Through our effective combination of Retention, Relationships, and Responsibility, we focus on improving a student’s academic wellbeing holistically, often achieving more success with fewer lessons and with lasting benefits beyond high school. From study skills to test prep, and from academic tutoring to college planning, Novella Prep’s integrated study skills model helps your child succeed.
Get Higher Grades, Improve Test Scores, Learn Essential Milestones
College planning, Applications Development & Admission Decisions
What People Are Saying
Tony has been more than a pre-college advisor to my daughter. Through detailed discussions of her studies and interests, he was able to help her see quite clearly what she wants to study and how to achieve her goals. He is very structured in his approach so you do not feel overwhelmed with the entire college application process. Tony endeavors to facilitate this process and I would highly recommend his services.
– Liana W.
I was looking for guidance and direction in creating a plan that would support my son academically and help him develop his interests. Novella Prep has been the perfect answer. Tony took the time to get to know my son, his interests, strengths, and challenges and created a plan, with my input, unique to my son. With the pressures on today’s middle and high school students, having a team of experts in your corner makes a difference. These years should not just be about learning to pass the test, and Novella Prep always keeps the bigger picture and the most important part of this process, your child, in focus.
Tony is fantastic. He knows how to get down to the issues, make a workable plan and move forward. My son was able to apply some actions from his discussions to school situations almost immediately. Would definitely recommend Tony and his team.
– Susan J.
About the Founder
With 20 years of experience working in admissions, development, teaching, and researching, Novella Prep founder and educator Dr. Di Giacomo brings a depth of relevant knowledge to families in the Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT areas.
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How do I choose between the SAT and ACT?
While there is no strategic benefit to taking the SAT or ACT in terms of admission, there are some differences to the format and item types. Novella Tip: Take a free practice SAT and ACT to see what feels like a better fit for you.
How many colleges should be on my college list?
Many students are applying to ten colleges, which means starting with a list of 20 makes sense. Consider some schools, initially, that take into account family and friends's recommendations, but ultimately, use your results from Naviance, PSAT score, GPA and major to refine your list. Make sure it is balanced in terms of how select. For more information, here is a helpful video.
Do I need to take SAT Subject Tests? What are they?
Subject Tests are offered by the College Board as a way of demonstrating subject matter mastery. For example, if you are interested in majoring in science, consider taking physics and math, and possibly a humanities like history or literature to show you are well-rounded academically. Check the admissions policies when you have your near final college list: some colleges require or recommend subject tests, which are popular to take in June. Here is a helpful video on this topic.
Study Skills vs. academic tutoring: which gets better results?
If study skills is like cardio training, and tutoring is like the skill to play a sport, we know that the foundation is endurance and the fundamentals. Same with school. Start with an evaluation of your study habits, routines, and results from your current level of effort, and then consider tutoring only if still necessary. Otherwise, tutoring without fundamentals is a costly bandaid that creates dependency. See this video to learn more.
When should I start college planning?
The best way to start college planning is right after receiving your PSAT score, particularly for sophomores, and of course for juniors. The reason? The PSAT provides an early indication of your future SAT or ACT score, and coupled with GPA and potentially AP scores, provides a powerful tool for admission officers to utilize for admissions decisions, and therefore, for you as well! But, planning in the 10th grade means becoming aware of longer term goals and mindsets, approached at a pace that is comfortable for the student as a means toward both personal growth and planning practicality. Plus, you will need to know what requirements you will need to fulfill while there is still time to meet those needs! For tips on the visits, watch this video.