Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We started this section with a review of the English section of the diagnostic test I had the student take last time. She identified confusion about transition words as one of her main problems on the English section, so I found an online list of transition words and explained how transitions can be categorized by their function in defining relationships between ideas. We went through some examples of how different transition words are used, then looked through the ACT English section for examples of where transitions are the key concepts for certain questions. After this, we moved on to the Reading section, where the student had identified the time limit as her biggest obstacle to a higher score. After discussing her reading speed with her, I came to the conclusion that the student is a primarily auditory learner, so it is much more difficult for her to absorb information in the Reading passages when she has to read silently. I recommended that she focus on learning to "read aloud silently," (reciting the passage inside her head as she read) in order to improve her reading speed and comprehension. I also explained the overall importance of being an active reader, and explained the difference between active reading and passive reader. I told the student that by keeping in mind certain key questions, such as "What is the purpose of this passage (to inform, to persuade, to entertain)?" and "What is the author's main point?", she would be able to stay focused on the passage she was reading and improve comprehension and retention, which would streamline her ability to answer the passage questions. We practiced these key skills with me reading the passage aloud and the student reading along silently, then worked on the associated questions for each passage. We then turned to the Mathematics section, where the student expressed that she believed her main difficulty was the last 20 Math questions (where the difficulty is significantly increased). I deduced from this that the student's knowledge of math principles is probably not her main problem, but rather her conceptual and reasoning ability on these more difficult questions. We reviewed the last 20 questions of the practice test I had had her take (which consisted of the latter half of a Math section), paying special attention to trick questions and trap answers which test makers use to make the test more challenging. Finally, during our last ten minutes, I demonstrated to the student that each Reading passage can be completed within its 8 minute, 45 second time allotment, by reading aloud an entire Social Sciences passage in 4 minutes. I calculated that this left the student nearly 30 seconds per question, and made sure to note that the pace at which a person reads aloud is generally slower than silent reading. She agreed to focus on the Reading section in her studying between this and our next session, with an emphasis on increasing her reading speed."
"We went over more ACT prep, including essay, English, and reading sections. The student will continue to improve."
"The student has begun to demonstrate considerable skill on the science section. For homework, I assigned 15 math problems and 1 science passage. I look forward to continuing."