this week we started tutoring the 2 kids of jarom’s korean professor. he works with the son, sihyun, who is 10 and about to start 5th grade. I tutor the daughter, daye, who will be a junior this fall. she took the psat a few months ago and is studying to retake it in october, plus the sat next spring.

I had no idea it would be so hard to prepare someone for a test. part of it is probably due to the fact that I myself never took the psat and didn’t study at all for the sat, but a large part is because the vocabulary isn’t used in everyday speech. daye is really smart, but with english as her second language, she’s having to memorize hundreds of words just to answer the multiple choice sentence completion questions. it’s hard to make a good guess when all 5 choices are words you’ve never seen before.

the other problem is that I’m terrible at explaining what words mean. some of the words from the other day are ferocity, obsequious, and distort. when daye doesn’t know any of the synonyms for those words…it gets really complicated. luckily she’s good at memorizing and if she reads a definition enough times she’ll figure out what the word means.

I sure am glad I don’t have to take any more big standardized tests.