"During our last session, I had assigned him more work to do in the book he owns, specifically in the language, vocabulary, and math concepts sections. As of right now, I believe we've hit a wall in how much progress he can make by simply practicing the problems. His scores on his latest assignment improved only slightly from the previous assignment, so I've decided to tackle his future lessons from a different angle.
The student's biggest difficulties are with grammar and vocabulary, so I assigned him homework that will help him learn the rules of grammar that he is missing and should aid him greatly with the language section of the test, which is currently his weakest section by a wide margin. The SAT vocab novels I chose specifically because they play into his style of learning. He has great difficulty simply memorizing lists of words, but the instant he puts them into context in a sentence, he remembers them much better. I took that as my cue to provide him with stories that are built around using context clues and sentences to set up definitions for SAT-level vocabulary. I believe it will serve him extremely well and greatly speed up his retention of new vocabulary words.
I had him take a diagnostic over winter break, and the results were quite promising! I finished grading it today and his percentage score came out to about 72%. I believe he will have no trouble at all boosting his score to the 75th percentile, and possibly even the 80th. This test showed significant improvement over his beginning scores, which hovered more around the area of 60%. I'm honestly very pleased with his progress! My hope is that tackling his continuing problems from a new direction will open up new avenues and allow us to keep improving.
Aside from these issues, he is doing quite well, and the one other thing we need to focus on is test-taking itself. He is very gifted in math and absolutely capable of near-perfect scores on every math section, but he has a tendency towards psyching himself out and making lots of little mistakes due to misreading a question or rushing himself. As we move forward I'll coach him in better test-taking techniques as well as stress management to help him keep a level head in the test situation.
My only concern from this session was the wall we seem to have hit, but I have full confidence that the new materials we're going to work with will allow us to find a way around that."