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Michael Romano (Mr. Test Prep)
In seventeen years, I have seen just about every kind of student
In seventeen years, I have seen just about every kind of student

Michael's posts

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Study Tips – How Your Brain Actually Works

The way your brain functions impacts how you learn and recall information. The better you are at learning and remembering, the better you will be at taking exams. Knowing how your brain actually works can help you build the right study environment and develop methods for studying so that you will succeed on an exam.

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How High Achievers Nail Exams

Everyone wants to excel on exams, but some people seem to have a knack for doing well all of the time. These people are known as high achievers. We can all learn from them. Here are some of the things they do to nail their exams.

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Preparing For ACT – How To Help Your Child Succeed

The ACT can be overwhelming for the whole family. You may sense the stress and pressure your child is feeling. While studying and preparation is up to them, there are a few ways you can help your child succeed.
Offer Support Without Pressure
You child is likely feeling plenty of pressure regarding the ACT. Ask how they are doing, or what you can do to help. Don’t demand specific scores. Let your child know that you are there for them regardless of how they perform on the exam.

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How To Cope When Your Teen Leaves For College

From the time your child entered kindergarten, your identity changed. You became John’s mom or Lisa’s dad. Your life has been wrapped up in your child’s for 18 years and now they are headed out on their own. Just as your child is beginning to discover their identity in the world, you are rediscovering your own. The transition will undoubtedly be challenging, but it can be joyful as well. There are several ways you can cope and make a smooth transition.

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How To Combat Exam Anxiety Naturally

Big exams can make anyone anxious. There is a lot of pressure to perform well on exams like the SAT and ACT. This pressure can add to stress and anxiety and when not addressed properly, it can prevent you from performing your best. Try these tips to relieve any exam anxiety you might be feeling.

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Exam Preparation Tips - Why Intelligence Is Not Enough- Sunnyvale ACT SAT test prep tutoring

Knowledge and intelligence are important when it comes to the SAT or ACT, however, these exams aren’t just testing memorized facts or vocabulary words. These exams require that you think critically to solve problems, read complex passages and interpret meaning, and understand concepts within context. Just knowing information is often not enough to excel at these exams. Here are some tips that can help you prepare for exam day.

Fighting Anxiety

Anxiety can slow you down and could your impact you ability to think clearly. No amount of intelligence will help you if you can’t move beyond your test day anxiety. Practice breathing slowing and focusing on exam questions. Inflict time demands on yourself so that you know how to work under pressure. Find the thing that can help you calm down and practice it regularly before the exam. Having practiced tools to fight anxiety on exam day will help you present your best work on the exam.

Reading Questions

Practice reading sample questions correctly. The questions can feel tricky especially when you are in a hurry. When you have practice reading all of the different kinds of questions and know what cues and clues to look for, you will be more confident while discerning the correct answer in the real exam.


Before you read the multiple choice answer, think of the correct answer in your mind. Then look at the provided answers to find the one that matches. If there is a match, it will confirm that you thought of the right answer and you won’t second guess yourself. If there is not an answer that matches the one you came up with, go back and rework the problem. It takes practice to avoid looking at the provided answers. Try this method on several practice exams before exam day.


Reading will help you improve your comprehension. Expose yourself to different types of material from poetry to news articles. The SAT and ACT can include excerpts from every type of genre and even various time periods. Practice reading material that is challenging for you so that when you encounter it on an exam it won’t be so difficult. Reading can also help expand your vocabulary and improve your ability to infer meaning from context.

These critical thinking skills and anxiety management skills will serve you well throughout your education and career. Knowing facts will only get you so far, but critical thinking and problem solving will help you excel on the SAT or the ACT and in everyday life.

Sunnyvale ACT SAT test prep tutoring

Students generally dread test prep classes. They’re boring, difficult and pointless, or so most kids think. But they’re also necessary… Recognizing this, Mr. Test Prep has created a new approach to SAT/ACT tutoring that gets the job done without all the pain and frustration of traditional programs. Rather than depleting the finite well of motivation your student will need to get you through senior year, come to Mr. Test Prep for the most painless—dare I say fun?—SAT Prep in the Sunnyvale area. Specializing in the psychology of test taking, as well as the academic practices required to succeed, the lessons learned at our Sunnyvale ACT SAT test prep tutoring center will empower your student both on Test Day and in their future academic endeavors.

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Can Raiding The Fridge At Midnight Hurt Your Memory?

Your body is a delicate machine that requires care and maintenance. It is designed to work in special rhythms that are easy to ignore. When we ignore the natural rhythms of sleep and wakefulness, we may be harming our bodies. Scientists continue to discover different ways that our sleep cycles and eating habits can impact our health and brain function. It turns out that raiding the fridge at midnight might hurt your memory.

The Study

Huffington Post interviewed researchers that recently conducted a study on mice. The study fed two groups of mice the same amount of calories and ensured they received the same amount of time for rest. One group was fed during normal waking hours. The other group was fed during hours they should have been sleeping. The second group was not able to maintain specific associations that the first group was. The outcome of the study suggested that the memories of the mice were impacted because of the time of day in which they were consuming food.

Risks for Late Night Munching

While humans are not mice, the studies suggest that eating calories at the wrong time may inhibit us from cementing memories in our brains. Late night snacking can also cause weight gain and put you at higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes. There are simply no health benefits for eating late at night.

When You Have to Eat Late at Night

Sometimes life requires that you eat late. A late concert, an emergency, or study session the extends into the night can make you hungry. In these situations, instead of opting for a sugary or oily snack, choose foods that will feed your brain. A bowl of cereal with blueberries, baked crackers and guacamole, or a handful of nuts are all snacks that will fill you up and feed your brain.

Lifestyle Choices

The best way to avoid late night eating is to go to bed. When nothing specific is keeping you up, go to sleep. Your body will benefit from the extra rest and you won’t be tempted into late night unhealthy snacking. The studies show your physical health, as well as your brain function improves when you eat well and get enough rest. Getting excellent grades and performing well on exams depends on more than just studying. Practice healthy habits to feel better, think better, and relieve stress.

Sunnyvale ACT SAT test prep tutoring

Michael Romano has been offering his Sunnyvale ACT SAT services for almost two decades. He’s seen thousands of kids and helped with just about every kind of standardized testing anxiety a student could have. This has taught him that increased scores come down to confidence. Yes, you have to understand the material, but confidence is—more often than not—the #1 cause of a student’s trouble with testing. Bearing that in mind, he has created a Sunnyvale ACT SAT tutoring program that builds confidence by desensitizing his students to the conditions of the test, while providing them with targeted instruction on both the academic content of the exam and the tips and tricks that make it so much easier.

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How To Tell If A University Suits You -Sunnyvale ACT SAT test prep tutoring

There are so many different universities to choose from. There are small liberal arts schools, large public universities, academically elite schools, private religiously affiliated schools, and more. With all of the options available how do you decide what is right for you?

Develop Criteria

First decide what the most important criteria is for you. Do you have a specific major or program you intend to pursue? Is name and prestige an important factor? Is there a particular sports program or extracurricular you want to be involved in? Rank your criteria from most important to least important.

Other Factors to Consider

Then consider both your learning style and social style. Do you prefer to learn in one-on-one or hands on settings? Would you rather blend in with a crowd. Are you self motivated to pursue your interests? Do you prefer an urban setting or a rural setting? Spend time doing some self examination and apply what you learn to your college search.

Narrow it Down

Narrow your search down to include universities that fit your most important criteria. Keep in mind that all of the “best of” lists may not include the best university for you. Find out about specific areas of study that interest you. Learn about the professors, advisors and department heads. Find out about student life and what clubs, resources, and sports teams are available. Look at housing options and determine whether or not you would feel comfortable.

Financial Considerations

As you weigh your options and see how universities line up against your criteria, don’t forget to include financial considerations. In addition to tuition, consider room and board, cost of living and cost of travel. If you intend to work through college, discover what kinds of work study or jobs might be available.

Gut Feelings

After you have weighed all the factors, consider your gut feelings. Do you think you could be happy, make friends and excel at that particular university? Some of the most important factors that determine your college experience can’t be found in a statistic or on a tour. Judge your comfort level and level of excitement as your learn about each college.

A Thorough Search

Take time to get to know the universities, make pros and cons lists and listen to your gut feelings. When you perform a thorough search and know what you want, you will find a university that suits you. .

Sunnyvale ACT SAT test prep tutoring

center, he helps his students overcome years worth of bad mental habits and poor confidence so they’re ready to take on the test and reach their maximum score potential. With a combination of one-on-one and group testing, Mr. Test Prep offers the best of both worlds: experience with the conditions of the test and focused, student-specific instruction.

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How Bad Habits Can Impact Your Ability To Understand Easily -San Jose ACT SAT test prep tutoring

When it comes to studying, habits can help you significantly or they can hinder your ability to understand. Several bad habits could be making you inefficient at studying and preventing you from fully grasping the material you need to know. These bad habits may be keeping you from doing your best.


Highlighters are attractive. They come in bright colors and make you feel accomplished when you see pages and pages of highlighted notes and text. However, highlighting key points doesn’t help you actually learn them. Highlighting may give you a false sense of accomplishment and prevent you from internalizing the material you need to memorize and understand.

Studying in the same spot

Studying in the same location seems like a great idea. When you have a regular routine, you may be more likely to invest focused time on the subjects you need. However, Lifehack points out that studying the same material in the same place may prevent you from recalling the material in a new place when you need it, such as exam day. You will make external associations with the place and without those associations, you brain may not be able to recall the information.


We often multitask because we feel like we are accomplishing more in a shorter amount of time. However, studies show that we can’t actually multitask. our brains are just using energy to switch quickly between different subjects and activities. We use up our mental resources and make more errors when we multitask. You are likely to be more efficient and understand more of what you are learning when you study focused on a single topic for a specific period of time.

4) Interruptions

Every time we are interrupted it takes time to return to the task at hand. Lifehacker sites a study that found it can take up to 25 minutes to pick up where you left off. That means 25 minutes after each text or notification. 25 minutes every time you stop and talk to someone or get up to grab a snack. Breaks are important, but plan them out so you get a solid chunk of study time without wasting time getting back on task after every interruption.

Eliminating these bad habits will help you understand your material better and efficiently use your time. Enjoy productivity and thorough understanding when you cultivate good study habits.

San Jose ACT SAT test prep tutoring

Since 1997, Mr. Test Prep has run the #1 San Jose ACT SAT test prep tutoring program. By combining the benefits of private SAT instruction with the strengths of a group testing environment, Mr. Test Prep offers the best of both worlds: one-on-one attention, experienced academic counseling, group testing and a personal bond. By hosting this in a semi-group environment, Mr. Test Prep prepares his students for a real-world test experience. High school students who use his San Jose ACT SAT test prep tutoring services will be equipped with the tools they need to succeed in the highly competitive world of standardized testing.

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3 Tricks To Remain Focused During Your SAT

You might become anxious the minute you enter the exam room on the day of your SAT. Arm yourself with techniques to calm down and stay focused. When you have practiced these tricks before the exam you will know exactly what to do when your mind starts to wander or your hands start to shake. Here are three tricks for staying focussed during the SAT that you should start practicing now.

Your Mental Calm Place
Find your mental calm place. Visualization can help you stay calm, recenter your focus, and relieve anxiety. Have a place that you can picture in your mind that helps you feel calm. It could be watching your dog lay in front of the fireplace, a sunny island, or even you eating ice cream after you have finished the exam. Whatever it is, practice closing your eyes, breathing deeply, and conjuring this calm image in your mind. It should take you a few seconds to focus on the image. Anytime you start to panic during the exam you can bring up this picture in your mind to calm down and recenter. Don’t waste five or six minutes reveling in the daydream, just focus on a quick picture in your mind, take a deep breath, and then get back to work.

Focus on Your Own Exam
It is hard not to wonder what others are doing on their exam. Are they moving quickly? Do they seem confident? Are they terrified? An article from SAT Prep for Dummies reminds test takers to resist the temptation to look around the room. Inevitably you will see someone who is marking off bubbles impossibly fast with an aura of confidence. This will shake your own confidence and lead you to feel anxious about your performance. It doesn’t matter how quickly you finish, as long as you get it done in the allotted time. Looking around only wastes precious test time and shakes your own confidence.

The right pacing can only be accomplished with practice. Taking timed practice tests will help you develop a mental picture of how quickly you need to work through reading passages or math problems. When you have a good understanding of how to pace yourself, you should know about how many questions should be completed at a given time. When you are aware of how fast you are moving and how you are keeping up with the pace you need, you will be less likely to give in to distractions. Not only will practicing pacing keep you on task during the real exam, but it will also help you develop the mental stamina required to stay focused for that amount of time.
Acquiring the knowledge needed to perform well on the exam is important, but so is practicing the techniques required to stay calm and focused for the duration of the exam. As you study and prepare for the SAT, be sure to include some tricks for relieving anxiety and staying focused that work for you.
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