Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I worked on the science and math sections of the test today. We started in the science section, and worked through the problems that require identifying and breaking down opposing arguments about a science topic. These questions also help to build skills in the reading section. After science, we worked through math, primarily with algebra problems. She is doing much better, answering many questions in the target time of 60 seconds. I mostly just sat and only occasionally had to guide her through these problems; she is much improved. The only types that she still needs help on are factoring problems and finding the solution of two lines. Otherwise she has shown marked improvement. We spent time at the end of the session determining the best method for attacking the writing section. We discussed the way that she would go about forming the essay, and how to quickly decide how to make an argument and support it effectively. She still needs to be doing the assigned reading everyday."
"Today we debriefed about the science passages I had assigned the student to do in between sessions. He had difficulty with many of the questions, mostly due to difficulty with reading comprehension on text-intensive questions. However, a couple questions were missed due to the easily fixed problem he had of overlooking the "figures" referred to in the questions. We continued to work through sets of Science passages, this time recording how much time he took on each passage. Afterward, we discussed strategy, reasoning, and timing for each question and the passage as a whole. We finished the session by practicing a reading section nonfiction passage. The student had a lot of trouble with this passage, more than the fiction passage we had done before and similar to the text intensive science passage. We discussed possible strategies dealing with timing, note taking, and order of reading passage vs. questions first. We will continue working on reading passages in the future. However, in between sessions I assigned him to finish the remaining science passages in the section we had been working on using a timer/ alarm set based on the number of questions."
"In this session, the student and I began by working on improving paragraphs in the writing section of the SAT. He had no problems with this section and did a good job explaining his answers. We then moved on to two math sections, as math was the topic that he felt the least comfortable with. We went over problems about using arbitrary symbols to indicate operations, coordinate geometry, relating equations to their graphs, angle relationships, and ratios. He did a good job evaluating and manipulating algebraic expressions and solving problems by plugging in arbitrary values for multiple variables. However, he was unsure about the right strategy for certain problems - especially problems with more unfamiliar symbols and terminology and reasoning-based or logic-puzzle problems. We practiced using and drawing diagrams, writing equations, and thinking about the relationship between different types of operations to solve these types of problems. To improve, I recommended that he continue working on math practice problems online to become more comfortable recognizing what type of strategy works best for solving certain types of problems. The student can also begin to take SAT and ACT practice tests to get a better idea of where he is at currently score-wise."