Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We worked through a number of PSAT questions in the various categories that she needs to work on. We started with sentence construction and worked through the questions one by one. She had some trouble identifying the problems in the sentences, but as we worked through some of the different things to look for she started to answer correctly with more frequency. She also had some trouble with vocabulary as she didn't recognize many of the words that showed up. I worked through a number of vocabulary questions with her, mostly hoping to expose her to a large number of different types of vocabulary for the future. I encouraged her to look at SAT words of the day to help with that. Finally we did math for a while. She understood almost all of the concepts and was good at working through problems. The things we needed to work on were the law of squares, which she is now proficient at, and making sure that she always simplified her answers to the most simple form. I instructed her to seek out some practice tests so that we could troubleshoot further at the next session and work on more test taking techniques."
"Today I enjoyed meeting the student for the first time. We began by discussing his current classes at school, extracurricular activities, and hobbies. We also went over basic information about the PSAT--its structure, contents, and the benefits of doing well on the test. He took a practice PSAT during his sophomore year, so we reviewed his scores together. He did well on the reading comprehension and writing portions of the test. He struggled in math a bit, especially since many of the concepts were ones he didn't learn until later in his sophomore year. As these scores are almost a year old, we decided to have him complete a math diagnostic test during our session. We reviewed the answers together, created a list of topics for further practice, and reworked some of the problems. For homework, he will complete a second math portion. I have asked that he tackle the problems slowly and without a timer. Finally, we selected 10 vocabulary words to study this week and created flashcards. I will quiz him on these words during our next session."
"Today's tutorial was spent making introductions so that the student could let me know about his interests, his goals for our work together, his familiarity with the PSAT, and his course load and content. This information will assist me in refining a plan for improving his mastery of crucial PSAT skills. In this time, I gave a run-through of the PSAT's format and asked him to self-rate his abilities in different concept areas of the exam tests. After this introductory conversation, we worked through critical reading, verbal, and math PSAT problems so that I could gauge his abilities beyond his self-ratings. He articulated his approach to each problem, allowing me to hear how he interprets reading passages, eliminates wrong answer choices, hears (intuitively or through formal instruction) grammatical and mechanical errors in language, and applies different formulas and math rules to common PSAT question types. I was able to preview him on some strategy that will help him, and he was able to identify several of his test-taking strengths and weaknesses. From there, we talked about methods we will use to prepare him for his exam sitting. Two primary methods are constant reading and analysis of readings, as well review of word roots to be able to decipher complicated vocabulary. Accordingly, he has been asked to start reviewing a word root list I have provided him at least 10 minutes every day until he takes the exam on October 15th. Next Wednesday, we will finish the last few verbal assessment problems before working on verbal test-taking strategy in-depth."