Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We spent almost all of this session reviewing the student's homework essay and working on an outline and opening paragraph for a practice essay. We also worked on some grammar rules while correcting his Verbal section homework. As we work on the essay weekly for the next few months, we are compiling a list of the components that make for a strong SAT essay so he can approach it as a formula rather than believe he needs to think of something brilliant on the spot. While he is able to move very quickly through the test, I plan to help improve his ability to generate a thesis or examples quickly. I think it is important to break down the essay into components so he can go through the drafting process almost as a checklist: Is my thesis specific? Does my hook generate conflict? Have I defined the scope and language of the question? Is my evidence concrete? Are my counterarguments strong and realistic? Does my conclusion expand beyond the scope of my essay? He has mentioned that science is his favorite subject, so I believe it will be helpful for him to approach the essay with this formulaic, strategic breakdown. We will continue to work on the essay weekly because a 12 on the essay should be within reach for him once he begins to build an arsenal of examples and understand the idea of a specific, pointed thesis."
"The student did a lot of work and her scores have improved. I think she is on track for the 2200 overall score she wants to achieve. She took another online practice exam on the practice test site. As we went over any wrong answers, the same pattern becomes even clearer. The recurring patterns that she notes for herself are about rushing through some questions and over thinking others. This means that as well as practice, she needs to strategize a little more on how she takes this test, which questions she spends more time on. She remains focused, hard working, and very motivated--an exceptional student."
"The student had a breakthrough in math today. She did the best she has done on a math section, getting 13 questions right and only missing three. We went over the entire test, which she finished for homework. She did a little below average on Reading (590-630) and Writing (630-770), so I encouraged her to slow down, take her time, and return to her strategies (filling in the blank for vocabulary, doing questions for one section at time in reading, and using her pre-planned essay examples). The math score was not as high overall as I hoped (470-530), but one of the sections was from two weeks ago. The session we worked on today, she really seemed to finally get what the SAT is asking for. For homework, I've asked her to do all of Test #7, which will give us enough to work through next week for 1.5 hours. We are meeting at a coffee shop, as close to 7 pm as possible."