Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I met today for the last time before he takes the SAT this Saturday. He expressed last time that he particularly wanted to cover reading comprehension and math prep. We began our session by going over good reading comprehension skills -- how he should underline the text, what he should be looking for as he reads, and anticipatory reading. I then had him work through a reading comprehension section. Unfortunately, his score did not improve that much today from last session, but he is still getting about 75% accuracy on each section. We then went back and talked through the correct answers, which seemed to help. We then talked about the SAT setting--what he should bring, what he should leave at home, what to expect in terms of the test order and the answer sheet. I also talked about preparing the night before and that morning, and I left him with a practice test, in case he wanted to go over any more questions before Saturday. Finally, we turned to a math section of the exam. We went over analyzing word problems. He understands them as we talk through them, and he did a bit better today setting up each problem. I think he should be okay. He'll take the SAT again in June, so this Saturday will function as good practice."
"The first 1.5 hours of tutorial were spent reviewing the student's assignment to write out how she would approach several math problems. This boosted her confidence a bit about her performance on the math section. We spent the last thirty minutes having a detailed conversation to assuage her fear about the SAT and its ability or inability to gain her college admission. We discussed the other major strengths she will have in her application (esp. being a woman interested in STEM) and what practical things she can do to relax on the night before the exam. By the end of tutorial, she seemed a lot less stressed, which is really the focus of our work between today and Saturday. She has so many of the raw skills to reach her score goal. I suggested she do the vocabulary review she proposed and/or the word root studying I have given her between now and Friday's tutorial. At that time, we will talk about the specifics of the essay, review some more reading and grammar strategies, and will talk through her approach to the test for the following day. After that, I will instruct her to keep visualizing that approach, so it can be her guide during the exam. I am more than confident about her performance for Saturday, especially if she commits to relaxation as we discussed."
"As the student had completed a math practice section for homework since our last meeting, we began the session by going over the questions that she had a difficult time answering. She continues to be very good at both rapid mental arithmetic and remembering formulas, which are two important skills, but she does have a tendency to overthink questions and make them harder than they need to be. We talked about why it is important to read questions slowly and pay attention to what is being asked, and we also looked at how plugging in answers can help us answer questions in less time than using formulas. We also discussed systems of equations--a new concept for her but one that she seemed to understand fairly quickly. As we are getting closer to the SAT, I asked her to complete a practice math section and a practice reading section for next week, in addition to taking a look at a section of her choice in her SAT prep book. Next week, we will go over these, in addition to taking a deeper look at systems of equations."
"The student and I reviewed the SAT study guide sections on info and ideas in the reading section. Again, main idea identification is an area for improvement. He will read the sections on rhetoric and passage construction and synthesis in the reading section for our next meeting."
"The student and I reviewed the topics of the new SAT Math and went over practice problems on the test. She was struggling with some of the more difficult algebra problems, so we mostly reviewed those and went over various algebra techniques. She was ready and optimistic to do better on the SAT Math than she had previously done on the PSAT. I left her to complete some more practice sections in her new review book for the test. We will review those once we meet again next week and see where she has improved and what she can do to further prepare."
"The student and I reviewed the writing section of the SAT. He did a practice section, missing 5/11 problems. After reviewing his mistakes, he did another passage, missing only 3/11 problems. Some of the topics we'll need to discuss include transitions, clauses, and writing style questions, which he has the most trouble with. I taught him a few general strategies, such as looking at how the answer choices are different and to pay attention to the key details in the rhetoric/writing-style questions. I assigned him to finish the writing section."