Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student finished a practice run-through of the writing section on her own and brought it to our session. I graded it, complimented her on her significant improvements, and listed several specific areas to improve. We then did another practice essay. We reviewed this together. She is improving her time management significantly, and now can focus on making sure her essay includes all of the essential elements needed to boost her score into the 4 to 5 range (compound score of 8-10). While she was writing I looked through her book, and showed her some areas for additional reading about how and when to include particular elements in her writing. She takes the test this Saturday!"
"We finished going over the writing/grammar section then began working on the algebra section of math. The student did really well with the math questions. As math seems to be a strength for him, he works through problems quickly. This is not currently an issue, but he needs to make sure he takes his time to read and work out problems as his speed leaves him vulnerable to making simple errors. Remember to look at bounds of graphs, PEMDAS, and to multiply by common multiples to get rid of messy fractions. As for writing, he is doing well for having never taken this test. The knowledge and information is there; he just needs more time looking at and answering PSAT questions to become familiar with what they are asking and how they want you to answer the question to perfect this section. I don't doubt that our coming sessions will be more than enough practice for him to do well on the October test."
"The student and I started with some passage-based questions from his SAT study guide. On one passage, he answered 10 out of 11 questions correctly without any help, so we tried to find a more difficult one. We then looked at a science passage that only had 5 questions, and he answered all of them with no trouble at all. We tried a few sentence completion questions, of which he missed one and found two others challenging, but with a little talk these made sense to him. He added a few unfamiliar words to his vocabulary list before we moved on. After that, we looked at some error-recognition and improving-paragraph questions. Some of these proved a little more challenging for him, but that isn't saying much considering how well he was doing on critical reading. We talked through some details of grammar, punctuation, and usage, and on difficult questions he tried reading the question allowed and replacing parts he thought were errors with other words or phrases that might work. He is going to try to complete a practice test over the weekend."
"We focused on the reading section of the SSAT. We reviewed passages from her practice book. She should be practicing more using the website/ app and reviewing the questions she misses on a daily basis."
"The student and I worked through three SAT reading comprehension passages (one social science, one natural science, and one fictional prose) with a focus on understanding context. He did well on detail oriented questions, but often struggled with questions related to the author's argument, the evidence used, and character attitudes. We worked through the passages at a paragraph level and used strategies including process of elimination, comparing choices, and returning to the passage for evidence to reach answers. We will continue working on these strategies and begin incorporating timing tactics during our next session."
"We covered some of the basic math concepts covered by the SAT, and spent a good deal of time practicing percentage problems and how to work them. Additionally, we began to cover distance=rate*time problems and began discussing how to find average speed. I have encouraged the student to study the concepts on the review sheet by watching videos like or reading webpages. Additionally, I cannot stress enough the importance of taking a full practice test before the test day. There is a significant amount of material that I believe we need to cover before test day, and having actual test practice is very important too."
"In this session, the student and I started by going through the results of her practice SAT attempt. She did very well with the reading and writing sections, increasing her score by 100 points in each section! We went through the questions she answered incorrectly or skipped, touching on some general strategies she can use and specific mistakes she made. Her math score went down slightly, which wasn't too surprising as we had been focusing mainly on the writing and reading sections. In our last few sessions, we will work more on the math to try and improve her score as well."
"In this session the student and I prepared for the writing section, focusing on identifying sentence errors. We talked about looking for common themes such as parallelism, subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and practiced staying in the time limit."
"The student is doing fantastic on the reading section so far, so we will most likely move onto science to gauge how well she is doing there. I want to cover math again before we wrap up our lessons because she can make drastic gains in math if we just cover some organizational aspects of it."
"The student and I had a pretty good session this evening. We reviewed her homework, working on some Math problems, did a Reading passage together (she's getting so good!), and finished up with some more Math problems. She knows she struggled on the last exam because she was nervous. She is feeling much more confident and ready for her practice test on Saturday."
"We had a good session today. We spent a great deal of time on vocabulary. We looked at various words that the student had never seen or knew little about. We also spent the end of session looking at the math concepts on the test. She was able to get most of these concepts, though she did require a bit of explanation when it came to surface area."
"We focused on math today. The student was rusty on the properties of cubes, so we did a number of problems focusing on them. He had trouble at first but gradually got the concept. We also reviewed perpendicular lines, prisms, and circles. I asked him to complete practice test #3 for Friday."