Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We covered a review of the remaining mathematics topics in the questions book on general math topics, coordinate geometry, data and statistics. The students did well and worked hard on the material. They got many more correct on at least one of the sections. We then moved on to the critical reading part of the test, working on Finding Information on ten different passages. They did very well on this part of the review, getting 8 of 10 questions correct. They are to continue their vocabulary review and work on practice problems and bring questions with them to the next session."
"For the first time, we worked on math, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that she is much stronger at this subject than the verbal sections. We also continued to work on vocabulary, which will be a main focus going forward."
"We reviewed parts of a practice test he completed for homework and worked on additional math and verbal problems. I also gave him a strategy packet to review before his test."
"I tested the student on some vocabulary words I had assigned last week. Then we moved on to math and worked through problems together. For the last half hour, I introduced the essay portion of the test. We talked about key steps in writing a timed essay and brainstormed some ideas and outlines for potential writing samples."
"Worked on Synonyms, Analogies, and Math. Gave the student homework to do in Math and Reading Comprehension."
"Today we began by looking at the SSAT Upper Level exam to familiarize with the sections and figure out the student's strengths and weaknesses."
"The student and I focused on the Math section of the SSAT, since that was the section where his scores reflected the most pressing need for support. We went over several strategies to increase his confidence, efficiency, and accuracy in this section, including: * recognizing when it's safe to take short-cuts in order to avoid time-consuming calculations vs. when to work carefully and step-by-step; * solving for only the first or last 1-2 digits in order to rule out incorrect answers, rather than finishing a final calculation unnecessarily; * reading a word problem carefully to determine what it's asking him to find and what information it gives; * using rounding and estimation to narrow down the number of potential answers quickly; * using a simple process of checks and - signs or y/n to evaluate each statement in questions that ask which one(s) of 3 statements are true; * back-solving by checking answer C when the answers are numbers, since the answers will always be arranged in numerical order (and thus, ruling out answer C if it's incorrect will instantly allow him to rule out the two larger answers if C is too large, or the two smaller answers if C is too small). The student has very good instincts, his fundamental skills are very sound, and he is able to do the arithmetic portions of problems very quickly in his head. He does often give in to the temptation to take short-cuts within complex, multi-step problems or to try to leap right to the answer before considering all aspects of the problem; on the other hand, he sometimes self-corrects by taking pains to do every step of a problem in writing, beyond what's necessary to find the answer. Much of our work in this session was therefore directed toward helping him get a sense of which steps can safely be skipped, which short-cuts will increase his efficiency without affecting his accuracy, and which problems he needs to take more time and care in working."
"We went over the student's homework sentences and his work with word addition. Then we reviewed the practice test and gave him his raw scores, all of which lie between the 70th and 81st percentiles. We agreed that he has the ability and knowledge to do better, it's just that he needs to work on slowing things down and not short-cutting things. We worked on some exercises and practiced using time more wisely. For homework, he will type out the essay we worked on together so it becomes even more his own work (typing and reciting will force him o be more deliberate in his work); he also will work some more practice math problems and will do a time management exercise. Next time, we will focus on verbal and reading portions of the test."
"During this session, we began with a warm up pre-writing exercise to give the student practice using free-writing as a way of generating ideas for an essay prompt. From there, we went through a series of sample SSAT vocab questions and reviewed definitions, as well as helpful test-taking strategies to use on the verbal section of the SSAT. At the end of our session I instructed her to do a bit of daily vocab practice through web resources."
"We worked primarily on the Verbal section of the SSAT, focusing on word review practice test problems (vocabulary) and word roots. He is working very hard to build his vocabulary, which is evident. He needs to keep working hard, and he needs help with acquiring skills on how to tackle the problems."