Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We began by going over the practice test he had done that afternoon from his new practice book. He was a little perplexed, because the test had felt harder than the ones from his other two prep books, and he had scored lower than he had hoped for (we calculated it to around a 650). However, when we finished going over the missed questions, in most of the sections, he knew the content immediately, and admitted that he had just guessed because the question looked hard and he was afraid of running out of time. We did a bit of a refresher on test strategy and time management, and I emphasized that I would much prefer him to feel like he can leave some questions blank, and use that time to answer the questions he knows. Since vocabulary and spelling remain the areas that he still needs review, we spent the rest of the session going over his flashcards, coming up with mnemonics and example sentences to help him remember certain words. We also did a quick spelling test of words on the practice test. Finally, I sat down with both the student and his mother to talk about his study plan for the week and to make sure he gives himself the night off from studying before the test so he can start fresh in the morning. I think he's going to do excellently on Saturday!"
"Today, the student took a practice test for the placement exam. We used the practice test from the study guide. He started with Section 2, Quantitative Skills. Out of the 52 questions, he correctly answered 50 of them (96% -- Bravo). Then he moved on to Section 4, Mathematics. Out of the 64 questions in this section, he correctly answered 52 of them (81%). With the remaining time, he completed 25 of the Language Section Questions. Out of the 25 questions he finished, he correctly answered 20 of them (80%). After he completed each section we reviewed / went over each question that he got wrong in that specific section. He is a very bright student. He is well prepared for the exam. He is always focused on the task at hand. Thus our tutoring sessions are always very productive."
"The student and I continued our work on the reading comprehension section. We started with another script, which the student has met with an increasing sense of anticipation and joy over the last few weeks. We read through Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love, which I would consider to be one of the more layered scripts that I have ever read. It is fantastic because, at face value, its a classic romantic comedy with star-crossed lovers, clear antagonists, and themes of love versus fear and hate. However, if the reader is willing to dive a little deeper, there are hidden messages, many of which revolve around the relative sanity of the male protagonist. I hoped the student would pick up on these less conventional undertones. At first he skimmed over the story and gave me the basic boy meets girl recall. I told him to read it one more time, just to see if there was anything he might have missed. He did so and the first thing he said when he finished was, "Is something wrong with Barry (the protagonist)." I knew we were making progress and he was looking at stories and text in a deeper, more analytically critical way. This line of thinking will help him immensely on the standard test."