Woot! I love working with my students. M. pulled up his Critical Reading score from a 420 (23rd percentile) to a 510 (53rd percentile) – a 90 point increase after one session. Here’s part of an email from his mom this morning:
Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are amazing! M. is feeling encouraged, hopeful, and much more confident. I don’t know what you are doing with him, but it must be magic. 🙂
It’s not magic. It’s the combination of a couple of things. I supplied a solid SAT strategy tailored to his strengths* – all said in a way that he could hear and take action on.** He supplied diligent listening and application of the strategies along with some hard work.
* He is a slow reader. The “big name” tutoring company told him to read the whole passage before answering the questions. But since he reads for detail, by the time he finished reading the passage he could only answer a couple of the questions before he ran out of time. Not to mention, he knew that he was slow and was stressed out about it and was rushing through the questions trying to answer as many as he could.
So we turned his “weakness” into a strength – read the passage one paragraph at a time and then answer any questions related to that paragraph. He now feels confident about working through the passage slowly, instead of stressing about it.
Interestingly enough, he still skipped 30 questions on his second test – the same number of questions he skipped on his first test. But he increased his number of right answers from 21 to 32 with only 5 wrong answers (down from 16 wrong previously.) Which means that he is answering most of the questions he’s looking at correctly.
Which means he is a Critical Reading ROCKSTAR, not a Critical Reading failure.
Which is why I do this work – to show kids how amazing they are and show them how to make their strengths and weaknesses work for them.
**Speaking of which, whenever my husband works from home he rolls his eyes at some of my non-technical explanations. (Don’t fall for every cupcake! Watch out for pink ponies!) But it works. And I happen to have a gift of explaining things in an unconventional way that helps kids remember and apply what they’ve learned which results in higher scores and happiness all the way around. Yes, I would bomb at an official grammar or math convention, but I’m an awesome SAT coach!
(See – taking what you have and using it to work for you, instead of against you.)
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