Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"[COVERED]: We discussed the kidney today. We began by discussing the overall function of the kidney, to fine-tune chemical balances, and to a lesser degree, excrete wastes (compared to the lungs). We continued by discussing how Filtration is accomplished, defining the different fractions of the blood, and discussing by way of analogy what happens to a compressed nonpermeable solution of osmoles. This ranged into a discussion of hydrostatic vs. oncotic pressure in capillaries in general. We then looked at the nephron piece by piece, relating the anatomy to the gross anatomy of the kidney, and showing how the structure and histology of each component helped accomplish its function. We started with the PCT and DCT. Discussing the DCT engendered a discussion of steroid hormones, their mechanism of action, and the RAAS. We next discussed the loop of Henle and the countercurrent exchange system. We then discussed the CCD and how it is ruled by ADH, which required a discussion of the etymology of ADH, and how it is an example of a peptide hormone. We then summarized and reviewed all the components, and throughout, kept a focus on what the chemical nature of the filtrate was, including its osmolarity. [PROGRESS/CHALLENGES]: Initially, the student did not have a good understanding of Osmolarity, Oncotic pressure, or the different types of transport. Thus, we had to make quite a few side-jaunts into all those topics. However, by the end of the session, she did understand the kidney from a top-down perspective, and had some idea of how the questions on kidney physiology would be asked. [EXTRA PRACTICE]: The student will do another full-length practice test, and when we meet on Monday, we will answer questions from that, and discuss the Endocrine System."
"We reviewed the verbal passages from the student's last full-length practice MCAT. We discussed strategies for approaching questions and deciphering ambiguous language. The student has a lot of initiative and is autodidactic, so my goal as a tutor will be to give him tools to help him through the critical thinking process, rather than lecturing."
"We went over a variety of topics including the Digestive Tract, Respiratory System, Test taking strategies, Enzyme kinetics. She is struggling with the amount of material that we have to cover in the next 7 weeks. Her attitude is great and she works hard. We have come up with a study plan for her."
"The student and I focused on the reading and essay portions of the exam this session. We looked at a difficult passage and analyzed it together. We then answered questions about the passage. I feel as though he learned a bit about how to analyze writing through our discussions. We then looked at some essay topics, and reviewed a sample short story he had written. We discussed his organization and presentation of the plot, and I think he is on good footing there."
"Today we spent most of our time on Geometry. The student has been working on practice tests and identified geometry to be his biggest math weakness. We spent the last 30 minutes on Science, covering biology. We're planning on hitting the other areas of the science section in our next session. He is making a ton of progress and is doing really good work. He is planning on doing a full practice test this weekend before our next session."
"We worked on biology diagnostic #2. We plan on continuing with diagnostics when we meet for the final time next week. We have one last time to meet before the test, and I plan also on talking about what to do from the final meeting time until the test."