TESTIMONIALS TO DATE: 187
I take this job personally. For more than 26 years, I’ve done everything I can to make a genuine connection with each student that “walks through the doors “of Mr. Test Prep Headquarters. Seeking to leave a lasting impact, beyond an increased test score, I have poured my heart and soul into the business, so I am humbled and grateful for the kind words both students and their parents have been willing to share on my behalf.
Michael Romano Mr. Test Prep
My older brother and I are extremely grateful for Mr. Romano, as he genuinely wishes to establish an understanding of what will work best for you as a student while also connecting with you as an individual. With his help and advice, I was able to improve my score and grow more confident in taking the SAT as well as any other tests in school. I struggled the most with the reading section so his guidance heavily focused on improving my approach and interpretation of the text. In the very beginning, I was unsure of how beneficial meditation could be—I would wonder why Mr. Romano would push us to attend his meditation sessions. But with each session, I grew to understand how great it is on your mindset and perspective. It enabled me to approach stressful situations with a relaxed and clear state of mind, and to view things through a positive lens. Not only did he teach us what we needed to know for the SATs, but he also taught us lessons that carry over into our careers and future. Aside from being a wonderful teacher and mentor, Mr. Romano has become a life-long friend and inspiration to both my family and I 🙂
Emma Nguyen Notre Dame High School Class of 2023UC Santa Barbara Class of 2027
When I first started working with Mr. Test Prep, my SAT scores were quite low. These low scores gave me very little confidence in my ability to improve. I was overwhelmed with the thought of trying to achieve a 1450+ score but Mr. Test Prep was there to raise my confidence and helped me stay positive throughout my entire SAT process. During our sessions, Mr. Test Prep would work with me, focusing more on my weaknesses such as grammar/writing, in order to really get the highest score possible. On top of that, there would be weekly meditations that helped relieve my anxiety and stress, allowing me to perform at my highest level. By the time I took my first test, I had improved by over 400+ points in my SAT score.
Mr. Test Prep is more than just what his “business” name portrays. He’s a great mentor and friend, whose teachings and lessons will stick with me into my future endeavors. There was a quote that Mr. Test Prep would always say to me when I would meet him, “The man, the myth, the legend.” Yes indeed, Mr. Test Prep is quite the legend himself.
Jordan NguyenSilver Creek High School 2022UC Santa Barbara 2026
Deciding to have our daughter work with Michael for ACT test prep was one of the best decisions we made in the college application process. We are two full time working parents who found this process to be overwhelming at times, and it was such a relief to find such a great source of support for our daughter. Michael has so much more than expertise, his calming demeanor and collaborative style helped our daughter to learn not only how to navigate standardized testing but, more importantly, instilled in her the confidence to face challenges head on with grace and aplomb. He is dedicated and cares about each of his students, who he gets to know on an individual basis. Unlike other college prep “advisors” Micheal is the real deal, he is genuinely trying to help kids learn not how to “game” the system but how to learn difficult material and have fun in the process. His meditation practice is only one example of the wealth of real life skills he imparts, and investing in his approach was one of the best decisions we made
Anna B (Parent)Miramonte High SchoolLafayette College 2026
Michael helped me move forward in a confusing and anxiety ridden point in my life. Not only that, he helped me find the best way forward when I didn’t even know where I wanted to go. Despite my unique case and circumstances, Michael adapted and guided me on the best way to tackle the SAT/ACT. Better yet, he went above and beyond, helping me request the accommodations I needed. Michael’s tutoring process was challenging but effective, and looking back, I’m truly grateful for the help I got. I didn’t just get the scores I wanted/needed, I actually exceeded them, surpassing my own expectations. Finally, Michael referred me to a college advisor who helped me find the college I wanted to go to. .
Dylan WeathersPalo Alto High School ’22Chapman University ’26
I was very opposed to taking the SAT and enrolling in SAT prep when I learned that it was optional for college admissions. I was more comfortable asserting myself as a low performer, and just not great with long form tests. However, a few sessions in, it was obvious that Michael wasn’t there just to gruel me on facts and figures for 2 hours straight. We went through the questions one by one, correcting those I got wrong and investigating why. He led tailored meditation sessions that helped me hone my focus for hours on end. By the end of my coaching, I was more confident in my test taking abilities than I had ever been. I took the SAT three times, and each time warranted a higher score (thanks to Michael). Now, I’m not saying you have to take the SAT three times, but Michael was keen to encourage trial and error. Most importantly, he coaches all of his students as whole human beings, not just a name on a roster. It’s obvious that Michael works hard to form a personal bond with everyone who passes through his door, and works even harder to get you to the places you want to go. Thank you for being a wonderful teacher.
Serena GaylordLos Altos High School ’22Pitzer College ’26
Even over Zoom, Michael (Mr. Test Prep) was incredibly engaging and personable. As someone who struggles to focus for extended periods of time, Michaels meditation sessions and testing strategies proved invaluable while taking the ACT. I really appreciated how he made an effort to get to know me as a person, as well as as a student, and used that knowledge to recommend strategies that would work best for me personally. I also really appreciated the way Michael was invested in my success and how he truly believed in me. His confidence wore off on me and with his help I only had to take the test once to achieve the score I desired. I am so grateful to have gotten to work with Michael!
Ella NelsonMenlo Atherton High School 2022Vanderbilt University 2026
Looking back on almost a year of working with Mr. Romano, I’ve appreciated all the more the effectiveness of his tailored approach. Through all the ups and downs of test preparation, Mr. Romano was there as a source of encouragement and advice. Among many useful strategies, he taught me how to better pace myself, recognize the intent behind each question, minimize silly mistakes, and meditate before tests. Beyond this, however, I enjoyed coming to each session. Mr. Romano genuinely cares about the students he tutors. He always brings infectious cheer to test prep sessions and taught me to be more confident as well as competent. Mr. Romano both helped me improve my scores and gave me fond memories to look back on. Thanks for everything!
Isaac OhGunn High School 2023
I took the PSAT in 10th and 11th grade and found it utterly awful. I’ve never been a big fan of standardized tests, but I knew I’d have to take either the ACT or SAT in college. I was nervous about them because I didn’t score as well on the PSAT as I hoped. In 11th grade, I actually did worse on the PSAT than I did in 10th grade. I thought that this was a clear indicator that I would fail the SAT/ACT and wouldn’t get into a college that I loved. I started with Michael after a recommendation from my college counselor. I appreciated his unorthodox approach, but his encouragement sets Mr. Test Prep apart from other testing organizations. No other company has a Michael, so to speak. Of course, he taught me how to understand the structure of SAT questions, recognize patterns, and learn proper testing strategies. This all helped my score improve exponentially (around 400 points from 11th grade PSAT), but I benefitted the most from his confidence in me. Many of Michael’s students could tell you about how skilled he is at connecting with others, and I think that they would agree that his faith went a long way in convincing them that they actually could do well. In the end, I was accepted to my dream school, Claremont McKenna College. Very happy with the results and grateful to Michael for all his wisdom!
Ava KoppMountain View High School 2021Claremont Mckenna College 2025
Mr. Test Prep, Michael Romano, describes himself as making a “genuine connection with each student”. That’s truly what makes him special. He really ‘gets’ his students. He’s so cool he even hit the basketball court with my son and his friends! This chemistry enabled Michael to be both encouraging and direct with my student, like the best kind of coach. Michael set high but achievable goals, and nudged my student forward when he saw more potential. My son began working with Michael in the fall of 11th grade, prior to the junior year PSAT. As a result of that early practice and confidence building with Michael, my son received a high enough score on his PSAT to qualify as a National Merit Scholar Finalist. His top 1% PSAT test scores, followed by high ACT scores, absolutely and measurably opened college doors for my son. We appreciated that Michael had our son try both the SAT and ACT, and actually take both the SAT and ACT exams. Michael has been doing this long enough to have a data centered approach as to why he has students try both tests; he knows what he’s doing. Ultimately, my son was accepted to his dream school UCLA.
Jennifer MutzPalo Alto Parent of a Palo Alto High School Student 2021 (hopefully, the first and only 100% online class in Paly history) UCLA, Design Media Arts, 2025
Michael Romano (Mr. Test Prep) is by far the best tutor I’ve ever had.
Under his guidance I was able to see a drastic improvement with not only my ACT (my 32 became a 35) and my SAT Subject test scores, but also my attitude towards learning and the future. As someone who struggles with anxiety, and who especially dreaded these lengthy tests, I was extremely grateful that under Michael’s guidance I was able to not only ace these tests, but also use the tactics I’ve learned to ace other tests I’ve had afterwards. Michael understands the stresses and struggles that each kid is going through, and his personalized lesson plans allowed for me to work on the subjects I struggled with while learning to not fear the tests. His meditation program taught me a skill that I still use to this day, and it has given me a more positive and confident outlook on life. His friendly nature and the calm setting made me look forward to our lessons each week instead of dreading them. With his relaxed personality, patience and love for teaching, and his contagious positivity, Michael is by far the best guy out there for test prep.
Edward NewellWoodside High School 2021
Mr. Test Prep, Michael Romano, was not only a key factor to my son’s SAT experience and result, but was also very inspirational and encouraging to my son’s personal goals for applying to The U. S. Naval Academy. Michael’s guidance and support gave my son strategies to get the best result for his SAT score. Once he showed my son that he was in “striking distance” of a stronger score, my son had the confidence to go after it. Sessions were well organized, and Michael was super responsive day to day and helpful with any recommendations we were interested in. Testing is one aspect of your child’s college prep, and a personal and focused mentor is invaluable. My son is in Annapolis right now in part because of the collaborative work and academic support he got from Mr. Test Prep.
Katie LimPortolla Valley Parent of Sacred Heart Prep Student 2020 US Naval Academy 2024
Mr. Test Prep changed my life. I recently graduated from Duke University, and I am STILL thinking about how grateful I am to have had private tutoring sessions in high school with Mr. Romano. It’s a fact that my SATs improved by around 350 points after tutoring, and I believe that this drastic improvement is a large part of what helped me get into my dream school. His Skype sessions were informative and effective. He was a great teacher that intimately knew the material, and he adapted his lesson plan to what I needed most to work on while still reinforcing the concepts with which I was comfortable. I was never bored or falling asleep, and I learned many tools to help deal with not only the test but also test-taking. It’s now six years later, and I know that tutoring with Mr. Test Prep was worth it.
Maddie TaylorCardinal Gibbons 2013 Duke University 2019
My daughter has had pretty bad test anxiety in the past. In her sophomore year of high school I started looking at SAT test prep options. There are many here in Fremont – they are basically factories where they make students take tests over and over for a two week period in rooms filled with dozens of kids. I knew this wasn’t going to work for my daughter. That is when I heard about Michael.
Michael has a method that worked perfectly for my daughter. It was over a longer period of time which helped her build her test taking skills and confidence. He taught her meditation techniques that not only helped with her SAT but with all testing.
In that period of time, my daughter’s SAT score went up 300 points. My daughter was accepted to 9 of the 14 schools she applied to including her #1 choice. We are so grateful for Michael. If you are a parent like me with a child who needs more holistic work, it is worth driving over the bridge (or any distance) to work with him. Tell him I sent you!
Deanna KosarajuFremont, Ca Parent American High School 2020 University of Oregon 2024
Working with Michael was probably the best decision I made in my college preparation process. While many of my friends were stressed out with homework and impersonal tutoring at other test prep sites, Michael helped me improve only what I needed to improve, with no homework to add on to the already stressful year at school. Michael teaches you how to think on the tests, and gives you confidence going into them, which I think is crucial to success. He helped me greatly, and it is definitely worth the price.
Elias NasrMenlo-Atherton 2020UC Santa Barbara 2024
SAT prep was always a burden to me. The thought of locking myself in a room for hours upon end plagued me to thoughts of disgust. Going to Mr. Test Prep, however, seemed like a safe haven to me. The environment, the encouragement, and the positive reinforcement was something I actually looked forward to. SAT prep turned into something that I dreaded to a practice that I actually enjoyed. Mr. Test Prep did not just help me improve my SAT score but instilled me with confidence to take the tests and in myself – confidence that will be with me forever. The methodology used by Mr. Test Prep was so helpful to me and many other future students.
Audrey NguyenLeland High School 2019Stanford University 2023
We were referred to Michael from a friend.
The time my son spent with Michael was invaluable. After just two sessions with Michael, my son took the ACT for the first time- scoring a composite of 32 (scoring 35/36 in every subject except English). The next few sessions with Michael were spent mostly on English. The second time my son took the ACT he scored a composite of 35 with a 12 on the writing portion. Michael understands how to communicate with this age group and connect with the kids as individuals. He teaches techniques, strategies, and how to lower anxiety, all on an individualized basis. My son felt so confident before the second test. He said he knew exactly what he needed to do to succeed. My son also scored 790 and 800 on two SAT Subject Tests, which he worked on in one session with Michael. Our daughter will be going to Michael in a few years. Highly recommend.
The numbers don’t lie.
Katie BLAHS 2020 (parent)
Mr. Test Prep offers amazing tutoring skills and provides a safe and great place to study and explore college options. Before going to him, I had never studied for SAT or ACT, neither did I know about my options for the test. Mr. TestPrep gave insight to me about each test and my options for what I might do best in to take. Once we decided on the test he personally sought to it that I improve upon the skills I needed to do the best I could. I have many friends who are seeking to take standardized tests soon and I have recommended each of them to seek the help of Mr. Test Prep because of how great of an experience I had with him. Instead of looking back at the SAT and having it be a test that I had to take, I look back and thank CollegeBoard that it was created because I was fortunate to meet such a kind teacher in a welcoming environment.
Thank you, Michael!
Kristine Fischer-Colbrie Sacred Heart Preparatory 2019Santa Clara University 2023
Thank you, Michael, for sharing your time and talent for my kids. My two children were counseled and tutored by Michael and I can say that both benefited from his knowledge and expertise. They are different kids with many different goals, and yet he helped each individually and specifically to achieve their own test goals. One child was intent on being admitted to a pre-med program and the other to a top 10 electrical engineering program. Both achieved the test scores to get them into programs that met their goals–one to Cal’s Molecular Cellular Biology program and the other to the University of Illinois’ Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. I am convinced that the kids’ scores gave them the edge they needed to be considered for these top programs. They both were with Michael for over a year working to attain 99% scores that they did indeed attain through the tutoring. BOTH my daughter and son felt that Michael was personable, professional and knowledgable. He related to them warmly and genuinely helped them during an anxious time of high stakes. He is really amazing at what he does! We highly recommend him for test prep and helping your students attain their college dreams!Thank you Michael!!!”
Warmly, Michele, George, Colby and Colin
As I was starting to get prepared for the SAT, I knew I needed a tutor to help me improve my skills and reach my score goal. Mr. Test Prep not only helped me reach my goal for the SAT, but he also helped me relax along the way. I came into SAT prep thinking it would be stressful the whole time through, and while it was stressful in some parts, Mr. Test Prep taught me and showed me that it’s just one little tiny road bump. Before one of my test dates was coming up, he taught me some meditation techniques to help me relax. I was never one for meditation before, but I could see how much he valued his students through this one simple act. Mr. Test Prep takes SAT/ACT tutoring one step further by not only improving his student’s academic skills but also providing a human connection. I can fully attribute reaching my SAT goal to the help of Mr. Test Prep.
Marcus Chave San Jose Evergreen Valley High School 2019 Santa Clara University 2023
My son’s ACT score improved by 7 points and SAT score by 200 points directly from Mr Test Prep’s tutoring. These new scores are absolute game changers for my son’s college list. We looked at other tutors in Menlo Park and Palo Alto and ultimately chose Michael Romano because of his smart and unique approach. These are the three things that make his approach different from others and much more effective:
- Individualized tutoring according to the student’s learning style
- Immediate feedback & answers to practice tests
- Understanding of how the tests are written, how to identify the “trick” questions, and ability to explain these to students
Michael Romano is the best at what he does.
Laura Vaugn AthertonParents of Bellarmine College Prep Student Class of 2019
Michael’s methodology is unlike any other tutor I’ve worked with before, and the results I got with him were unmatchable. The group setting allowed me to go back and forth between working on my own just like a testing setting AND breaking down my sections while they’re fresh in my mind. While many other tutors believe in using homework as a studying tool, whenever I would attend my next session with them, I couldn’t remember why I chose the answers I did. By confining my work to my sessions with Michael, I was able to evaluate my thought process for each answer and correct my mistakes MUCH more efficiently.
Rather than most tutor’s standard lesson plan (even for one on one sessions), Michael tailors each session to what that individual student needs. My best sections were tested less frequently, and more time was spent on the sections I struggled with.
Michael understands the interplay between testing and his student’s mindset. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I have had extreme difficulty performing well on exams even when I know the material front to back. After two meditation sessions, I meditated every morning and night about a week preceding each of my SAT exams (as well as actually during my SAT) I felt less anxious, more at ease and extremely more confident.
What it boils down to is Michael truly understands his students and creates a relationship and bond with them like NO other tutor. He creates a completely safe space where mistakes aren’t scrutinized, they’re looked at as a place to improve. I improved my SAT score by about 350, but, beyond that, I can look back at my sessions with him and only have positive memories. Going to Michael was one of the best decisions I made. I genuinely looked forward to my sessions with him, and no other tutor can match that.
Jaime Furlong Palo Alto High School 2019 University of Washington 2023
Unfortunately for me, I am one of those people who do practice tests perfectly but score badly on actual tests. I just get jitters whenever I get to the testing room. Micheal realized this after my diagnostic test and recommended I meditate before taking the SAT or ACT. I was apprehensive during our practice sessions but I diligently practiced meditation at home. Finally, when it got to testing day I was unusually calm. Never beforehand was I that tranquil before taking a test, normally my heart pounds, my hands get sweaty, and I can’t think. On that day I felt as if everything was a walk in the park, everything came to me and nothing felt rushed. In the end, I was able to score a 35 on the ACT stress-free. What also helped my nervousness was Michael testing room. It was a perfect place to practice the SAT and ACT: full of students, quiet, and distraction free. It allowed me to simulate how it would feel like in a testing center without the hassle of going to one. In all, without Michael I probably wouldn’t have gotten the score that I got.
Alex Novoselsky San Mateo High School 2020
Choosing Mr. Test Prep as my tutor was the best decision I could have ever made. Having taken a SAT bootcamp prior to Mr. Test Prep, I was annoyed that I still couldn’t master the techniques I learned in the bootcamp. After a diagnostic test in my trial session with Michael, I was surprised to find that he wanted me to switch over to the ACT. A great decision. With only a couple of sessions, I managed to score a perfect 36 on the ACT! Unlike other SAT/ACT test preps, Michael’s relaxing demeanor helped me remain calm throughout the testing process and focus on the strategies. What I love about Mr. Test Prep is how he treats each student as an individual by highlighting the strategies that work — and don’t work — for the student. I am so grateful that I was tutored by him and definitely recommend Michael to every struggling student! 10/10
Larry Zhou Gunn High School 2019
Michael’s system of test prep is designed to fit your personal needs at your personal pace. I loved the flexibility of scheduling and how I had the option to schedule my sessions when it was most convenient for me. The system was also catered to my individual needs and I was allowed to work on whichever sections I felt I needed the most work on. Michael connected with me as an individual and gave me the confidence I needed to conquer my ACT! Coming to Mr. Test Prep gave me a relaxed, yet productive atmosphere to practice sections; by the time I took the actual ACT, I felt less nervous given the familiar routine. On top of that, Mr. Test Prep’s charismatic personality made the sessions stress free. Thank you for not only boosting my score and making the process less daunting, but also making me feel confident and welcomed!! 🙂
Allison Cheng Gunn 2018
I, like many other students, saw standardized tests as roadblocks on my path to academic success. That was before I met Mr. Romano. Romano has effectively taken something that is the source of stress for many high school kids across the Bay Area and made into something that is, dare I say it, enjoyable. His unconventional approach to test prep has made taking the ACT/SAT a fun challenge, rather than a burden (It also helped me score in the 99th percentile!). Though I am no longer attending sessions, I still apply the all-encompassing advice Mr Romano gave me, in my academic ventures and outside of the world of academia as well. There is no question that Michael Romano is the best at what he does. Therefore, he is an obvious choice for any students seeking test prep tutors.
Arsh Hoti James Logan High School 2019
I would recommend Michael Romano to every one of my friends and family. Mr. Test Prep taught me the most important skill in test-taking: confidence. When I started classes with him, I knew the math and grammar required for the SAT and ACT, but I wasn’t confident about my answers, leading me to perform worse. Michael not only taught me easier and faster methods of answering questions; he taught me intuition, how to identify and filter the right from wrong. Michael was able to improve my scores by leading me through the thinking process and mindset of the test, something that improved my score significantly. He also coached me on essay composition, how to express my thoughts clearly, a skill which continues to help me post-SAT. Thank you Mr. Test Prep!
Thomas Rainow The Harker School 2020
I am currently a high school senior in San Jose, however I met Michael Romano spring of 2018. Michael truly works individually with you and gets to know you on a personal level. Everytime I had an appointment, I was very welcomed by him. His teaching abilities are second to none. He taught me how to manage my time efficiently, tricks to the ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject tests, but most importantly he has boosted my confidence immensely when it comes to test taking. Michael has a connection with his students that makes them look forward to their sessions. I know I did. He helped me improve my SAT scores by 200 points. I cannot be more grateful for a tutor like him.
Victoria Sanchez Oak Grove High School 2019
My experience at Mr. Romano’s Test Prep exceeded all of my expectations. Aside from SAT preparation itself, I learned many essential skills that aided to my success with college applications and with concluding my high school education. His flexible schedule allowed me to incorporate my test preparations for the SAT and ACT into my weekly schedules. My time spent at his testing center and his personalized feedback resulted in great confidence during the official test day, and even with exams at school. I steadily improved my skills with Mr. Test Prep to receive an SAT score that blew my mind, which assured me that all my efforts were in fact, worth it. Michael Romano gave me faith in my abilities and provided me the best possible experience that I will never forget! Michael and I formed a very strong and positive friendship through the process, learning about each others personal lives as well as our interests and childhood stories — I had such a great experience that at times, I almost forgot that I was at a test prep class! I truly will miss everything about my visits up to Mr.Test Prep Headquaters in the heart of Palo Alto. I could never thank you enough, but thank you, thank you, thank you Michael!
Helen Aijouni Presentation High School 2109
When you imagine a test prep tutor, what kind of person do you think of?
I’m the type of person who never worked well with adults who tried to push me or made me feel stupid, and that’s why I was really reluctant to try SAT prep.
But Michael Romano surprised me by defying the stereotype of the traditional harsh, nitpicky tutor time and time again. He never forces students to study or do homework assignments, and because he did not, I felt genuinely inspired to put in the effort on my own behalf. Rather than someone else driving my progress, I felt as though I held the reigns to my own improvement on the SAT.
I won’t talk about how Michael comes up with neat strategies for the trickiest of math and reading problems, how he’s an endlessly patient teacher, or how he made every seemingly impossible question look easy and conquerable. He did all of these things. But I think what truly makes Michael special is the effort he puts into each relationship with his students. He’s always positive, he always makes you feel that you are smart and capable of accomplishing things.
As a high school student, it’s pretty common to get extremely stressed out about standardized testing. But “stressed” is the last word I would ever use to describe Michael’s personality. Stress is contagious, and Michael knows this, so his test prep environment is calming and peaceful. He never gets upset with you for making mistakes; he’s never disappointed as long as you put in the effort. To me, this made all the difference in both my score and my mentality towards life.
Pranavi Kethanaboyina Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy 2018 Stanford University 2022
Michael Romano was exceptional at helping me build confidence with the test. After working with him I was able to walk into my test knowing I would be increasing my score significantly. He was great at addressing personal areas I needed to improve on along with giving overall strategic advice. I looked forward to going to my appointment to see my progress each week and talk to him as he is very genuine. I highly recommend him for SAT/ACT tutoring.
Elena Palacios Mountain View High ‘2018 University of Hawaii at Manoa ‘2022
My son’s ACT score improved by 7 points and SAT score by 200 points directly from Mr Test Prep’s tutoring. These new scores are absolute game changers for my son’s college list. We looked at other tutors in Menlo Park and Palo Alto and ultimately chose Michael Romano because of his smart and unique approach. These are the three things that make his approach different from others and much more effective:
- Individualized tutoring according to the student’s learning style
- Immediate feedback & answers to practice tests
- Understanding of how the tests are written, how to identify the “trick” questions, and ability to explain these to students
Michael Romano is the best at what he does.
Laura Vaughan Atherton Parent of Bellarmine College Prep Student Class of 2019
Mr. Test Prep is the BOMB! For any teenager looking for a way to boost test scores, don’t hesitate, this is your guy! I cannot believe I am saying this, but I actually enjoyed going to test prep because Mr. Romano was funny, engaging, and always pushed me to be my best. The format of the sessions was really unique and allowed me to focus on what needed work. I legit wish that Mr. Test Prep was my teacher for all my classes at school. Happy to say that my solid score helped me get into UC Berkeley, go bears!!
Lia Weiss-Ishai ( Danville, CA ) Monte Vista High School 2018 UC Berkeley 2022
Michael is the best test prep tutor around. Through his unique style of preparation, he not only passes on his immense knowledge of the test but instills confidence in all of his students. Mr. Test Prep combines the environment of the test center with the benefits of periodical one on one discussions to give you the most test prep for your money. Unlike other tutors that offer one on one sessions, Michael not only goes over problems you missed and gives you tips and tricks that always help, but he shows a genuine interest in you as a person and will get to know you just as well as anyone over the time you spend working with him. Over the few months with him, Michael improved my SAT score almost 200 points, taking me from an above average score to an almost perfect one. Using a no homework approach, Michael is a low stress high reward type of prep. Mr. Test Prep will give you a huge increase in your score, the ability to know how to ask for help, teach you to study purposefully, and will give you one of the best test prep experiences anyone can ask for. After working with him, you will go into the test center with more confidence than anyone else in the room.
Shiva Bucklin Gunn High School Class of 2018
Mr. Romano is a truly gifted tutor. He knows everything there is to know about the testing process, what tests are right for each student to take, and all the ins and outs for signing up and taking tests. The work environment he provides for students is relaxing, calm and easy to focus in. He understands that students preparing for tests can be stressed out, and does a masterful job of making students feel completely comfortable and even enjoy themselves in his presence . Mr. Romano increased my test score by the equivalent of 540 points on the SAT (1900 to 2340). But most of all, Mr. Romano is somebody who is fun to be around and who makes you feel good about yourself, both as a person, and as a student. If you are searching for a tutor in any sort of testing, Mr. Romano is the best option.
Ben Spindt Menlo-Atherton ‘2016 UC Santa Barbara ‘2020
What is unique about Michael is that he authentically believes in each person as a student and as a human being, and they know it. This belief is so strong that even though students may initially have doubts about their test taking ability, over time they internalize that confidence that he has in them. This combined with his clear, specific instruction, timed practice and timely feedback, was very powerful and enabled my daughter to focus on what she needed to do to improve. The fact that there was no homework was a huge bonus and made it easy to schedule test prep alongside her school work and extra-curricular activities. Her SAT score improved significantly, into the range where she was a viable candidate for top colleges, and in the running for generous merit aid at great schools that offer merit aid.
Lois Lazar Los Altos
Thanks to Michael Romano, I was able to take my standardized tests confidently, and more importantly, feel great about the scores I received. I can honestly say that I had a good time during our Skype sessions, even though that is not something typically associated with tutoring. Michael has a very engaging personality and clearly knows the ins and outs of the SAT reasoning test, SAT subject tests, and the ACT. He encouraged me to take the ACT as well as the SAT, and it was a decision I was very happy to have made while studying with him. I don’t think anyone else could have prepared me better, and I would definitely recommend Mr. Test Prep’s services to anyone who is taking standardized tests in the near future!
Sophie DiFillippo Santa Barbara High School ‘2016 USC ‘2020
Going to Mr. Test Prep was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Thanks to Michael, I was able to improve my SAT score by 160 points and achieve a near-perfect score. His “no homework” approach to tutoring made the entire process much less stressful. I know that if I had been overloaded with useless busywork (like I might have been at another company), I would have dreaded studying for the SAT. Luckily, this didn’t happen, and I found myself looking forward to each session. Since I enjoyed the studying process, I was able to stay motivated the whole time. Michael is supportive, knowledgeable, and funny, and really understands how to connect with his students. Although I am generally a quiet person, I felt comfortable talking to him, whether it was about a helpful math trick or even recent movie recommendations. He consistently gave excellent advice and thoughtfully answered any questions I had. Overall, I am grateful for my experience with Mr. Test Prep, and highly recommend his tutoring services!
Taylor Yamashita Palo Alto High School 2020
Mr. Test Prep was my cheerleader and much needed roadmap to the test taking process. Before I discovered him, I was just copying what my sister had done in terms of testing, not realizing that it’s a completely individual process. He picked up so quickly on my strengths and what I naturally did well, and he capitalized on those things. He gave me the gift of a straightforward and clear roadmap for what tests to take and when, and how best to maximize my skills. This personal roadmap worked so well because he took the time to get to know me. Apart from learning about my interests in school like the fact that I’m an English and History person, he cared about my favorite things to do and how I was doing. He even supported the fundraiser for my choir tour. He’s such a funny, relaxed person that the atmosphere for studying is always fun and productive. He offers so much more than just math tips. Thank you for all your help:)
Megan Schmiesing Los Altos High School 2016
Mr. Test Prep is a godsend. Honestly, I was way behind on getting ready for the SATs when I found Mr. Test Prep. I came to him only a month or so before the SAT I wanted to take, unsure of how to study and what the test would be like. After meeting with him once a week for about six weeks, I felt confident and prepared going into my first SAT. Mr. Romano reminded me that it was only a “practice” run, and that we’d see how I did and plan for future tests accordingly. The clear-headedness and confidence that he exuded helped me remain grounded and focused during my exam. After that test, we met another four times to get ready for the “real” one. Once I received my results for my second SAT, I realized that in those FOUR short meetings we had to prepare, Mr. Test Prep had increased my math score by 90 points. 90 POINTS! And I’m not a fan of math so if that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.
Just a word about the man behind the magic; Mr. Romano is amazing. He is truly one of the most genuine, funny, and charismatic people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Not once did he ask me about my grades or college plans in a way that was anything other than supportive. That means a lot. I’m not a bad student, so talking about grades doesn’t give me anxiety in that way, but usually when an adult mentions my academics, it stresses me out because it makes me feel like my grades are the most important way for them to define me. The fact that Mr. Romano never made me feel like that instantly made me feel more comfortable working with him. On top of that, he also makes test prep more fun by sharing humorous tidbits and brief anecdotes during the “check ins”. The connections we were able to build off of those really made our relationship more of a friendship instead of an awkward, distant tutor-student relationship. When I feel more connected to my instructors, I feel more motivated to do well. And Mr. Romano always motivated me. I could talk for ages about all the ways Mr. Romano has proven himself to be the best SAT/ACT tutor out there, but I don’t think there’s enough space for me to type it all out. Basically, he will change everything in the best way possible. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to work with him, because you won’t find anyone else who can even come close to him.
Julia Shaver Los Altos High School Class of 2017
Working with Mr. Test Prep has been a real pleasure! What I really loved about Mr. Test Prep’s teaching style was that it simulated the real testing environment, so I was always thoroughly prepared when I took the tests. For me, it was really productive to do the best I could by myself and then go over the problems I missed with Mr. Test Prep, so we could talk through my mistakes and look over passages, grammar questions, or math concepts that I didn’t understand. Even more than that though, Mr. Test Prep has such a relaxed and fun demeanor that he transforms the testing environment into something that is less daunting and more enjoyable, which is something invaluable when venturing through the testing process. He has been a great tutor and more importantly, a person I consider a great friend, and for that I am truly thankful for getting the opportunity to work with Mr. Test Prep.
Anna Z (Palo Alto) Palo Alto High School 2016 UPENN 2020
Michael Romano is simply the best at test preparation. His winning combination of expert level knowledge of all things college test related and his relaxed manner gives each student a confidence and ability boost. I especially like the individualized sessions with each student so every person is getting the personalized help that they need, not a one size fit all generic test preparation. Even though we moved away from the area three years ago, we continue to utilize his teaching talents and are thrilled with the results our daughters have achieved.
Stacy DiFilippo Santa Barbara ‘2016
I had gone to two different tutoring agencies in the Bay Area that didn’t end up offering me nearly as many results as Mr. Test Prep did. I remembered being frustrated with my scores, wondering why they weren’t improving even when I put in the time and the work. Since my older brother loved Michael so much, I decided to try his curriculum. Michael truly changed the testing game for me. I was struggling in the science section of the ACT. He showed me how to take science and tackle it like a reading comprehension problem, making my score raise SEVEN POINTS in a matter of a few lessons. Additionally, he programmed many functions into my calculator that not only saved me an abundance of time on the test, but that I still use in my AP Calculus class this year. These were functions that no other testing agency had offered me. His amazing attitude, outgoing friendliness, and noticeable intellect made me not dread going to tutoring, as I once did prior to Mr. Test Prep. I walked out of this program with amazing ACT and SAT subject test scores, great study skills for my classes, and an amazing resource that I am excited to show to my little brother once he begins the testing process. It is truly a blessing to be able to apply to college and know you did the testing part right.
Luma Hamade Palo Alto High School ‘2016 UC Santa Barbara ‘2020
When I first met Michael Romano during the summer heading into my junior year, I had already tried out two other test prep agencies and was in need of a solid foundation for my SAT and ACT preparation. I knew I was at least a decent student in school, and often felt disappointed with my practice scores because I knew I could do much better. Looking back, attending Mr. Test Prep sessions rewarded me in more ways than one. I stopped dreading the cycle of practicing, evaluating, and trying to improve on my performance because Michael engaged with me in a manner that no other tutor had before. It helped that the two of us both possessed a potent passion for basketball, but it’s always been clear that Michael enjoys getting to know each and every one of his students, no matter what their initial practice PSAT score is . I was immediately taken back by Michael’s first individual meeting with me. Unlike other prep agencies who had seen years of students pass through their doors, Michael made an effort to become my friend and even asked me about my life outside of school and test prep. Michael was uniquely skilled in discovering my strengths and weaknesses right from our first week of sessions, and within a few months, my SAT score had jumped over 200 points. In just a few months. The two of us developed and embraced a healthy rhythm to keep me on track for achieving my full potential, attending sessions about twice a week, while balancing my school schedule with my hobbies and interests. Michael has made a huge impact on so many students over his 18 years of dominating test prep, and I’ll remember him for his fun personality and our memorable talks just as much as his great advice and superior knowledge. Thanks Michael, for providing me with confidence, all of our Golden State Warrior debates, and of course, “DAZZLE ME, DON’T FRAZZLE ME!”
Josh Yuen Palo Alto High School Class of 2016 University of California, Berkeley Class of 2020
Most tutors focus only on the academic aspect of tests, telling the students basic rules to follow in order to be successful on the targeted test. This is where Mr. Test Prep sets himself apart, not only will you receive quality instruction, but you will get a partner that will guide you through the stress and struggle of this taxing time in life. Michael gave me confidence in myself and my work, a great mindset that is crucial in and out of the classroom. Another aspect of Mr. Test Prep that puts him above the competition is his hospitality. He invites you into his home to work with you. He enjoys spending time with his students and genuinely cares about our wellbeing. I was going through a difficult physical injury, and Michael would check in on me and ask me how I was doing every session. He would also be flexible on hours to fit my schedule, making it incredibly easy to find time to fit your schedule. Mr. Test Prep was the best tutoring experience that I have ever had, making me excited to study and improve academically.
Ryan Myers (Santa Clara, CA) The King’s Academy (Class of 2016) Purdue University Honors (Class of 2020)
Unlike the other tutoring centers where having a good tutor is the luck of the draw, you know what you get with Mr. Test Prep. Michael is very experienced and patient with the students. He focuses his conversations with the student based on their mistakes on the practice tests and customizes with the particular sections that each student needs to work on. Doing many of the practice tests at his home without distraction is a more realistic measure of the students ability versus doing the practice tests as homework at home. It also trains the student’s ability to stay focus for an extended period of time, mimicking the real test environment. We also liked Michael’s flexible make up schedule. Even though the student is supposed to sign up to a particular time & day, Micheal is very good about make up lessons which we found very helpful with the chaotic schedule of our teenagers these days. Several occasion when my daughter was sick or have a conflicting activity, Michael is very accommodating, allowing her to attend at a different time. With all the high stress preparing for the tests, Michael also taught my daughter “meditation” techniques to use prior to the exam which is so valuable for the rest of her life. The ability to calm the “nerves” will come in handy before any exams, presentations, job interviews, etc. that our children will face.
Karen Yuen Los Altos
My experience at Mr. Test Prep was five stars. Michael knows how to connect with students and use real life applications to not only make SAT problems easier, but make the entire process more enjoyable. To most kids, SAT tutoring is extremely tedious; however, I was excited to come to 787 Cereza Drive everyday because Michael knows how to make SAT tutoring enjoyable. I enjoyed the program for a number of reasons. First, as an extremely busy student athlete, Mr. Test Prep’s no homework policy was ideal for me. Second, the independent work mimics the atmosphere of the test so you are well prepared come test day. Third, and most importantly, Michael is a great guy. He is not like most SAT tutors; he is passionate about what he does and knows how to establish meaningful relationships with kids. Thanks to the Mr. Test Prep program, my SAT scores went up 200 points. I will be sending my four siblings to Mr. Test Prep and I can guarantee they will have similar experiences. As a man, tutor, mentor, and friend, Michael is of the highest kind, shape, and form. I will never forget my experience at Mr. Test Prep and I am very fortunate to have worked with him.
Luke Rohlen Sacred Heart Prep 2018 Dartmouth College 2022
When I starred my Senior year of high school, I had no idea what ACT/SAT test prep meant.My math teacher had me re-studying geometry because I hadn’t taken it since I was in 8th grade and apparently it was on 50% of the ACT math section. That was good and all, but I still didn’t know how to even start on the Reading, Writing, English, and Science sections. That’s where Mr. Test Prep came in. He took the time to Skype me all the way from his home in Palo Alto, California 4 times a week for almost 5 months. When I took the ACT the first time, I got a 29 composite score and a 28 in the Reading section.I took my second attempt two months later in September. I ended up getting a 32 composite and a 35 on the Reading section. Almost a perfect score! In just a few months I was set up wight the exact score I needed for college. Not only that, but I was offered the presidential scholarship to UVM based on my ACT scores and was offered a spot on the STEM premiere team. I never could have done all of this without Mr. Test Prep. He was the one who was there talking me through it every single day and the one who became a close friend. To this day, we still talk about the amazingness of Adele and the craziness of today’s politics. I couldn’t imagine where’d I’d be without Mr. Test Prep and I am so so so grateful.
Taylor Romano (Park City, UT) The Winter Sports School Class of 2015 University of Oregon Class of 2020
Everyone knows that the process of studying for standardized tests is a time consuming and not particularly enjoyable experience. However, Mr. Romano’s methods are efficient, effective and actually enjoyable. As a high school athlete, I possessed a full schedule of practices, homework and other extracurricular activities which made it difficult to find time to study for these standardized tests. Fortunately, Mr. Test Prep offered flexible hours throughout the week that made tutoring easy to fit into my schedule. In addition, I could change my hours weekly based on my given schedule each week so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything by studying. Also, the fact that he does not give homework was quite a relief to me!
Another reason why I cannot praise Mr. Romano enough is because of his vibrant personality and all of his experience in this field. He is not only a fantastic tutor but also a great friend. He makes an effort to get to know each and every one of his students and is always friendly and positive. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw him humming or singing a different song every week. His positive attitude makes the time spend with him so much more enjoyable.
Mr. Romano creates a great environment where students can improve their scores in a way that is personalized to each student’s needs. I studied with Mr. Romano for the SAT, ACT and subject tests and found that he had helpful strategies for approaching each test. I always felt that his feedback was constructive and I definitely improved and was able to get scores that I was very pleased with after working with Michael. I can’t thank him enough for all his help and for making the process so much less stressful for me.
Kelsey Reed (Menlo Park. CA) Menlo-Atherton, Class of 2016 Stanford, Class of 2020
After taking the PSAT at school, I knew I needed help to get my score to a competitive level, and that, like many other students, I just needed practice and a few tips to get there. Mr. Test Prep stood out from the beginning because of the different approach from all other services. Students complete practices during their lessons, and Mr. Romano periodically checks on their progress. The integrated practice and tutoring was so beneficial for me because all the questions were still fresh in my mind during the session, and I was able to understand what I could do differently and then go practice immediately. My confidence (and score) started to increase rapidly after my first session. Another way Mr. Romano sets himself apart is the personal attention he gives to each of his students. He works with them to set a goal, map out a plan to get there, and then supports them through. My final score actually exceeded my expectations. I see my friends working through other programs, which requires them to do lots of outside practice before impersonal lessons. These methods seem like significantly more work for the student, with similar or even not as good results, not to mention the lack of personal attention. Overall, Mr. Test Prep’s personal and focused approached was ideal for me, and helped me earn a SAT score I can be proud of. I would highly recommend his program over any other service.
Anna Garverick (Los Altos, CA) Los Altos High School, Class of 2017
We didn’t explore test prep options until the summer prior to my son’s senior year. Although he received a decent score on his first ACT, he was confident he could do better and knew he needed the highest score possible for the highly competitive engineering programs he was interested in. My son felt he would learn more in a one-on-one setting versus a classroom environment so we went with Michael based on reviews. He worked with Michael over the course of two months and was able to increase his ACT score by an incredible 7 points, far exceeding his (and our) expectations. Michael’s guidance allowed my son to hone his test taking skills which will likely prove beneficial throughout college. I feel it was a worthy investment of time and money for our family and would highly recommend Michael to others.
San Jose Parent Bellarmine High School, class of 2015 Purdue University, class of 2019
Mr. Test Prep helped me so much because even though standardized testing wasn’t very hard for me in the beginning, he helped me achieve an extremely high score instead of a relatively good score which I could have settled for. He helped me by changing my attitude about testing and making me want to improve. Michael also taught me meditation skills which I still use to help me concentrate before big tests or stressful classes. After Mr. Test Prep, I scored the best I’ve ever scored and I think it definitely helped with my college admittance. I was worried that I would have to push for my GPA and word harder on my essays to compensate for my test scores but they ended up not being a problem at all. Overall, Mr. Test Prep helped me so much and I recommend Michael to anyone looking for a combination of independent and guided study. The duo really helped me in terms of confidence, responsibility, and work ethic.
Grace Berger (Palo Alto, CA) Gunn High School class of 2016 Wellesley College class of 2020
Michael is the best tutor/person ever!!!! Prior to having sessions with him, I was afraid of taking the SAT. I had zero confidence with it and along with that I could not even finish one section under the allotted time. After working with Michael, I raised my score by almost 300 more points and I got through every question on the test. During the sessions and through his blogposts, he gives very helpful, meaningful tips and tricks that even help me with subjects at school. Usually I dread prepping for such big exams, but I would get really excited going to every session even with 30-45 minute drives in the morning because Michael is a very funny, energetic, and positive person. He would sing and sometimes even perform his own songs. He would also say his catch phrase “Dazzle me, don’t frazzle me” in a very funky accent. The fact that he is a very fun guy helped take away all the test anxiety I had and it definitely motivated me. Furthermore, he recreates the atmosphere of the testing room by having all his students do test prep in one room and then we all rotate to have an individual study time with him in another room. Whenever my friends and I spoke about test prep, I would show off to my friends at school how amazing my tutor was. Every session through Skype or in person was extremely productive. Without the strong passion he has for his job and endless encouragement he has for his students, I do not think I would have done as well. I always thought the SAT exams were going to be my weakest point in my college applications, but Michael’s help turned that around and he was very beneficial. Now I am deciding between multiple colleges (I was afraid of having no options) and he is one of the people I have to thank for helping me go this far. Michael is one of a kind and I truly miss SAT prep sessions with him!
Celina Laguisma (Pacifica, Ca) Notre Dame High School in Belmont, Class of 2016
Great tutor! So glad we found him. Made all the difference for my son. He had taken the SAT once and was looking to take it again. We already tried C2, and Kaplan both did not work for my son. So instead of trying to find another large SAT prep class, we decided to enroll him with Michael. Best decision we made for college prep:) I think the Yelp reviews really helped us make the decision. Michael was a fantastic tutor and friend for my son. My son stopped complaining about SAT prep after he started going to Michael. Happy to report that his SAT scores went up by 200 points after taking classes with Michael. My son and Michael got along great and Michael’s techniques really boosted my son’s self confidence. The second time he took his SAT, he was confident and happy. Michael is making a huge positive difference in the lives of so many students, I would highly recommend Michael to anyone that is looking for a SAT tutor.
Tina M.(Cupertino, CA) Student’s School: Monta Vista High School, Class of 2016
What’s different about Mr. Test Prep is that it’s more of a one-on-one session which helps tremendously especially with SATs, ACT’s and other standardized tests. I strongly recommend him for anyone because no matter what place you are at, Mr. Romano will work with you on it and help you to improve with many great strategies and tips.
He not only tries to help you with testing, but he also does make an effort to get to know you as a person, which helped me gain a lot of confidence to confide my weaknesses in him and ask for help. He is very efficient and on top of things all the time and always had a positive and comforting attitude throughout.
I’m very satisfied with everything he’s helped me with and the environment I come to every time has been so motivating and beneficial to me. Mr. Test Prep knows what he is doing and will help you.
Riyana Patel (Cupertino, Ca)
Monta Vista High School, Class of 2016
Our son Matthew began his Test Prep Journey with Michael in the Spring of 2015. We came across him from another family whose son also had great success with Michael’s help. Matthew is a great student but needed help with strategies on taking standardized tests. With Michael’s patience and enduring qualities his ACT score went up by 22% from the original Plan score from his sophomore year. Matthew is now sitting on 7 college acceptance letters out of the 8 universities he has applied to but we are confident that final acceptance is just around the corner for his overall ACT score exceeds the college’s minimum requirement for acceptance. Michael is patient and kind and really understands how to streamline the testing process while building up his student’s confidence in the process. Michael is a great mentor, role model and loves basketball. We would recommend Michael to any parent working with their High School child in the college application journey. We will see you again in four years with our second son. Thank you Michael.
Barbara A. Martinez (San Jose, California) Student’s School : Bellarmine College Preparatory, Class of 2016 Future Duck or JayHawk Mom
Michael is the SAT tutor you could never even imagine existing. He’s a fantastic teacher, yes, but the magic of his tutoring comes from his ability to make his students enjoy each and every test prep session. I’ve worked with Michael for almost everything—the SAT, the PSAT, the ACT, and three SAT Subject tests. For everything from reading comprehension (originally my weakest section, which Michael brought up by over 100 points) to History, he can tell exactly what you need to work on with a simple glance at your responses. He’s got an expansive arsenal of techniques and strategies under his belt that he can tailor to each student’s individual needs (including a fantastic meditation routine for over-stressed students such as myself).
But more than just the technical stuff, Michael cares for every student. You’d never imagine that he’s had countless students working with him because he makes an effort to get to know you. When I talked about my writing, he made an effort to read my stories—and then remembered everything about them and even showed me a song he composed that reminded him of the plot. He even wrote me a recommendation letter for a writing camp I got into! And that’s what makes him an SAT tutor who (to put it in his words) dazzles you rather than frazzles you. Every time I had a tutoring session, I looked forward to it, and when I was there, his support for me not only as a standardized test taker but also as a writer, a high school student, and a person gave me the energy to do my best on each practice test and remember all the tips he taught me.
Honestly, the time I’ve spent with Michael is absolutely priceless. Even if a fairy could come down from the sky and grant me a 2500/2400 on the SAT, I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve spent with him for it. Michael is not only, for the lack of a better word, Unreal as an SAT tutor, but also an incredible human being who will give you the tools to Succeed at Life. Bless you, Michael, even this monstrously long testimonial can’t scratch the surface of how grateful I am for the experience of working with you. Infinity times, thank you.
Anastasia W. (Atherton, CA) Menlo School, Class of 2015 Johns Hopkins University, Class of 2019
Aside from being a great sat tutor, Michael Romano is genuinely a cool, understanding guy. I never thought I would find myself hanging out with a tutor aside from the time my parents made me spend with said tutor. But Michael and I developed a real friendship over time. He was a regular fixture in my hospital room (completely by his own volition during an unfortunate recent stay). We also watch Warriors games and exchanged regular texts about NBA Happenings. Michael was a great tutor who helped me and my brother maximize our potential and get great test scores. If you go to Mr Test Prep you will get professional well-experienced tutoring which will yield results for you in your testing performance. And if you are fortunate enough to connect with him on a personal level , you will realize that he’s just a true homie.
Frankie Comey (Palo Alto, CA) Paly, Class of 2014 UC Santa Barbara, Class of 2018
After getting a score on my PSAT that was below my potential and being crushed by my twin sister’s perfect 36 on the ACT, I felt very determined to augment my score. Michael Romano helped me improve my SAT score by over 200 points, and through his unconditional support, friendliness, and encouragement, Michael instilled in me a sense of confidence that I hadn’t had before.
He taught me lots of useful tricks and tips. But after the “either is always singular”, etc, my favorite thing he taught me was how to meditate. He offered to have my stay an extra hour after my session one day and taught me a routine of meditation and mental relaxation. The habit of meditation was crucial to my success because it allowed me stay focused and be confident; it went such a long way for me that I ended up writing about my utilization of meditation for my common app college essay. Michael’s well-rounded style of teaching proves that he is so much more than just an SAT-prep teacher; he is a friend.
Claire Chevallier (Palo Alto, CA) Paly, Class of 2015 UC Davis, Class of 2019
I had gone to over three different standardized testing tutors in the Bay Area since my freshman year. All left me unsatisfied, with mediocre results and my mother constantly reprimanding me for spending so much money on multiple exams and different tutors. On a whim, we tried Mr. Test Prep. Many of my friends had gone to him and raved about how his tutoring style is unique, effective, and definitely worth the money. They all succeeded in their standardized test preps, why shouldn’t I?
I can clearly remember Mr. Test Prep’s response when I said, “I’m no good at math and science.” He said, “Don’t think that way! These questions are easy if you think of them as easy. Let me break ‘em down for you…” Ever since then, the ACT has not intimidated me with the daunting math and science sections. His tricks to make sure I didn’t make any “silly” mistakes even increased my scores to near-perfection in the subjects that I was stronger in – reading, writing, and English! Additionally, the group testing environment was insanely helpful in practicing what to expect during test day. Mr. Test Prep’s unpredictable outbursts of songs and people’s sneezing and coughing inevitably allowed me to block out the irrelevant and focus on the test. I also still do his meditations today before a big event or test! They have assisted me greatly in becoming more centered, and have me diving into any task headfirst with steady hands and tranquility.
Not only did Mr. Test Prep increase my confidence in test taking, but he also helped boost my overall determination in conquering whatever may stand in my way – including math and science! The results of Mr. Test Prep’s tutoring are not merely numbers. If you are seeking someone who is more than a tutor – someone who is a role model, friend, and a hilarious mentor, then Mr. Test Prep is for you!
Veronica Louise Mendoza (Mountain View, CA) Sacred Heart Preparatory, Class of 2015 UCLA, Class of 2019
Mr.Test Prep is all dazzle and no frazzle! It would be disrespectful to regard Michael as anything other than a master at what he does. He has been successfully mentoring successful people for over 17 years and his experience, as well as love for his work, shows. Michael works WITH you instead of just giving you work. There’s no way I would be able to get as far as I have without him as a tutor and mentor. He doesn’t stop at just teaching you test material, but he also makes sure you understand valuable test taking strategies, all the while building your confidence and helping you realize your potential. I came in with an abysmally low math SAT score and the confidence to match. I had gone to tutors in the past but I never got anywhere with them. I had been made to feel incompetent by unenthusiastic tutors when I asked for help so just I stopped asking questions. And when I tried to study by myself nothing made sense and I quickly got frustrated and gave up. Michael gave me back confidence that I thought was lost forever. The laid back atmosphere of the tutoring center and Michael himself made me feel safe to make mistakes and ask questions. He NEVER ONCE made me feel stupid or not worth his time. I learned more during my short time with Michael than I did in any other math class I’ve taken. My math score improved by over 200 points in the short time I was with him, and my other scores also improved! I give full credit, my undying gratitude and immense admiration to the the fabulous Mr.Test prep for making my SAT scores competitive enough to apply to any college that I choose. And more than that; I can’t thank him enough for miraculously lifting me out of my epic EIGHT YEAR math rut. This review isn’t doing him justice, but I urge you to go to him and experience the magic for yourself. It was the best decision I could have made for myself and I know it will be for you too! Nothing I could do for him would be thanks enough for all the life lessons and laughs he’s given me. I’m so happy to have crossed paths with Mr.Test Prep.
Michael Romano…Hail Mary Hero! With only two weeks to the test date and a big score to make, Michael created a great plan, encouraged our son to maximum effort, plus gave him the confidence he needed to believe in the outcome. The end result was a huge win, 330 points!…and…a solid score for Ivy League options as a scholar/athlete. Highly recommend Michael’s test prep style and service! He has the magic recipe.
Kathy Adzich (Cupertino)
Having Michael as a tutor was definitely crucial to my doing well on the ACT. With my summer plans preventing me from attending the truly ‘intense’ ACT/SAT prep camps that Asian students are notoriously famous for attending, I had to find someone with a flexible schedule that could boost my score up.It’s amazing really that my parents found Michael. He was exactly what I was looking for in a tutor: someone who was flexible in his schedule and at the same time, very good in what he does. Michael’s way of teaching worked very well with me. He gave me plenty of practice and we didn’t bother spending time over concepts I already understood. Combined with some outside work (not assigned by Michael, but simply because I was pressed for time), I managed to raise my ACT score by a good four or five points in just three weeks. Michael’s tips carried me a long way through my ACT, earning me a perfect score on the English section, which until Michael I had been constantly scoring lower on due to stupid mistakes. Honestly, after I took my first full length practice ACT with him, I was shocked to see how much I’d improved over such a short period of time. Michael was fun to work with as well, always greeting me with a smile and a joke or something to laugh about. He made sure I was ready to focus on my work and had the means to do so. Even after I had to return to boarding school, I was still able to talk to Michael through Skype and review before my actual test. The fact that I was the first in my class to finish taking the ACT/SAT and that I earned a nearly perfect score should be a testimonial in itself to Michael. Without his help, I highly doubt I could’ve even dreamed of scoring that high. I have to take SAT II’s in the spring…and I definitely know who I’ll be going to earn a good score.
Jean Li Thatcher School ’16
I had been through hell and back looking for and attending all kinds of different test prep places since the end of sophomore year. However, I finally came across Mr. Test Prep the summer before senior year and it has been my second home since. The environment is so calming and it helped me focus much better than the crammed classrooms and loud libraries I had previously been studying in. I met Michael with an SAT score of 1980 and we decided together to focus on ACT which I had scored a mere 28 on. I attended sessions every week and took the ACT both in September and October of 2014. Both times I scored an amazing 32 and the second time around in October, my super score reached 33. I was blown away and my parents were blown away (which is amazing)! The experience at Mr. Test Prep is something I won’t forget. I learned many test taking skills and felt genuinely welcome at Michael’s. He was encouraging and the one-on-one sessions were personal. That kind of attention is rare in other test prep places and there is no one else I would recommend as much as him. I know for sure now, thanks to Michael, that anything is possible. With him, you’ll be dazzled, not frazzled.
Brianna Hoang Presentation High School Class of 2015 Northwestern Class of 2019
Sorry for this belated thank you letter. You helped my son Zachariah Zhang to improve his SAT score from 1890 to 2260 (super score is 2290). That had played an integral part in his college applications. He was accepted by New York University, University of Illinois in Urbana Campaign, University of Washington, Boston University and UC San Diego.He just started last month as a freshman at UCSD. He is very happy there (not just because of the beaches). And I am very happy for him. And we know that we have you to thank. Going to you is one of the best decision we have ever made.
We are currently using Mr Test Prep for our second child. Working with Mike has been excellent for both our children. His philosophy is to limit SAT preparation to the sessions and this is very important in maintaining the appropriate balance of school work and test preparation in our children’s highly pressured lives. This is a smart approach and Mike’s results are outstanding. We had our first child work initially with a different tutoring service which was very intense and involved of homework. This was not successful and little progress resulted. When we switched to Mike we saw a new approach to the exam and a greater understanding of the nuances of the particular standardized test…and we saw dramatic improvement in scores. Importantly, Mike is an outstanding educator and really understands children and how they are wired and how to get them to put their best foot forward. With our second child, we went straight to Mike. Both our kids really like Mike and were inspired by him. We would unreservedly recommend Mr Test Prep and feel lucky to have found him.
Karen Patou ( Palo Alto, Ca ) Parent of Gunn Junior and Georgetown Freshman
Working with Michael turned out to be a great experience. After my daughter’s first attempt at the SAT, he continued to work with her until she got the results she wanted. She was able to improve her score by 100 points. She achieved these results using his “no homework” approach. Michael really cares about his students and strives to help them get their best scores possible. We both highly recommend Michael
Melisee Basso parent -Archbishop Mitty ’15
Michael Romano is the best. No exceptions. My first experience with SAT prep was with a not-so-great company, so I was at first reluctant to try Mr Test Prep. Boy, was I wrong — I should have started with him from the beginning! In the first half hour of the trial session he told me that I was probably better suited for the ACT. I tried my hand at that instead, and scored significantly higher. Mr Test Prep also helped me prepare for the PSAT, and now I am a National Merit Scholar. I definitely could not have done it without him. Michael is relaxed and funny, but don’t let that fool you! He is a class A++ tutor. Thank you!!
Maxwell “M-Bizzle” Bernstein ( Palo Alto ) Palo Alto High School, ’14 Tufts University, ’18
After looking around for various folks to help my son prep for the SAT I found Michael Romano and could not be more pleased with the results. He has developed a system that was perfect for my son. I knew my son would never prep on his own – it’s just not in him and he does not have the time. I did not want to pay a lot of money only to have my son not do the work. Michael understands this. He has the kids do the work in his lovely converted garage and then he reviews what they’ve done right then and there. It’s fresh in the kids’ minds and he walks them through the thought process in a way they can understand. Instant feedback – what a concept! My son’s score increased by 310 points after working with Michael. I’m sure he wouldn’t have seen that kind of an increase with a different approach. Moreover, he saw that increase without doing any work on his own time. The only time he thought about the SAT was when he was with Michael. If your child will do work on his own, I suspect the results could be even greater. Michael relates well to the kids and is a joy to work with. I highly recommend him!
MeMe Rasmussen -parent Saint Francis’15
Mr. Romano is simply the best. Upon entering Mr. Romano’s test prep, I knew little about the SAT. The knowledge and wisdom that I inherited from Michael is truly priceless. While at Mr. Test Prep’s, Michael helped me zone in and conquer the areas in which I was struggling. Mr. Romano was very encouraging and supportive to me every time I was in his presence. Mr. Romano would carefully evaluate my progress and generously give me tips on any of my consistent confidence shortcomings. Michael’s years of experience and great social skills has enabled him to express his knowledge in ways that would help me better understand any given material. My scores, in all sections of the SAT, had climbed very significantly. Along with my growth in confidence, the appreciation I have for Mr. Romano and all his hard work grew even more. For anyone who has worked with Mr. Romano, it is clear that MICHAEL ROMANO IS THE “GO TO” GUY FOR ANYTHING RELATING TO THE SAT.
Mr. Romano goes far beyond that of a SAT prep teacher. Michael has become to me more of a mentor and good friend. Other than being a great teacher, Mr. Romano is also a great person; a likable person. Michael Romano ranks among the highest all around great individuals I have had the honor of knowing. It meant all the more to me that Mr. Romano was always someone I can turn to for valuable insight on things that might be giving me trouble; both in and out of the classroom.
I struggled a lot with academics in high school and often worried about my ability to continue education in a college setting, but Mr. Romano made all the difference. After I was taken under Michael’s wing, my academics made a significant change for the better. My grades began to soar hand-in-hand with my SAT scores. Mr. Romano helped me the way nobody else could. I owe a lot to Michael and thank God that He has blessed me in coming to know Mr. Romano. With all that he has done for me, Michael has helped my once far-fetched dream of continuing my studies in Santa Barbara a reality.
Guillermo Lopez ( San Jose, Ca ) Lincoln High School ’14
The SAT. The god awful SAT. Do you know what this meant to me? It was the most boring, pointless test ever to be created, and I was forced to take it. As much as I despised it at the time, I decided to get some help to prepare me for those dull, repetitious, tedious questions that were to come. The first time I met Michael, I could tell there was this spark of persistence he had, and after every meeting I really started to catch on to it. He would always find a way to relate those monotonous questions to something I cared about, whether it was skateboarding or heavy metal, miraculously he was always able to get me interested and get me working on those test prep questions. I soon learned that I didn’t have to look at this test as a horrible, dreadful thing, I could look at it in a different way. Although it was something that I didn’t enjoy, it was an important test that needed to be taken seriously, especially because it would help me get into the colleges I wanted to get in to. I ended up doing fairly well on that test, and with Michael’s support, I am now going to Berklee College of Music. Michael was able to show me that even when things seem unimportant, you should never put them off, because if you succeed, they may help you in the future, and in my case, it did! Michael is a determined, confident, and all around fun person to be around, and I could never have been happier to study with anyone else, he really played a big part in helping me achieve one of my lifetime goals!
Julian Salas Summit Preparatory Charter High School ’14 Berklee College of Music’18
I cannot thank Michael Romano enough. I went there with aspirations to improve my SAT scores but left with much more than I could have ever imagined. Mr Test Preps headquarters became a safe haven for me. I never would have thought SAT prep could turn into such an enjoyable experience. Though the experience could not have been enjoyable if it weren’t for Michael. Michael is the coolest tutor I’ve ever had. He’s extremely genuine, helpful, and a quick friend to all his students. The ambiance of his headquarters is very relaxed and peaceful. When working on tests you can occasionally hear singing coming from a voice so pristine it could only belong to Michael. In addition to the honor of hearing Michael break into song every so often, another great thing about his sessions is getting to review tests outside on the bench under the trees. The landscape creates a pleasant environment that dramatically differs from that of the standard classroom. When working with Michael, the test questions seem easy and when there not he talks about them with you until you get it. Simply put, you get what he’s saying and its easily applicable. I consider Michael a friend. He’s very real and totally gets all the stress and pressure that students are under nowadays. I didn’t get the results I wanted on my first SAT last year and he told me that it wasn’t a big deal, just try again. So I continued to go to his sessions (all the while thoroughly enjoying my time there) and the day before my next SAT he said something I’ll never forget. “There ain’t nothing to it besides to do it.” I was speechless. Those few words have made a dramatic impact on my life. Not only did I carry that mentality into the testing room with me, I carried it into all aspects of my life. He’s right. You can study hours on end, pull all nighters, do whatever it takes, but in the end; you just have to go out there and do it. Sure enough I felt at ease during the whole test and when scores came out I had drastically improved! Michael is an extraordinary tutor. With all the things I learned both test related and not test related (thanks for showing me the “What Does the Fox Say” music video…) I would in a heartbeat recommend Mr Test Prep to anyone and everyone. Thanks for teaching me all the ropes of standardized testing but mostly, thanks for being such an awesome, authentic, down to earth tutor! The world needs more people like Michael Romano. He’s the tutor to end all tutors and a lifelong friend. You’re the man Michael!!
Isabel MalcolmsonSaratoga High School ’14
Mr. Test Prep is a remarkable program unlike any other SAT course. Well, it’s not really a course- no boring lectures with handfuls of other students at completely different places intellectually with completely different academic needs. Mike Romano helps you specifically. His personal style that mixes individual practice with immediate feedback worked wonders for me as I’m sure it did with many other students. Kids work on sections of SAT, ACT, or subject tests and reported to Michael when they were finished, noting how long it took them. He scores the sections, explaining what you missed and how you can improve. Practices are very similar to the test environment, tips are incredibly helpful, and conversations genuine and often enjoyable (hard to come by when they’re about the SAT). Mike makes everyone feel comfortable about his or her ability level and motivates you to reach your goals. It was great getting to know him and the results I ended up with were more than I could ask for. I would, without a doubt, recommend Mr. Test Prep to anyone looking for help in standardized testing.
Sofia Montoya Saint Francis High School ‘14 Northwestern University ’18
Mr. Michael Romano (Mr. Test Prep) is the best SAT/ ACT test prep program that I have ever experienced. I originally sent my children to other tutoring centers to get extra help with their SAT & ACT. Though these test centers did a good job, I was not fully satisfied with the services that they provided. I believed that there was a program out there that can do a better job so three years ago in 2011, I began my search for the “perfect” test prep program. The first name that popped up when I searched online was “MR. TEST PREP”. The name MR. TEST PREP immediately caught my attention and after I read MR. TEST PREP’s entire website (word for word), I was hooked. I knew that MR. TEST PREP was exactly what I was looking for in order to give my children the extra help they needed. Mr. Romano helped my daughter (Georgetown University -Class of 2017) raise her SAT score by 500 points and he also helped my son (Westmont College -Santa Barbara, class of 2018) raise his SAT score by 200 points. Mr. Romano has been more than a tutor to my children. He has been a friend and a mentor and I am proud to say that he is an addition to our family. Mr. Romano is the best! God bless you Mr. Romano!
Rebecca Lopez San Jose, CA.
I moved here from Israel in the beginning of high school, knowing minimal English and having no prior experience with the competitive academic environment of the Silicon Valley. I walked into Michael’s room with not knowing what to expect from the SAT. Intimidated by the length of the test, and confused by many of the question, I scored an 1800.
Michael quickly came up with a game plan for me, and we started our SAT trek together. Before I knew it, my scores on practice SATs jumped remarkably, to an almost 400 point increase by the end of my tutoring period.
No other tutor is like Michael. His unmatched experience, intellect, sense of humor, and positive energy, make him the sharpest tutor around, but more importantly, make the experience with him enjoyable, and one that you look forward to having.
Jonathan Medina Gunn High School ’14
Mr.Test Prep, Michael Romano worked magic with our daughter. Her ACT score increased 6 points with less than 3 months of prep! We had invested previously in the full (freshman through senior year of high school) Kaplan SAT prep program which produced more frustration than it did results for our daughter. Michael was able to rapidly adjust to our daughter’s recently diagnosed learning disabilities, advising her to switch from the SAT to the ACT. Michael Romano has the experience and the track record of producing results with his students. We were very impressed!
Beverley Garrity Mother of Half Moon Bay High student class of ‘2014
Working with Michael Romano has been a fantastic experience for our daughter (high school senior). She was working to improve her SAT and ACT scores. She was apprehensive about the fact that she could substantially increase her scores, but Michael offered tempered guidance, practice techniques, explanation of concepts and made her feel more confident with each week and each practice test. She decided to focus on the SAT. Her scores on the SAT dramatically increased by close to 560 points across the 3 sections. This changed her entire application profile for schools she was interested in. Thank you so much Michael!
Very happy family from Hillsborough, CA
I’ve gone to Michael for SAT prep for a year, and I can honestly say it’s had a radically worthwhile and positive effect on my future as a whole. Unlike with most other tutors, it never felt like a waste of time visiting. Michael Romano is jaw-droppingly one of the best tutors out there, and it would be a huge mistake to not sign up for him. My test scores improved by several hundred points with him, but that was less important than the valuable learning experiences and true fun time it always was. I think it would be hard to find 1 out of 100 people who could make SAT prepping something actually fun to look forward to, while also efficiently getting the job done – but he does just this and more. Since I began going to sessions weekly, I soon became very eager to visit. No exaggeration, it was a high point of the weekend numerous times hanging out with one of the most amazing friends I’ve ever met. Each visit made my entire day feel so much lighter. In the year I’ve known him, I learned just as much about life as how to improve my SAT score – he’s a true one of a kind individual; describing him as “cool, laid back, funny, charismatic, kind, inspiring, a good singer” would not be enough – he is “Michael-natin” and more; his entire property literally resonates with a positive feeling personality of its own. I’ve noticed that I, and many other students, seem to look up to him as some unrecognized everyday hero – a true quality person that politics desperately lacks, but that can be found on Cereza Drive. I have so many great memories of SAT prepping it’s ridiculous, and this testimonial does no justice – seriously – to how many times this guy made my day, and to the experience I’m so glad my mom signed me up for. To the casual reader this testimonial may sound over the top but it’s far below it. Thanks Michael, you are a bootful of awesome, you’re ‘good at what you do’ to put it lightly. Say hi to the trash bins for me.
Spencer Subega Allegheny College’18 Palo Alto High School ’14
When I first met Michael Romano, he asked me what my target SAT score was. I said, “a 2250 would be really great.” He responded, “Wrong. A 2400 is your target score. Don’t shoot for anything less than 2400.” I never got up to the 2400 Michael wanted me to but I exceeded my goal. Michael “Mr. Test Prep” Romano truly knows standardized testing better than anyone I know. I had already worked with another company and taken the SAT once before I came to Michael. I wasn’t happy with my score and needed a tutor who would work me harder and push my score to what I wanted it to be. Michael teaches you not only the right strategies for taking the tests but also how to not hate them (I want to say “to love them” but who could possibly ever love them?). I took more practice tests than I could even count and in doing so, taking the real test was no problem. Michael got my SAT up to a 2260, US History to a 770 and Biology to a 750. I recommend him to anyone who’s unsatisfied with their scores. You haven’t maxed out your score until you’ve tried Mr. Test Prep.
David Patou Gunn High School ’14 Georgetown’18
Michael is by far the best mentor I have ever had. With his help, I was able to raise my SAT score by 240 points, which ultimately allowed me to get into several of my dream schools, including Dartmouth and Brown. He doesn’t merely teach the right answers, rather he provides his students with the mental tools and strategies necessary to think critically. One of the most important tools he focuses on is confidence. Through genuine, personable mentorship and support, Michael elevates not only test scores but also self-esteem that will benefit your child beyond his or her college process.His tutoring style can best be described as process of elimination: constant practice with past SAT tests eliminates the fear of unfamiliarity of the test; one-on-one guidance eliminates the pressure to move at a pace other than your own; his smile and sense of humor eliminates the fear of making mistakes…and all that’s left is your child’s fullest potential. Michael saw something in me, from our first session together, and cultivated that spark and turned it into something great. I have gained so much more than just points on my SAT score from working with Michael and it is an opportunity that I am grateful for every day. I highly recommend Michael as a tutor whether it’s for SAT, SAT II, ACT or anything!
Daisy Alvarado-Muñoz Woodside Priory School Class of 2013 Brown University Class of 2017
Michael is the best!! His ability to pack ingenious test-taking advice and crucial practice tests into a only few hours makes for the perfect combination to improve your test scores asap! During my preparation for the ACT, I never felt like a moment was wasted as Michael knew exactly how to tailor each session to cover the test-taking skills I needed to master. Due to his top-notch tutoring I was able to achieve an ACT score much higher than I had expected! On top of being a great tutor, Michael genuinely cares for his students’ growth and achievements and goes above and beyond to make each session light-hearted and fun–a huge improvement from other tutors I have gone to. I’d definitely recommend Mr. Test Prep to anyone and everyone!!!!
Teresa St. Goar -Castilleja’14 University of St. Andrews’18
For anyone in need of an SAT tutor, I would definitely recommend Michael Romano. In the year that I worked with him, not only did he boost my SAT score tremendously, but he helped me do well on the subject tests as well. Not only was he a tutor academically, but he got to know me personally, which made what would otherwise be an arduous experience a lot more enjoyable. He also was very good at working with my schedule, both in flexibility in session scheduling, as well as timing practice tets to have me at my peak readiness for tests. Michael became a person I wanted to succeed for, and I’m sure future students will feel the same way.
Bryson Runser – Gunn High School ’13 Emory University ’17
My search for an standardized test tutor began and ended with Michael (aka mr test prep). His standardized test acumen was evident, but what truly set him apart was how much he made me enjoy the test prep classes. I always looked forward to working with him, and got out of him a friend and a source advice when it came to anything from the act to basketball analysis. In essence, he was an extremely cool guy who within weeks got me ready for the act, and trained me into getting a score of a 34 (equivalent of about a 2300 on the sat) and being in the top 1% of the nation. I have nothing but thanks and admiration for Michael, and I would recommend him to anyone, who is interested in doing exceptionally well on his/her standardized tests. Michael makes it fun, simple, and he gets results, period.
Nabil Hamade Gunn High School ‘2013 UC San Diego ’17
When I started thinking about the SAT, I was like most other high school students: apprehensive, hopeful, and unsure what the acronym SAT stood for. Michael helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses, suggesting certain strategies that would help me bag a solid score. We soon discovered that my reading comprehension skills were underdeveloped compared to my math and writing skills. Due to my predilection for math and science, Michael suggested that I take the ACT as well as the SAT, giving me yet another acronym to keep track of.
Identifying patterns to the mistakes I was making on both tests, Michael’s tutoring improved my ability to discern the correct answers in a timely manner, shedding light on Michael’s greatest strength: strategy. Michael taught me how to time myself on each section and how to approach different question types. This improved my reading comprehension skills so much that I ended up doing better on the SAT than on the ACT, achieving a near perfect score. Regardless of which acronym a student faces, Michael can drastically improve the student’s scores.
Tristan Tom Menlo- School ‘2015
Michael Romano changed the course of our son’s standardized testing. When we showed up at Mr Test Prep’s door, we had spent thousands of dollars and countless hours elsewhere in disappointing group classes and individual tutoring in hopes of strengthening our son’s testing for SATs. His scores never improved. Our Son was resigned by the time we found Michael. In his first assessment with Mr Test Prep, Michael determined immediately that our child was much better suited to take the ACT when compared to the SAT. Michael understands kids. From this point on, our Son happily biked to meet Michael on the weekends where he spent time taking test sections in a test-taking environment and reviewing and LEARNING from the mistakes he made immediately. As a result, in a matter of a few short months, our child scored an impressive 34 /36 on the ACT, is a PSAT pending national merit scholar. He is taking his last standardized math 2 subject test this weekend and has scored a perfect 800 on practice tests with Michael. I cannot stress enough how wonderful the environment is for learning. Michael provides a relaxed but organized environment, greets kids with a smile, gets to know them personally and helps them to fulfill their potential. Not only has he helped our child to perform at the top of his ability but he has provided our child with a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. These, in and of themselves, are invaluable. We have two other children coming up the ranks and Michael will be our first and only stop for standardized test preparation for them. Thank you, Michael!!!
Marcella Bernstein Mother of a Palo Alto High ‘2014 student
Very interesting story….as a Duke alum, I searched the internet looking for another Duke grad who provided SAT tutoring because I was completely confident that that person would provide exceptional assistance to my daughter, who has very high aspirations to attend a top-notch university. I found Michael and was thrilled… but, he lives on the west coast and we are on the east coast. That didn’t deter either of us, or my daughter, who launched into a highly successful and FUN tutoring relationship with Michael via Skype! He was phenomenal in every way – encouraging and supportive, competent beyond compare in providing the information needed to achieve elevated (highly!) scores; he was a true mentor that my daughter related to 100%. It was the perfect combination for an incredibly pleasant experience for her along with a great outcome! Thanks Michael.
Grace Taylor -Durham NC
Mr. Romano is the best tutor I have ever worked with… EVER!! I had gone to previous SAT prep centers, but none of them gave me the help and results that Mr. Romano did! One thing that was different with Mr. Romano, was that I actually enjoyed going to his test preps, and would even look forward to them!! As a busy student, with multiple extra curricular activities, his flexible schedule and no homework policy made prepping for the SAT less stressful! Mr. Test Prep’s one-on-one assistance helped me to not only identify my mistakes, but understand, and correct them as well. Also, Mr. Romano’s relaxed demeanor and constant positive attitude created a wonderful learning environment, which helped me improve my score by 500+ points! I also scored in the 700s on my SAT Subject Tests too! Mr. Romano totally prepared me for these exams, and I know I would not have been able to do as well as I did without him! Because of Mr. Romano, I am more confident in my test taking and academic abilities! Mr. Test Prep is more than a tutor! He is a mentor, and a pretty incredible one at that! It is safe to say that Mr. Romano is the one of the reasons why I was accepted to UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Cornell University, and Georgetown University, where I will be attending in the fall!! THANK YOU SO MUCH MR. TEST PREP!! YOU’RE THE BEST!!!
Julia López Lincoln High School (San José) ‘13 Georgetown University ‘17 HOYA SAXA!
Michael was a great SAT/ACT tutor for our son and I highly recommend him. Michael was a positive role model who actually made practicing for the SAT/ACT pain free (and even fun!) Not only did Michael provide our son with the tools to significantly improve his test scores, but he also elevated his test-taking self confidence. Our son felt extremely prepared on test day and this made all the difference. Michael absolutely knows how to motivate teenagers so that they work to their full potential. Thank you, Michael!
P. Boas Mother of a Class of 2014 Paly Student
Michael is absolutely AMAZING, and is the best tutor that I have ever witnessed in my life. I can safely say without a doubt (and my daughter would agree) that he is the reason that she was accepted into 9 out of the 10 colleges that she applied to, including some ivy league schools. Because of HIM, she has her choice of attending some of the highest institutions of education in the world! He is funny, very positive, intelligent, and makes learning easy by incorporating fun into the curriculum. Michael opened many doors in my daughter’s future, and allowed her to achieve things she would not have been able to accomplish on her own. He often offered encouragement, highly improved her self esteem, and made her realize how truly intelligent she really was. He really cares about his students, and made my daughter see so many things in herself that she had never seen before. I highly recommend Michael as an SAT tutor. He not only does an astounding job of teaching, but is a positive role model and amazing support for his students. My daughter and I cannot thank him enough, and there are not enough words to explain our gratitude. We do not only view him as a teacher, but now a life-long friend.
Gigi Munoz, parent of Woodside Priory Senior and soon to be Brown University Freshman
Michael Romano is an exceptionally competent tutor – but more importantly, he’s also exceptionally good at what he does. There is an important distinction to be made there: Michael is quite intelligent, understands the tests well, and knows the tricks of the trade. However, while these make him competent, they do not make him a good tutor. The qualities Michael possesses that grant him that label are his great personality, a remarkable ability to quickly, efficiently, and fully communicate knowledge, and his full faith in his students, a faith that allows you to achieve things you doubted you could ever do. I scored highly on the PSAT without any tutoring, in the 98th percentile, and Michael was still able to help me boost my score by almost 250 points. Michael is extremely personable, which allows him to connect with his students, which in turn helps him communicate easily and readily with them. He made a point to get to know me as more than a scoring statistic, and he used things I know well to better express concepts to me, such as using musical analogies or references to demonstrate grammatical concepts. For example, he mentioned the Rolling Stones’ “Who Do You Love?” to talk about who v. whom (the Stones song is incorrect) because he knows I love that band. If he didn’t already have this as a steady job, I’d be begging him to tutor me in all of my classes. I expected to leave SAT prep classes feeling dreary and beaten-down; instead, I would leave full of energy because his optimism and enthusiasm are boundless and infectious. I could not ask for a better experience.
Jessica Feinberg, Palo Alto High School ‘2014 Smith College ’18
Mr. Test Prep has transformed my daughters into SAT masters! They both got higher than 2000 on the test .One went from a 1300 to a 2200 !!! That is 900 points !!!! The other scored a 2100 on her first try ! He has given my daughters the platform of confidence of being on the right path toward a bright furture. I am so thankful for finding him.
Dorus Nair, Redwood City, Ca
Michael Romano was amazingly responsive, accommodated my daughter’s schedule and worked very effectively with her to raise her ACT score from a 32 to a PERFECT 36 in just 5 weeks! My daughter thoroughly enjoyed working with Michael and he was able to give her both the skills and the confidence necessary to perform spectacularly. He also provided great references for tutors specializing in SAT subject tests as well as essay review. We could not be more pleased with Michael, his superb tutoring techniques and his very thoughtful approach to the entire college application process. Thank you, thank you Michael!
M. Harris Mother of Class of 2013 Castilleja School Student
I have been delighted by the experience of working with Michael Romano, but more importantly, my 16-year-old son feels that way too. He found Michael to be a cool guy, super easy to work with and extremely helpful. And most importantly, in just a short time his score went up significantly from the pre-ACT, to the extent that he only had to take the ACT once because his score was that good. I believe that if we had not worked with Michael, we would not have had such a smooth and successful outcome, at least not so quickly and easily. Thank you so much Michael!
Wendy Justus, Menlo Park, CA
Michael Romano is a brilliant SAT/ACT tutor. I’ve heard it said over and over by friends, acquaintances, and even in simple reviews, but if you’re still skeptical, or just want some proof before jumping blindly into an undeniably significant investment, I can pull apart and illuminate each aspect of what makes Michael the best SAT tutor I’ve ever met or heard of. The foundation behind Michael’s ability to bring out the best in every student he takes in is built on two simple, but vital, characteristics. One—Michael is incredibly bright. The detail and magnitude with which he understands the SAT and ACT material makes him an obvious candidate for tutoring. Further still, he molds his interpretation of the material based on each individual student. Test prep agencies like The Princeton Review use “catchall” techniques that are taught to entire classrooms of students at once and may or may not even help improve any individual student’s actual score (in my case the Princeton Review was a total waste of time with no score improvement.) Michael always meets individually with his students and actively seeks out the areas where they need improvement. He chooses from an arsenal of useful little tactics and bigger techniques and suggests the few that will support the individual characteristics of the student in front of him. He personally shows you the intricate ins and outs of standardized tests that the Princeton Review’s book-based tutoring system failed to mention. Two—more subtle, but vastly more important in my opinion, Michael is tremendously personable. My favorite part about Michael was his knack for getting to know his students as people. In my personal case, Michael not only took the time to get to know who I was as a student and find my strengths and flaws in the academic world, but also—(SAT trick!)—took the time to get to know me as a person, show genuine interest in my life, and even share a little about himself in return. When Michael discovered my passion for writing, he didn’t shrug it off like most of the people I meet, he offered to read some of what I wrote. He gave me astoundingly beneficial advice and praise on my work—something that was never required of him—and even took the time to connect me with several of his published friends. While whenever I was with Michael the priority was always test prep, which worked out very well for me, his influence on me as a person was just as significant. Michael’s best test prep characteristic in my view is his ability to become friends with anyone he encounters. His intuitive understanding of people is what allows him to pick apart and improve their academic ability at a fundamental level. The biggest difference between Michael and other review sources—I don’t miss working with the Princeton Review. Thanks Michael.
Paul Stefanski, Palo Alto High School ’13 University of Michigan’17
Our son worked with Michael Romano (“Mr. Test Prep”) on his SAT’s and SAT II subject matter tests. He improved his scores substantially and was accepted to his first choice college.
When we asked numerous students/parents with whom they had worked on SAT prep and would recommend, the answer ‘Michael Romano’ kept coming back again and again.
Our son tried one other organization and chose to continue with Michael for four reasons:
1. Excellent simulation of the testing environment and conditions, so on the actual test days one arrived cool, calm and collected (as possible).
2. All the work occurred in the sessions (so it didn’t add to already crushing homework loads)
3. “One on one attention without one on one prices” as he put it (i.e., Michael’s logistics and approach give everyone quality, individual time)
4. Great motivator: “He made me want to do well and please him too.”
Great experience. Great outcome. Thanks Michael
Skyles Runser Parent of Gunn high school student Class of 2013,: Emory class of 2017
Michael was the perfect SAT/ACT tutor for my daughter! His relatable personality, flexible scheduling and ‘no homework’ policy was exactly what my busy teenage daughter needed. She enjoyed the time she spent working with him and was very happy with the results! I highly recommend Mr. Test Prep!
D. Nelsen Mother of Castilleja student Class of 2013; Cornell Class of 2017
Michael was a great tutor for our daughter. He was able to hone in on the areas that she needed help with and improve both her test taking skills and, most importantly, confidence in testing in those areas. The results speak for themselves -An ACT score of 34- an increase of 4 points! Just as impressively, our daughter’s segment scores had a range of only 4 points, down from a 10 point spread.
We are extremely happy with the results and our decision to work with Michael. Highly, highly recommended.
Posted by a Los Gatos High School parent – Class of ’13
When I first saw Mr. Test Prep, the SAT was a complete mystery and something I felt I would never conquer. Michael strikes just the right balance of teaching you EVERYTHING you need to know for the test but doing it in such a way that the experience is not only extremely helpful and informative but extremely enjoyable. Michael doesn’t just care about helping you achieve the score you want, but he genuinely gets to know his students. He’ll go through any problem I missed and explain it in such a way that I always understood what he meant. His no homework policy severely decreases the pressure of studying for the SAT with a busy high school life, and I always left our sessions knowing that I had a better understanding of the test. He radiates positive energy and humor, and I am proud to say that because of him I have learned many new catchy songs and catchphrases. Also, he helped raise my score by over 250 points and give me an SAT score I was proud of. Anybody who has seen Michael will agree that Mr. Test Prep is the best standardized test taking teacher out there.
Jenna Levy , Gunn ’13
Mr. Test Prep is one of the most amazing tutors out there! Before I went to the sessions, I was completely unprepared for the SAT. His one on one teaching methods benefited me so much in fact that I received the score of a 2100 on my first try and I owe it all to him!
Ashley Nair, Menlo Atherton High School ’13
Having Mr. Test Prep as my tutor for the SAT was the best decision Icould have made. Having taken the SAT twice before Mr. Test Prep, I was frustrated that my scores were not improving. I took other tutoring before and I was not happy with the results, I only scored 10 points higher. Michael really helped me learn the strategies needed in taking the SAT. Even thought he does not give you homework, the tutoring sessions are always very focused and you can get alot of work done. Because of this, homework is not even needed. He is very flexible and can work around your schedule. This was really helpful for me because I was so busy with different sports and other conflicts. Mr. Test Prep truly cares about your individual improvement and takes a personal approach when tutoring. After working with Michael before the SAT I improved my score by 150 points to earn a 2100 on the SAT. I am so thankful that I worked with him and will definitely recommend him to all my friends!
Kate Hoey Saint Francis ’13 Scripps College’17
When I was searching for a tutor to prepare for the ACT, one of my friends told me that her tutor was “so chill and not someone you would expect to be a test prep tutor.” Sure enough, Michael Romano exceeded my expectations! He is fun, laid back, and easy to get along with while also being extremely helpful with test prep. He truly makes an effort to get to know each of his students, and even requested that I bring my horse to test prep one day (which sadly didn’t end up happening). His test prep sessions allowed me to sit down and truly focus on my work, but also get one on one attention needed to improve specific areas. From working with him, I was able to reach my goal for the ACT, and brought my scores up to their full potential. Math has always been one of my weaker subjects, and I never would have expected that my math score would improve by 7 points. I can’t thank him enough for all of his help, and would recommend him to anyone looking for test prep!
Julia Melmon Sequoia High ’13 Cal Poly ’17
I started working with Michael after taking the ACT once. My score was not what I had hoped for but I wasn’t convinced that I could do better. It was the science and writing sections in particular that I struggled with. However, Michael was confident that I could do well in both sections and with his tips and instructions on how to do better, I was able to significantly raise my score in both. In fact, science ended up being tied for my best score. My overall composite score was better than I could have asked for and I have Michael to thank for that!
In addition to knowing all of the best tips and tricks, Michael is genuinely interested in helping each and every one of his students succeed. I could not be more glad that I spent the time studying for the ACT with Michael and I would definitely recommend him to anyone looking for help with the SAT or ACT. Thanks again Michael!
A Harris , Castilleja ’13
Michael helped SO MUCH by giving me confidence and strategies that needed for the SAT I Reasoning Test. During the previous half a month I had gone to many classes in preparation for the SAT, but none of them really brought my score up. In those classes, the only thing that brought my score up a little, about 100-200 or so, was the sheer number of full length practice tests I took. I literally took 15+ full length tests, one on each Saturday of a week. My scores drifted from 1800’s to low 2000’s. But after much studying and work, I could barely break the 2000 milestone. With the test being 2 weeks in the future, I was extremely worried and that’s when my parents found Michael; We decided to give it a shot because we’ve tried almost everything else already. Michael was very welcoming and understanding towards me. He gave me LOTS of confidence in myself and also gave me a lot of quick brush up tips for the SAT. I only attended Michael’s session three times, but on the test day, I felt ready and…confident (which matters quite a bit if you want to get a good score). Now its been half a month and I checked my scores today…2250!! I had NEVER gotten that score on a practice test before! Once again I would like to thank Michael for his help, even within that short amount of time Michael helped bring my score up 250 points! Thanks!
George He Palo Alto High School, Class of 2014 UC San Diego, Class of 2018
I feel as though my time working with Michael Romano has helped me extremely. His help has truly pushed my scores way above and beyond. I got a 1300 the first time. I made a 2200 the next. 900 point Increase !!!!!!!To his motivational talks to his sense of humor; I have had a positive experience with him.
Jessica Nair, Menlo Atherton High ‘ 2013
Michael Romano was a refreshing surprise for me and my son. We started researching SAT tutors in my son’s junior year, his toughest year of high school. With the rigorous academics and extracurricular activities and the knowledge that that my son had no extra time on his hands to add yet another homework assignment, Michael’s program seemed like just what we were looking for. Michael is not only a younger hip guy who can relate to the kids on their level, his classes were structured and rigorous, simulating a real test environment, focusing on speed and skill. His program also allowed flexibility to incorporate it into our personal schedules. My son was motivated and always wanted to go to his SAT prep class on a weekly basis. My son’s score improved significantly from that of the PSAT and initial SAT practice tests which were in the 1800 range. In the end, Michael’s program allowed my son to get a great score (2080) which puts him in a very strong position for college applications! I would recommend him to anyone who need SAT prep assistance. We felt like our investment definitely paid off.
Prahba Szaboky, parent of Burlingame High School Student ‘2013, UC Santa Barbara’2017
Everyone is aware of the importance of SAT and ACT test scores. However, these scores don’t necessarily come easily without practice. Practicing means getting a tutor and taking sample tests over and over again – something that does not sound appealing to many students. Well, in my experience, I was able to actually enjoy practicing for the ACT while improving my skills. Michael Romano is a vibrant and encouraging tutor who genuinely cared for my success. Michael has a very unique strategy in coaching test-takers – one that proved very successful for me. Sitting in the testing room with other students forced me to really concentrate on my task and disregard any distractions that I most likely would have succumbed to if I were at home with my computer, phone, etc. When called outside to the beautiful garden to chat with Michael about my answers and other things, I wasn’t even bothered by the fact that I was taking practice ACT tests on a beautiful, warm summer night. Michael made a genuine effort to get to know me, asking me to show him my dance moves and to ride my horse to test prep one day so he could meet him (which sadly never worked out). I always had a smile on my face at test prep, as Michael actually made test-taking fun for me. His spirit and encouragement helped me gain confidence in my testing abilities, and his pep talks on college and reaching for my dreams inspired me to apply to schools that I was too afraid to apply to before working with him. One day at test prep, I got incredibly high scores on my practice tests, so Michael made me wear the exact outfit I was wearing that night on the day of the test. Whether it was because of the outfit or not, I improved my ACT score 4 points since I started working with Michael, going from a 28 to a 32 – a score we were both incredibly happy with. Thanks to his sincere effort to help me and get to know me as a person and a test-taker I have great confidence in my abilities to succeed. Michael is an amazing tutor, and he puts an honest effort into every student of his. I highly recommend him as a tutor and even just as a cool guy to hang out with (due in part to his lovely singing). Remember, dazzle him don’t frazzle him !
Alli Knapp Woodside High School ’13 UC San Diego ’17
I am so grateful to Michael Romano and his genius SAT tutoring strategies! Before being introduced to Michael Romano, I had worked with AJ tutoring and scored an 1840 on my first attempt at the SAT. I thought this was going to be the best I could do because I had prepared with AJ tutoring for months before the test, multiple times a week. On my practice tests with AJ, I was constantly scoring 1800’s and not seeing any improvement. So when I took the test, and scored 1840, I figured I had reached my limit and I could not do any better since I had not improved in months. My friend, Mikey Lyzwa, recommended the famous ‘Michael Romano’ to me I told him, “Trust me, I prepared so much with AJ tutoring and saw no improvement, I really can’t score any higher.” Mikey then reassured me, “I was in a similar situation as you are and after working with Michael my score improved 400 points!!!” I was skeptical but I decided to give Mr. Test Prep a chance! I called him up and started tutoring with him about twice a week. Michael gave me one on one attention and I actually looked forward to going to tutoring. I was learning all kinds of new strategies that I had never been introduced to before. He taught me little tricks that ended up being EXTREMELY useful when I was taking the SAT for the second time. Also, Michael is extremely flexible with scheduling. Similarly to a lot of Juniors/Seniors in high school, I was very busy while working with him. He worked with me to find times that worked for me and I found myself less stressed than I was while working with AJ. Michael and I developed a friendship and he really transformed the SAT tutoring experience for me! Michael cares about his students and I could tell he really wanted me to do well. When I got my SAT score back, he was the first person I wanted to tell. I needed at least an 1870 for most of the colleges I was applying to so when I got my score of 1960 back, I was thrilled. I improved in each section. Michael Romano knows what he is doing and I would recommend him to anyone. Just look at the improvement in scores, his program works! PICK MR.TEST PREP
Brooke Alexander Paly/Foothill Middle College ’13 Lewis and Clark’17
Today Elite Schools require and demand: high GPA, high standardized test result, extracurricular activities… and that is just for consideration for admission. Our son, a serious student/athlete and a California State Football Champion, first in 100 year school history, attended your preparatory sessions between: school, football practice, games, homework assignments. Your flexible schedule, sunny, but no nonsense disposition and ability to coach and motivate, gave him a decisive edge in standardized test results. He not only improved his scores by > 500 points, hit a grand slam home run in math with a 760 score, but gained confidence in test taking. Upon application, some Elite Schools did offer acceptance, Georgetown University offered: admissions and a spot on their Football Team. And that is how Michael became a HOYA ! Warmest regards,
Michael Sr. Lyzwa, parent of Palo Alto High School student ’12 , Ggeorgetown’16
Michael Romano is an amazing tutor for everything from the SAT to the ACT, including SAT II subject tests. My college counselor recommended him to me as an SAT prep method more individualized than a class. He helped me turn my 210 PSAT score into a 2240 SAT score. Because of the many practice tests and exercises that he had me do in preparation, I only needed to take the SAT once. Michael also helped me on my subject tests; with his help I earned a 750 in US History and an 800 in Mathematics. Finally, Michael encouraged me to take the ACT, an exam I had previously known little about. Through meeting with him just a few times, I was able to develop my skills well enough to score a 35 on the first try. Working with Michael has been an invaluable experience. He gave me tips that were targeted specifically to me, as they helped me in areas that I was not as strong in. He also helped me extensively with my essay writing by telling me exactly how to improve my score. In all, I would definitely recommend Michael as a tutor for any type of standardized testing.
Amy Johnson Mountain View class of 2013
Our daughter benefitted from working with Michael for her Standardized prep (SAT and SATII). As an experienced tutor, Michael tailored and adapted the prep for her thus making the learning relaxed and straightforward. His easy going manner creates an environment in which a student can focus and be well prepared to take the tests. Michael’s practical approach and astute advice were instrumental in raising our daughter’s confidence resulting in robust scores.
Ponoam Medberry, parent of Menlo School student ’13
When I had no idea how to prepare for the SAT and ACT I went to Michael who was eager to help me and had the perfect strategy for me to succeed. I had never been a good test taker, but simply through Michael exposing and presenting to me the material my confidence was tremendously boosted. He provided me with an incredibly relaxed environment where I could truly focus on my work at hand. Without Michael, I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through those tests. He is not only a fabulous tutor, but also a really cool guy with whom you can have a conversation and get really good, educated advice from for the future.
Melissa Cunha Gunn High School ’12 UC Davis ’16
Mr. Romano was a huge help as an SAT and SAT II tutor. He really helped me improve my test scores but more importantly did so through his relaxed, friendly teaching methods. Before beginning tutoring with Mr. Romano during my junior year, studying for the SAT sounded like a dull and daunting task. However, Mr. Test Prep acted more as a chill friend and a mentor rather than the stereotypical boring tutor. He creates the test-taking situation by having multiple students at once, which really helped me get accustomed to attacking the SAT. I really would recommend Mr. Romano to anyone looking for a tutor for the SAT. He’s the man.
Ryan Corley Menlo School, Class of 2012 UC Berkeley, Class of 2016
Michael Romano gave me everything that I could have asked for from an SAT tutor–sage advice, a relaxed atmosphere, and a 650 point improvement. He’s the Bay Area’s Best, no matter what your needs are.”
Johnny Halprin Menlo School, Atherton ’11 UCLA ’15
“The name Mr. Test Prep should be changed to Mr. Miracle because what I experienced through my SAT tutoring with Michael was nothing short of that. Before tutoring with Michael I never dreamed of coming to Stanford, but Michael’s “go get ’em” drive and his incredible way of teaching helped bring me to this amazing university.”
David Rust Menlo-Atherton High School ’07 Stanford University ’11
“Michael was fabulous with both my boys, not just by helping them with their SAT Prep but more importantly, by making the drudgery fun! I never heard a single complaint about going to his SAT tutoring sessions. I did hear about shooting hoops, laughing a lot, and about how cool he was. Learning must be enjoyable or exciting to be effective, and certainly that approach worked in their case as both made SIGNIFICANT improvements in their Math and Verbal SAT test scores after their work with “Mr. Test Prep”. I recommend him to all who ask (and all who don’t ask). Your student won’t be disappointed.”
Bettina McAdoo, MD Pediatrician- Palo Alto, CA
“Doing SAT test preparation with Michael Romano was an outstanding experience. My test scores increased by over 1000 points !!! I gained the tools to reach my full potential as a test taker, and I was able to carry these tools into a college. SAT tutoring would normally be associated with mind-bending boredom but Michael’s enthusiasm and personality change the stereotype. I can remember looking forward to Thursday afternoons when I would go to Michael Romano’s SAT test prep. I have recommended his SAT test prep course to friends and family. Everyone is in agreement that he is the best in the business.”
Aaron Susman – Palo Alto Gunn High School class of 2003 American University class of 2008 Peace Corps 2008 – 2010
MICHAEL IS THE MAN! Going with Michael Romano for my ACT preparation and SAT preparation was probably the best decision I made. Before him, I had tried every other method of test prep from reading the books to small group classes, yet nothing seemed to be effective judging by the test results. With the help of Michael, I was able to jump up at least 400 points. He observed my test-taking skills and compiled a great test preparation plan for me so that I could better improve those scores. He never assigned homework so I never had to stress about coming in unprepared. He was really laid back, funny, and chill, which made me feel real comfortable around him. He was even available via Skype for when I had conflicting schedules to where I couldn’t make it to his place, which was VERY convenient. He even offered to help me with my college essays and was great in helping me choose the right college. Trust me, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth working with Michael!
Courtney S Saint Francis, Mountain View ’11 University of Washington ’15
The best thing that I did for my son was when I picked up the phone and called Mr. Test Prep, Michael Romano. Before meeting Michael, my son took the SAT test a couple of times and many SAT practice tests. He not only had a hard time improving his score, he was also getting more and more stressed about studying and retaking the SAT exam. After meeting Michael, everything changed. He was happy to study with Michael, and was confident in taking the SAT again! His score improved drastically. I wish I had a snap shot of him when he saw his raised score!! His eyes and mouth were wide opened with disbelief!! Michael is more than a great SAT tutor; he is a great friend. He is personal and genuinely cares about his students. I highly recommend Michael to anyone. Michael is not only able to change your child’s test scores; he is able to change your child’s future.
D. Chan Parent of Menlo School, Atherton ’12 Student Dartmouth’16
Michael raised my score from the PSAT test to the SAT by a little more than 1000 points. Looking back at college (top tier university – if you care about rankings) and high school, I’ve never had better tutor/teacher than Michael – I promise you it’s true. He was highly recommended by several friends from my high school because of his approach to teaching/preparing for SAT test. Frankly, I hated the idea that I would be evaluated based on SAT score since English wasn’t my first language but after being tutored by Michael SAT test taking became an enjoyable weekly routine. The first time I met Michael, I was shocked how he develops friendly relationships with his students and has a perfect balance of teaching, giving tips and making the test preparation as efficient as possible. My situation was much different than many of his other students because I went to school in Eastern Europe where I spoke a different language. I came to US as a junior in high school and my English was very poor. Given my situation Michael took a different approach to my SAT preparation and made my preparation very efficient and surprisingly fun. We approached many tests from different angles until we found what worked best for me. After we figured it out we kept improving on my score by very high margins. What Michael did a great job of is guiding me through the SAT test prep process. I was very lost at first, but Michael showed me the shortcuts (many useful tricks) and placed me on the right path to scoring high on the SAT. By the end the SAT test taking was easy, all I had to do was to execute on “our” (Michael’s) plan. If you are in similar situation to mine, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU MICHAEL ROMANO.
Mirza Klis Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton ’07 Cornell University ’11
Michael is an excellent teacher! I did both ACT prep and SAT prep with Michael which allowed me to feel comfortable and confident taking the two tests. I enjoyed practicing in an environment similar to that of the actual test. His system of working on a section or two and then reviewing together worked well and I found that I remembered the questions we had gone over better that way. I would highly recommend Mr. Test Prep to any student looking to get ahead in test preparation – he is worth it!”
Sydney Y Menlo Atherton ’12
Michael Romano is a top-notch SAT tutor. Not only did he help me reach my SAT and SAT II test score goals, but he also made studying fun! My sessions usually involved taking practice tests, making vocabulary SAT scores, and one-on-one chats with Michael to go over my answers and to learn test-taking strategies. In the early stages of preparing for the SAT I test I struggled to finish each section within the time limits. However, Michael’s unique tips and encouragement helped me learn to beat the clock. By the time I took the SAT I was able to finish each section with extra time and I even achieved the high SAT scores necessary to get into my first choice college! Michael maintains a laid back, stress-free environment that prepares students to conquer the SAT anxiety-free. I would recommend Michael to any student preparing to take the SAT or ACT tests.
Chelsea Evans – Portola Valley Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton ’07 Tufts University ’11
Mr. TEST PREP is the MAN!!! He’s the best test prep tutor in the bay area! His teaching style works with any student, so no matter if the student needs to improve by 500 points or achieve the perfect score, he changes his style for each student. Michael is always available so it was never a problem for me to come in and get a lesson or take a practice test. Michael doesn’t solely teach how to do well on tests, he gives advice and wants to get to know the student he is working with. His methods prepare you for the SAT or ACT exam on test day so you will be very comfortable with the testing procedures. Michael improved my writing scores by over a hundred points and taught me all the tips and tricks that I needed. He will always help you strive to improve each day and will never let your stay level. You can also look forward to him playing on the piano during the breaks! His experience in the test prep industry is shown by how he approaches each student. He is the BEST!
Brandon Nguyen Palo Alto High School ’11 Wake Forest University ’15
When we started our daughter, Hannah, with an early introduction to Michael Romano’s test prep formula, we didn’t know what to expect. At first she seemed to plod along as a duty or “right of passage” in the abstract world of preparing for college. What we later witnessed in the hands of Michael’s casual yet BRILLIANT tutoring style was the astute unfolding of a flower – absorbing the true essence of the art of test taking. She not only fully understood and executed his principles, she felt CONFIDENT approaching any test. The proof of Michael’s skills with teens is seen in Hannah’s near perfect test scores. We are more than grateful! Thank you Michael!
Caroline Fingerhut -Palo Alto
My experience with Michael was a very enjoyable one. I started off as an unconfident test taker, but through the Mr. Test Prep process I gained a lot of confidence. Michael taught me the self determination I needed to succeed in the SAT / ACT test prep process.
John Geary Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton ’11 Northwestern ’15
Michael Romano was more than I ever could have imagined in an SAT tutor. I’ve been to a couple of the other SAT prep places, and the most glaring difference is that Michael made it fun. It was never a pain to go over to his house and learn, but it was something you looked forward to in you day. He would read your essays, and never sound like he was putting you down, but give you a million ways to improve them. You took SAT / ACT practice tests, but it wasn’t uncommon for him to burst into song, or say something funny. It was an atmosphere that was fun to learn in, taught you to concentrate through anything, and made test taking much easier than I ever thought it could be. And that information translated into the rest of my schooling. I found myself automatically using his test-taking techniques in all my classes, and my grades continued to go up. My junior year was my best academic year and I would give Michael a lot of credit for that. I scored really, really well on the SAT, and even in my worst subject (math). Michael had made a test that was very scary, and turned it into something doable. I took a year off after high school, and then got into every college (that I’ve heard from so far) with Merit scholarships, and into their honors programs. After my experience with Michael we sent my younger brother to him, and will send my younger sister. If I know anyone is looking for an SAT or ACT tutor I recommend Michael immediately – without question. Thank you Michael for not only improving my SAT skills, but also for improving my school skills in general.”
Rivka Kelly – Palo Alto Henry M. Gunn High School ‘08 University of Vermont ’13
Michael Romano has made a huge difference in the lives of my four high school students. We tried other test preparation tutors before a college counselor recommended Michael, and we are so happy we found him. The three who have been through college admissions testing were able to raise their scores significantly, while also significantly reducing their stress levels. The youngest has just started working with Michael and it’s easy to see already how much his relaxed attitude and reassurance have helped her prepare, and enabled her to approach the tests with confidence, a better sense of strategy, and an updated knowledge of subject material and writing skills. Thank you Michael for all the help you’ve given our family.
Lisa Kelly – Palo Alto
My experience with Michael was great. He gave me the tools to prepare for the SAT test and the confidence to dream big. After working with Mr. Test Prep, I scored 300 points higher on my second testing for the SAT. Michael helped me with creating a strong mindset and pure determination for the SAT and ACT tests.
Greg Ruiz Archbishop Mitty, San Jose “11 University of Oregon “15
Doing test prep with Michael is so much more than just “studying.” From day one, he makes sure that you feel comfortable and relaxed in your environment. He doesn’t talk to you like you’re just another student—his personality is so amicable that it’s hard not to enjoy yourself when you’re in his presence; you feel like you’re talking with a friend rather than a tutor. Michael really helps you understand all of the dos and don’ts of test prep, without stressing you out or adding to your workload. And to get down to the nitty-gritty, Michael’s SAT tutoring raised my SAT score by over 200 points, which is just the icing on the cake of a stellar test prep experience.
Samantha Donat – Palo Alto Gunn ’12 New York University ’16
Our daughter found Michael’s test prep process stress free. His flexible tutoring approach enabled her to prepare for testing and still maintain her very full schedule of activities. Most importantly, she felt confident and prepared when she took her first standardized test. The work with Michael paid off in spades when she received her scores; for she had done so well that she was able to declare that her SAT/ACT testing was over. Working with Michael, she significantly raised her scores from the PSAT test. Michael sets a high bar for his students and works with them to surpass it.
Kathy Crankshaw Parent of Menlo School, Atherton ’12 Student
Mike Romano is a fantastic SAT/ACT tutor…..when my son David came to Mike, he had a history of good grades but mediocre performance on standardized testing……Mike succeeded in getting David to be comfortable in coping with the pressure of taking a standardized test and walk into the test room with confidence. David dramatically improved his ACT test score from the 91st percentile to the 96th percentile, and his Reading score from 25 (75th percentile) to 35 (99th percentile). The improvement in David’s test scores most likely made the difference in his getting accepted to Stanford and the University of Michigan. While you can say that college admissions is the ultimate bottom line, David also enjoyed working with Mike, and the test taking skills he learned, as well as the accompanying confidence he developed, will undoubtedly serve him well in college. Thanks Mike!
Richard Beleson Parent of Woodside Priory, Portola Vallley ’11 and Stanford ’15 Student
Michael Romano was the difference for me between a good and an outstanding SAT test score. His two hour tutoring sessions give plenty of time for practice tests, one-on-one review of the tests, and reflection on the material. He allows students to work in a very comfortable environment, which made the SAT much less stressful for me. When reviewing SAT practice tests with his students, Michael’s amazing human skills make you not just feel like you should do better, but also want to do better. He gave me the time, interest, and tools to find areas where I was less proficient, and make myself better. I’m glad to have known Michael Romano, he is a helpful and uplifting person.
Robert Butler Woodside High ’09 UC Berkeley ’11
“We had first hand experience of Michael’s successful ACT and SAT test preparation. Our daughter was an excellent student (GPA > 4.4) but a poor test taker. With focused SAT tutoring sessions, she was able to increase her total SAT test scores by over 600 points. With this gained insight on test taking skills, she did extremely well with her AP classes at school and on the advance placement tests. She entered college last fall with 44 units of credit. Michael clearly shows an interest in his students by getting to know them. He understood our daughter’s academic needs as well as outside interests. He challenged her and at the same time built her confidence – to believe in herself to achieve her goals. She appeared to have very little stress on the real SAT or ACT testing day. Michael was always there for us to answer questions and give us insight into this daunting college process.”
Linda and Bob Abramovitz, Belmont Proud parents of a happy UCLA student
Mr. Test Prep is the best SAT and ACT tutor I have ever had. I’ve tried a couple of different Bay Area tutors and test prep classes and they did not improve my score whatsoever. I took the SAT two times and my score did not improve at all. But after going to Michael for 2 months, my score jumped 250 points! I was ecstatic when I received news of my improved scores, and I only have Michael Romano to thank for it. Michael is truly in the business for the kids. His only goal is for the student to achieve the highest score possible and he always knows exactly what the student has to work on to improve his or her score. I’m thrilled to have the chance to study with Michael and can’t wait to continue working with him.
Justin Chen Menlo ’12 Dartmouth ’16
“My experience with Michael Romano was definitely a surprising enjoyable one. Having been to test preparation classes and SAT prep programs before I went to Mike, I came into it pretty skeptical. I remember the first car ride over, I had told my mom that I was going to go, but I wasn’t going to enjoy it. But once I got to Mike’s house I realized how wrong I was. It’s the whole environment that really made it such a rewarding experience for me, the way that I was easily able to learn the vocabulary, math, sciences, and test-taking skills necessary to succeed, all because of how Mike approached them. From the moment I met Mike I could tell this was going to be a far different experience then what I had imagined. He’s not your run of the mill SAT tutor. He’s a funny and easy going guy and stresses the seriousness of the SAT and ACT tests, but doesn’t hang it over your head all the time, as other test prep tutors will do. His methods facilitate a stress-free environment where most people, such as myself, really excel. From his program I was not only able to improve my ACT and SAT test scores tremendously so I could go to a great school but I also walked away from it having made a life-long friend. After that first day I started looking forward to my weekly visits to Mike’s house and even though I was learning and working hard at each session, it never felt like work to me. I enjoyed it every step of the way and I only hoped, afterwards, that other high schoolers could have a similar experience to mine. My test taking skills were fine-tuned by this program which certainly helped for the SAT and ACT test, but have also helped me with collegiate level exams. With Michael Romano’s test-preparation program I was able to look up at the intimidating mountain that is the “SAT” and not only conquer it but also look at other challenges with a similar mindset, giving me the ability and the confidence necessary to overcome any and all of them. If nothing else, this confidence will stick with me for the rest of my life: I know I can succeed. Thanks Mike, you’re truly making a difference.”
Ryan Wigley Sacred Heart Preparatory, Atherton ’08 Lehigh University ’12
“Michael Romano not only added valuable skills to our sons’ standardized testing acumen but an unexpected surprise was that he grew into a friend and mentor during their last three years of high school. As adolescents develop they often need that concerned adult, separate from their parents, from whom to seek advice and guidance especially during their high school years. Michael was flexible with their schedules, direct and helpful with the strength and weaknesses of their skills, and a wise communicator with us when necessary. The college pre-testing process need not be a stressful endeavor and Michael ensures that to be the case. We have recommended many students to his test preparation services and have always received words of positive acknowledgment.”
“Michael helped my oldest son raise his score from PSAT to SAT by almost 600 points – and he is now a sophomore at Harvard. I liked Michael’s style and approach so much that I asked him to take on my second son as well. His scores have risen 650 points so far plus Michael plays 1:1 basketball with my son who is a basketball fanatic. Now, if Michael could help my son so that he’d never argue with me again – that’d be even better :).”
Michael was a phenomenal teacher, always positive and giving me constructive cues to work on and to help me improve. His methods are effective and efficient and he is full of determination to make you better and to help you reach your goal. I improved significantly both on the regular SAT and on the SAT II test (Math). He not only helped me to improve my skills, but also my mental approach. He was very supportive and his confidence in me helped me perform better each time. He is very relaxed and knowledgeable. The personal contact he has with you as a student is warm and easy. He is serious and pushes you to be more proactive and focused on succeeding. Michael and I had a special routine, almost like a” handshake”. Every time I came in whether it was for a lesson or to take a full test in his private “testing room” we started and ended with a discrete “yell to let go”, our word was HEAVENLYYYY! Each time we said it we both laughed and coming in to work with a smile always made it easier and helped me loosen up. He helped me prepare for three official tests and each time I felt like he supported me right till the point when I entered the testing room. Early in the morning after signing in at the test center he made me call him before entering the room. Half asleep in the middle of a yawn, he answered the phone and made me give him a loud HEAVENLY to relax before the test. My overall experience studying for the regular SAT was a lot more pleasant than I thought it would be. I improved by 320 points for the regular SAT and 70 points for the SAT II (Math). After just a few months of work I left not only with a higher SAT score but also with an unexpected friendship.
Enzo Cabili, – Palo Alto Gunn High School ’10 Creighton University ’14 Oberin College’15
“Hey Michael! Just to let you know, I recommended you to my entire sophomore US Govt. class last semester (I taught at PALY). Here goes my testimonial: SAT tutoring with Michael was extremely helpful in improving my SAT and SAT II scores. He was not only very knowledgeable, but he made the atmosphere very comfortable and relaxed. He was very personable and funny. I remember picking my brother up from tutoring with Michael and he was shooting hoops with Michael in the front yard. Michael goes up and beyond just being another tutor. He becomes more like a mentor and builds confidence in his students. This knowledge, confidence and support have helped me in the SAT’s and in life.
Deb Mazawa Gunn High School , Palo Alto ’04 UC Davis ’08
“Fortunately for me, my experience with Michael didn’t involve any stories of raised test scores. After my lessons were complete and my head full of vocabulary, math, and practice tests galore I only had to take the SAT exam once. He IS that good. Michael Romano was instrumental in helping me achieve my goals coming out of high school and attending a top-tier University like I had always dreamed. Even today, five years removed from my last tutoring session, Michael’s fundamental test preparation strategies help me conquer midterms and finals each year since I was able to learn how to become a better, more focused test-taker as a result of his mentoring and coaching. Sitting where I am now, job in hand and degree just months away, I am very thankful to have had Michael’s influence in my life.”
W. Douglas Wigley – Portola Valley Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton 2005 Princeton University 2010
Mr. Test Prep helped me score a 33 on the ACT test the first – and only – time I took it. Michael keeps studying stress-free and in some ways, calming. He not only helped me with my test-taking but also gave me tips for applying to college and managing school in general. Mr. Test Prep has a great personality, gave me great advice, and if you’re lucky, might even serenade you with an awesome cover of a Lady Gaga song on the piano.
Brian Benton Gunn High School , Palo Alto ’12 Washington University’16
“Most teenagers wouldn’t put SAT or ACT test preparation high on their list of favorite activities. Both our daughters worked with Michael and both described him to their friends as “the coolest tutor EVER”. Michael managed to coach our kids to their best levels of performance on the tests and also served as strategist, teacher, mentor and friend. They actually looked forward to their test prep with Michael and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. We highly and unreservedly recommend Michael!
“Working with Michael was tremendously helpful for my SAT and ACT test scores. His methods of preparing allowed me to be confident and relaxed going in to tests, ensuring my best performance. The learning environment he maintained was the perfect balance between focus and fun. Not only that, it was evident that Michael took interest in the success of every one of his students. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with him and the amazing results that came from it.”
Christine Renschler Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton ’10 Princeton ’14
“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Michael. My preparation for the SAT was special in that I looked forward to tutoring every week. I am not sure there are many kids who feel that their tutoring is a highlight of their high school career, but I can honestly say that Michael made my experience a memorable one. He drastically improved my test scores, but more importantly he helped me gain perspective and confidence in regard to the SAT. The day I walked in to take the SAT I felt more prepared and relaxed than any kid in the room, and this was in large part due to Michael’s tutoring and life advice. I highly encourage any students that are looking for a tutor to consider Michael, as he will not only increase your SAT test score, but also help you mature as a young adult.”
Daniel Hoffman Menlo School, Atherton ’09 Yale ’13
“Not only did Michael help my daughter solidify her grasp of the math portion of the SAT, but he also helped her to manage the anxiety she felt about the whole process. Michael’s mellowness is a great antidote to the general frenzy of college prep.”
Miriam Schulman Palo Alto
“ACT prep and SAT prep with Michael was time incredibly well spent considering the time crunch and pressure of the months leading up to the SAT and ACT. He really took me step by step through the processes of reviewing test material, becoming a time-conscious test taker, and just a having a better understanding of the test and its workings. My scores improved dramatically and incredibly fast.”
Carter Boyce – Portola Valley Menlo School, Atherton ’10 Wake Forest ’14
“I had a fantastic experience preparing for the SAT with Mike. I went from initial scores in the low 1300s to a 1440 on my official test. That score really stood out in my college application, and I got into USC in a very competitive year. I actually looked forward to our SAT prep sessions every week. He had a way of making them tailor fit to my personality and a lot of fun. He not only gave me all the tools I needed to ace the material confidently, but he took the time and interest to prepare me for life in college and beyond with great stories and advice. When I teach music to students now I often find myself drawing upon Mike’s approach in order to create a similar kind of environment for my students.”
Brett Morris Henry M. Gunn High School, Palo Alto ”01 USC ’06
“Two of my three children took the test preparation for the SATs with Michael Romano. We were elated that each of their scores increased by 500 points and they had forms of dyslexia. They were well prepared and Michael developed a great relationship with each of them and their special needs.”
Dr. Ivy Fisher Weiner
“Michael is a genius but doesn’t let it show. He runs a smooth, laid-back test prep tutoring center and builds friendships with his students, but makes his lessons effective and helpful. He knows the tests inside and out, and coaches his students not only on how to take the tests, but how to manage time, the mentality behind doing well, and an excitement to succeed.”
Max Keeler Gunn High School, Palo Alto ’08 UC Berkeley ’12
“My time spent with Mr. Romano really helped improve my test taking abilities as well as my study habits. He put in extra time and effort to make sure we understood what it is we did incorrectly and helped us improve upon it. I also loved the atmosphere of the work room and his garden when we worked on problems, it for some reason just relaxed me and made the test taking seem a lot easier.”
Travis Clark Mountain View High School ’10 University of Oregon ’14
“I started working with Michael Romano when I was coming off my freshman year in High School. As someone who has always struggled with multiple-choice exams, I was eager to work with Michael. Early Saturday mornings and late nights after school became a time for me to learn how to understand, strategize, and conquer the SAT and SAT II’s. After a year of coaching, my SAT test scores were significantly higher. More importantly, I finally had confidence in my own ability to succeed. Michael taught me how to really take the test… not let the test take me! Michael was the first to teach me that no matter what; my own hard work will get me where I want to be in the world :)”
Elisabeth Dillon Castilleja School , Palo Alto 2008 Pepperdine University 2012
“Michael changed the entire college testing process for my son. My son went from dreading to study to being motivated and excited about the process and studying. Our son’s scores skyrocketed and he was very engaged in deciding what colleges he was interested in. Michael’s tutoring changed Kev’s life and we’re thrilled with the results! “
Barbara Philips, Woodside, CA
“Michael Romano exceeded high expectations. He is both a first-class SAT prep and ACT prep maestro and a splendid, supportive person to work with and learn from. His lessons, while extremely useful for the SAT and the like, extend far beyond any one Standardized test.”
Eric H. Menlo School, Atherton ’08 Yale ’12
“I truly enjoyed my afternoons at Michael’s house. His individualized approach to working through the SAT by sections helped me conquer it by eliminating how intimidating it appears as a 3 and a half hour test. But more than that, it is Michael’s unique attitude that truly helps one feel comfortable with taking the SAT. He is friendly and open to every person in such a genuine way. I will always remember Michael playing the piano and singing as I was taking test sections.”
Charlotte Keeler Gunn High School, Palo Alto ’09 Univ. of Michigan ’13
“The time that I spent with Michael on SAT preparation was vastly helpful to my admission into the University of California at Merced. Without his help there is no way that I would have been nearly as successful as I was. On the SAT2 that I took for Biology Michael helped me attain a score of 720! Although my SAT score was not stellar (1560) it would have been FAR worse if Michael had not helped me. The environment where we practice was calming and quiet, and Michael’s laid-back personality made me feel comfortable and I think that helped me exponentially in achieving my scores and test-taking strategies!”
Shane Kavanagh Mountain View High School ’08 University of California at Merced ’12
“Our daughter’s score went up 240 points on the SAT exam following your SAT test preparation course, practice, and strategy sessions. She is currently a sophomore majoring in neuroscience and psychology at McGill University in Montreal. Thanks, Mike…”
John M., Mountain View
“Michael was fantastic to work with, and with his help I scored 2150, way higher than I would have thought possible! Michael is the smartest surfer dude I know. He is relaxed, focused, and manages time exceptionally, to the point where everyone else’s schedules seem to revolve around him. Whether explaining trigonometry or showing me a jazzy piece of music he wrote on the piano, Michael is proud and confident in his work. He was interested in my life and opened up about some of the things he struggles with, treating me with respect as a friend he was working with, instead of a subordinate he was teaching down to. Instead of coming down to my level, as tutors often do, he simply brought me up to his. Michael is one of those people who you look at and think they’ve got it all figured out. I have so much respect for how he lives his life! He is one of my role models.”
Joshua Kelly Henry M. Gunn High School, Palo Alto ’10 Prescott College ’14
“I highly recommend Michael Romano for teaching students to prepare for their SAT’s. My stepson went to him before he took his SAT’s as a junior and was able to raise his score by 350 points between the first and second test. I am happy to report that he was accepted to several colleges and is now a sophomore at the University of California at Merced. My daughter and second stepson, both high school juniors, are currently being tutored by him, and I am confident that they will also see positive results. Michael has a wonderful rapport and ability to connect with his students, and I am happy to have him working with members of my family.”
Kathleen Baird -Mountain View
“Michael Romano absolutely helped raise my SAT test scores–I wouldn’t have gotten into the college of my dreams without his help. I would recommend him to anyone who needs a boost of confidence and key test taking strategies.”
Grace Beck Pinewood High School, Los Altos Hills ’08 Claremont McKenna College ’12
“My SAT scores probably improved 300 points with Michael’s help. As much as I learned about mastering standardized test nuances that summer, I learned a great deal more from the time spent hanging out with Michael in his backyard, discussing sports, girls, and anything else we could come up with on any given Sunday afternoon. He also went out of his way to help me with my college applications, and was beyond supportive throughout the entire process. It’s hard for me to believe I’d be at Penn without him.”
Alex Siegel Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton 09 UPenn 13
“My experience with Michael Romano, a.k.a. Mr. Test Prep, was incredible. I came into the test taking months nervous and annoyed that I would have put countless hours into studying for the dreaded three letter tests, the SAT and the ACT. But Michael made the test prep process completely painless. Not only was he very knowledgeable of the material on the test, he was also able to give me valuable test taking tips that surely helped me to succeed and dramatically raise my score from what was predicted by the PSAT test. Michael made the process actually fun for me because during some sessions, he would play piano or sing. I always listen to music while doing homework, and his music actually relaxed me, and made me enjoy the sessions even more. In essence, Michael made studying for the SAT and ACT fun. And then there was the experience outside of studying. We would frequently find ourselves taking a break from studying and talking about anything from religion to sports teams. We even played basketball after a session. My name is Ben Dearborn, and I attribute my success on the SAT and ACT that have allowed me to attend Princeton University this fall to the fabulous work of Michael Romano.”
Ben Dearborn Sacred Heart, Atherton ’10 Princeton ’14
I work as an independent college admissions consultant and many parents and students have raved to me about Michael Romano’s excellent test-prep tutoring skills over the years. It was not, however, until my college bound daughter chose SAT prep with Michael that I got to see his wizardry in action! His knowledge of the test preparation process is tops and he is a dynamic teacher of material that in the wrong hands could really frustrate even the best student. What sets Michael a part, though, is his intuitive approach to providing each student with what they need in particular to test both successfully and with confidence. His warmth and sense of humor make him a fun person for kids to know. I, now, refer him to all of my students.”
College Admissions Consultant , Menlo Park Former Stanford University Admissions Director
“Michael Romano gave me the foundation to approach the SATs with confidence. He aided my development in multiple academic fields and introduced testing strategies that I was otherwise not exposed to within a learning institution – strategies that have kept me well prepared for my academic pursuits.”
Tessa Buchin Palo Alto High School 2007 University of California, San Diego 2011
“Michael, you did a terrific job helping Alex prepare for his SATs. He felt confident in his test sessions and prepared to handle the material. There were no surprises on test days. The SATs don’t have to by mysterious and stressful. It’s a great life lesson that preparation makes for a better outcome. Thanks for all the help.”
Suzanne S., Palo Alto
“My name is Landon Yamaoka and I was fortunate enough to have found Mike through my parent’s friends. Not sure how it came to be but I know that his help definitely got me through the SAT testing. I have major learning disabilities, and studying and focusing on subjects that can be left to interpretation are not strong subjects for myself. (Chem., bio, geometry, algebra 2, English) Mike was very patient with me and would push me just enough to keep me learning and motivated but not to the point where I would just want to give up. I graduated from Los Altos High School in 2000, and attended the University of Arizona and graduated from a top Anthropology school in 2005. (I maybe wrong but it might have been ranked 5th in the nation) Mike was a great person to take his time to assist a student with major learning deficiencies, and not just letting me do what I wanted which would have been to NOT study. Thanks to his help I have found a career path and actually I have helped teach low to high-risk youth life skills, and now help developmentally disabled adults with life skills. Thanks for doing what you do Mike!”
Landon Yamaoka Los Altos High ’05 Univ. of Arizona’09
“Michael tutored me over the summer and up until the October SAT in a way that no other sat tutor offered. While most would come to my house or I’d have to go to a class, Michael had all his students come during the day and study for 2 hours in a place with no distractions, which I found extremely helpful! Then, most days there was little if no homework. Such a system allowed me to fully focus on my tutoring days, contributing to the boost in my test scores.”
Lauren Allen Woodside Priory, Portola Valley ’10 Claremont McKenna ’14
“Going to study with Michael was not only a great learning experience, but was also fun too. I saw improvement almost instantly in the sections I needed help with most, and it didn’t even feel like I did much work. He explained everything very clearly to me, and answered all the questions I threw at him. His personal approach makes each session more enjoyable and helps me work as hard as I can. Michael’s knowledge of the SAT is one of a kind, and I know that by being tutored from him my scores raised faster than any other method.”
Nick Ciesinski Gunn High School, Palo Alto ’10 USC “14
“I don’t know if you even want to use this considering what college I will be attending but here it goes…Alternate first line: “Although Michael has poor taste in college (Duke) he was still a great SAT tutor. My experience with Michael was enjoyable and extremely useful. Michael made Sat and Act practice tests tolerable and always kept a light mood. He had many great pointers and let me in on some key secrets to the SAT. He not only prepped me for the SAT but also taught me many things that are helpful on all standardized tests. After a couple of months of working with Michael my score went up 250pts which really helped me get into my number one college choice.”
Andrew Mackenzie Menlo School, Atherton ’10 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ’14 GO TAR HEELS!!!
“Michael was very helpful. He provided great feedback on my essays and made the whole experience of studying for the SAT’s fun. He also provided me with the study skills required for future tests such as the GRE. I would recommend him to anyone who is looking for a pain-free way to improve his or her score on the SAT’s.”
Guy Hotson Palo Alto High School ’07 Santa Clara University ’11
“Michael helped me improve my standardized test scores by… (a) dramatically strengthening my vocabulary (b) guiding me through the bests approach for every type of problem (c) helping me perform at maximum efficiency to achieve my highest potential (d) increasing my confidence (e) all of the above. While that definitely flirts with the line between cute and incredibly annoying, in all honesty, Michael helped me by supporting me through the college application process that has increasingly become one of the greatest source of stress in the lives of high school kids. Michael is a great friend, hilarious, and undoubtedly an extremely valuable source for testing taking knowledge and counseling.”
Patrick Renschler Menlo School, Atherton ’09 Princeton ’13
“Test Prep with Michael Romano is a delightful experience. I remember my first time attending Michael’s tutoring session. I was convinced it would be a boring 2-hour session of algebra and sentence structure; however, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that test prep with Michael Romano was a bit unconventional. Nothing helps me concentrate like Michael’s soothing voice accompanied by his delicate playing of the piano. Michael’s business strategy is simple, yet effective; create an atmosphere that students enjoy so they are encouraged to return. “Mr. Test Prep” does so through his casual attire (usually sweatpants, high socks with flip flop over the socks, and shirt covered with crumbs from his constant snacking). Also, Michael engages in playful basketball games with students. Overall, Michael is a fun-loving guy who gets the job done.”
Spencer Rosekrans Sacred Heart, Atherton ’10 Pitzer College ’14
Michael Romano not only came through as a SAT tutor but as a mentor. His tutoring style helped me improve my SAT score as well as think differently about studying techniques. Michael always had anecdotes for life and advice if anyone asked; he shared every bit of his intelligent demeanor with each of his pupils (several of them are good friends of mine and share the same sentiments). The knowledge Michael gave me will stick with me far past my formal education and I am very grateful for that.”
Daniel Ugarte Gunn high school , Palo Alto 2008 University of Southern California 2012
Mike Romano has tutored both of my sons, including ACT test preparation. They actually liked to go to Mike’s. They got what they needed, and didn’t have any stress hanging over them when they completed each session. But it is the results that count. My elder son is happy at Berkeley, his acceptance definitely helped by the 120 point increase in his overall SAT score after tutoring with Mike. My younger son’s scores are not back yet, but he came out of last Saturday’s testing smiling ear to ear. He was so well prepared, thanks to Mike.
Kristen Butler, Woodside
“Because I worked with Michael is the reason I got into my first choice college. I had no clue how to even start an SAT before I started meeting him regularly. I found each session extremely productive and mellow, making the learning process even easier for me. I am grateful for all he has taught me.”
Jamie Clark Mountain View High School ’09 George Washington University ’13
“Being tutored by Michael was the smartest decision I made in preparing for my SATs. His system and teaching style was just so laid-back, relaxed, helpful, and enjoyable. I would drive over to his house after school, be greeted with a friendly conversation, and then get to work. When he saw that I didn’t understand a concept, Michael took his time to ensure that I would eventually become a master. The overall cool and friendly atmosphere of Michael’s garage is proof that he knows how to connect with his students. This results in a very productive learning environment. Thanks a ton Michael!’
Jason DeMayo Los Altos High School ’09 University of Oregon ’13
“Michael was a great tutor and still continues to be a good friend, even after 3 years. He tutored myself, my brother, and a hefty collection of close friends. Even after all this time has passed and I have moved on to the next stage of my life, our relationship has persisted such that I still stop by when I’m home to say hi with my friends. Being tutored by Michael was not purely about higher scores on standardized test (although my 34 on the ACT might argue differently). It’s also about having a personal relationship with your tutor such that even years later you stay in contact. This isn’t some large company where you get a new tutor each time; this is an experience with one of the friendliest, social, professional and helpful SAT tutors in the business. ”
Justin Cowperthwaite -Portola Valley Sacred Heart, Atherton ’08 UCLA ’12
“Michael did a great job helping me test prep for the SAT. His experience preparing students for the SAT helped me fine-tune my approach to the SAT and improve my score.”
Cameron Taylor, Palo Alto High School 2005 Pomona College 2009
“Michael Romano was a much-needed help during the years before I took the SAT. The combination of family expectation of a high minimum test score with the concurrent necessity of maintaining a GPA & extracurricular schedule conducive to elite college admission was tremendously stressful for me. I didn’t just need a great SAT tutor…I also needed someone to help put the stress into perspective for me. Mike served that important dual-role for me. He was a focused mentor whose consistency and teaching style made learning the material easier & more enjoyable than learning typically was for me in high school, and my test results eventually reflected this. Beyond that, however, his easygoing & friendly personality made the weekly trips fun…we became real-life friends outside of SAT preparation. My experience with him actually instilled in me a calm & confidence that I have carried since, and that truly has helped me become successful in whatever I have done. He’s worth it.”
Justin Manger – San Francisco Menlo Atherton ’00 Santa Clara University ’04
“Michael was an amazing help to my SAT test scores and me. Not only did he help me reach my potential, he was fun and made the Sat test prep process enjoyable at each turn. Michael gave me an unparalleled work ethic and sense of confidence that has affected me far beyond my test preparation, and I am truly lucky to have worked with him.”
Hrishi Srinagesh Palo Alto High School ’09 Williams College ’13
“After going through several different SAT prep courses and instructors, it was pretty clear that Michael was a notch above. With the personal attention and instruction at his house, I was able to get a lot more comfortable with the test and it paid off in the end. The experiences that I had working with Michael were not limited to improving my test taking abilities and discussing everything from sports to politics made the experience a lot more enjoyable. I don’t think my experiences with Michael are typical of any other SAT tutor but I do think they can be expected for anyone who decides to work with the great Michael Romano.”
Travis Boyce – Portola Valley Menlo School, Atherton 2008 Princeton University 2012
“Michael Romano is a living legend. The man was not just an SAT tutor. He was a father, brother, friend, psychologist, music instructor, and life mentor. Michael taught me things about life that no high school or college education could teach me. He taught me how to be a good person. How to respect others and how to grab the attention of a girl I would like to date. My parents spent a lot of money on all the “tutor sessions” we had together, but I am absolutely positive that all that money was well spent. He would say to me things that would only come to light years down the road. The most important thing… he gave me a disc with love songs he recorded back in the late 90’s. I still play that CD. Thanks for everything.”
Yoav Barlev Henry M. Gunn High School, Palo Alto ’01 Lt. in the Air Force 2003-2009
“Michael Romano made preparing for the SAT an enjoyable and satisfying experience. He was able to effectively transfer his wealth of knowledge to me in a way that no other teacher could have done. I would recommend his prep course to anyone.”
Vinit Shrawagi , Los Altos
” I had tried multiple SAT tutors and practice tests, and was seriously concerned for how college admissions offices were going to react to my score. A family friend recommended Michael to me, and it was the greatest route I could have taken to prepare for the test. He was clearly in high demand considering that every time I went to study with him I saw multiple peers I recognized. Despite being busy managing the constant array of students, Michael still took the time to reach out. We were both musicians and he consistently encouraged pursuing that passion. He even let me come over and use his recording equipment to lay down some songs on one occasion. That was significant to me because despite the fact that all his students were coming to study for an exam that demanded conformity, Michael persistently encouraged creativity and dreaming far beyond just academics.”
Ryan Sawyer Menlo Atherton ’04 Gordon College ’08
“Michael was the best tutor I have ever had. I went from a very average score to a perfect score on verbal thanks to him! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to anyone who wants to see just how well they can really do on the SAT.”
Brad McMinn Mountain View HS, ’98 Duke University, ’02
“I started driving down to Palo Alto to see Michael my senior year of high school. Usually on the weekends, Michael would help groups of students prepare for all sorts of college preparatory exams. Specifically, I wanted to improve all the scores in my previous attempts at taking the SAT. Michael’s technique and approach is very unique. After taking a series of practice tests, each student meets with Michael one-on-one to go over the answers. His positive feedback helps the students learn from their mistakes, but his personality motivates the students to perform well and come back for more help. After working with Michael for a few months, I increased my reading score by over 100 points. It was my weakest score on the SAT, but my progress didn’t stop there. The time I spent with Michael paid off, and I saw a dramatic increase in my writing score and my math score as well. He also helped me prepare for me SATII test in math. I scored a perfect 800. I don’t think I could have done this without Michael’s help. His test prep method is proven to work well, and his students, much like myself, look back on the whole experience with fond memories. I would recommend Michael Romano test preparation services to any high school student who wants to do well on their PSAT , SAT , ACT or SAT II exams.”
John Haynes Menlo School, Atherton 2007 United States Military Academy 2011
“Michael helped me with test preparation for the SAT and SAT IIs for roughly a year. He approached the difficult task of tutoring me with both focus and energy making the experience effective and enjoyable. My SAT improved 300 points and my SAT II’s went from lackluster to near perfect. Despite the dreary subject matter (standardized testing is never fun), Michael motivated me to work as hard as I could in order to achieve. While no teenager would like to spend their free time preparing for the SATs, Michael certainly made the task more fun than I could have ever imagined.”
Matthew Matteucci, Woodside High 2008 UCLA 2012
“Michael Romano is more than just an SAT or ACT tutor. He is a coach. Like any good coach, he adapts his process to fit the needs of each student he works with. He is able to detect areas that need work for a student early on, and then create a personalized test prep program that will be most beneficial for that specific individual. I have seen first hand how much his help can make a difference!”
Elliot Katz Palo Alto High School , 1999 Vanderbilt University, 2005 Cornell Law School, 2010
Mike, I know it has been a while, but I wanted to touch base and thank you for your help on the SAT. There is no way in a million years my score could have improved that much without your help. Thanks a bunch for helping me get into an awesome school.
Tim Sanner Gunn High School, Palo Alto 2005 University of Florida 20