Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I practiced ACT math most of our session. We began by reviewing what the student had worked on since our last meeting. We went over a couple questions he had from various passages, and then we began working on a math section in his book. We both agree that the student's primary needs lie in the math section of the ACT, so for our sessions, I feel like a focus on math would be the best use of our time. He has improved in that he is reluctant to start aimlessly crunching numbers and instead re-read questions and search for some understanding of the steps he needs to take to find his answer. After time spent on math, we decided to complete a science passage just to keep it fresh. The student completed a "student 1/student 2" passage where there are no graphs or tables, and all questions are based on hypotheses from two different view points. All in all, I think this was a productive session. The student needs to continue to devote some of his free time to practicing each section so as not to neglect English, reading, and science. English and science tend to be his strong suits."
"First, we discussed the student's goals, what kind of preparation she had already done, and what she was planning to do before the test date. She told me that she had taken a practice test in November and that she had done better than she expected, but that her score was still within her usual range. During the test, she also got stuck on some difficult problems and spent too much time with them. In this session, we worked on algebra problems to practice not only the math, but translating between the language of the question and the appropriate mathematical equivalents. As she improves this ability, it should allow her to answer the questions (and check her answers) more quickly and more accurately. We also emphasized writing more of the work down on paper as she thinks it through, so that she can easily retrace her steps if her answer doesn't seem correct when she gets it. By the end of the session, she seemed to be more comfortable attacking the questions with this analytical mindset."
"During today's session, we focused on completing the English multiple choice review and discussing the essay. We discussed strategies for approaching Improving Paragraphs questions, such as reading the sentence before and after the question sentence to determine the context, and paying attention to the different uses of transition words. The student did very well answering a short practice section of Improving Paragraphs questions. We then moved on to discussing the essay. I gave her a brief overview of the subject matter of the essay and how it would be scored. Then we looked at some sample essays that had received various scores to get a more concrete example of what the graders would be looking for. We discussed the importance of brainstorming and making a plan for the essay before beginning to write it. I also had her complete writing exercises aimed at recognizing and reducing redundancies and empty phrases and thinking of concrete, vivid examples to illustrate abstract ideas. We then looked at several practice prompts together and I had her practice coming up with a thesis statement and brainstorming supporting examples for each one. At first, she seemed daunted by the idea of completing an essay in such a short amount of time, but as we continued practicing it, she said she was starting to see how she could plan, organize, and write a timed essay. I told her that if she wanted to practice writing a timed essay, we could review it together during our next session."