Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Her English score improved dramatically, earning her a 22. We also worked some on science, which she has also improved dramatically in."
"We started by covering her essay, which was a 12, pulling strong evidence from a wide array of sources to meet her goals. Today, we primarily focused primarily on critical reading and writing, as those areas haven't received quite as much attention in recent weeks. She has a wide vocab. Her grasp on grammar is also strong, and she rarely makes mistakes except on the most obscure grammar questions. We discussed how to check for common potential errors if the sentence seems clean. Finally, on the reading passages we stressed the importance of reading a bit before and after cited sections to gain context."
"Today we drilled for the writing section, discussing questions involving rhetoric. We also drilled for the math section, discussing geometry problems including diagonals of rectangles and volumes of rectangular solids. We spent ~15-20 minutes practicing for the science section. No concerns to report. She seems to be making progress in her preparation. I left her with extra reading and science practice."
"We reviewed Sentence Completion strategy and homework, Numbers & Operations strategy and homework, and we began covering Passage-Based Reading. For PBR, we specifically focused on how to mark up the passage for the main idea, opinion statements, proper names and dates, how to be on the look-out for the most commonly-occurring wrong answer types like Extreme Tone (ET), Generalization (G), Bait and Switch (B&S), and Not Mentioned but Sounds Good (NM), and how to approach paired-passages. She did fairly well with PBR, only struggling with moderately difficult to very difficult questions. I asked her to do problems from the Sentence Completion, Numbers & Operations, and Passage-Based Reading packets with no time constraints, focusing on the methods and strategies that can significantly improve your score on SAT/PSAT exams without even incorporating improvements in content-knowledge and application skills."
"Today the student and I did a lot of review in preparation for a practice test I am assigning her to complete before the next session. We went over vocab in context with the sentences I created for her and corrected the sentence completion and identification of grammatical error exercises. She is definitely improving in critical reading. We also reviewed how to approach the essay with more prompt brainstorming practice. I think the assigned practice test will give us a good gauge of her progress and what we really need to drive home in the next phase of our test prep."
"Continued to work on SAT. Reviewed sections she had done for homework. She's doing best on the passage-based reading questions and multiple choice writing. Also completed a section each of math, reading, and writing, and practiced outlining a sample essay prompt."
"This was my first meeting with the student. They are a very pleasant family, and she is a bright, motivated, and diligent young woman who loves theater and memorizes quickly and easily--this should prove helpful. I reviewed some of her writing and got a sense of her various skills (I will need to do more next time for both writing and critical reading). She has a good basic level and she is a quick learner. What we will need to work on are all the things she hasn't learned yet. She is a good reader but not especially fast. She has a good intuitive grasp of grammar and vocabulary. She will need to get a better understanding of how the test works. Even though she has no real weaknesses, she still needs to bring all her skills, including the test taking one's, up a notch. Lots of practice. In the next 1-3 weeks, she should take her first practice test to establish a baseline."
"The student is improving, but there are still a few issues that are causing most of her mistakes. Science is all about coming up with her own answers before looking at the ones provided. We worked through a few where she had to more or less come up with vocally free-response answers, and she's always right on target. So we're working on developing confidence in what she comes up with so she's not led astray by the tempting wrong answers given. There were some unfamiliar math concepts, so we worked through those as well."
"We worked on sentence completion, vocabulary, and guessing definitions by breaking words down into their component roots. We also looked at the writing section- significant improvement was shown there."
"For this lesson, we spent most of the time going more in depth with the grammar rules tested on the SAT and doing practice questions related to them. We focused on punctuation, sentence structure, agreement and modifiers. We spent the rest of the lesson on prefixes, roots and suffixes and how they can be used to help with vocabulary words you don't know. The student is definitely improving with the grammar, and I think the focused practice is helping. I left him with additional exercises for each of the concepts we went over to practice with. We are also going to continue to work with the roots to help build his vocabulary."
"Worked on SAT reading, reviewing homework and discussing pacing. Student finished homework and scored well. Introduced question types and grouping, how to use extra time effectively. Will continue teaching abstract passage analysis and language use next week."
"During our session we spent our time going through some geometry, science pieces, prose reading sections, and an English section. In geometry we worked on using SOHCAHTOA to solve triangle problems, using the altitude of triangles, and the mean proportional. In science, we worked on looking for keywords such as always or never, reading charts, and looking at the chart labels. In reading, we worked on reading the questions first, skimming the piece, and identifying important information. In English we looked specifically at punctuation. Next session we are going to begin working on testing faster. Before next session, the student will be doing some geometry (surface area and volume) and reading."