Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today, the student and I did a timed test! We've spent the last two weeks working on how to methodically complete the critical reading section, but we haven't put it to the test of time. That was our goal for today. I had her do critical reading section 4 on pages 458-461 of the text while I set my timer to 25 minutes. She answered more than half of the answers correctly, was able to go over the section twice, and felt like she had too much time. These are all really good indicators. Next, we went over the questions, discussed difficulties she had, and I asked her what she would do differently the next time she had to do a timed test. She answered that she would take more time to read the passages before moving on to the answers; although most SAT prep books advise against this for some reason, I agree that spending more time on the texts is a good idea. Next we worked on vocabulary. I tested her on a few flash cards that she made for last week and had her add new words. Then, we worked on improving sentences--she did really well with this concept and answered every question save one correctly. Next time, we will do a timed test with the essay and work on vocabulary and grammar with the remaining allotted time."
"The student and I extensively reviewed the early colonial period, along with the Revolution and immediate period following. We then went through practice questions, while also reviewing his diagnostic. He has strong knowledge of certain topics, but we need to further discuss how he can infer the right answer from knowledge about a period."
"The student and I finished the ACT provided science practice, and reviewed questions that she missed on an English and a math diagnostic test."
"Today the student and I concluded the hard level questions in the prep book and then began to work with a new book. I reinforced key recurring concepts on hard-level math questions, and he seemed very receptive. In the new book he struggles a bit more, but that's to be expected considering the extreme difficulty of the book in question. His performance indicates a growing readiness for the test. I gave some work for next session."
"We finished doing the math diagnostic test 2. The student continues to excel at math, only getting 2 questions wrong in the entire 60 question set, and is able to do many questions in his head. I advised him to write it down even if he thinks he can do it in his head to ensure accuracy. We then moved on to grammar and reading questions, which he also did very well on."
"We spent today's session going over the remainder of the exponent problems, then working through the first third of the 2nd math diagnostic exam. The student is feeling much more confident about the properties of exponents. As we went through the practice math test, she didn't have much trouble with the majority of the questions. Overall, she has been making great progress in math. Our next session will be Saturday."
"In this session we reviewed the practice test the student had done over the weekend. It was his first try, and I believe he can do much better. His composite score was 26, but we are aiming for a score of 32 or higher. After reviewing the material with him, it's clear that he rushed in the sections and did not take his time to fully read and comprehend the questions. Many errors that he made are due to this problem. We will continue to work on that as well as time management."
"The student and I worked through some SAT math practice problems. We discussed some strategies, including skipping over the hardest problems and spending the most time on the ones of medium difficulty, finding the answer by plugging in the multiple choice values, looking at the answers to gain information about how to solve the problem, etc. I timed her so we could focus on using strategies under time pressure. She struggles most with word problems, and translating the terms into the math. She also knows that this is what she has the hardest time with. After tomorrow's session, I will send her some extra practice problems for her to work on over the weekend. She was extremely focused and a joy to work with."
"Besides a brief discussion over strategies for the critical reading section, the student and I focused entirely on the math section today. We went over important concepts in geometry and then went over practice problems. These included examples of line segments, plug and check methods of problem solving, substitution methods of problem solving, lengths of an arc of a circle, percentage increase and decrease, 3D volumes, and areas and angles of a triangle. I left her with the task of doing the critical reading section using a different method than usual, as well as extra math practice."
"The student and I went over an ACT Science section. We discussed independent, dependent variables, and control; now versus later passages; median, minimum, and maximum; range; and various timing strategies. I think he does really well here, but sometimes doesn't pay close attention when reading questions and answer choices and thus misses essential details. There was an instance where he had the correct answer but selected the wrong letter, for example. Aside from that, I think it's mostly just more practice and familiarization with tables and charts. Excellent session overall. I'm giving him an ACT Science and Reading section as homework."
"The student and I reviewed a passage from her practice book, focusing on tone and the particulars of the language of the passage. We will continue to analyze the passages very closely, paying special attention to context, vocabulary, and tone, as these tend to be the things that she misses most in the reading section."
"Since the first session, the student told me that he felt very comfortable with reading comprehension and that he wanted to focus on vocabulary and sentence completion. Today we did a timed practice test that was an actual SAT backtest, and the student struggled more with reading comprehension than he let on. So, today, we focused on reading comprehension strategies. He usually does not annotate, underline, or mark up the text when he reads, but I encouraged him to be a more active reader and to annotate. Once he did, he was able to answer questions with more accuracy. I taught him other reading comprehension strategies, like paying attention to topic sentences and conclusion sentences and paying attention to transitional language that conveys a shift of idea."