Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"For our session, the student and I reviewed test-taking strategies for the exam reading section, as well as tips she should use as she approaches the exam essay. As far as reading is concerned, I told her that she should be labeling each paragraph as she reads it, as this will provide her with a quick 'road map' to the passage when she's looking for answers to specific questions. I also asked her to answer two questions about each passage-- "What?" and "So what?"-- as a means of summarizing the passage as a whole in one short sentence. We then discussed the different types of questions in this section, general and specific, and questions one should ask oneself before attempting to answer a general question. We also looked at answer choices that couldn't possibly be correct for either type of question> She was able to grasp these strategies rapidly. We worked through two practice exam passages together, and she only missed one question (and had narrowed down the answer choices between the incorrect yet chosen choice and the correct choice). I emphasized the importance of paying particular attention to the words that differentiate similar answers, and we laughed a bit when she realized that the answer choice she had chosen implied that the moon had no gravitational pull. Finally, I quickly reviewed some essay writing tips with her, and I asked her to give herself some time to plan and outline her essay before she did anything else. Additionally, I told her that she should attempt to incorporate some of the vocabulary she's been studying into the essay, that she should attempt to include one long and one short sentence into each paragraph as a means of varying sentence structure, and that she should use her conclusion paragraph both to summarize and to push her argument one step forward. For example, if her essay asked her to describe her favorite teacher and the qualities she saw that she admired, then she should briefly mention in her conclusion paragraph how she's since continued to see these qualities in other teachers she's had. Overall, the session was a highly productive one, and I continue to be impressed with her ability to move through concepts quickly."
"This was our first session, so I talked to him a bit about the test and how it differs from the tests he takes in school. I encouraged him to take his time on the test getting all the easy ones correct, first, and working at his own pace. I advised him to never leave a blank; if he doesn't know or runs out of time, he should guess. Then we talked about some general strategies, like using process of elimination (POE). We started with vocabulary and how to create flashcards. As he comes across new or unfamiliar words in any reading he does, as well as on the test, he should keep a list. We moved on to the synonym portion of the test. He did quite well here. Next, we moved to sentence completions and discussed how the sentences are designed to provide all the clues he needs to write in his own word, then look at the answer choices to find the word closest to his own. Again he did well here analyzing the sentences for clues, especially on the easier problems. For math, he was able to complete over 90% of the problems without prompting, and some of the word problems take multiple steps. We will continue to practice working step by step, underlining key words, and writing down all computations."
"Today we jumped to Mathematics, and the student breezed through the first two pages of problems! She is doing great and progressing well."