Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We did a section of logical reasoning questions, during which the student demonstrated significant progress."
"We covered biology, viruses and bacteria and did 3 passages from the test prep book. We discussed timing for the exam as well."
"The student wanted to review physics some more. We worked through a good example passage on projectile motion. She has good intuition about what to do, especially as we built off of the last session during which we also covered projectile motion. When she speaks frankly about a problem, she is able to pull together the correct information. I urged her to do all her physics problems thoroughly, even the simple ones. She must draw a well-labeled diagram for every situation, incorporating vectors, pertinent forces, and mechanical energy."
"We worked on concepts and applications involving torque. We did a number of problems allowing for a gradual release of responsibility from tutor to tutee. We identified philosophy reading sections as being particularly challenging for the student on the verbal section of the exam."
"[COVERED]: We primarily covered Electrostatics. We began with a discussion of the Electrostatic Force (Coulomb's Law), drawing parallels to the Gravitational Force. From there, we covered Electric Fields and their diagrams, and Voltage. We discussed how Electric Field analysis eliminates the test charge from consideration, allowing one to general predictions of how any test charge will behave given a similar source charge directing force at it. We also discussed how Voltage is the parallel of Electric Fields when it comes to Potential Energy, normalizing the Potential Energy to allow predictions for any test charge. In order to make these relationships clear, we had to foray into Thermodynamics, and the standard approach to changes in Thermodynamic quantities (Delta X = Final - Initial). Critical Thinking questions and example problems were scattered throughout. Then, since the student had previously reviewed the same problems multiple times, we did a screen-share of seven questions, including one passage on Electrostatics, that she had never seen. Dealing with the passage necessitated a review of the Photoelectric Effect, the wave nature of light and the Planck constant. [PROGRESS]: By the end of the session, the student began to link the concepts together, integrating them and cross-linking the ideas to successfully answer questions. She herself felt the "hump" just before understanding crystallizes, by which I was impressed. She tenaciously held on until she crested the hump. [CHALLENGES]: The didactic content and problem-solving components cast light on other areas which may need work - Thermodynamics and Light particularly. That being said, though, by taking our time as needed, she was able to grasp what was necessary, even when I had to insist on discussing areas like the photoelectric effect that were seemingly tangential, but ended up being central to later questions. Other areas where she needs work (as I told her in the session) are algebraic manipulation, and having a consistent approach to calculation-based problem solving. I reviewed my top-down approach to this class of problems: Concept, formulas, algebraic rearrangement, plug-and-chug, and finally, logic check. [EXTRA PRACTICE]: Since she still has her MCAT Physics textbook, I assigned her the chapters on Electrostatics and Magnetism, instructing her to take the practice problems seriously, as they are the "Strength Training" in my 3-step Olympic training metaphor of Test Prep: Strength Training, Motion Instruction, and Event Practice are parallel to: Content Review with specific mono-concept questions, Practice Problems with Concept Integration, and finally, test-style problems and endurance training."
"We went over the student's physics homework, which she did well on. Then we went over Physics 1-- mechanics, work, energy, momentum. It seemed she has a pretty good handle on these topics. She has 3 passages to cover them for homework."
"The student and I spent this session covering the Physical Sciences portion of the exam. On her most recent practice test, she scored well on the other two sections but wanted to improve her Physical Sciences score. After a discussion about her goals and the study materials she had been using, we moved on to cover inclined planes and pulleys. Finally, we went over some practice questions specifically targeted to the areas that we had talked about; these questions were extremely difficult. Most of the difficult questions were conceptual rather than math-based. For example, many asked whether a certain physical quantity would increase or decrease after a specific change was made to the system. This type of question is prevalent on the MCAT, but I think the practice material that we used was a bit more difficult than the test itself will be. However, I do think this session was beneficial."
"The student did another complete practice test. We spent a long time analyzing the English section."
"The student and I held our second session the morning of 3/4 to review periodic motion and continue our discussion of verbal reasoning. At the beginning of her session, we continued to discuss the most appropriate time for her to take the med school entrance exam and she, ultimately, decided to postpone her test until May 31st. I'm very happy with this decision as I think it will give her the necessary time to get closer to her targeted score in the low to mid-30s. This also means that we'll be starting to meet one time per week following her spring break. I was impressed by her knowledge of the periodic motion we covered. After seeing her succeed on several practice questions, we moved on to examine a passage together. She understands the content and I'm working with her to slow down and think through the multiple steps that might underlie a question before answering. I was excited to introduce her to my mapping strategy for verbal reasoning because I thought it would play more to her interest to refer back to the passages as she answered questions. We re-worked her passage map in the way that I would have approached it, after which she found it much more helpful. She is trying to raise her verbal score from a 7, I encouraged her to practice the new strategy on a full-length verbal reasoning exam this week. Our next session, which will focus on kinetics/equilibrium (GC) and fluids/solids (PS) will be Sunday at noon."
"Today we went over NMR readings in depth and did a lot of practice problems. We also continued going over the physical sciences section of MCAT #5."
"Today the student and I reviewed the notes she had taken over her practice MCAT sections. Next, she and I talked about strategy and completed practice verbal reasoning passages."
"First, we talked about the basics like what is her goal and where does she want to apply. Then, we discussed the different strategies for MCAT. Next, we went over the physics section. We discussed about linear motion and projectile motion. She has a lot of books and she will do questions from those books."