Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"[COVERED]: We discussed how to attack the Verbal section, the theory of which we had briefly addressed at the end of our last session. We attempted 4 passages together. The first I used to model for the student how to read selectively. For the next 3, I guided him in his own rapid analysis of the passages, inducing him to feel comfortable with writing pithy summaries of the salient points, and attempting to get him to recognize those salient points more regularly. Following this, we quickly covered Chem lab separation techniques, emphasizing when to use them, and how they worked. Distillation engendered a discussion on vaporization. [PROGRESS/CHALLENGES]: He quickly got good at summarizing what he recognized to be important. The challenge lay in giving him an algorithm to follow that would identify more regularly what was important to the test-makers. I settled on a repetition of a single question, "Why am I being told this?" He recognizes that this method will take practice, but sees its utility. [EXTRA PRACTICE]: He will continue with his studying, and tell me what he wishes to cover next."
"I started by asking the student questions about topics that are applicable to the MCAT verbal section (How much does she read? How quickly does she read? etc.). I then reviewed the format of the test and discussed testing strategies. I also recommended she obtain MCAT verbal prep materials. I then had her complete two verbal passages, and we reviewed her answers and discussed how she arrived at them. For homework, I instructed her to complete one timed practice test and read a magazine related to economics."
"The student and I spent this session continuing reviewing verbal reasoning strategies and practicing with these strategies. We began by reviewing what we have discussed thus far, including mapping main ideas, looking for keywords in difficult passages, eliminating wrong answer choices, and noticing question types. We reviewed these and moved on to distinguishing author's opinions with practice questions. We also worked on noticing argument structure by looking at the first and last sentences. We added these to our list of techniques. She has been doing a wonderful job of using these techniques, and her results are terrific, including moving up to a 9/10 on her practice verbal reasoning sections. We then worked on a difficult passage together using these techniques. She struggled at first because it contained a lot of difficult words and descriptions, but she quickly got the grasp as I lead her along with questions directing her to the passage and to examine it carefully. I then had her complete a passage on her own, which she got mostly correct except for a few minor errors. Her passage map was well done and got the main purpose of each paragraph succinctly and accurately!"