Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today, I administered a practice to the students. We used a practice test, truncated by me to fit into 2 hours. I used the official practice test as a timing/scoring guideline. The section lengths are as follows: 20 questions verbal reasoning, 30 questions quantitative reasoning, 20 questions (4 passages) reading comprehension, 20 questions math achievement, and one 30-minute essay. We had two breaks, in accordance with the real test: one break after the first two sections and one break right before the essay. They both finished early on various sections, and I encouraged them to return to beginning of the section to check for arithmetic mistakes and other errors. They both finished the first section (VR) and the essay rather quickly. They both went back through their essays to check spelling and add extra concluding words, which is great -- I really hope they both do this on the real test! It will serve them well."
"We worked on reading comprehension, math, and writing. The student had a good day and is showing improvement with each session."
"Focused on Math, focusing on exponents, order of operations, multiplying and dividing fractions, and percents."
"The student completed a diagnostic by looking at reading comprehension and math skills. Student does a good job of answering questions in reading comprehension, but his reading speed may limit the number of passages he gets to. We will work on increasing reading speed by focusing on reading for the big picture and not for the details. Student again demonstrates knowledge of pre-algebra and a command of arithmetic. Student needs work on converting between decimals, fractions, and percents. Student needs work on calculating probability and reducing fractions. We will work on this using worksheets for practice. We ended the session with him taking several practice verbal tests from the website. Student commanded test at the 4th grade level but struggled with 5th grade level vocabulary. Extra practice: student will work on another practice test, look up definition of 10 words he doesn't know from the test, and use them in a sentence."
"Reviewed strategies for multiple choice questions. We practiced tests from the study book. Worked with root words."
"We discussed unit conversions (feet to yards), her vocab flashcards, arithmetic with fractions, division, area, perimeter, and cross multiplication."
"Today was the final prep session with the student; she is taking the test tomorrow morning. We spent some time reviewing and practicing some of the math concepts that we had identified as areas for growth (exponents, word problems, and math vocab), before moving on to writing out a detailed list of things to do tonight and tomorrow morning (i.e. gather materials tonight, eat a hearty breakfast, etc.). Finally, we used the practice test to simulate what the actual test will look and feel like; I read the directions out loud, we reviewed the strategies listed through the student's work with me, and then I had the student complete a sampling of questions. We moved through each of the 5 sections in this way, and the student showed a thorough understanding of the format of the test, types of questions, and general and specific strategies. I expect the student to do well, and her mother said she would let me know how she had done when they get the scores back."
"The student completed two reading passages and answers. She scored 5/6 and 5/7. We discussed the questions she got wrong. We also practiced multiplication and word problems, and covered new concepts such as simple algebra."
"We reviewed multiplying and dividing fractions. We then went over how to design experiments in science and how to write answers for a science test."
"On Sunday, the student and I met for our second session. He had completed his 25 homework problems, so we started by checking them and explaining the questions he missed. He missed 5 of 25, but the problems I gave him were of the hardest type on the lower exam. His math skills are way above what is needed to do well on the lower exam. When we were checking, I asked him to explain what he was thinking as he answered the question and, on a few of them, he was able to catch his own mistake. When we finished checking the homework, he went over his reading comprehension and verbal sections from his practice exam. He had missed very few on those sections as well. We talked about a strategy for answering "main idea" questions on the reading comprehension and for verbal. The best thing for him is to increase his vocabulary. I gave him a homework assignment with difficult math problems as well as synonyms with words he may or may not know."
"This week, the student and I addressed the subject of essay writing. She is preparing to take the exam and has already taken a practice test, which includes an essay. Her context for writing has been primarily within the British education system, and so it is necessary that we familiarize her with the mechanics of American-style writing, within which the essay plays a key role. We discussed essays: what they are, what they are not, and how they work. I could see from her practice test essay that while she has a highly developed vocabulary and a strong writing voice, she needs to work on structuring and developing her ideas. We looked, therefore, first to the essay's prompt, and I asked her to explain to me what she understood the question to be. Her response was very similar to that which she had already expressed in her essay. I affirmed both her main point as well as the reasons for why she had chosen her main point. However, I explained to her how, in essay writing, the American system requires a specific structure, particularly for the lower academic levels. We talked at length about the "intro-body-conclusion" frame, as well as theses. The essay she had written for the practice test represented body material. I helped her identify the two parts of her idea and then had her mind-map and outline the essay in order to help expand her writing. She came up with a fantastic example that illustrated her point well, and after she had written her first draft of the essay based on the outline we had made together, I encouraged her to expand the example. We talked about explaining the "how" and "why" of her ideas in order to strengthen her essay. After reading through her first draft, she identified more clearly her thesis statement and placed it as her introduction. We proceeded to walk through her draft, identifying run-on sentences and working to revise them. After she had spliced the run-ons, we went back through the body and began revising sentences to make them more active. I told her that, as the writer, it is her choice whether or not she will implement my suggestions. I simply asked that she make the revisions by identifying the subject and verb in each sentence and then rewrite the sentences in order to practice revision. She did not have to keep the revisions. I just wanted for her to see the malleability of language and grow more familiar with working words to her advantage. For homework, I asked her to finish the work we had started and work on her concluding example."
"We reviewed the verbal section and worked specifically on synonyms. We spent the other half reviewing math concepts."