Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student is such a phenomenal student that she took not one but two practice SATs since we met last week. We've noticed that she has been making really awesome improvements. We went through both exams, making a special effort to use the "devil's advocate" technique to identify the correct answer. We also looked at her essay, and talked about the importance of making a strong argument and really addressing the question. Next time, we'll keep working on brainstorming ideas for strong arguments. We'll also look closer at writing questions that ask for changes within paragraphs."
"We covered changes to graphs such as translating up down right and left. We went over polar coordinates and reviewed parabolas hyperbolas and ellipses. We then did practice questions on all the previous topics. The session went well and the student seemed to get the material. I told her to memorize the standard forms for the comic sections."
"This was our first session, so I focused on assessment and basic skills. I walked her through the essay section and we developed essay outlines on the spot. I also gave her guidelines for timing her essay. We next moved on to the critical reading section and focused on vocabulary and passage-based reading. We practiced looking for context clues for vocabulary questions and tried to cover global questions like tone and style. We finished up with algebra and graphing. I emphasized that she needs to understand the concepts behind the questions. I assigned vocabulary work for her homework."
"The student and I started going over some topics covered on the SAT Math level 1 exam and specifically focused on properties of a circle, conic sections, and exponents. Properties of circle went well, he just needed a refresher. Conic sections needed to be looked at more in depth and we revisited what each part of the equations meant and the rules that went along with each equation; going through more practice problems will definitely help. We finished with laws of exponents which I feel needs the most practice. I feel it is not a matter of not knowing the laws but when seeing how problems can be asked in a lot of different ways and how to go about solving them. We are going to go over more exponent problems in the next sessions."
"The student brought up the practice math questions he'd worked (from his test prep book) that gave him trouble and we worked extra practice problems in those topics. We then worked through several questions from the test bank and that I made up, to review functions, working with variable expressions, inequalities, and absolute value. I am giving him questions designated as difficult during our sessions so we can talk through more complex explanations, but he should continue to do practice from his book to feel comfortable with the general breadth of test question difficulty."
"I introduced the student to the test format, subjects, length, and scoring system. She learned the importance of making good predictions. We briefly discussed score goals, college goals, and when she plans on taking the test. Moving forward, we will need to build some foundational knowledge and then proceed with test-taking strategies. We also decided that from now on, 90 minute sessions are going to be optimal."
"For our session, I noticed that the student was having trouble doing the "H" questions in the math sections, so we had an intense walk through with some of the problems. To make sure she understood one of the solutions, I asked her to show work on problem 20. I also assigned a practice essay."
"The student and I worked through several math sections. She easily and quickly works through the beginning of the math sections. She can work her way through most of the harder questions but with less consistent success. She should do great on her math SAT sections."
"We covered more into polynomials and their roots. By applying the root theorem, the student can now determine real roots of any polynomial. It took a little bit of time in the beginning to understand the root theorem that her instructor was emphasizing but once that was understood, she excelled. The areas of concern would be the big picture concept of the subject but I am confident that will become evident with time. More practice with algebra and organization."
"We continued to practice the SATs with specific emphasis on the writing and critical reading. The student's vocabulary is definitely improving with the SAT flashcards and hopefully writing sentences for practice as well. I also think the Elements of Style has been helpful as she picks up on things she would not have before."
"The student and I reviewed a practice test that I had assigned her in our last session. She has improved in the reading comp, but she is still struggling with math terminology, and she finds herself overwhelmed with the problems. When we worked through many of the student produced responses one at a time she felt much more confident and able to answer the questions. I plan to continue working with her on breaking the questions down into manageable steps so that when test day comes she will be confident in her abilities. I am going to assign her online homework of geometry and percentages."
"Today we focused on the writing section, discussing number agreement and other commonly tested errors. We practiced improving sentences, identifying sentence errors, and improving paragraphs. I did not leave extra practice, but the plan is for the student to continue to work on practice tests and to practice for the essay."