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Chris C.
Teacher and Tutor for 5 years
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SAT
TutorMe
Question:

I have had previous tutoring on the English section of the SAT, and my scores are still lower than I would like, and I always feel rushed for time. My previous tutor suggested that I spend less time on the reading material so I can spend more time on the questions. What would you suggest?

Chris C.
Answer:

The strategy you described is what I call the "scan and re-read" strategy. It's designed for you to map out the reading material so you are able to go back to specific sections for each corresponding question in order to find the specific proof for each question. Personally, I think this strategy not only doesn't work for most students, but is extremely time consuming! You should spend much more time thoroughly reading the material and really thinking about what you are reading. If you fully understand what you read, then the questions should be much easier to answer.

English
TutorMe
Question:

The paper I wrote for my college English class was reviewed by a school tutor, but I still only received a low B! It was completely free of grammatical and spelling errors, and each paragraph supported a specific part of my thesis, which was: "The Lady With the Pet Dog is about endings and beginnings, about strangers becoming lovers, and about our strive for something eternal." What was I missing?

Chris C.
Answer:

Writing a strong thesis is something that is rarely emphasized enough in English classes. The problem with your thesis is that it is not specific enough, and it needs to state an opinion you will try to prove. Your thesis just tells us about three things in the story; pick one and add a provable opinion about it. A stronger thesis would be: "In Anton Chekhov’s The Lady With the Pet Dog, the contrast between the grey of the transient world and the vivid colors of the everlasting sea illustrates the human craving and primal drive for something eternal." This is not just about a specific part of the story, but shows how you will specifically try to prove your point– by analyzing the passages that utilize specific colors and looking at the commentary of temporary vs eternal.

ACT
TutorMe
Question:

The ACT Science section is the hardest section for me; I never have enough time! What should I do?

Chris C.
Answer:

This section is particularly condensed, and often the questions are misleading ("not" and "except" questions)! Often, the best way to approach it is to read the written sections carefully, but quickly, and then only look at what each table or graph is used for without reading each specific data point. Then when the questions ask about specific sets of data, you will be able to quickly go back to the corresponding figures. Your understanding of the written sections will then allow you to interpret this data correctly for the conceptual questions.

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