"In this last session before the student's SAT date, we focused on the Reading and Math sections. For Reading, we reviewed the kinds of tonal and logical cues in the Sentence Completions sentences that can speed up the process of choosing an answer, and practiced ruling out answers that wouldn't match the needed tone or logical relationship to the rest of the sentence before plugging each remaining answer in. We also talked about how punctuation and syntax can help identify the task that a missing word must accomplish in a sentence, and practiced applying that logic to our answer choices. We then moved on to Passage-Based Reading questions. For these, we reviewed the different reading strategies that we had previously discussed, and looked at the criteria that she can use to choose a strategy for each passage. In general, the "scavenger hunt" approach worked less well for her with both fiction passages and short passages (including paired passages), so we agreed that it should be reserved only for very long, dense non-fiction passages if she uses it at all. Otherwise, the techniques of reading the questions first and then either reading the whole passage or dividing it into significant chunks, such as a half or a third of the passage at a time, would give her the best balance of confidence, accuracy and efficiency.
After wrapping up the Reading section, we looked at Math again; this time, we started by focusing on the Student-Produced Response questions. Although there are fewer shortcuts for these questions than for the multiple-choice, we were able to explore some ways to spot problems that can be worked more quickly than the traditional way, such as those that ask for a multiple of a value like "4x" or "x squared" that we've already found, and which can be solved without solving for x and re-multiplying. We also tackled some of the more difficult function- and geometry-based questions toward the end of a few multiple-choice sections, with a view both toward uncovering the logic behind the problems that she found most confusing- or intimidating-looking and toward finding logical shortcuts to speed them up and make them simpler to solve.
Finally, we went over some general test-day tips for maintaining energy and focus throughout the test and for managing nervousness and the temptation to second-guess herself.
The student has done very well throughout the tutoring process: not only is she extremely bright and open to trying new approaches, but she has shown enviable dedication and creativity. She has been an absolute joy to work with, and I wish her the very best on her exam."