Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today we got to know the ACT reading and science sections, and discussed some strategies for approaching each section. I've assigned some practice reading and science problems to help the student get accustomed to those sections."
"We began working on the student's essay today. We began by going over some strategies for writing and prewriting. First, I had her read the text and mark any places in which the author supported their main claim with facts, reasoning or rhetorical devices. Once she had finished, I had her write a rough outline, starting with the topics of the body paragraphs, then writing a thesis statement and finally a conclusion. I had her choose the topics for the body paragraph first so that the thesis (in this case a discussion of how the author made their argument) would connect to all of her discussion points. She then wrote her essay. She did a good job of organizing her essay because she stuck closely to her outline. Her writing was generally clear and effective, though at times a bit awkward. She did a lot more summary than analysis, so we spent some time afterward connecting the details discussed in her body paragraph to each other and to the thesis statement. I explained that analysis is not just stating what the author had to say, but looking at how they said it and to what effect. I also asked her to discuss how each example furthered or detracted from the author's main point. One win for today was the student's conclusion. She did a good job of restating the thesis without being repetitive, and she also managed to connect all of her examples together in an elegant and analytical way. Since this is something that we had been working on in previous sessions, it was clear that she is improving. For homework, she will work on the online writing practice. For our next session, I will find some passages and we will practice summarizing the text using supporting details, analyzing the author's argument, and identifying the tone of the passage (an area she feels less confident in)."
"We reviewed SAT English grammar concepts. We practiced and reviewed using ACT practice test 26 (from tutor's personal test files)."
"We went through a hodge-podge of content related to the ACT, and I'm happy about how well the take-home reading section went. I will be bringing in some prose fiction passages for extra practice. We'll meet at our regular time next week. Let me know if you have any questions!"
"We focused primarily on math, completing a slew of exercises relating to exponents in the workbook before doing an entire grid-in section in the book. The student is getting the concepts with practice and is applying appropriate plug-in strategies, but she will need to practice more on her own so that she can increase her speed and efficiency when approaching the problems. We also did a reading section, where she did well in finding direct context for her answer choices. She should continue to build her vocabulary as well as to do practice sections on her own. The timing will be a tricky aspect, so she should practice her pacing in order to get a feel for what things will be like on test day."
"We covered the math problems I assigned the student last week and more math problems online. She should review the trigonometrical equations, like sin, cos, and tan and we used a mnemonic device to help her remember - SOHCAHTOA."
"Today we worked on an ISEE Verbal Section consisting of synonyms and sentence completion! He did amazing (39/40)! We also did a reading comprehension and he got 29/36. We will be doing some more practice with Reading Comprehension next session, but as a whole MUCH improvement. Great job today!"
"We worked on a practice test for the critical reading section on the SAT. I timed her taking it and then we went over the questions together. I talked her through reading strategies and tips and told her that expanding her vocabulary will be essential in passing the reading portion. I am going to supply her with a set of vocabulary words to learn each week to help improve her vocabulary."
"Discussed basic techniques. Did some math, English, and reading problems. She has some vocabulary issues because of her being an ESL student, but she is keeping a vocab notebook now, and I have asked her to order flashcards."
"This was our first meeting since the student completed his first ACT. He did very well, getting one of the best first scores I have ever seen! We focused on the weak sections of his test and talked about some strategies that he used/ didn't use that may have made a difference. He scored lower in his English than any other test, which I found strange because he did very well on his last English practice test. We spent much of today going over punctuation rules, and practicing semicolon, comma, and colon use. Other than that, we spent some time on reading."
"The student scored 27s on both the ACT Math and Writing sections he completed for homework. After going over the assignments, we moved on to an overview of the English section, completing our ACT content review."
"After looking over the student's PSAT and practice ACT scores, it didn't seem like one exam really provided a particular advantage over the other score wise. In both tests math was the section that needed the most improvement, and that's what we focused on today. He expressed struggling with geometry and algebra-based problems in particular, so we focused on those. We went over concepts such as special right triangles, logarithms, fractional exponents, and negative exponents. We also discussed particular strategies such as plugging in the answer choices and making up our own numbers to help answer questions that would otherwise be more complex. We spent some time at the end going over some grammar questions, but will do more with those next week. He will be doing problems from his ACT prep book as homework for us to go over next week."