Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student has solid basics down and seems to have very good analytical skills overall for both math and writing. After testing her on some questions, I was able to identify her challenges: certain "systemic errors" she keeps making. Similarly, we identified a common mistake she makes in not being sure whether to use 'which' or 'that'; I explained the correct uses of these very similar words, and I think she now should feel empowered to use this to her advantage in the sentence correction part of the writing section. In math, she also had solid analytical and logical skills and was only really tripped up on a certain type of question, mostly having to do with algebraic functions. We addressed the problem, and it is no longer an issue for her. For both writing and math, she learns extremely quickly from her mistakes (like how to solve for 'special function' or inverse function questions) and is very good at avoiding repeating the same mistakes. She is quite the quick study, I look forward to continuing to hone her skills in both sections!"
"Today was my first session with the student, and it went really well! We got to know each other a bit before getting started with some basics about the SAT. I helped her create an account on the test site, so now she just needs to register for the March 14th exam. We began by practicing some sentence completion problems together. I showed her that if she looks for contextual clues/keywords within the sentence, she will be able to eliminate some of the choices. Also, for the problems that require two blanks to be filled in, I taught her to just focus on one part of the sentence and use process of elimination to figure out which pairing best fits the sentence. Next, we moved on to the long reading passages, which she had the most difficult time with today. I went through each problem and explained the reasoning behind each answer, reminding her that all of the answers are found in the text and do not require any background/prior knowledge. I assigned several problem sets for her to work on throughout this week and practice what she learned today. If she is able to complete more than I assigned, that would be great. Next week, I will go through all of the questions that she is still unclear about and provide more in-depth explanations. I also mentioned that purchasing a set of SAT vocab flashcards would be a helpful way to familiarize herself with commonly used words from the exam. Thanks for a great session!"
"We covered the ACT Math and English sections, primarily focusing on the English section. We covered practice problems that the student had prepared, and went over the ones that she missed or didn't understand, and discussed how to find the right answer. We covered a few major themes/ techniques that seemed integral to her improvement on the English section (though she is doing pretty well on it already). One technique is to look for the differences in the answer options to figure out what element of English the test-makers are testing us on-- punctuation, theme, tense, word choice, plurality, etc. Understanding what aspect they are asking about will help to differentiate between an appealing wrong answer and the correct answer by focusing on how each difference affects how each choice functions in the passage. We also focused on paying close attention not just to every word in the answers, but the questions as well. Finally, we talked about the difference between the way that we speak/think and how that can differ from (and lead us astray from) the proper grammatical use of words (e.g. 'then' vs 'than')."