Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I spent the majority of this session focused on the math section of the exam, using a practice test that she had taken at home as a point of departure. We reviewed the concepts and skills addressed by the questions that she had either answered incorrectly or felt a lack of confidence about. As we went through her work, we took note of which kinds of questions were almost certainly aimed at students in higher grades; which kinds of questions would go quickly enough for her to tackle them in her first pass through the section; and which questions she felt were within reach (regardless of their target grade level) but better suited to he second or third pass for reasons of difficulty or time needed to solve them. We also reviewed time-saving tricks such as solving a problem for only one or two digits; using estimation when the answer choices are far enough apart from each other to avoid confusion; and using general mathematical rules to quickly rule out answers of the wrong sign, format, or magnitude. She continues to pick up skills quickly and to ask proactive questions when she's unsure of a step or an answer. I'm proud of her dedication and progress."
"The student and I reviewed practice test 6 answers that she completed the last time we met. Today, we focused on reading comprehension. She read two non-fiction passages and answered questions about both. The first question she got 100% of the questions right and the second she got 6/7 correct. We worked on vocabulary. She was given 10 new vocabulary words and was asked to create sentences with the words, and to keep the words as a study guide for before the test. The student completed a practice test verbal skills section online and we reviewed her answers together. She did well, and got 26/30 correct independently. At the end of the session, she was asked to complete the vocabulary and reading section of the practice online test, and it was requested that she submit her answers to me before our next session for review."
"The student and I went over math problems and some reading comprehension. We focused on concepts as well tonight to build a solid foundation for more difficult problems later."
"We went over the questions she got wrong on her last math practice test, focusing on ratios and the Pythagorean theorem."
"We first reviewed his winter break assignment, which is to write a 5-paragraph essay on the characters in Anne Frank. After, we continued on with the math test taking skills for the placement exam."
"The student and I worked on verbal skills, language, math, and reading comprehension. I assigned her 1 hour of review, plus a full practice test for homework over the weekend."
"Today, we worked mostly on his vocabulary list and problems from the first section of his practice tests. He's feeling much more confident with the grammar section. He's been practicing on his own, and his scores on that section have doubled since he took his first practice test. Just narrowing down the number of rules he needs to check for has helped him a lot. Section One is mostly vocabulary, so we went through more of those questions, and he wrote down words he needed to study more. I helped him figure out what the words meant, and as soon as he knew, he had an easy time answering the problems. He gets the logic component of the problems. We talked about his study schedule, and he says he's having the most trouble studying vocabulary words every day. I assigned him a homework task: make vocabulary flash cards and study them every single day for a minimum of 10 minutes but preferably 15-20 minutes. I asked him to have his aunt remind him every day to study vocab, because consistency is the most important thing to have when learning large amounts of new vocabulary. As long as he is consistent with this, I think he will do great."
"In this session, we focused on the verbal section of the test. I reviewed the full length test that she had completed since our last session and saw that there were a few verbal questions that she had gotten wrong. We went over the synonyms and antonyms sections, which she is usually very good at. We then went over a separate analogies section that she had also completed. I quizzed her on a few of the vocabulary words that she had been practicing. All of these things went well, but it was clear that lack of vocabulary is the main thing causing any issues with questions. We will continue to learn more vocabulary, as much as possible before the test. We then quickly went through the language section of the test, but she did not seem to need any help on any of the different types of questions. Finally, I reviewed the quantitative reasoning section from her practice test and saw that she only got a few questions wrong, which was great to see. I realized that most of these questions were comparison questions, so for the rest of the session we focused on geometric and non-geometric comparison questions and did practice exercises. For homework, I assigned her 16 more vocabulary words as well as a full length verbal and full length quantitative section. We will continue to review the series and number computation questions from the quantitative section and focus on the mathematics section."
"Went though some practice math problems for the Assessment Exam and also looked over the student's science fair project on electromagnetism."
"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."
"We did Final preparations - some reading and a practice test with timing. The student is doing great."
"Student and I started out the session by reviewing a reading section of a practice test that she had taken in one of her test prep books. She was confused about a couple of questions that she missed. She understood her mistakes once we reviewed them together. Next we reviewed the practice problems in the grammar packet that I gave her in our first tutoring session. She had done all of the first set of practice problems, throughout the packet. She seemed to understand all of the concepts well and made very few mistakes on the problems. We reviewed the small mistakes that she had made and she understood everything. Next, she did some of the practice sections on the website. She did one reading comprehension and three verbal section tests. We talked about the best strategies for answering analogy problems and vocab problems. The practice sections were particularly hard, so I was happy that she still did very well. We went over all of the problems she missed and she understood why. Lastly, she took a vocabulary quiz on synonym groups 1-14. She missed 4 out of 28 questions. She has obviously done a good job studying the vocab, but still needs to review some of the words. She seems to be making progress, and it was a great session!"