Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This class, we got through a little more than one half page of the remaining vocabulary words and again created flashcards for them then went over the flashcards. The student got over half of the cards right this time. We then kicked it into overdrive for the remaining topics on the math outline. We spent most of the time on the two most difficult topics: permutations vs. combinations and probability. We began by reviewing that some problems require you to determine the various different ways that things can be ordered or the various different ways things can be combined. I explained that these were two different but very similar topics called permutations and combinations. I explained that what he needed to know is that he needs to determine if what the problem is asking for is order specific or not. He understood this process, so I gave him a couple of practice problem to test his understanding. We also discussed problems involving fractions of a whole. I gave him an example problem involving jellybeans. I gave him another problem involving the student body of sports players in order to test his knowledge. We then moved on to probability. I explained that a lot of the time, questions involve both probability and permutations. I gave him a classic example, what is the probability of rolling a 7 on two dice? Just like the last process, he listed out all of the ways that someone could roll a seven: 1 and 6, 2 and 5, 3 and 4. I stated that he needed to also list out 6 and 1, 5 and 2, and 4 and 3. He then correctly told me that the probability of rolling a 7 is 6/36. I then tested his understanding by asking him the different probabilities of rolling a twelve, an eight, etc. We finished probability with questions about cards. We reviewed that there are 52 cards in a deck with 4 different suits. I asked him questions involving cards drawn at random from the deck without replacement. I asked him what is the probability of drawing the ace of spades then another card that was not a spade? He correctly answered that it was (1/52)x(39/51). I finished the session by asking him another cards related question. If I draw three cards at random from the deck how many red cards should I EXPECT? The key word here is expect. Because you are drawing three cards and the probability of drawing a red card is _, you should expect to draw 1.5 red cards. Even though this is impossible, I explained that the question that he had gotten wrong on his practice test had asked him how many heads to EXPECT in a series of 3 coin flips, for which the correct answer was 3/2."
"We finished going over a practice test and worked on a few more math concepts. We also went over an essay the student wrote and talked about strategies for approaching the essay section."
"We worked on the reading comprehension section. The student is doing great on all sections, and will be very prepared for both tests."
"The student informed me that he had taken a practice test the day before our session and wanted to review some of the areas that he found hardest, so we diverged a bit from our usual lesson plan. We first corrected his synonym homework, then moved on to work on word relationships in the practice part of the book. We developed strategies for trying to figure out all the different possible relationships between the two words before trying to apply the same relationships to the possible answers. We finished the session with a 15 minute review of the basic format of a sample essay, including the intro with a hook, thesis, and preview, and the mini-essay formats of each paragraph, as well as the need for a change in scope in the conclusion. We will continue talking about the essay at the end of some sessions to always keep it in mind and so I can begin to assign essay homework."
"Read aloud and reviewed two essays, some words; covered quantitative analysis problems, assigned 2 regular math sections. Essays continue."
"The student and I continued to work on the mathematics section of the exam during this session. We went over the homework that I had previously assigned, which was to complete a full-length math section. This led us to focus on algebra for the remainder of the session. We went through all of the problems that she had gotten wrong, and then continued to work on more problems from a separate test. We discussed many different topics in our session and tried to learn a few quick tricks for these different topics (like finding how many odd or even numbers there are, doing percents, dividing by 10 or 100, etc.). We also defined a few words that will be helpful going forward for the math section. For homework, I assigned her a full-length verbal section, as well as a few more pages of review of the quantitative reasoning and mathematics section of a test."
"The student and I went over the questions she struggled with on her exam diagnostic. We corrected all the questions missed on the QR section of the test and, in doing so, we reviewed some math fundamentals, i.e. algebraic manipulation, reading graphs, order of operations, etc. and expanded upon some topics that occur on the exam that she hasn't been formally taught. Her grasp of the language/reading comp. portion of the exam is in great shape! She scored at or above the 75th percentile on both, and reviewing these with her made it obvious how much more confidence and facility she has with language-related problem sets than she does their quantitative counterparts. We went over some test-taking strategies on the verbal section, i.e. contriving an answer to the question stem before going to the answer bank and looking for trigger words that give away the answer for fill-in-the-blank questions."
"We worked on more practice math problems, which she knows how to do-- again, it's just the matter of time management. I am hopeful that when she is concentrated fully on the test tomorrow, she will be a little snappier with the pace of working through problems, and identifying which ones to skip and come back to later."
"Today, we did a practice test for the exam and went over the sections that the student was weak in. She appears to be having problems with the quantitative analysis and math portion of the exam. I have decided to create a series of practice quizzes that she will do while she is in India for the Christmas Break. We have also decided to double up on sessions for the next few weeks."
"During today's session, we went through reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and math achievement practice problems. We then compiled a list of vocabulary for her to begin memorizing."
"The student and I worked on writing, math and verbal reasoning. He will be writing a new essay for us to go over next week. He's doing an excellent job and shows a good work ethic."
"The student and I discussed progress and remaining objectives for our last session We still had to review the independent school entrance exam essay. The student also wanted to make sure to cover time management on the math section. So, we dedicated this session to those two areas. After some refresher work on math, I administered a timed prep in which the student was encouraged to prioritize "easy" problems and cultivate the discipline necessary to skip those problems where the answer was not immediately apparent. The result was a markedly improved completion rate, with her customary mathematical aptitude applied to a higher number of problems. We then examined how to maximize scores on either an argumentative or thematic essay, and generated sample outlines for each. Appropriate discipline and time management should combine with the student's considerable content knowledge and thinking skills for a very high score ceiling."