next session, when we will finish answering the questions."