Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We started by going over the student's comprehensive math problem set. She did very well on quantitative comparison questions and on geometry. She had trouble on some of the longer, wordier problems. I told her to look for opportunities to use translation to convert English sentences into math equations, especially with percent problems. I also reminded her to look for opportunities to plug the answer choices into the variables to solve problems. For geometry, averages, and other types of problems that use specific formulas, I suggested that she write down the formula she will need to arrive at the answer and plug in all the information she has to begin with. This way she will quickly be able to see what is missing and can go about thinking of a way to find the missing part. We then covered the issue and argument essays. I told her to consider the grader's perspective. As they will be grading hundreds of these papers they won't have time to read in detail, but will rather be looking at the structure of the essay and seeing if it includes certain items on their checklist. The most important things she should be considering for the issue essay are organization, thesis, giving specific examples, explaining how the examples support her thesis, and commenting on possible arguments against her thesis. For the argument essay she should spend more time looking at the prompt and considering the assumptions made in the author's premises. Apart from organization, the grader will look for explanations of the assumptions made, examples illustrating the assumptions, and, in the final paragraph, the information that would be needed to show the assumptions are valid. We also talked a little bit about the timing of these essays and what she should be doing before she begins to write anything. For homework she will try again to complete a full practice test."
"We spent today's session reviewing the GRE Analyzing an Issue essay in great detail. I gave the student overall strategies and guidelines for writing a successful essay, and then we applied them to the specific sample essay that she had written in advance of our session. She has great argumentative skills and is able to come up with interesting, detailed examples to support her points. With the tricks she learned today and regular weekly practice, she should be in great shape for the GRE this summer."
"The student and I reviewed the 2nd practice test and the 2 essay questions I gave him for an assignment. I discussed with him the importance of brainstorming before he begins writing, transition and tightening up his introduction. He is to rewrite the essays with the pointers I provided."