Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"To prepare for our first session, I asked the student to do a timed essay from her practice book. What she was able to produce for the essay was solid; it was a good start to a body paragraph. We talked about strategies for doing well on the essay. I suggested that she produce one-paragraph summaries on books, historical events, TV shows, etc.; hopefully, by memorizing these paragraphs, she'll be able to use the information on her SAT essays. Further, we talked about the structure of the essay and what the testers looks for. Next, we worked on a critical reading section. Working on the section problem by problem, she did a good job with logically deducing the right answer. She did get tripped up on some questions which referred to specific lines in the passages. I suggested she also look at the couple of sentences before the specified lines and the couple of sentences after. Besides that, she also stumbled on at least one of the sentence completion questions due to unfamiliarity with the vocab. I suggested that after her March exam, she practice with vocab flashcards for the next time she takes the exam. For homework, I asked her to do, correct, and score an entire timed practice test. Overall, I think she is a smart student who will do well on the SAT. I just want to make sure she has the test-taking mental endurance needed for the SAT--hence the practice test for homework."
"Continuing to review questions, working more specifically on timing and essay writing. The student continues to work very hard and is doing well in approaching her goal scores."
"We began by reviewing the homework I had assigned him last week covering specific concepts related to passage-based questions. The percentage of questions he answered correctly was very high, but we spent time talking through the ones that were answered incorrectly. We then reviewed key ideas that are relevant to answering the sentence completion questions. The most critical element to answering these questions is understanding and applying the key logical relationships; we spent a good deal of time discussing those relationships and exploring how to identify them using structural keys within the sentence. We then moved on to discuss selectively simplifying the sentence, the importance of parallelism and modifiers, and the danger of deliberately ambiguous writing. Throughout, I attempted to emphasize the need for using context clues (or verbal inference) and the objective, logical nature of SAT problem solving. After reviewing these concepts, we concluded the session by working through a set of sentence completion practice problems. The percentage of questions he answered correctly was once again very high; I feel optimistic about our progress, and I feel we are ready to progress to the next stage of material during our next session."