Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today, we started by discussing the strategies I wanted the student to use while taking the next few sections of the practice test. I told him I wanted him to skip the vocabulary and go right to the passages and cross out answers he believed to be incorrect and not guess unless he crossed out 3 answers. He finished the passage questions in about 15 minutes. At that point, he moved on to the vocabulary questions. He said that he took Latin and that seems to help him with the vocabulary questions. He wrote out a few words and broke them down into their Latin roots. He finished section 3 in 22 minutes and 15 seconds. He felt good overall about section 5, and it was an improvement from the last one he completed. I gave the student the choice of taking the larger writing section or skipping to a math section, and he chose the writing section because it is harder for him. I told him that I really wanted him to take his time, and if he didn't finish the section in the given time that was okay. I also reminded him to watch out for commas, past/present/future, and using different endings (-ed, -ing, - est). He continued to cross out answers he felt were incorrect and underlined the information in the question itself to see it better and understand more. He was focused today and worked at a great speed. He would circle the answer he thought was right and then read it again and make a change if needed. I liked seeing that the student was reading every word while completing the sentence error part of section 6. Next, I had the student complete a writing sample for me. I told him that the introduction and conclusion should be short, sweet, and to the point, and the body should be 2 examples with as many details as possible. He wrote some examples in the space given and then began to write his essay. He wrote very quickly, and finished his essay in 22 minutes and 45 seconds. He was able to read it through three times, 1st time for topic, 2nd time for neatness, and 3rd time for corrections."
"Today, we covered the math section of the student's practice test. He missed questions mainly because he needs help adjusting to the style of US test questions. With math, often if I just reminded him of the principle needed to start a problem, he could figure it out. I think he is learning very quickly, and, as he continues to work on these styles of questions, I expect to see gains in the math section very quickly."
"During this session, we began by discussing the specifics of the SAT, as well as discussing the student's experiences taking the ACT and if there were any areas in which she felt like she needed more review. She reported that the most challenging section of the ACT was the Science section, and since the SAT has no Science section, we decided to continue concentrating on improving her Reading and Writing scores. To that end, we began an in-depth review of common grammatical mistakes that most often appear on the SAT Writing multiple-choice section. We finished almost the entire grammar review section, going through each grammatical rule and then testing the student's understanding of it by working on a short drill together. I asked her to review the rules we had covered during this session on her own time, encouraging her to complete the rest of the drills on her own. During our next session, we will finish reviewing grammar rules and start applying them to Writing multiple-choice questions."
"For this session, we started with math practice questions. He did well and applied the strategies well, including my advice to him to write down diagrams and intermediate calculations with word problems especially instead of trying to do them all in his head. He reviewed words he missed before with a matching game, and then he did a partial essay. This he focused on introduction, topic sentences and closing sentence. We went over a few synonyms and analogies, which he did well with even though they were upper level questions. He did well and had few words to review."
"Last session before the test, and we worked on vocab section. I reminded her about the reading strategies we've worked on and I do hope that score increases. Fingers crossed."
"The student and I worked on the Quantitative section of the ISEE tonight. She was able to answer correctly on her own 14 out of 18 questions which we worked on. After working on math for a portion of the session, we went over a practice test for Reading Comprehension. We also went over some test taking strategies during the session."
"Today we did a the multiple choice writing sections of the an official practice test. We reviewed the few questions she missed and calculated her raw score. Assuming a nine on the essay, she would have made a 740, +/- 20 points in either direction with the essay score. This shows real improvement since last session. We then did two reading passages from the same test, and the student again showed great improvement, only missing 1 question (and it was difficult!). I am very pleased with her progress."
"Today we discussed what we have worked on in the two sessions, and today we wrapped up with the verbal section. We discuss some strategies to help answer questions faster and looking at questions in all angles. We paid close attention to vocabulary as well. The student seems very relaxed and at ease about the test tomorrow."
"In this final session to prepare for the SSAT, I want to make sure the student is relaxed but mentally focused to take on the challenge ahead of him. We went through each section covered on the test, namely verbal, reading, and math. This is to reemphasize some of the key elements within the section. I believe he has elevated his knowledge and awareness in each section. He has shown great effort in order to do well for himself. His family is also of a great support to his endeavor. I want to wish him all the success in his future academics."
"We spent today going over about a third of a practice SAT test in the student's book. We began by discussing essays, during which time he outlined a potential essay based on the book's question. His examples both came from history -- we discussed potential historical occurrences and books for example to be written on. Moving on to Reading, we discussed strategies of when to make an educated guess and when to leave a question blank. He got 17 of 24 questions right, but took a bit too long of it, so we'll be working on that moving forward. Moving on to Math, we practiced various things: finding averages, calculating the value of an increment on a number line (total distance / number of jumps), and others. For next time, he is going to complete the remainder of this test."
"I have had a wonderful time working with the student. He is a bright young man, especially with reading! If his focus is solid, I see him being pretty successful. I expect him to be above average to high on the reading portion, right in the median for his age/ grade on the verbal, and probably median to below on the quantitative portions (which the calculator accommodation should help a lot)."
"The student and I finished going over the ACT Writing section today before moving on to the Reading section. He showed very strong Reading skills in our practice, answering questions very quickly and very accurately."