Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I had a great session this evening reviewing the Mathematics section of the SAT. Right now, the student does fairly well on the mathematics for the exam. We did an entire section of Math together, emphasizing throughout the importance of working to the rhythm of the test. This means: 1) The student needs to speed up while completing the first questions of each section. Look for shortcuts and move efficiently. 2) In the middle part of the section, the student needs to use the strategies we're developing. 3) For the final questions of the section, the student should focus on picking one or two questions to complete -- and skipping the others -- to get a last point or two. For the rest of the session, the student and I discussed strategies for approaching problems. The student adopts one of two approaches -- she either jumps into the calculations / equations (in which case she stops actively engaging with the material) or she feels overwhelmed and starts substituting numbers in. We worked on a third, active approach in which the student thinks about the problem, solves it efficiently (she tends to take extra steps when she's in calculating mode) OR looks for other ways to solve (eliminates impossible answers, looks at graphics that are to scale, makes calculated substitutions). The key to the student's success lies in her feeling in control of the test -- and keeping herself mentally engaged throughout. She's making good progress here. We spent the last few minutes going over sentence completion questions -- which reinforced the fact that while the student has good instincts, creating a method (careful analysis of context, analysis of words she knows) will help her raise her score. For next week, I asked the student to continue working through sections of the SAT Math and to work on memorizing vocab."
"In this session we worked through questions from the practice exams in the college study guide for math, reading and writing. The student has improved a lot in the reading section. He is able to read for the main idea and tone now. He is improving in math as well. We covered some strategies and concepts that will help him. We also covered several different ways to solve each question in case he gets stuck on one method."
"The student and I started the session by going over the math sections she completed for homework. They were both in the geometry topics section; the first was on lines and angles, and the second on triangles. As always, we went over each problem she got wrong, and wrote out the correct approach together, and went over the topics behind the questions. The main topics we focused on were the rules concerning parallel lines, angles, the Pythagorean theorem, and special triangles. We then went over the critical reading problems she did for homework. For the sentence completion problems, she felt better about them, and all of the problems she got wrong were due to not knowing the vocab words (as opposed to understanding the intent and problems). She has been trying to keep up with the vocab flashcards, so we are aiming to get better at those problems. As for the passage-based questions, she is feeling more comfortable with them. She also wrote an outline for another essay, and her examples were much better and specific - this was the main issue I had her work on. I left her some essay outlines to do, and flashcards."
"Today, we reviewed linear equations; systems of equations; inequalities; exponential functions/radicals; quadratic formula; geometry; and a few questions on logarithms, rates problems, and word problems."
"Today, we reviewed mixed SAT math problems, including substitution, simplifying radicals, and probability. I showed the student how to calculate ratios of probability using Venn diagrams, as well as formulas. After reviewing, he took a practice test (15 questions) on his own. He has gotten the calculator I recommended and is eager to start utilizing it. I plan to show him more tips and tricks on the calculator in our next session."
"Today, we reviewed the math section of the student's practice test. Her greatest difficulty seems to be word problems. We worked on some techniques for word problems, including focusing on any figures that might make the words more clear."