Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This was our last session before the test tomorrow. We looked at CR practice (passage-wide) today, as well as some general review. The student went through each of the sections and dictated her strategy and plan of attack. She has been great this week, and I wish her the best of luck tomorrow."
"Today we focused especially on writing, reviewing her essay from last week and moving on grammar and sentence errors. While reviewing the essay we focused on improving the examples, trying to think of more concrete examples and pulling from different sources. We moved on to grammar and sentence errors. We reviewed the grammar and talked about common errors of the SAT. It was beneficial to see how the ideas we talked about emerged again when we practiced sentence error questions. I assigned a new essay as well as writing homework from the SAT review book."
"We worked on the math cheat sheet and like yesterday, practiced problems from website links. We checked his calculator and went over study and relaxation/good test prep habits for the big day tomorrow."
"This was our last session before the student's SAT. Unfortunately, he did not have his practice book, so we could not review his homework. Instead, I opted to work together with him on tweaking his strategies for the Critical Reading passages. By the end of the session, he seemed to have a better grasp on the purpose of these strategies and why they were important for comprehension and success. We also worked on the writing section, and I was, again, pleased with his performance on and attitude toward this section."
"The student and I had a productive session. We started out by going over a practice essay she wrote for homework. She did very well on it, with a few minor grammatical and syntactical errors. We then worked on a writing practice section, since it had been a while since we did anything besides math. She did very well overall."
"For our final session, the student and I mostly went over test-taking strategies and high-yield areas of math. I wrote and shared a document of the top tricks and strategies to keep in mind while approaching the SAT. Aside from one outlier, he has been getting consistently high results on his practice tests over the past few weeks and I have confidence in his ability to perform. The student still feels slightly weak in the essay, so we reiterated the most important lessons to keep in mind while essay writing for the SAT: Thesis sentences for each paragraph, using distinct and clear examples, and restating the thesis in the conclusion. I have confidence that if he focuses on the fundamentals he will be able to rock the essay."
"The student and I began our session reviewing rate problems. We discussed how with rates, like with averages, it is best to solve for the missing component (rate, distance, or time) and then apply the information to get the answer to the question. Next, she completed a 20-minute practice math section. She is doing a good job of budgeting her time. We looked at a geometry problem involving rates, and we reviewed prime factorization. Particularly with geometry problems, it is helpful to solve for what you can, then apply that to what you need (the "Rolling Stones principle"). In critical reading, we practiced writing in reverse-- instead of expanding upon an outline, we simplified a passage to the outline that underpins it.. This attention to structure and development should help the student answer the more nuanced questions. We continued to apply the passage type (analysis, argument, or narrative) to understanding its purpose."
"We discussed some general information about the SAT - the next two test dates, when the student can expect his scores, and where he can find information about the score ranges the schools he is applying to are looking for. The rest of our time was dedicated to the essay, which he was a bit flummoxed by. The vague, philosophical nature of the essay prompts was troubling him, but my assurance that they are written this way to accommodate a variety of possible responses seemed to provide some comfort. We looked at a number of different prompts and began to explore possible areas of interest from which to draw examples (Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye was one character we found could be applied to several sample prompts). We succeeded in demystifying the essay a bit and the student is going to begin writing some practice responses."
"The student has been doing very well with all multiple choice sections on the SAT. She only misses 1-2 problems when she completes her practice tests. However, she is very nervous about the essay portion. She says she has trouble coming up with topics on the spot, and the 25-minute time limit is much shorter than she would prefer. We therefore decided to come up with a list of general topics that she can use for multiple prompts. We created a list that included books, historical events and figures, and current events. The student will do a bit of extra research on these topics for homework as well as complete 1-2 sample essays."
"The student has never taken the SAT before, so we reviewed general test format, guessing and time saving strategy, scoring, and other rules. We worked from a SAT practice test. We also worked practice reading passages (long & medium comparison), vocabulary questions, and both student generated and standard math practice questions. We reviewed math concepts and equations as they came up."
"Completed practice test 9. The student found the math sections to be slightly challenging, but did very well in the reading and writing sections. Her goal is to beat her brother's score of 1870. Given how consistently she scores in the 600s in each section, that is a realistic goal."