Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today, we continued to work on both of the exam writing tasks. The student still struggles with examples on the issue task, although she seems much more comfortable with the analyze an argument task. She needs to review some current events for the issue task, as many of the questions are about government and she doesn't have a broad range of examples to choose from. However, she is much more comfortable talking about education. We discussed strategies for if she has trouble brainstorming and we further reviewed how to make the most of the pre-writing time."
"Today, we looked at an argument topic essay and an issue topic outline that the student had prepared since our last session. We spent time going through the argument essay and examining where he could improve, though his content was fairly on point. I then timed the student as he wrote out paragraphs of the essay that he had outlined, just to see how he would do as far as time. He was able to complete a decent draft within the time constraints of the test. We then worked through the essay and consciously revised it. I am doing this in order to develop the student's conscious writing style so that when he gets into the test, he knows what to look out for in his own writing and how to improve the writing during his test."
"This session, we took an in-depth look at the Issue Task from the GRE Analytical Writing Section. We started by looking at example prompts, discussing the key terms, and preparing reasons and examples to support ideas and opinions. I showed the student some example responses in the 4-6 score range. We did 5-minute planning drills to help brainstorm for ideas and examples from a variety of different prompts. Finally, after brainstorming together, she wrote the essay and we spent the remainder discussing the strengths and weaknesses of her ideas, examples, grammar, and mechanics. The student is a decent writer who will benefit from repeated exposure to the prompts, practice with brainstorming ideas and specific examples, and writing drills."
"During today's session, the student and I reviewed her essay. Her writing was clearer and more concise this week, with a considerable drop in run-on sentences. Moving forward, I have urged her to focus on eliminating ambiguous nouns and pronouns from her essays. During our second hour, we reviewed past tactics and worked on a timed essay pre-write. While she came up with strong examples, she struggled to complete a thesis statement during a five minute writing period."
"Reviewed 4 practice essays - reinforced importance of understanding the prompt, and tying the conclusion back to the topic sentence. Went over 20 "Argument" prompts to highlight typical flaws in logic--Now vs Then, Here vs There, National vs Local...apples and oranges...confusing two things that happened at the same time with cause and effect, being suspicious of averages, % growth. At session end reviewed a few tips."
"The student and I began this session by going through the results of her full practice GRE. She did very well on this exam, scoring her personal best on quantitative and verbal! We looked through the sections and identified some areas she can continue to improve before her test in May. In particular, she still has some issues with the difficult vocabulary questions. I recommended continual practice with high difficulty vocabulary questions and a review of the roots found in many tough words. We also worked through some specific math problems."