Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We covered verbal reasoning today. I had previously emailed a short PowerPoint to the student about the overall approach for the test section. I began the lesson with an overview of passage mapping, coming up with an extemporaneous example of an argument to dissect. By emphasizing that reading for structure, not content, was like an anatomy lesson, finding the bones of the argument, I successfully prefaced the two sample passage and question sets we did. We went over sentence by sentence, to emphasize how keywords can be used to determine whether a statement was argument or evidence. The next passage I allowed her to read more naturally, once again dissecting the argument like an anatomist. I told her I would send her some problems to do at home on verbal. Next session, we will cover another verbal passage and begin Orgo, starting with isomers, then possibly covering the main reaction mechanisms."
"My sixth MCAT Verbal tutoring session with the student went well. He completed the assigned Practice Passages in the MCAT Verbal prep book, and we focused our session on going over additional Practice Passages. I timed him as he read through the passages, wrote down notes, and answered the questions, with a target time of nine minutes per section. He remembered to use only the information stated in the passage to answer the questions correctly. I encouraged him to focus on his average reading times and his average correct answer yield. It would be more efficient for him to try to maximize the number of questions he answers correctly. For our next tutoring session, he will complete additional practice passages in the MCAT Verbal prep book. He will also complete passages from his materials on his own."
"The student and I dedicated today's session to revisiting the verbal strategies we developed in our fourth session together. After practicing both strategies on her own, she had begun to develop an amalgamation of both strategies. In theory this was fine, but as I started to observe her, I realized that the combination of creating a main idea strategy and jotting down the main idea of each paragraph to create a map was too time consuming. Of the two individual strategies, she showed a strong preference for creating the main idea statement, so we built on this. I also helped her work on developing a mental map of the passage as she read so that she was still able to refer back to the passage in an efficient way (which is the goal of the mapping strategy). In using the main idea strategy alone, her timing seemed much more in line with what it has to be on the actual exam, and she was doing a fairly good job coming up with informative statements. My only suggestion was that she make sure that she also incorporate the author's tone/attitude towards the passage in her statement, which was reinforced throughout the three passages we practiced together. I asked her to complete the six remaining passages from our practice test and also asked that she finish the full-length practice test 2 so that we can see where she is with the verbal section. Our next session will be on 6/30."