Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"In today's session, the student and I worked through practice algebra I problems. Because the majority of the SAT math questions require working with variables, we are strengthening that foundation before working through practice SAT problems. The topics we covered and reviewed today included: multiplying and dividing variables with exponents, expanding polynomial equations, simplifying equations, distribution and finding mean, median, and range. After working together through these topics, she feels more comfortable with them. We used the remaining time to review reading, using the passage-based problems on the test prep website. She is much stronger in the reading section than the math section. She is able to understand the main idea well. She still has room to improve her timing in this section though. More practice will ultimately be what it comes down to."
"Today we focused on getting to know the student's strengths and weaknesses in the Critical Reading section. She is a very strong student, and has a clear sense of her own skills. We did a Practice SAT Critical Reading section as a diagnostic; it became evident that she's a quick, advanced-level reader and has a strong intuitive sense for language. She is sometimes a bit confused with vocabulary, however-- so we began to discuss strategies for both building her vocabulary as a whole, and for using inference, paraphrasing and elimination when faced with challenging or unfamiliar vocab on the test. The student does not struggle with time in the least-- in fact, we discussed that she may benefit from slowing down a bit to make sure she's reading closely enough to thoroughly understand context and inference-based questions. Next week, after we check her homework and go over any challenges, we're going to focus on Writing-- specifically the Essay question."
"The student and I drafted the outline for one essay question. Then, I sent him a prompt and gave him 25 minutes (what he will have on the SAT) to write an essay. His essay shows marked improvement from the first one he sent to me; he developed a clear thesis and supported it well using 2 examples. I have been coaching him to write a 5 paragraph essay during his allotted time. If he is unable to finish all 5 paragraphs in this time he should do what he did today - provide 2 body paragraphs and a conclusion. I think it will be better in the long run to provide a finished essay rather than an unfinished 5-paragraph essay. Next, we completed a practice reading passage. Although the text was wordy and the sentences convoluted, he went through the questions with aplomb - only missing one.. Finally, we reviewed vocabulary, which he has been picking up throughout our sessions. Wow! He has definitely been studying as his retention and recall of the vocab was head and shoulders above any of our previous sessions. He worked really hard today and deserves to be commended."