Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We used the online learning platform to cover Algebra and Improving Sentences, while concluding with a discussion of a strong essay format (Opening statement of beliefs and reasoning for those beliefs, 2 to 3 example paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph). I asked the student to do two 30-minute Algebra assignments and two 30-minute Writing assignments using the online platform as well as two essays with historical prompts (because she is a big history buff) for next time."
"The student and I worked on the essay portion of the writing section of the SAT. I had asked the student to prepare an essay for me, which we went over. His big issues are staying on topic, referencing the thesis, and vocabulary. We began by talking about how to improve vocabulary by memorizing common words that would appear in most essays. Then, we went over the sample essays to dissect what made them receive their high scores to point out how his essay, compared to the sample essays in the book, lack a coherent focus and supporting evidence. I believe he has begun to see what type of essay is required for the exam. For our next session, he will produce another essay to be reviewed based on the ideas we covered today."
"The student and I started by discussing her goals for the SAT and where she needs work. We reviewed her past scores in order to pinpoint where we should focus. We worked with a practice essay prompt and discussed strategies to excel at the essay portion of the test. We then worked through Math and Writing practice problems. She will take parts of a practice test for next week."
"At today's session, the student and I reviewed two math sections she'd completed as homework. As she continues to correctly answer questions at a very high percentage, we focused mostly on the questions she was unable to answer. She has a tendency to freeze at certain points, at times leaving a question just before arriving at the answer. We discussed different ways to approach difficult questions and identified several areas that she doesn't feel comfortable with. For our next session, I've asked to her to complete one math section and to choose several more areas she would like to work on with me."
"To mix things up this week, we switched back to critical reading. The student was predictably rusty (just a little), so I'm not worried. In the next few weeks before the exam, he should put in as much practice as possible!"
"We went over some reading and writing sections. I was happy to see that he had marked up the passages before answering. Overall I think the student is getting better at justifying his answers which helps to make sure he gets them correct."
"The student and I worked a good deal on math and sentence improvement today. She is becoming much more analytical in her thinking and is discovering that when she takes her time on a problem rather than rushing through it, she almost always finds the right answer! I have assigned her a full-length practice test for our next meeting a week from today. I have encouraged her to take her time on the problems instead of rushing through them, which I know will result in a more accurate reflection of her understanding."
"The student has extra time on the test, which, as we discussed, is both a help and a hindrance. We are focusing on implementing some key SAT-specific strategies and working on how to approach these difficult questions. One of the keys for her will be to eliminate answer choices. In addition, we need to work on speeding up her decision-making process. She can think well but is slow in deciding."
"In today's session, I focused on becoming familiar with the student's strengths and weaknesses with regard to the Math and Critical Reading sections of the SAT. She is completely unfamiliar with the test structure, but I can tell that she has had strong preparation (e.g., calculator skills, vocabulary acquisition) built in to her high school curriculum. We went over test structure and scoring as well as basic strategies for math, sentence completions, and reading comprehension questions. Homework: one critical reading and one math practice section."
"We continued to go over the work I had assigned the student to complete from her SAT math workbook. We went over longer word problems and spent most of the time reviewing distance/rate/time problems. I left her with more practice sections from the workbook as well as practice from the critical reading workbook. Next time, I hope to spend the first half on math and the second half reviewing reading skills."
"Did questions from the diagnostic test in SAT prep book. Showed student SAT math time-saving strategies as we did problems. Explained how to "defeat" the guessing penalty (eliminate at least one wrong answer). He didn't have much trouble with the vocabulary or reading. His parents will obtain a copy of the SAT prep book for him. He, his parents, and I discussed the proper approach to the SAT."
"The student and I reviewed her grammar skills, and she has improved in recognizing usage errors. I assigned a final project to assess her progress from the beginning. We reviewed passage reading exercises, which are among her strongest skills. We also plowed through the rest of our comprehensive math review, and I assigned exercises to culminate the review. Next time we will focus on weak spots in math and continue to memorize the formulas that will be necessary for the test. I've observed progress across the board."