"The student and I started this session by going over the root-and-prefix-based assignment she had done since our last session. She did a wonderful job of finding meanings and sample words for almost all of the roots and prefixes on the list I had given her!
After working on vocabulary for a short time, we went on to focus the rest of our session on the math section of the test, with attention to both the concepts and problem-solving subsections. Using both the questions that she had found challenging on an in-school practice packet and some fresh sample questions from our study guides, we reviewed some skills for solving algebraic equations, problems involving fractions, and ratio- or proportion-based word problems (in addition to proportion-based geometry problems involving similar polygons).
In the early portion of our work on the math section, she struggled with problems that involved skills I'd seen her apply in the past, and seemed to jump to guesses without taking enough time to consider what to do for a given problem. We talked about why that was, and it came up that she felt intimidated by the math section after a practice / study session at her school. We talked through the negative self-talk that she had been engaging in since that experience, and also addressed the habit she had developed of reflexive guessing under stress. I reminded her of some of the self-calming tips we had discussed in our first session, and offered some ideas for minimizing -- or outright changing -- the feelings of intimidation or inadequacy that were interfering with her ability to focus and to access her math skills. After this conversation, she tackled the rest of our math preparation with renewed determination and positivity, and the difference in her ability to solve sample problems was like night and day! She stayed calmer, caught more mistakes as she was about to make them, and got much more accurate answers. I'm very proud of her for putting the techniques we discussed for managing her state of mind into practice so quickly, so completely, and so effectively!"