Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today's tutorial was focused on critical reading strategy for the PSAT. First, we began with a deductive reasoning exercise, which is how we will begin most subsequent sessions. He had to use a coded system of determining the digits and correct order of digits in a 4-digit number. He did an excellent job of deducing the number, especially given that this was his first time with the exercise. I advise that he repeat this exercise with friends and family to sharpen the deductive reasoning skills he will need for the reading comprehension and math portions of the exam. Following this exercise, we did an in-depth lesson on critical reading strategy. I detailed all of the problem types he will encounter in the sentence completion and passage-based sections of this exam portion. Then, we worked with practice tests to get him using the most effective methods for answering these question types. I followed the model-guided practice-independent practice method for showing him how to approach one and two-blank sentence completions and literary passages. He answered 13 out of 19 questions correctly (the total of separate one and two-blank sentence completion sections). For the questions he answered incorrectly, he was able to narrow the answer choices down to two: with one being the correct answer and the other being the near-correct/trick answer every time. This is a great reflection on his raw abilities, especially his existing mastery of many complex vocabulary words. His vocabulary will be augmented as he works on the word roots list I supplied to him. After this, I had him reiterate the methods for approaching different question types for the PSAT's critical reading section before focusing more exclusively on the process of annotating and analyzing passages. He practiced specific word analysis, empathizing with the author, and paragraph mapping on a passage from a passage-based reading test. He showed a solid capacity to adapt the techniques I outlined for him and to conduct a highly effective passage analysis after using these techniques. For extra practice, he is going to take an hour to read as many stories as possible in a major newspaper. While reading, he is going to practice the annotation strategies we discussed today in preparation for questions I will ask next Wednesday. He is going to take a simulated PSAT exam this Sunday. I will provide the exam and instructions well in advance. Next Wednesday, we will review the results of the exam and do a quick exercise so he can see how much of the word roots list he has been able to internalize."
"We started gearing up for the student's PSAT in October, focusing on the unfamiliar fill in the blank critical reading and open ended math questions."
"Today we focused a lot on reading comprehension. I wanted to get her familiar with the kinds of questions she would be asked and the kinds of answers she should look out for. We did a lot of practice questions to follow up these lessons. I noticed that she had a little bit of trouble with inferring the definitions of complicated words from the passages given and often would fall into the traps of the partial answers that the SAT sets up for you. However, by the end of it, she seemed to be getting the hang of it and really comprehending how to solve the problems. We still needed to talk through some of the answers, but overall she understood why the answers that were right were right and why the answers that were wrong were wrong. She definitely still needs some practice, so I gave her a practice test with some passages and questions for her to work on between sessions. We will continue focusing on this in the future. I am pleased with how hard she works and her commitment to her studies. She is a very hard worker, and I think that if she keeps working towards it, she will do very well on her tests."