"In this session, the student and I worked mostly on the Math section as in previous sessions, with particular focus on shortcuts for Geometry- and especially polygon-based problems.
However, we also talked about some ways to speed up the Reading section, including both Sentence Completion questions and Passage-Based reading tasks. She was very enthusiastic about the "scavenger hunt" approach to non-fiction passages. We practiced it by tackling the questions for a long, dense non-fiction passage one at a time, leaving the more general ones about overall tone or main idea until last and only reading as much of a paragraph as necessary to find the answer to each question as we dealt with it. The student had great success with this technique, and expressed that it made the reading passage much less tedious. For the Sentence Completion questions, she showed a very strong starting vocabulary of words based in Latin roots and prefixes. We therefore focused on boosting her repertoire of SAT-level words that aren't based in common Latin roots, such as those with Greek, historical or mythological origins.
Lastly, she asked if there were any tips for preparing to write the essay, given that students don't know what their writing prompt will be until the day of the test. I talked with her a little bit about general preparation strategies, such as knowing some of the common themes that form the basis of many of the writing prompts, and how she can go about building a "toolbox" of source material from literature, history and personal experience from which she can draw supporting examples relevant to a variety of possible prompt themes. We wrapped up our work on the essay by reading through a few very high- and low-scoring sample essays from a previous year's test and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each one."