Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The first student finished one practice test (all sections except writing), and we went over any incorrect answers. Both students are still getting a good percentage of the verbal and reading practice questions wrong, but a lot of it is due to limited vocabulary. Since there's so little time, we are focusing on improving skills that can be helpful for the analogies and reading comp."
"-We began reviewing strategies for the Synonym portion of the verbal section. Then we practiced dozens of problems, and Samantha added unfamiliar vocab words to her list so that she can later make flashcards. (pp. 19-27) -From Synonyms, we moved onto analogies. I provided her with the types of analogies and then we discussed creating sentences with the stem words to form a clear and concise relationship between the words. We practiced on problems, pp. 29-30. -Arithmetic: reviewed basic arithmetic problems: order of operations; adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying positive and neg #'s; doing same with numbers with parenthesis; fractions; mixed numbers; (pp. 97-112) -Began discussing word problems and strategies (pp.199-206) including sample problems HW: Practice test"
"The student and I began by discussing how she had fared with a vocabulary list I gave her last time. She had gone through the list and highlighted the words she didn't know. She said that she and her mom were planning to make flash cards (probably digital, aka on the iPad) to review the words she didn't know. We then went over the format of the verbal section questions, and reviewed the types of wrong answers she might see. She and I then talked about and practiced how to use process of elimination on the verbal questions, and its similarity/differences to using POE on the math questions. We then reviewed different math sections that she and I had not covered last week: geometry and fractions. She immediately had a good understanding of angles and area/perimeter of a square. When we got to triangles, there were some rules that she didn't know, but when we reviewed them, she did remember studying it previously. For some of the rules/formulas, I made her a couple of flashcards to practice with. For fractions, she seems to clearly understand how to reduce improper fractions, but struggled a bit when the numbers got higher and she couldn't use a calculator. She and I talked about recognizing when a problem will take you too long to complete, and when to move on. At the end of the session, I suggested to her, and also to her parents, that she try completing a full practice test, with testing conditions."
"For our last session, the student and I did a comprehensive review of everything we have studied. We discussed the scoring for the test and when to guess. We did more timed practice, which he did very well in. He got every problem correct on the math section. I predict he will do very well on the test. He is very comfortable with the test taking strategies we discussed. I encouraged him to contact me if he has any last minute questions."
"On Sunday the student and I met for our last real session before her SSAT. I had given her spelling homework which she had completed before our session. We started our session by checking her homework and then reviewing the spelling of her assigned words from previous weeks. The student does a great job of remembering the patterns of letters in words and rarely misses a word if we have previously covered it. Our next session to go over was math. The student and I have covered most of the math lessons that will be on the SSAT so we have been practicing math by taking real SSAT math sections. The student has done phenomenal on them applying many of the lessons that we have covered in the past few weeks. Her average on 25 questions has been close to 22. She has great rational thinking and can often narrow down the answer to two choices even when she does not know the "mathematical" way to do the problem. Our next session will be on Friday to review some basic math principles but to mainly prepare her for her test Saturday morning."
"I read and critiqued the student's essay on "Two Heads Are Better Than One." We reviewed PT 3, sections 1 and 3."
"We began with a short lesson on multiplying fractions and meanings of fractions: part-of-whole, division, and ratio. I had the student finish the practice problems on math. We began the verbal section: vocabulary, reading and analogies. I recommended that both students work on vocabulary by writing down words they encounter that they do not understand and then writing out their definitions. The students worked hard and covered a lot of material."
"The student and I worked on reading comprehension for most of the section. I helped him get focused on looking back at the passage for the answer instead of just guessing from memory. Focus is his biggest issue. He is improving. I feel like he needs someone to help him focus. I believe that my focus strategies for him are working."
"I worked with the student on reading comprehension and vocabulary. She is finally making progress on the vocabulary front, so her score there should be improving. We also narrowed down what was causing her problems on the reading. She has some issues with tone and mood questions, so I will do some work with her on that."
"Student 1: Focused on the Verbal section of the SSAT - vocabulary and analogies. According to the practice test that I graded and went over with her, she is scoring in the 31st percentile in this section. This is largely due to difficulties in the analogy section. (She missed approximately 60% of the analogy questions as opposed to 30% of the synonym questions.) We will be reviewing this more and more. We also reviewed the reading comprehension section of the SSAT. This seems to be a particularly strong area for her. Student 2: Focused on the Verbal section of the SSAT. Worked on building vocabulary and knowledge of roots, prefixes, suffixes, and vocabulary in general. He easily understands/picks up this information quickly and has great retention. We also reviewed the Verbal section of a practice test I had him take. He needs to work a bit more on vocabulary it seems, though his understanding of analogies and comprehension of the synonym questions seem on par. Currently in the 62nd percentile according to the practice test scores."
"During this session, we continued to review the verbal section of the test, focusing on synonyms. Verbal test strategies were reviewed, and several timed practice drills were taken."
"Today was largely a "getting to know you" session. The student says he'd like most help on critical reading and vocabulary, as well as geometry and word problems in math. We looked at some critical reading passages and discussed strategies, and went through several math problems, talking about the "backsolving" strategy. We also glanced at a few vocab questions. I gave the student a resource for working on vocab and recommended he practice doing the critical reading passages while timing himself."