Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today was my first tutoring session with the student. After we introduced ourselves to one another, and I asked her about her SAT scores from the first time she took it as well as what her strengths and weaknesses are with regards to the SAT. She said that she would want more help in Critical Reading, Vocabulary, Grammar, and Essay Writing, and that math was mainly a strength for her. The student had already done a SAT practice test, so we mainly went over the questions she had gotten wrong from each section. She missed about 5 or 6 math questions in total, 6 or 7 grammar questions in total, and on two of the critical reading sections, she missed about 4 or 5 in total. However, on the third critical reading section she missed 6 questions from a set of 11 questions that compare and contrast two passages. The student said she felt overwhelmed by how much she had to read/comprehend in a limited amount of time and wasn't able to think things clearly. But once we reread the passages and went through the questions she got wrong, things became clearer for her to understand."
"The student and I covered more English this time around, as well as a bit more of the Math problems. He is still having difficulty approaching and/or attempting the Math problems, but seems far more adventurous when it comes to the English questions. I am stressing to him that he needs to be reading up and working on the common SAT words, and that he needs to review a minimum of 25 a day to be successful in the months to come. I recommended this because of the sheer amount of words the exam-makers could draw from, and the fact that most of his fellow classmates do not utilize such vocabulary in their day to day interactions (so it is quite alien to most high school students unless they read often). My final assignment for him was to complete one entire test, but to only take a maximum of two "session" to complete it. This way, he can become accustomed to the long hours that it would take even an adept student to finish the SAT. He did quite well on the math this time around, and only needed a bit of coaching to figure out the problems."
"For the student's final tutorial, we did an in-depth review of reading and writing skills for the SAT. These were the two areas she said she felt weakest, so I wanted her to leave our time together with these skills fresh on her mind. We started right away with her writing a 25-minute essay to an SAT prompt. I quickly reminded her of the most important aspects of SAT writing before she began. Once she finished writing, we workshopped the essay. She was able to hear her words back as I read them and to stop me whenever she wanted to discuss strong or weak points. Through this exercise, she has very specific checkpoints to reach in her writing process. This should guide her through the 25 minutes of the essay efficiently. I have recommended that she start journaling so she can be more mindful of what she is reading, watching on TV and in movies, and experiencing between now and when she sits for the exam. This mindfulness will come in handy when she tries to articulate her perspective and to draw on different experiences (academic and personal) in her writing. Continuing to read good literature will give her inspiration to develop a stronger writing style and bring out her voice more. Next, we worked through the general grammar practice test in preparation for the multiple choice writing questions on the SAT. The questions in this practice test span the mechanical concepts that the writing section tests, so he ability to identify them in the practice test will go a long way in preparing her. As we went through these questions, I reminded her of important test taking strategies, like trying to think of an appropriate sentence correction before reading through the answer choices. She answered 36 out of 38 questions correctly, so I am confident she has a strong hold on this portion of the exam. Following this, we read through a reading comprehension passage and detailed the exact method she should use to go through this section in an empowered and focused way. The readings can be daunting, so I want her to feel empowered that she can consume all of the passages' information and filter out unnecessary details. I have recommended readings for her to attempt, so she can practice identifying comprehension concepts that recur on every SAT exam. We ended the tutorial with a broad review of test taking strategies and preparation on the evening before and day of the exam. She knows she can contact me should she have any questions. It has been a pleasure working with her, and I am confident that our work and the reinforcement her schoolwork offers will make her more than ready to achieve her desired score."