Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student is just beginning the application process, and thus did not yet have drafts to review. I utilized the first half of the session to get to know her: her personal background, academic accomplishments and concerns, and aspirations. We also spent a great deal of time making sure she met the university's requirements for admissions. Since she moved to the U.S. during her sophomore year in high school, she could not have successfully completed the required 4 years of English for the university's system. However, she can work around this requirement with a score of 560 or higher on the SAT writing exam. As of now, she has a 550 and is taking the exam again in two weeks. She is confident she will score higher this time since she is practicing. We finished off the session brainstorming ideas for her essays. We'll be working through her outline/draft the next session."
"The student and I focused largely on his college essays, as he has an early decision application due for November 1st. We looked at his essay expressing why he is interested in the specific school. He wrote the essay while I was there, and we spent some time editing it. We also created an outline for his common application essay. We spent some good time coming up with ideas, and I think we settled on a good topic. We also went over his schedule for this coming week: what tasks he has to complete, what people he has to talk to, etc."
"The student and I reviewed the final two essays for his college application. He had one draft written and some notes and half of a draft written for the other essay. I helped him clearly convey his ideas in a concise manner in order to meet the word limits."
"The student and I got to know each other a little bit and discussed her goals. Then we went in depth on one of her essays, which was about a personal experience that showed her ability to overcome challenges. We focused on using specific concrete examples and providing more detail, as well as having a clearer structure that would make the information stand out more to college essay readers. We discussed the next essay we wanted to focus on."
"The student finalized his essay for college. The prompt was one that we've come across for a few other schools, which asks about his interest in the university. We talked about attributes of the school that distinguish it from other programs. The student chose to specifically talk about how the university could affect his career options. He then outlined essays for other schools that were slightly lower priorities. One essay we talked extensively about is choosing a community the student identifies with and how both, it has impacted him, and he has impacted it."
"My first meeting with the student was spent discussing the art schools that he is applying to. He showed me some of his artwork and we discussed what his broad goals are regarding an art school. We created a list of the schools that he wants to apply to and began ranking them. We finalized the schedule going forward for sessions. For the next session, I told the student to start working on the common application so that he can get that completed as soon as possible, then he can focus on the portfolio, which is the most important part of his application to art schools. I also gave him some homework of looking at the websites of the various schools, so that he can start to get a feel for what the school is like."
"Today the student edited one college essay and then he worked on another college essay. He also added to the list of colleges he's going to apply to and outlined a plan to accomplish this in a timely manner. I sent the student homework to accomplish before next week. These are hard deadlines as he needs to send materials to the schools asap and get the applications in."
"Today we worked on the student's second college application essay. She was limited to 300-500 words. She had already brainstorm the event she wanted to write about and the impact it's had on her life. We talked through the introduction, body, and conclusion and were pleased with the end product. We will meet next time to revise and edit the essay."
"The student and I managed to hammer out the final draft of her Common App essay (which is now ready to be sent) in addition to her two supplement essays. Having completed these applications, she has only three remaining supplements to complete by January 1st. She is improving on her ability to organize proper sequencing of events and important points in a paper in addition to identifying awkward phrasing and using appropriate transitions. Having rigorously applied herself to these writing samples over the last couple of weeks, I have suggested she take a week off from meeting with me to just think about the prompts for her remaining supplements. We will meet the following week to finish up her applications."
"The student and I worked more on his short college essay statement. I had him research the academics in his area and write about it. He also expanded the section on his piano playing. He did a good job with both."
"The student and I brainstormed possible topics for his college essays, exploring different avenues that he could potentially take to express his interest in the schools to which he is applying, how he stands out as an applicant, and how he could potentially contribute to the campus life of the schools of his choice. I helped him to focus on potential ideas and how to tie them back to himself. Overall, he is very bright and already had a number of strong ideas. For the next session, I asked him to come with a rough draft or at least a very strong outline so that we can review/flesh out his essay in some detail. I also asked that he bring in the supplemental questions so that we can possibly review approaches to those as well."
"The student has a pretty strong foundation for a college entrance essay already. We spent a sizable portion of today firming up his thesis and weaving it and his narrative together. We went through sentence by sentence to align images and ideas with the logic set forth by the thesis. Additionally, we worked on the narrative itself, trying to make it align with what sort of feel he wanted in his reader - the admissions officer. I left him with instructions to rewrite the ending of the essay in several different ways so that we could judge the merits of each during the next session, as well as to make sure that each restated the thesis in a new way that brings in elements from the narrative, thus leading to a more solid conclusion."