Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"In today's session, we covered the recent practice test the student completed over spring break. We focused mainly on reviewing the math subsections, as this has been identified as an area the student struggles with. He had not scored his exam and I reviewed with the student how to score the exam for homework, so that we can further diagnose any weak areas on the exam that we need to focus on. We then reviewed a number of geometry practice problems that I assigned for the student to complete over spring break. We reviewed strategies on how to solve seemingly complex problems, such as plugging in simple numbers, testing answers systematically using either the highest or lowest values, drawing diagrams, and looking for the "shortcut" (such as breaking more complex shapes into easier ones to work with). For next session, I assigned practice problems in the SAT study guide."
"The student completed practice tests and went over them for coming test. We worked on summarizing and supporting detail responses with reading comprehension and inferences."
"We went through the writing section, as well as the sentence completions part of the critical reading section. I gave her several pages of homework for our session on Sunday."
"We talked about three strategies to improve the student's score: for reading, we require additional practice coupled with the memorization of 1000 SAT words at 75 new words a day from now until the test. For the writing section, we require additional practice as well as focusing on elevating the essay, since 1 extra point on the essay improves the overall score by a lot. For math, we talked about how the student should try and prevent simple mistakes since losing one point on math reduces the overall score by a substantial amount. Between now and a next meeting on Thursday, the student should complete a full length practice test with an essay and scan the tutor any problems that were difficult. Previous scores indicate high math and lower reading/writing."
"The student and I worked through about 2 math sections of practice SATs yesterday using materials he brought with him. We spent time not only working through problems, but recognizing SAT "traps" that are meant to slow you down when working on a question. We also discussed carefully reading the questions and answers in order to maximize his score."
"The student made good gains tonight -- particularly in the reading section, and I am encouraged by his progress. We also reviewed the English and science sections. I have asked him to buy the ACT study guide and do a reading test under timed conditions in order to simulate the test."
"Today the student and I did a ton of math review. I broke it up into chunks by going through mistakes from a practice English exam. She did pretty well on the English section, finishing on time with a score around 25-26. We discussed ways to improve on that score as well. For math our focus is to get better at eliminating wrong answers, as well as reviewing topics that are rusty from past math classes. I will see her next week at the same time. Thanks!"
"We conducted a review of the Science section pace and accuracy exercises. We also completed Reading key identifiers through annotation and context clues. Accuracy has improved to about a 28-29 versus a previous 18 score."
"We covered perpendicular and parallel lines, coordinate geometry, whole and part fractions and percentages, compound interest, fractional percentages, and proportion/rate problems. The student struggled a little with perpendicular lines, but then she understood them. The student was highly attentive, as usual. I left her with the Pass 1, Pass 2 Method on the ACT Math as a strategy. I left her with the Science Diagnostic to take as practice."
"In our second to last session, the student and I reviewed reading and quantitative skills. He took the content very seriously today, and I was glad to see it. We went over the benefits of reading questions before the passage and how to calculate slope. I assigned some work for our next session."
"After introductions and a logistical discussion of the student's exam schedule, the session was largely spent working through diagnostic material and several sets of sample questions on the reading, writing and language, and mathematics portions of the SAT. She demonstrated broad knowledge, and an especially strong command of evidence-based deduction techniques on questions of reading comprehension and quantitative analysis. A few problem areas were also identified in the process, some of which dealt with identifying rhetorical applications of syntactic structures, but most of which involved math questions concerning exponentials, imaginary numbers, factoring, and translating quadratic functions. Future sessions will pay particular attention to developing problem-solving strategies for these specific areas."
"This evening I brought the student an example on graph paper showing how linear equations relate to the graph. I took him through the entire process, from finding the slope when given two points using m = change in rise over change in run, to using point slope form to find slope intercept form, and finally to create an input-output table once one has the equation of a line in slope intercept form. Toward the end of the session, I had him do a guided practice, in which he had to explain the steps to me. He said that this comprehensive approach made the subject matter more clear to him. We also looked at the characteristics of parallel and perpendicular lines. It is likely that these topics will be included in the HSPT math section."