Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I went over test-taking strategy today. Specifically, we covered the verbal and reading sections. For the verbal, we talked about making his own definition if he knows the word. We also talked about strategies he can use if he only kind of knows the word. He can look for similar words that have the same stem and consider the general meaning of them. He can also try to take context from if he has heard the word on certain common expressions and try to deduce the meaning from the phrase. Finally, if he knows whether the word has a positive or negative connotation he can eliminate the answer choices that don't share the same connotation. We also went over strategies for analogies, including making a sentence using the first two words and applying that sentence to the answer choices, eliminating answer choices that don't have a strong relationship, and pairing the words vertically rather than horizontally. Finally, he and I reviewed reading strategies. I reviewed the most common question types with him and asked him about the strategy for answering each particular one. We also went over answers that could be eliminated, including answers that are too specific, outside the scope of the passage, not mentioned, or with language that is too extreme."
"The student and I began by working through an upper level math section. We focused on writing down every step of our work to avoid errors. After the student had finished the section, we confirmed that almost all of her mistakes were due to errors she had made while not writing down enough of her work. We also talked about how the answer choices can sometimes give clues about the types of errors she might make, particularly if they vary by a factor of 10 and there's an easy possibility of putting a decimal point in the wrong place or losing track of a zero. We then worked on her science lab report, focusing on writing style and explaining answers fully. Just like in her exam prep, she needs to focus on not skipping any steps in her thought process in these reports. She needs to reread her work and make sure she has thoroughly explained the logic in her analysis without any holes. The student will complete another upper level exam on her own and continue to develop her vocabulary list and study system before our next session."
"For this session, the student worked on the Math and Reading comprehension sections of the test. We spent the first hour or so working on math. He did 8 questions involving geometry, percentages, algebra, fractions and averages. We clarified some uncertainty with percentages, averages and algebra and multiplying decimals. I'm sending him home with more practice on these types of problems. He did a pretty good job on the 2 reading comprehension passages as well. I had him read each passage twice. He then looked at the questions and went through each answer choice. He was able to eliminate a few and usual had a few choices left, but he eventually found that the correct answer was the best option."
"The student and I focused primarily on math during this session. As we were working on upper level SSAT, she struggled with some of the concepts. Once we moved her down to the middle level SSAT, she seemed much more comfortable with the questions. We will continue to develop her knowledge base in the coming weeks. For homework, she should complete the writing prompt, finish section 1 (math), and complete section 2 (reading)."
"The student and I have begun going over math material that he may not cover in school before he takes the SSAT. We went over how to use certain "special right triangles" to solve complicated problems, and began an overview of probability by looking at Venn diagrams and probability trees. We will continue to work on probability next Tuesday. He should memorize the special right triangles we went over, and keep working on his vocabulary with the book I recommended."
"The student and I met for the first time on Monday, so we spent the majority of our session doing some diagnostic work to see where he was strong and where he could use a little work. Overall, he performed very well on the math section, only missing one question due to a misreading of the question. We need a little more work in reading, but he still did a good job in that section. We discussed the importance of finding evidence for the answer you eventually choose, as well as a couple of techniques for and approaches to the section. I gave him some work to do before our next meeting."