Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We began by discussing her concerns and goals for the SAT. She explained that she has never attempted the SAT before, but she expects to do best in the English section and may struggle more with the Mathematics section. She hopes to do well enough on the SAT to earn a scholarship, which means an intensive course of preparation. I began by explaining the format and content of the SAT, going into detail about the structure of each section, while she took notes. We then started working through a prep book together, beginning with the Reading section, as she was concerned about the amount of vocabulary practice she would need in order to prepare for the test. I quizzed her on the meanings of a list of commonly used words, providing definitions for those she didn't know, and she supplied her own examples of usage to help remember them. At the end of this exercise, we had come to the conclusion that she would need to extensively study vocabulary for the SAT, so I recommended some resources for that subject, as well as pointing out the root word and word family lists in the back of the book. We then began working through some practice Sentence Completion questions, as I wanted to highlight what skills she would need to use other than vocabulary knowledge and what strategies she could employ to help her succeed even when she didn't know the definition of every answer choice. Transitioning from Sentence Completion to Passage-Based Reading Comprehension, I used a practice passage and questions to illustrate the kinds of questions she could expect to see on the test and how to use methods such as Process of Elimination, Context Clues, and Active Reading to achieve an optimal score on these questions. Having covered most of the preliminary content information for the Reading section, we began to move on to the Math section just as our time came to an end. We will pick up next time with an overview of the type of math skills and concepts needed for the Math section."
"The student is preparing to take the SAT this October. She scored a 146 last year on her practice SAT. She scored similarly between the sections. She felt like she was more stumped with the math section, so we spent a good amount focusing on that. I had her take a practice reading and math section that we then reviewed. She confessed that she didn't like geometry, so we did spend some time going over the geometry material - area/perimeter of various shapes, angles, and congruence. For the reading section, we discussed a few methods of breaking down the passages to attempt to make them easier to handle. She will try those techniques on the next exam that she takes, and we evaluate if she found them helpful. Overall, it was a good first session. She was able to follow through the session fairly well, and she is willing to try many new methods to help improve her score. Before the next session, I did ask her to finish at least 1 math, reading, and writing section that we could then review."
"The student and I began the session by scaling the scores he had gotten on his first diagnostic exam. He ended up with some fairly good scores that are very close to his goals. While I hope this has served to motivate him somewhat, he certainly shouldn't get overconfident and definitely needs to keep working hard to make sure he is fully grasping the material we cover. I had assigned two practice sections as homework, so he and I went over the questions he got wrong. We worked through every problem together, explaining why the wrong answer is wrong and how we are to find what the right answer is. I assigned him a fair amount of homework."
"We went over a practice writing section, a reading passage in depth, and a practice math section from a PSAT practice test. We then spent the rest of the time going over Greek and Latin prefixes and suffixes."
"We went over a reading comprehension section together and looked at ways to first analyze the questions then find the answers in the passage. We also discussed his homework to write about "Why old buildings should not be torn down." His assignment for tonight is to do more reading comprehension practice and work on coming up with some examples for some prompts. Next session we will work on writing the answers to the prompts together."
"We went over a second practice test. On the reading section, the student had trouble with two-part questions, so we discussed how these questions should be tackled together. On the writing and language sections, we are filling in a few gaps in his grammar knowledge. On the math section, he can gain the most points by avoiding simple mistakes by checking his work, refreshing his knowledge of geometry, and just attempting problems that seem intimidating. For next session, he should start in on his review book and do as much as he can. I want him to do the entire book before the exam. Immediately prior to next session, he should inform me of several specific topics he wants to cover that he has reviewed but feels he needs help with."