Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I are continuing to focus on math, which is the subject she is most concerned about. It is clear that it is important to the student that problems look familiar, and she is really eager to try to remember how to do certain types of problems rather than diving right into the problem using knowledge and skills she already has. I hope that as we continue to work through practice tests, that familiarity will help her improve her pace. She is going to write an essay for next week, which we will review for next session."
"In the first part of this session, after the first student and I talked about her experience so far preparing for the ACT, we began by working on the ACT's English section. I talked about how I would work through the English section, and we went over two English passages. We worked on recognizing complete and incomplete sentences, using punctuation correctly, thinking about how to use transitions, and answering questions about idiomatic expression and redundancy. On questions about grammar, she often had a sense of which answer might be right, or which answers she could eliminate, but found it hard to explain her reasoning. We talked about grammatical rules and about identifying the verb, subject, and object in a sentence. In answering questions involving correcting redundancy, she can think about which answer restates a phrase in the most simple way, while keeping its meaning the same. In questions about transitions and improving writing style, she should remember to not only focus on the grammar of a sentence, but on how it fits in logically with its context as well. In the second part of the session, the other student and I worked on questions from the math section of the ACT. We practiced setting up proportions, understanding word problems, and solving and simplifying expressions. She did a good job in evaluating simple algebraic expressions and in seeing how an expression matched up to a word problem, but she sometimes had more trouble figuring out the right strategy to use in solving a word problem and in simplifying and evaluating more complex expressions. We practiced drawing diagrams to better visualize word problems and looking at the last sentence of a word problem to figure the ultimate goal. For a few problems, we talked about how she could solve the problem in more than one way. I noticed that she sometimes had trouble following the order of operations in evaluating expressions, so we also practiced some problems on this. I recommended that the students continue to practice their algebra and grammar skills."
"The student and I worked on ACT math, science, and English today. First, we worked through the rest of the sample math questions that we started last session. He continued to grow more comfortable with the fundamental components of the ACT math questions, and he showed good recollection and application of concepts we worked on in previous sessions. A couple problems introduced concepts that he had not seen before (distance vs. time graphs), but he caught on fairly quickly and felt confident that he could successfully answer similar questions in the future. Next, we worked on science. We chose a passage at random, and it happened to be a fairly complicated passage that he struggled with. He felt confident that he did well on the first couple questions, but it seemed he rushed through the questions and made errors while reading the questions. He struggled on the last 3 questions, yet he still finished in less than five minutes, which definitely shows that he was rushing. After we went through each question, he understood it better. It is worth noting that he had not done any science practice yet, and I think that if he practices more regularly, then he will perform more consistently. We then did an English passage, which went very well. He was very happy with his score, as it was a nice improvement over his recent passages. We went over the couple that he answered incorrectly, and he understood the reasoning for each one. With more time devoted to ACT practice, we can work out his weaknesses and increase his ACT score."