Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student had done his homework and completed the English section I had assigned, so we started with that. He had completed the section with about ten minutes to spare, which is fine, but he also seemed to have 'on' and 'off' sections. In the 'off' sections, he missed almost every question, which leads us both to believe that he should probably slow down and devote more attention to each question. That said, I estimated his score on the English section to be roughly 23 points under the ACT scoring method, which, if accurate, is a five point increase over his PLAN English score of 18, so I think he's heading in the right direction. The rest of the time was devoted to the Science section, which I don't think we'd addressed before on the ACT; we may have taken a look at it on the PLAN. He did much better on this, though I think there are still a number of things that he could be doing much more efficiently. I believe that to be mostly a relative unfamiliarity with the types of questions from the Science section - for example, on the first passage of the Science section that we used, he seemed to be trying to generate an exact numerical projection of a trend illustrated on a graph, which is never going to be part of the real Science section; the most they'll ask for is to place a value within a range of previously-established numbers, and even then they're asking for a qualitative (rather than quantitative) understanding and answer. Next week I'll continue with a new Science section and, if we have time, return to the mathematics, so that (hopefully) we can have the same kind of studying synergy that I think we had when we were focusing on the English and the Reading sections."
"The student and I went over various SAT Math practice problems, concentrating mostly on Geometry and Measurement."
"We covered the rest of the passage-based reading comprehension we had begun the last time, with one short and one long passage. The latter began with intimidating vocabulary and sentence structure, so we reviewed how to infer the meaning of unknown words from word roots and context. I showed the student how English is an SVO language, and how to simplify complex sentences to enhance her comprehension. We then broke into some sentence-completion problems. I showed her how these types of problems fell into four categories: Subject-Verb agreement, Noun-Pronoun Agreement, Parallel Constructions of lists, and Parallel Constructions of Clauses. The student showed that she had begun to use her Spanish language skills to infer the meaning of novel vocabulary. She had also really understood our previous discussion of the relationships of variables and values, which facilitated our discussion of how to evaluate pronoun-noun agreement. She continues to struggle with a narrow vocabulary, but she had done the homework I assigned her concerning vocabulary from the last time. She initially had issues with the long passage that began with overly flowery prose, but by working through it, I was able to show her that it often gets easier. With coaching, she was able to begin to see how to go beyond the reading-comprehension questions and see into the passage structure. This is an area that will need a lot more work. I reiterated the need to work on vocabulary and do practice questions during her personal time."