Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We reviewed electrostatics, particularly in reference to electric dipoles. This neatly allowed us to discuss how they react in electric fields, which prefaced capacitors later. We then discussed the magnetic field, the right-hand rules therein, and reviewed the Biot-Savart law to aid in the memorization of the two forms needed on the MCAT. We discussed nuclear physics as a tangent, discussing the 3 types of radiation, and how to balance a nuclear equation, as well as the mass-energy equivalence. We moved on to circuits, and discussed current by comparing it to the flow of a river. We discussed resistance, conductance, and series and parallel circuits. We discussed Ohm's law, and applied to simple and complex circuits. We discussed electric power. We covered capacitors in depth. We discussed AC circuits and the limited way they were tested on the MCAT. The student had let herself get thrown by math regarding the dipoles, especially since there was an important error in the textbook. I reassured her that it was the truth, going so far as to cross out the wrong statement, after demonstrating the ways concepts in electrostatics and dipoles are tested on the MCAT (i.e. using the perpendicular bisecting plane of a dipole as a place to test the symmetry of vector components). Otherwise, she was able to follow my explanations with flying colors. The student will use this weekend to do a lot of questions. Our next session will cover SHM and periodic motion. I advised her to use the lesson book and video lectures to help clarify topics she didn't get, and to use me to tighten up the gaps, if that ended up making her studying more efficient."
"The student finished off the physics portion, taking tests in fluid mechanics, waves and SHM, electricity and magnetism, and lenses. The results were pretty far from what she was hoping, as she scored around 50% on all the tests. We spent nearly all of our time going over the test questions, but it was a little bit less helpful than our previous sessions. For next time, I encouraged her to glance over the problems herself and try to understand how she got them wrong. These results were a little bit disheartening for her, but there is still plenty of time left and she has admitted that physics is her weakest area. I told her to move on and start working on the biology, and already she is more confident in her ability to do well. Next time, we'll work towards our initial goal of getting a first pass through all of the material. Following that, we can revisit the physics and try to strengthen her ability in the subject."
"The student and I reviewed substantive algebra concepts, including solving equalities, solving inequalities, solving simultaneous equations, solving quadratics by factoring, and commonly tested factorable quadratics. We also covered rate and work problems. He is going to email me a list of practice problems that he completed and I will email him a list of new practice problems."