Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Reviewed/critiqued essay, refining areas to focus on. Also reviewed verbal section homework, refining the student's personal strategies for reading comprehension and sentence error questions."
"The student and I had a second great session working on preparation for the ACT Reading. He did an excellent job remembering and applying the techniques we worked on last session; he performed very highly on the social sciences and natural sciences sections in particular. (These are easier for him because they feel like a direct "matching" game between question and answer.) We spent most of our time focusing on the (for him) more difficult prose fiction and humanities selections, which tend to require an identification of authorial tone or implication rather than of facts. These questions SEEM to require more extrapolation, but in fact ask the student to do the same careful reading and matching answer to sentence which the science sections do. He practiced completing these more difficult sections under time constraints, and is nicely developing a method of working from easier (more localized) questions to harder (more general) questions. We continued to cement in the importance of being able to textually justify each answer he gives. By the end of the section, he was in fairly good shape; with one more session to practice, he should be in excellent position to retake the test!"
"For this introductory tutorial, the student and I began with an overview of her academic preferences, test taking experiences, and knowledge about the SAT's format. Since she has already taken 6 practice tests independently, she provided a lot of information about her concerns for the real exam and her goals for our work together. While reviewing the skills covered in each section of the exam, she articulated several test taking strategies she knows already. We spent time talking through them and devising a strategic plan for improving her scores in each section. Afterward, we went through practice problems that incorporated nearly all of the major skills required on the exam. I asked the student to talk me through her thinking to complete each section, including whether she (re)read directions, questions, passages, and answer choices. I provided some preliminary pointers for problems with which she struggled, and we fleshed out our existing strategy for improving on each section. From this preliminary assessment, I have discovered that she has strong algebraic and grammar foundations, so most of our work in those sections will be practicing SAT problems to improve her time. However, with reading, writing, and geometry, we will spend more time on her approach to and conceptualization of them and less time doing problems. Most of the student's extra practice will be reading classic literature, newspaper articles, or excerpts from scientific journals. For this Friday, I have asked her to read 10 pages of a book of her choosing, making sure to summarize and annotate as she read. On Friday, we will discuss her summary, as well as any unfamiliar words and her assessment of the author's tone and purpose. This reading will give her more material to discuss in the SAT essay, more practice with her reading comprehension skills, and more exposure to solid grammar and writing styles for the essay and the verbal sections of the exam."