Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I had an extremely productive first session together. We began by talking about the basics of the PSAT and the SAT; looking through a full-length exam and noting its structure and format; and discussing how the PSAT is similar to and different than the SAT. Next, we talked how the exam is scored and used this information to derive a strategy for making educated guesses. After this, we began preparing him for the math section. He learned the two different types of math problems on the PSAT and SAT; what content is tested on the math section; some important big-picture strategies for the math section; and two essential problem-solving strategies. After this, he and I worked together to complete a number of multiple-choice practice problems. He is clearly a strong math student, and he did a great job on these practice problems once he broke them down. As he discovered, the most important thing for him to do on SAT math problems is to read the questions carefully, work slowly, and write out his work step by step to avoid errors. For homework, he will skim through Chapters 15-18 and note any mathematical concepts that he is not 100% comfortable with; we will go over these together at the beginning of our next session. In addition, he will complete some math practice problems on his own. All together, this homework should take him roughly 1-2 hours. Since he is taking his PSAT so soon, it is important that he complete all homework assigned. In our next session, he and I will review his homework and begin working on the writing or critical reading section."
"Today we worked on basic exam techniques, in particular math methods. She was very careful to take notes about things like pacing, guessing, and evaluating what the question is asking and what it provides. For math, we established basic strategies like picking convenient numbers, starting with the middle answer, and eliminating answers based on that. She struck me as a visual person, so my goal is to work through problems a number of different ways, including visually, then synthesizing why it doesn't have to be done visually from how the other methods connect. She struggled the most with articulating the method she was using but on paper was very able. I left her with a practice for the essay, involving outlining the prompt and the examples she would use."
"I reviewed the student's essay that we spent Friday planning and outlining. He had only finished 2 paragraphs of 5 paragraph essay, but those two paragraphs were well-done. I agreed to read the essay later in the day via email after it is completed. We did some test preparation for SAT, especially vocabulary, as well as a little bit more discussion of the essay."