Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We focused the entire time on strategies to succeed on the math portion of the SAT exam. He is showing progress."
"We began by discussing the overall approach to SAT math questions, and the logical approach you need to take when approaching the work. I brought in a logic puzzle to start our meeting, and I intended it to be an introduction to the idea that you need to approach the math questions as logic puzzles (that just happen to use basic math concepts as a tool to test your logical thinking ability). I encouraged her to follow a logical, step by step process, and to represent her work visually. I think this approach was successful, and we used it as a jumping-off point for our work. I decided that the best way to accomplish any sort of review would be to talk through a section of practice questions and review the concepts through grappling with the various problems. Her success rate on these problems was better than she had predicted it would be, but we spent some time reviewing the questions she was struggling with. I think it was a nice reminder of some math concepts that she hadn't visited in a while. Finally, I was sure to spend some time visiting the other issue she will encounter: timing. We talked through different strategies she can take to approach the time limit, and then I took her through a timing exercise to get a handle on applying it in an exam-like setting. I think this was a very productive session - I plan to review and reinforce many of the ideas we touched on today during our final visit."
"We worked for an hour on some word roots and meanings, as well as a small amount of math. In math we focused on percents and exponents."
"The student and I worked through approximately 25 SAT math questions and two SAT reading comprehension passages. On the math section, we focused on setting up equations based on word problems, ratios, and solving or simplifying polynomials. He became more comfortable with the questions after seeing similar problems worked out, although he still struggled some with setting questions up. On reading, we worked through one social science and one comparative humanities passage. He showed significant improvement in understanding context and was able to work through many of the questions independently by the end of the session."
"Today we continued our review of the placement exam. The student did most of a verbal section as homework and did very well. She has made noticeable improvement with her analogies and logic. The grammar section continues to be an issue for her though, so I asked her to go over the rules that we covered for homework. I'm having her make flashcards and study them like she did the vocabulary."
"The student and I finished the 2nd algebra chapter in her book, and went over the problems in the concluding drills together, comparing notes on how we'd solve them. We made some headway in a later chapter on functions. He is going to take practice test 3 for homework."
"Today, the student and I went over the Reading, Science, and Writing sections of the practice test I had assigned her. She got a 28 on the reading section. I talked her through any questions she got wrong. She got only 3 wrong in science, which would have been a 33 on that section. We went over the ones she got wrong, but she definitely can have a strong performance. Her essay was decent. I guided her in editing the essay to something that would fare better on the test. For next time, I assigned another practice test, which she will do as much of as she can."
"The student and I practiced the reading section of the SAT. He did very well in terms of accuracy using the active reading and prediction strategies we discussed. The biggest issue was pacing. We talked about ways for him to work through the questions more quickly so that he can answer more questions this section. At his current pace he would likely not get to the last passage."
"We watched a couple math test strategy videos and then worked on math. The students answered questions, checked them, and then we went through and talked about how to do them the right way. We then discussed the science reasoning test and went over strategies regarding the test. At this point they feel taking a practice test will give them insight into what to focus on moving forward."
"Today the student and I went through some math and reading sections. His higher math score has maintained itself through the last few sessions, and today his reading score shot up as well. He was having trouble maintaining concentration on the extended reading passage, so I recommended strategies to get around his problems. I assigned him some work for our next session."
"Today we worked on English and Math, after going over the student's scores from his recent ACT. English-wise, we reviewed semi-colons vs. commas: there is no hard-and-fast rule for how many commas you can have in a sentence -- it is all situational. We also went over the difference between principal and principle (the principal is your PAL). On Math, we went over several concepts. Notably, we were able to relate proportions to defensive match ups in basketball, with regard to choosing where each value should go. We also talked through a strategy of going through the Math section in three passes: one to answer all the questions that he knows how to do, another to approach the ones he was less sure about, and a final time to attempt the most difficult questions."
"The student continued going through the questions on practice tests that she either missed or got right but was unsure of her reasoning. She feels like she's definitely getting better with the test, and the more practice tests she takes, the better exposure she's getting to the different ways the material will be presented. She's still having a little trouble with some of the topics her teacher did not cover well last year, such as geometry and nuclear chemistry. That being said, she's way ahead of where she was when we started only a week ago! We ran through the concepts again, and it's getting better every time. We also reviewed some of the electrochemical balancing that she had been doing for schoolwork. We looked at some of the more challenging problems and found the errors that had eluded her in class."