Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"As agreed, the student and I focused mainly on science today. We ran into many difficult questions as we trekked through large sections of sample questions; however, after taking a break to answer a couple pages of English questions and one page of reading questions (both of which she did pretty well in), we returned to the science section and I saw a marked improvement. I'm glad that we ended this session on that note, as I think she benefitted from the confidence boost after struggling through over an hour of science questions. We also briefly discussed the new ACT essay format, and I gave her a link to peruse for guidelines and tips. Overall I think she's learned to search out and mark her answer to assure that she's not guessing, look for hints given in the question that at times makes the answer obvious, try to "dumb down" some of the more complicated scientific terms, and eliminate answers that she knows to be false in order to give her a better chance of success when answering more difficult questions. I'm confident that she will see a few points of improvement in science, and maybe even improve by a couple of points in the three other sections as well, using the strategies I've shown her."
"Today we played the vocab dice game and the words that we practiced were colleague, compatible, accommodate, amiable, aloof, sentimental, hysterical, benevolent, empathy, charismatic, courteous and emulate. The student also practiced single step algebra equations and he did very well on this concept. We also worked on converting decimals into fractions and fractions into decimals. We also practiced mean, median, mode and range which he is doing well on. The student also worked on reading comprehension and analogies and he did very well on both of these subjects."
"Today I spoke with the student's mom and we determined to focus on the verbal portion of the test. So I reviewed sample questions for the verbal cogat with the student. They were primarily sentence completion using context clues and inference. We worked on strategies including the process of elimination, identifying root word meanings and key words in the sentence. We also reviewed her results on the ISEE verbal test and practiced sample questions in the comprehension section. She is focused and did a great job."
"The student and I worked through three SAT reading comprehension passages, including one comparative passage. She is becoming more comfortable with process of elimination and was able to typically eliminate three choices before becoming "stuck" between the last two, at which point we focused on returning to the passage for evidence and on comparing key words in the choices. On the comparative passage, she struggled with understanding the author's arguments, but on the other passages she did particularly well in understanding context and purpose. We also completed a short paragraph grammar section with a focus on sentence and paragraph structure."
"We reviewed math concepts including algebraic equations, polynomials, exponent rules, finding angles, area, perimeter, surface area, volume triangles, and the Pythagorean theorem. We then practiced quantitative reasoning. The student had a positive attitude. I asked her to complete a diagnostic test for quantitative reasoning before the next session."
"Today we went over the student's practice essay. Then we looked at the math question set she did. She skipped a few questions she was unsure about so we looked at these and how to best do them. We finished by doing a few complicated geometry problems. She will complete a simulated exam tomorrow."
"This morning the student and I continued our preparation for her SAT 2 subject test in US History. She seemed to be genuinely interested in the topics covered today, such as the formation of the Constitution and the regrowth of the American economy following the Revolution, and once again showed a growing understanding of important connections and themes between chapters. She is starting to consistently approach the major terms and questions covered in a methodical and analytical manner which will help her be successful in the future. We will meet again this week to prepare for her paper as well as continuing our progress in preparing for the exam."
"The student and I spent the majority of our session working through polygons, particularly triangles, since she felt the weakest on the geometry portion of the math section at her last SAT. We then reviewed the concepts that will be tested on the SAT and discussed which ones she may need more practice on. I advised her to go through the official practice SAT tests from this year and from the last two to three years, and email me with any questions she may have, as we are in a bit of a time crunch. I will also email her with some resources on probability. Overall, I feel she is better prepared for the math subsection of the SAT than the last round of testing."
"This was my second session with this student. Her score went up from a 33 composite to a 34 composite. We worked a lot on creating a template for her ACT writing essay so that she saves time and crafts a top score essay. For homework I gave her another full test and another ACT writing essay as well to complete before the next time we meet. She is very friendly and a great student! I expect she'll score a 36 after just a few more lessons."
"The student's PSAT is in October, so we have a lot of time to prepare. I mostly wanted to get a sense of her strengths and weaknesses today. We first talked about the test in general - how it's scored, what strategies to keep in mind, how to pace herself, etc. Then, I asked her what she felt least confident on, and she said math and reading. We spent the rest of the time looking at practice questions. She did very well on the non-calculator part of the math test (2/17 incorrect) but had more trouble with the calculator section (10/31 incorrect). We went over each of the questions she had trouble with and made sure she understood them. I made a list of the topics covered for later review sessions. Then, we moved on to reading - she did well. She was diligent and quick to ask questions. It was a pleasure to meet her!"
"During today's session, the student and I covered pre-algebra and algebra concepts from the ACT Math section."
"Today, the student and I worked through a math with calculator practice test. On this section, she struggled a bit with solving equations with one or two variables. We will review this concept next week. We also went over the practice essay she completed for homework. Her essay had a strong argument and showed a good use of evidence and quotation. By strengthening the general organization and analysis, she will have a great essay. We went over a general outline for a 4/5 paragraph essay. I also gave her tips on how to prepare for writing the essay by creating a brief outline."