Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We covered equilibrium today. We began with the derivation of the K-eq and what that can tell us about how the balance of products and reactants can be influenced by thermodynamic conditions. We discussed entropy and what the second law of thermodynamics had to say about the reversibility of processes. We looked at the Gibb's function and how temperature amplified the effect of the entropy term. We discussed what the Gibb's function told us about the system and its relation to equilibrium. We then moved on to the reaction quotient Q and showed that the relationship between Q and K-eq gave us the same information. We then discussed what standard conditions were and the difference between Delta-G and Delta-g-naught. We moved on to Le Chatelier's principle, applying to two biological reactions. We then discussed solutions, relating the K-sp and IP to K-eq and Q, respectively. We discussed the preparation of supersaturated solutions and how to understand the common ion effect. We then moved on to molar solubility problems, running through some difficult problems with common ion effects. The student had the mistaken belief that equilibrium implied an equal amount of products and reactants. I showed her that the balance depended on thermodynamic favorability. I asked several questions to make sure she understood. She again proved she had been doing the work because the conversation was mostly about how to fine-tune her understanding. We will move on to phase equilibria and acid/base next."
"The student and I worked on the verbal and writing sections of the GRE today. We began by going over her results from the verbal work. I worked on pointing out how to determine clues within these questions to help guide her. Finally, we reviewed both types of essays by breaking down sample essays to explore the consistent patterns that are rewarded by the examiners. She seemed to understand these points, and I will review two of her essays next week to assess where she currently stands with this section."
"We discussed additional strategies for the student in the essay of the assessment. She had some degree of difficulty with making sure her examples stay on topic with respect to the prompt, so we talked about a way of making a "checklist" of key terms she needs to define and acknowledge in her arguments throughout the essay. For homework before tomorrow, she will choose a few prompts from a bank and practice making these checklists for herself. This should help her stay on topic on test day."