Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This was my last session with the student. We began our time reviewing a practice test he had completed since I last saw him. He did a great job with the practice test and had only made mistakes with a few problems. We reviewed those problems and found that his mistakes usually had to do with misreading the question or not appropriately gathering data from the prompt given. We went over some strategies to ensure that he was doing the proper math for a given question, and I gave him some ideas about how to take information from a text-based question and rearrange it for mathematics application. Because he had done so well with the math 1 practice test, we had some extra time in our session, and so we turned our attention back to the math 2 test. We went through a couple of practice questions, keeping in mind the strategies we had talked about, and he showed a great grasp of the ideas we had discussed. Finally, we briefly reviewed the strategies we had discussed for all three tests he and I had done together, and I encouraged him to seek out more practice questions for each topic. I am confident he will do excellently on his exams this Saturday."
"Today, I began our first session by talking to the student about his previous experiences taking the SAT and what he hoped to achieve through our sessions. He told me he had taken the SAT once before and received a score of about 1880 and that he hoped to raise his score to the vicinity of 2100, in the hopes of impressing colleges and possibly qualifying for scholarships. He also mentioned that he had received his highest score in mathematics and that he felt he struggled more with the writing and reading sections. To ascertain if this was still the case for him, I had him take a timed diagnostic test, consisting of one reading, one math, and one writing section, and then graded it and went over the results with him. He had missed the most questions in the writing section, but because of their relative lengths, his score in the reading section was actually the lowest overall. I noted that on several questions, when he did not know the answer or feel confident making a reasonable guess, he left the question blank. I told him this was a good strategy, especially as he had applied it sparingly. We went over all the questions he had missed or left blank, including two grid-in response math questions that he was unsure how to approach. I told him that, starting with our next session next week, we will primarily focus on the reading section, and that in preparation, he should begin reviewing the vocabulary list included in his SAT prep book."
"This was my first session with the student. We worked on an SAT prep book that he had, which included several practice tests, and did the math sections for that test. He was very quick to approach problems and frequently was able to solve them without any problems. When working on series and extrapolations, he had a few issues, and on some problems, he was able to reach the right answer through brute force or logical simple number substitutions, rather than algebraically. I discussed this with him, pointing out that it can certainly be faster for some situations, but is generally better to be able to do it both ways. He expressed that he has finished up through calculus AB in school and that he generally does very well but often takes the full time, or near to it, to complete tests and quizzes. For our next session and any work he does in between, I suggested a tactic for test taking: spend no more than a minute on each problem the first time through, allowing you to solve the quick and easy ones and at least have a chance to answer every problem before going back and filling in the more time intensive or difficult ones. For next time, I told him we were going to be trying to time the sections on another practice test."