Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Between sessions, the student completed part of the Diagnostic Test in a SAT II Literature book. Today, we worked through more practice problems on the Diagnostic Test. I worked through a couple of questions for the student, in order to show him the level of detail he needs to work in to bring his score up. The student is going to complete the Diagnostic Test today and let me know what his score is and how much he hopes to improve it. Then, he's going to review the literary elements that the Diagnostic Test tells him are his weakest. And, finally, he's going to take at least two practice tests between now and test day. The student and I agreed that the most important thing is for him to be exposed to the test under actual test conditions, so that he can practice the slow, careful pace we've discussed."
"For our second to last meeting, the students and I reviewed some of the strategies we'd discussed for the SAT Math section. We talked about underlining restrictions on the answer choice found in the questions, looking for patterns or simpler figures in geometric shapes, and simplifying equations by substitution or factoring. We went through several problems that were labeled as the more difficult problems within practice math sections and saw which strategies tended to be popping up and were most useful and productive."
"Today, we continued to review the diagnostic math test. The student, again, did a great job applying new concepts throughout the session. We reviewed the formulas for volume of pyramid, area of a sphere, volume of a cylinder, and volume of a cone. I also taught Paris about logarithms, sin, cos, and tangent. Even though the student had not seen logarithms before, she grasped the concept quickly and was able to apply it successfully to problems. One tendency that I noticed today was that the student would begin questions well by identifying the information that was in the problem and any formulas that she would need. But, after starting the problem perfectly, she would then be unsure how to continue, and would revert to plugging in numbers. We practiced moving forward in a problem without starting to plug in numbers. The student was able to solve the problems successfully, indicating that the issue might have been with her confidence in approaching the problem rather than with her knowledge of the content. For extra math practice, the student will complete the second math diagnostic test."
"In today's session, the student and I reviewed his revision of his first essay draft written in response to a sample prompt. We also reviewed a sample essay response with a score of 4-4-4 and identified strong elements from this response. We identified areas for improvement in his response, specifically in analysis of an author's use of a feature as support for a claim and means for connecting ideas and logic. During the second half of our session, he and I reviewed the question types on the Evidence-Based Reading section and worked through several sample passages from a website. I've instructed him to complete a reading section and essay response prior to our next session on Monday. Great work!"
"In today's session, we went over a variety of individual questions, covering both the Math and Reading/Writing sections. Today was a great session. The student is a very quick worker, and has a good sense for how to start off on both math and reading problems, whether it be setting up equations or finding important information buried in a passage. The only issue I noticed on math sections was a minor lack of familiarity with some math rules, which he picked up very quickly once we began discussing them. On reading and writing, he is in a very good spot. The only times he has issues with those questions are when there are subtle details included in the wording of the question that can lead to a different answer than the typical one, and he is already improving at recognizing such questions. In future sessions, we will continue working on individual questions as well as moving into full-length practice SAT sections and tests."
"In today's session, we went through a practice test the student did on his own, then completed two calculator sections and went through those together. He is really doing so well on these practice sections. At most, he is getting two wrong a section, which is really awesome, but there is still room for improvement. Most of the mistakes he is making are due to semantics or little math errors or other things like that, which are easily fixable with more practice. As he goes through questions, he just has to make sure he is being as attentive as possible in order to cut back on those mistakes, even more than he already has. We are going to meet again next weekend and work on more practice sections together."