Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We began by reviewing the student's practice test and his raw scores. He did OK overall, having finished around the median for his level in all sections. Still, there is room for improvement, and he would like to work for a higher score. We spent some time going through the reading comprehension questions he missed, and determined that he is often not utilizing the pre-reading strategies. He will work on this as we practice together in our sessions and on his own. Next, we looked at the synonym problems that were missed. He could use some assistance in bolstering his vocabulary, so we spent time breaking down the words and choices, using word arithmetic where applicable, and discussed ways to expand his word knowledge toolbox. For homework, he will go through all 180 words on the section of the practice test and write down those with which he is unfamiliar. He will then make flashcards with the words and their definitions. We spent the last half-hour discussing rate and work problems, which are two common math word problems on the SAT. We looked at some sample problems, discussed the formulas, and explained the logic behind the responses."
"The student is continuing to work on his vocabulary. I have assigned him to read chapters of a young adult fantasy book (Le Guin's "A Wizard of Earthsea") and note words that he doesn't understand so that we can work on his comprehension of vocabulary in context and also his reading fluency and comprehension. We did another vocabulary-based verbal analogy worksheet and I had him do two sample reading comprehension passages, which he handled very well. His techniques on the reading comprehension passages is looking solid but I will continue to give him refresher passages so that he doesn't forget how to approach them when under pressure. We reviewed the math worksheets I assigned last time and he did well on them. I assigned some more math worksheets for next session. We also reviewed "periodic" math questions and "mixed rate/job" questions in particular. He appears to be solid on the mixed rate questions now but I will review it with him later to make sure it sticks."
"We worked hard today on writing and verbal skills. The student's writing is improving, and he is beginning to use his new vocabulary in his essays. Keep up the good work."
"The student has done great on the assessment Verbal and Critical Reading. In practice tests, he has scored a hundred percent on math, so we focused on the English aspects of the test. We went over a diagnostic test he had taken and we focused on verbal. We went over several of the words and I tried to contextualize the words and emphasize the importance of understanding roots, prefixes, and suffixes in decoding a word. Finally, we went over a few critical reading passages and talked about test taking strategies to maximize comprehension. I think the first session went well and I plan to meet with him again next Wednesday."
"We went over the sentence completion section and strategies for the SSAT. Session went very well. I suggested making flashcards of vocab words for upcoming test."
"We spent 80% of our time on math subjects, including: adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying fractions; ratios; long division; and, basic geometry. The last 20% was spent on the verbal section, primarily analogies."
"I provided the student with a number of resource documents; recommended that she obtain a public library card and begin using an online website for word definitions and examples of context. She is very bright and quick-minded."
"Today was the first test prep session. We discussed areas that the student wanted to focus on in the upcoming sessions, and we began working through the SSAT prep workbook. We discussed test taking strategies and worked through the analogies and synonyms sections. We made it through one reading comprehension question. I showed her a popular online vocabulary learning tool as a resource for the SSAT vocabulary, and we plan to spend 10-15 minutes a session working on vocabulary starting next week."
"Built a Vocabulary list; assigned reading of SSAT Verbal and Reading introductions. Worked on Synonym meanings and nuances; practice drills."
"The student and I began by going over the assignment I had given her--to read and work through a section in the book on vocabulary. She had done most of the assignment, and we discussed how helpful it was to group stems - for instance, learning number stems at the same time and negative stems at the same time. We then returned to reading comprehension. I asked her to work through half a section of reading comprehension, this time actively using the strategies we had discussed. At the end of the allotted time, we went over her work and found that only one passage had given her difficulty and overall, the strategies had been useful. We then took another brief look at stems--looking at words using the same stem and how they are connected. From here we moved on to the Math section and timing. The student was able to complete the number of questions in the allotted time, and we discussed the stresses that she had run into and what kinds of questions had been particularly jarring. In our next session, we will continue this discussion with practice questions for the types of questions that were most unfamiliar."
"The student and I covered both math sections of the test together and worked practice problems that I thought would be the most beneficial to him. I also showed him/ marked in the book where he can do more problems on his own to practice between sessions. He provided me with his essay in response to the prompt that I left and am grading it now. I will bring it with me Friday to our session and we can review it together as we work on another section of the SSAT."
"General review from all the sections, focusing on Reading Comprehension, vocabulary, and relationships in analogies. Worked through reading comprehension questions, then worked on word roots, and then recognizing the relationships in analogies. Their understanding of how to approach reading comprehension questions in addition to their overall understanding of the stories and how to find the necessary information seems to have improved. In addition to this, their retention of the meaning of various word roots seems to be fairly good."