Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student had received her initial online SAT scores. She was pleased, as she'd increased her scores from the earlier testing, but wants to improve further. We'll assess how we'll focus that prep once she gets the full report. She has been nominated for an American Legion Award, Girls State. If she's selected, she'll be able to participate in a week's conference about the political process and governance. To apply, she needs to write an essay on why she wants this honor and to provide a resume. We spent the rest of the session outlining what she'd include in her essay and resume. She has emailed me drafts of each which I will critique and return. She is still considering whether she'll prep for and take the ACT."
"We began the session by reviewing one of the sections I had assigned the student for homework. The section had 20 questions, and he got 17 correct and skipped 3, which is excellent. Now that he has most of the concepts understood, I tried to focus on how he can better pace himself so that he has the time to thoroughly go through those ~3 problems per section that he may be struggling on. We discussed strategies to quickly find an answer as opposed to solving a problem with long-hand math. I also had him practice some of the more challenging grid-in problems since those are a bit different than the multiple choice problems. For his homework, I assigned a few more sections that involve grid-in type problems, and I told him to complete these timed sections while also "bubbling in" his answers to simulate the test environment. For next week, we will continue working with this as well as reviewing data/ graph analysis as we get in the home stretch."
"The student took a practice ACT Reading test. We tried to simulate the testing situation - set the timer for a set amount of time. As the student was taking the test, I was noting the length of time for each passage. Once the student was finished, we discussed her time management as well as how she went about answering the questions. She also has a math test on matrices on Monday. I left her with some practice as a review for her test."
"The student and I covered a reading passage from TOEFL. I let her go slowly through the passage and made sure she understood each sentence before she could move on. Also, after every passage, I made her stop and summarize the passage in one sentence. After reading through the passage, we answered questions related to it. She is improving in her reading comprehension."
"Today, I had the student complete Quantitative Comparisons practice problems, and we also worked on factoring monomials and polynomials using greatest common factor. He had a little trouble with factoring polynomials at first but seemed to catch on after some practice and examples. He still needs more practice on factoring, so I gave him a couple of worksheets for homework and advised him to have his math tutor go over the FOIL method of factoring to prepare him for our next lesson. He is also to continue reviewing the vocabulary list in the test prep book, which he said he had been doing. We are slated to meet again on Wednesday."
"In this session, we worked solely on the writing section, working on a writing prompt as well as grammar problems. I was happy to see that the student was able to come up with more concrete examples than she usually does while working on essay prompts. She had some good insights into her argument and articulated her points very well. Her writing will get a great score if she figures out how to flow between her concrete information and her abstract statements. For the grammar, the student did rather well, answering most questions with relative ease. Again, it is important for her to isolate information in order to better identify where and when errors occur. She is now much more comfortable with identifying grammar errors and will do quite well on the grammar."
"We reviewed reading comp. and sentence completion strategies. Since the student is ESL, we discussed how to predict or skip words he is unfamiliar with and still get correct answers. We worked on pacing and how much time he should spend on questions as he goes through each section."
"The student and I reviewed various problems that she had come across while studying for the SAT. A few were based on graphs. I have enjoyed working with her and know she will do very well on the SAT and anything else she attempts in life. If she needs help in any other subject area, I am always available for her."
"Since the student and I had previously been preparing from the old SAT, we started by going over the changes that have been made, such as the lack of a guessing penalty and wordier questions. We took the time to go over some math, and he was initially a little rusty with some older algebra and geometry concepts. He picked up pretty quickly, and I'm confident he'll be back on track. After a half hour, we changed tacks to writing. He knew most of the answers, but he has a tendency to rush and jump to an easy conclusion. I worked with him on patience and taking the time to read questions all the way through before answering. For next time, I asked him to try to complete the rest of the writing and math sections that I assigned him."
"We're coming to the end of our sessions, as the SAT is Saturday. We continued lessons in vocabulary and grammar. By the end of Thursday's session, the student will complete a whole test and will have a grade he can use to predict his performance on Saturday."
"We spent our session today covering the Math section, focusing on areas the student had trouble with on the diagnostic test, primarily arithmetic sequences and fractions (including rationalizing denominators). The student was able to grasp new/forgotten concepts with fairly little trouble, and he had a good attitude throughout. In our next session, we will finish the Math section and begin on Verbal."
"Today, the student and I went over the full practice test I had assigned him. He performed astoundingly on every section, so I helped him understand the ones he got wrong. In Reading, he got 5 wrong, most of which had come down to 50/50 choices. I gave him some guidance as to how to best eliminate answer choices. In the Writing section, he got 2 wrong, but he seemed to understand the mistakes he had made and will be less likely to make them in the future. He got a perfect score on the first math section and got 5 wrong on the second. I walked him through the mistakes he made, which either came down to simple mistakes or missing an obscure math formula. I then gave him some drills on passages, algebra, and geometry, and he got most of the questions correct. I assigned him another full practice test for our next session, which will be in 2 weeks."