Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We focused on the Quantitative Reasoning and Mathematics section. In particular we practiced techniques for numeric logic problems and sequences and reviewed some time saving techniques as well as some geometry and function based skills. The student did very well with the quantitative comparisons and data comparisons and has a very solid grounding in Algebra."
"Today, the student and I went over some algebraic concepts. He took a quantitative section practice test and we went over the concepts to ensure he has a good understanding."
"I had the student take a 50 minute placement exam diagnostic test, which showed his reading comprehension and language to be lower than expected. He needs to take the time and really look over the language section and determine how to identify grammatical errors."
"As usual, we worked on vocabulary today. I've noticed that while he does a great job of taking the initiative to write down what he doesn't know in his notebook, his vocabulary list looks a little difficult to study because it's not very organized. I think it would behoove him to rewrite more organized vocabulary lists from his notes. We talked about grouping related words together and studying them that way and alphabetizing words and studying them one letter at a time. If his words have a theme, he can associate them with one another, which works as a memory aid. We also looked at the reading comprehension section of the test. We talked about how to skim a passage quickly -- he should skim and mark up the passage in order to find out where information is located what the general tone and subject of the passage are. Then, he can return to specific parts of the passage in order to verify answers for each question. I showed him how I skim a passage then passed the book to him for practice. Likewise, I showed him how I look at a question and verify the answer in the passage, then I passed the book to him to practice. He did well. When I timed him doing an entire passage with its questions, he struggled a little -- I think the time pressure made him rush -- so for now, we'll keep practicing without formal timing to help his confidence. I'm optimistic about this section. With practice, he'll make good improvements."
"In this session, the student and I reviewed what she had completed since last session. We went over her verbal assessment, and acknowledged all of the issues that she had with certain questions, mostly antonym questions. We then moved on to the quantitative reasoning section she completed. Based off of the last one that she did, I expected her to have the most issues with geometric and non-geometric comparison questions. However, with this section I found that she had the most issues with number manipulation. We spent a while going over those types of problems and doing some practice. Finally, we moved on to the mathematics assessment that she had previously completed. We isolated the questions that she got wrong, and found that most of them were number sense questions. I elected to save those for our next session, so we focused on algebra and geometry questions. It turned out that the student did not have much issue with the algebra questions besides reading them incorrectly. Therefore, we moved on to geometry and focused on area, volume, and similar shapes. Lastly, I gave her a mini-quiz on the vocabulary that I had assigned her, and she did great on those. For next time I asked her to study the last of the vocabulary, as well as complete a math section from the assessment."
"Today was my first session with the student, so the entirety of it was spent on assessing his strengths and weaknesses. In order to do this, I had him do a small sample of questions from every section of the test. I timed each of these mini-tests in order to gauge his time-management abilities as well. My assessment so far leads me to believe that his biggest difficulty will be himself. He is a demonstrably very bright boy who knows most of the material on the test well. The thing that will aid him best now is test-taking strategies, as he has tendencies towards stress and perfectionism that lead him to frequently over think or misread questions and thus select the wrong answers. My primary goal with him is to get him to relax and learn to become a better test taker. His strongest sections are vocabulary and spelling, so I will reduce our focus on those somewhat to focus further on the language, verbal skills, and quantitative skills/math concepts sections. He needs to brush up on his algebra, as he is (in his own words) a "bit rusty." Our next target will be to get him on track with his algebra, geometry, and arithmetic skills, and then focus on the finer points of the language and verbal skills sections in order to iron out any problems with those. I will need at least one more session with him to get a full assessment of the true range of his abilities, but we are off to a strong start. I assigned him to do only one single section, the math concepts section, and to time it. I wish to see how he does with the material under timed conditions after what we've reviewed today. I believe he is already capable of finishing the section within the time limit and doing so well - this is mostly a test to see how well he handles the stress under time constraints."
"This was the final session for standardized test prep. We covered more test material. The student is very well prepared!"
"We reviewed a practice test from part IV of the textbook, specifically equations of lines, algebra I level equations (2 variables, 2 unknowns), geometry (angles), and word problems. We reviewed slopes and the y=mx+b equation to solve for the slope and y-intercept using coordinates and conceptualizing how this knowledge applies to real-life situations (slope can represent speed using the y-axis as distance and the x-axis as time). We also reviewed test-taking skills to label the easy, medium, and difficult questions first with letters so the student can solve the easier problems first to make the most efficient use of time during the exam. As homework, she will complete a mathematics practice test, timing the exam, allowing 45 minutes to answer 63 problems using the strategy discussed above. She will note how many correct answers she get within the allotted time and label the ones that gave her the most difficulty so that we can review them next session. The student seems very bright and I feel that if she can keep working on conceptualizing the word problems and reviewing our notes she will definitely improve her mathematics testing performance on the exam."
"In this session, the student and I went over the answers he got wrong on the first 3 parts of the Assessment simulation and why he may have gotten them wrong. We systematically went over every problem in that section, then the reading comprehension & vocabulary, then the verbal skills section. Along the way, he realized he made simple mistakes that he wouldn't have gotten wrong were there no stress (which I think may have been caused because of the time restriction). So, I gave him tips on how to handle the stress and the general mentality he should have while taking any exam. I also addressed each problem and how I would approach each. He learned a couple of new geometry concepts while I was talking about them and a couple of shortcuts on how to approach simpler problems. Overall, he seemed more relieved and able to handle the test. We're going to handle the last part of the Assessment simulation next week."
"We reviewed the mathematics sections that the student had scored in the 40-50% range before and he was able to get almost 90% of the problems correct immediately this time through. This further emphasized to both of us how feeling fresh and confident can create an enormous difference in his score, as we had not even reviewed the math section again so his knowledge hadn't changed at all since the practice test. We also reviewed his strategies for further practice in the next week. His intention is to continue reviewing problems from his practice test, studying vocabulary on a vocab website that he enjoys, and to look over the math reading in the study book. We also talked and wrote about his strategies for maintaining focus and calm on the test, including breathing exercises and positive thinking. I have really enjoyed working with him. He is a hard worker with a great sense of humor, and I believe that when he can turn his high standards into a motivator, he can tackle any problems he faces. I have high hopes for his score on the test next weekend."
"We started out the session by having the student take a practice reading section from an online tool. She did well. We the section and the strategies that she can use to improve her score on the exam. Next, I gave the student a vocab quiz on her synonym groups 1-37. We reviewed the quiz and looked at ones which she had questions on. Next, she took a practice math section test using an online tool. She did very well. We reviewed it and took a look at some geometry questions and worked through it together and by the end, she understood it better. Next, she took a practice verbal section test using another online tool. We reviewed the problems that she had questions on and discussed strategies for picking the right answer in the verbal section, even when you aren't sure. Lastly, we went through the second practice sets of the grammar packet. We reviewed commas, fragments, run-ons, apostrophes, quotation marks, and pronouns. She had a strong understanding of these concepts."