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Private In-Home and Online SSAT Tutoring in Marysville, WA

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Session Summaries by SSAT Tutors

Marysville, WA SSAT tutoring
We worked on math, reading, and verbal. He has made some progress, but he needs to work on focusing and checking his work.
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Marysville, WA SSAT tutoring
Today was a joint Math and writing day. We began by reviewing the student's Math practice assignments to ensure she had a firm grasp on the skills tested in the exam's data analysis and probability Math questions. The student answered all of the problems correctly and understood exactly how to do them. After reviewing the extra practice, we resumed our work on the basic Geometry portion of the exam, working through graphical and word problem types. The student was unfamiliar with some concepts, like the vertex of a parabola and the formulas for different 3D objects' volumes, as well as when to apply certain formulas. We spent time working through 10 problem types together and the student had about 15 minutes to work through 5 that tested the same skills but at a more complicated level. She still struggled a bit when working independently, but understood completely once she was reminded of when to use certain formulas. As we move forward, I will place more emphasis on the student dissecting the word problem and stating which formula(s) apply before any work is done. This is important because her strong handle on logical reasoning allows her to neglect the basic formulas sometimes, but when she is not sure how to "logic her way through a problem" she does not have the necessary knowledge of basic formulas to rely upon. Once our Geometry work was done, we moved on to reviewing the '3 stories to prove 3 personal attributes' essay she was to complete for today. The student read each of her five paragraphs separately, allowing us to workshop the specific strengths and weaknesses and to rework specific words, entire phrases, or complete sentences so that they were more polished. I have been emphasizing content and message in addition to mechanics because I want the student to understand how much the admission counselor will be reading this to form an opinion about her personality and suitability for life at a boarding school. Once it was clear she had a handle on exactly what a good essay requires, which she showed in her ability to self-edit without my suggestions, I had her write a 25-minute essay (of the length and sort she would for the SSAT) in tutorial. The prompt asked her to revisit the newspaper article she chose for yesterday's tutorial and form an essay that a). addressed the details of the article and the world issue it described, b). give her specific opinions about how this issue (the one occurring in Gaza) is being handled, c). communicate what her choice of this article and her opinion of the situation's handling should communicate to an admission officer about her. Of course, the SSAT prompt will not be so specific in terms of point c)., but I want the student to be connecting whatever she writes about to her, as this is the entire purpose of the essay (since it is not factored into the ultimate SSAT score). Here are the extra practice assignments I have given the student to hold her over until we are able to meet again: - Complete Math questions in the Geometry practice test located at the same webpage as the previous two days' extra practice Math assignments. The student should be mindful of the time it takes her to complete problems and should try to show her work as much as possible. - Send me a picture of the 25-minute essay she wrote in tutorial today. I will make edits and other suggestions for improvement and send it back within 24 hours of receiving it. I would like her to rework the essay to incorporate those edits and have this prepared for when we meet again. Hopefully, the exercise of revision will make the corrections automatic in her initial writing, in addition to showing her the importance of revision even when you only have 25 minutes to create a coherent essay. - Pick a classic book of her choosing (and that she has not read already) and read at least 30 pages of it. It can come from any author in any genre. I just want her to be reading for comprehension and writing inspiration while we are not together.
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Marysville, WA SSAT tutoring
Today we covered strategies for tackling the SSAT Reading Comprehension section and did some review of math and synonyms/verbal analogies. I checked the student's reading speed, and he is a fast reader and should have plenty of time to get through the section. His reading comp skills appear to be pretty strong to start out with, and he will probably only improve as he gains familiarity with the question types.
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