Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"For our session yesterday, the student and I worked through strategies for ISEE Verbal as this was the section in which the student could improve the most. I told her that she should continue to use the 1-Pass, 2-Pass system for this section, albeit in a slightly altered way. For ISEE Verbal, she should give herself a little under half of the allotted time for Synonym questions, doing those words she definitely knows first and the words she somewhat knows second. For the words she definitely knows, I asked her to ignore the answer choices, to come up with her own one or two word definition, and to use that definition to eliminate incorrect answer choices and guess productively. For words she somewhat knows, I encouraged her to think of any contexts in which she may have heard the word before (for example, 'abominable' might be unknown, but the abominable snowman is more familiar; 'inalienable rights' for inalienable; 'prodigal son' for prodigal; etc.). If these strategies didn't work, I also mentioned that prefixes and suffixes can be an indicator of whether or not the word has a positive or negative meaning. Finally, she should guess an answer for all of the questions with stem words that she doesn't know at all. We also discussed Complete the Sentence questions, and I asked her to ignore the answer choices once again, to read the sentence aloud and say 'blank' when she got to the blank, and then to pick her own guess word that would complete the sentence. We talked a little bit about context clues and direction words, and the student was able to spot these hints within the answer choices. I also mentioned that semicolons can serve as a direction word as well, a direction word that indicates 'same direction.' Lastly, I mentioned that if the student was unable to come up with a guess word or notice any direction words or context clues then the last thing she should do is attempt to see if the word in the blank has a positive or negative meaning. Overall, the student is doing an excellent job working through this preparatory material, and we're now meeting every other week as she's progressing rapidly and needs relatively minimal guidance."
"We worked on taking a part from a whole, and practiced math problems from the website and sentence completion. Homework includes taking part from a whole, comparing percents to decimals, sentences, vocab study, and essay."
"The problems we are collaborating on are getting increasingly more difficult. For instance, when we got to a problem that called for the student to calculate the mean of a series of weights, in ounces, of four kittens, she guessed at the right answer, but did not doing so using an equation fitting of calculating the average. The good news is I have found the student to be good at eliminating outlying or unreasonable answer choices and to be a good guesser. This said, she needs to have a solid foundation or at least a reasonable understanding of select concepts -- those that are bound to appear in the form of word problems on the test. When I asked her if she could define mean and then differentiate it from mode and median she said she could and that she'd learned about all three concepts. I'll need to approach potentially foreign ideas with care and finesse, tying the unknowns to something she knows well or has confidence in. To mix things up towards the end, I had her read a short passage and answer five questions within the reading comprehension section."