Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"In our 3rd session, once again I thought it would be an important exercise to simulate the conditions of the reading exam by having the student take another practice test. However, this test was part of a set from a practice booklet. I let her know during and after she took this practice test that generally the preparation materials are a bit more advanced. We again isolated a specific strategy to implement for the day to see if she could add this to her "toolbox" once she takes the test again. I have mentioned several times that the note taking strategies, elimination "guess and check" and today's lesson which was working backwards from question to passage can be used in different ways at different times during the exam."
"We spent this session reviewing all of the major skills and strategies that we have worked on previously and spent time just getting ready for the test."
"During this session, I worked with the student on preparing for the Stanford Test. We completed three reading comprehension practice selections from his Stanford prep book. I had him read each selection aloud. He sometimes rushes and skips words. Reading aloud helped him slow down and take his time. We discussed the importance of not rushing when he reads in order to absorb as much information as possible. He also read the multiple choice questions before he read each passage, which helped give his reading more focus. He did a great job underlining important plot elements, figurative language, and characterization in the fiction selection he read. He answered each question correctly from this section. In the how-to passage he rushed through the multiple choice questions. He had no trouble comprehending the passage, but he did not look to the passage to double-check his answer choices. I told him he always needs to go back to the text to find support and evidence for his answer selections. We compared the how-to passage to the instructions he has to read when he makes legos. This helped him really grasp the importance of taking his time and not missing any of the instructions because if he skips any steps when he builds his legos, then all the pieces won't fit perfectly together. He is doing well so far. He simply needs more practice slowing down and checking his answers. We will continue to address this issue in future sessions."
"We read through the Heart of Algebra and Problem Solving and Data Analysis chapters of the review book, and tried all the example problems therein, thus completing half of the book's math review. Topics included absolute value as a range, solving pairs of linear equations, variations on rate = distance/time, slope, population density, unit conversion, and simple versus compound interest. The student took all of this in stride, solving many of the problems easily. She got a book for the outgoing SAT by accident, so this week she will get the book covering the incoming, redesigned SAT, and she will try to take the first practice test in that book."
"I had a very good session today with this student. She had done a large amount of practice work, so we went over that. In Math, we reviewed valuable concepts, including how to calculate the number of possible combinations in which one item must be picked from each set. We practiced the strategy of plugging in numbers to certain equations in problems in which one is asked to measure the change in a total given a change in a part. Moving to Reading, and spending a good amount of time analyzing two passages that had given her a bit of trouble, we came away with two important strategies: when the question asks you to make a "reasonable inference," by nature this implies a piece of information that cannot be found directly in the text; when attempting to identify the main argument in a passage where this is not overtly clear, you are more likely to find it near the end of the passage than near the beginning."
"Today the student and I met for our first session. He wanted to focus specifically on the Math section of the ACT. Therefore we worked together on the Math section of a practice ACT. He struggled initially with some of the problems but he got better as the session went along. Since it was our first session, I was more than happy to solve the problems that he was confused about so that he could see how they were worked out. As we have more and more sessions together, I will hopefully need to help him less and less as he gets better and better at the problems."
"This student is a bright girl. She and I went over the SSAT test format. I gave her some tips and strategies for taking the test. We worked on her math skills and verbal reasoning skills. She had several practice test booklets which we used to practice operations and reasoning."
"In today's session, the student and I covered the math and English sections of an ACT practice test. He seemed to be comfortable with the majority of the math, but should focus on the speed with which he analyzes questions, and make it a habit to work out and draw problems on paper when necessary (such as those containing multiple unknown variables). He was generally proficient in the English section as well, especially when it came to questions concerning the meaning and ideas of a passage, but could benefit from reading questions more thoroughly in addition to focusing on the way the clauses of a sentence are affected by commas, semicolons, and dashes."
"As a first meeting, we talked about practice scores, target scores, and specific areas in which the student would like to improve. We spoke about general ACT advice section-by-section, and then moved onto some topics in which he recognized room for improvement (Math and Science). I suggested he take a practice test so we can talk about individual section scores and how to move forward. I look forward to speaking to him again and being able to cater the tutoring based on his practice test scores!"
"I met with the student today to continue his preparation for the SAT. We went over planar geometry. He did ten problems. We reviewed how to calculate different parameters of a geometrical figure that involves the following concepts: isosceles and equilateral triangles, standard triangles as 60-30-90, 45-45-90 degrees, Pythagoras theorem, converting angles measured expressed in degrees to radians, perimeter and areas of different polygons, altitude of a triangle, internal angles and external angles, and properties of similar triangles."
"Today, we worked on possession, misplaced modifiers, grammatical errors, appositive and interrupting phrase errors, conjunction errors, subordinating conjunction errors, colon and semicolon errors, punctuation, word agreement errors, modified word countability, pronoun errors, verb formation errors, word style choice and tone. The student was not challenged at all by the ACT English. Her attitude was very receptive towards the material! I gave her a breakdown of the ACT and gave her extra practice in the form of downloading the app and practicing it everyday."
"The student and I worked through three SAT reading comprehension passages and approximately 20 SAT math questions. On the reading section, we focused on strategies including splitting answer choices, comparing choices, and process of elimination to reach the correct answers on questions related to author's tone, argument, purpose, and evidence used. She did well with the passages after working through them on a paragraph level for context and detail retention. We also worked through math questions related to algebraic expressions, systems of equations, and geometry. She struggled with setting many of these questions up, but was able to solve them after being given some assistance."