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Why Do College Counselors Prefer Test Prep Gurus?

Free mock testing for the SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, and HSPT

Automated updates on student progress

No conflicts of interest (we don’t offer competing college counseling services)

Our unique growth mindset approach to test prep

Superior Results

We offer free testing for all schools for the ACT, SAT and ISEE, for all grade levels. 

Our testing includes individualized exam analysis for each family.  The college counseling team can also elect to receive an aggregate report of their students’ particular strengths and weaknesses, and a breakdown of their students' tendencies toward the SAT or ACT. 

Sample Student Exam Report 

We award $30,000 in scholarships annually.

Anthony will be the first in his family to attend college. Thanks in part to the trail that he is blazing, Anthony’s younger sisters are following in his footsteps, taking steps to realize their own aspirations for college.

Nick Standlea is the founder of Test Prep Gurus. He earned a perfect score on the SAT, but is much more proud of Test Prep Gurus students' many successes and achievements. Nick is a published author and a former Research Associate at the Quality of Life Research Center at Claremont Graduate University - a think tank that studies Positive Psychology, with an emphasis on education, learning, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and flow.  He holds a BA from Pitzer College and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.  

Nick regularly speaks at schools and community organizations, including: UC Berkeley, Pitzer College, Claremont Graduate University, Golden West College, Loyola Marymount University, the Western Association of College Counseling (WACAC), National Association of College Counseling (NACAC) college fairs, A Better Chance foundation, The Orange County Private School Association, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Hawaii Preparatory Academy, JSerra Catholic High School, Rosary Academy, Connelly School for Girls, Fusion Academy, Orange Lutheran High School, New Roads School, The Webb Schools, Sage Hill School, Newport Harbor High School, Northwood High School, Santa Monica High School, and many others.  

Nick Standlea speaking at UC Berkeley. 

Nick Standlea speaking at UC Berkeley. 

Nick's current ambition is to turn the standard model of test prep on its head, shifting the focus away from "anxiety, fear, and boot camps” to “goal-setting, personal improvement, and celebrating success however the student defines it.” 

Nick is available to speak on a range of topics at schools:

SAT vs ACT -- Everything You Need to Know

Reducing Anxiety in College Admissions and Standardized Testing

Growth Mindset, Grit, and Mindfulness: The New Critical Skills for High School, College, and Beyond 

PSAT or Pre-ACT Scoreback Nights

9 Ways to Teach Growth Mindset


Comments from High School Counselors:
"Tremendously helpful for our families and students!  
"This session was incredibly insightful and a breath of fresh air. I know I am not the only one who felt this way because during and after the session I heard things like, 'This was the best session here,' and 'I am totally going to do this stuff with my students.' It was exactly what every session should be: simple and easy to digest, practical applications we can apply in our jobs, and full of energy and audience participation."
"Our parents need to hear your message.  Thank you!!!"

*National Charity League Talks*

Nick's talk on reducing anxiety in college admissions and standardized testing are very popular with National Charity League chapters throughout California. Nick is commonly requested by various NCL chapters to speak at Patroness meetings (the talk is designed to be relevant to mothers and families from 7th-12th grades.)  For Patroness meetings please schedule early to ensure Nick is available for the requested dates.  References from different NCL chapters can be found below:

“Thank you for coming and speaking at our Patroness meeting tonight. Your presentation was amazing and very informative! I received very positive feedback from the members. In NCL we are part of a District that has 12 other chapters in our area. I plan to forward your information on to the other Presidents. I think NCL is a great organization for your positive message that you share with your audience...please feel free to share my e-mail and I would be happy to recommend you to any NCL Chapter. Thanks again.”

- Kim Henderson, President, National Charity League: Orange/Villa Chapter
Nick gave an engaging presentation with extremely relevant information about the SAT and ACT and college admissions in general. Thank you Test Prep Gurus!

- Susan Barrett, National Charity League: Yorba Linda Chapter
This was by far our best meeting of the year. Thank you for breaking down the many myths surrounding the SAT, ACT, and college admissions, and spelling out clearly what options students have. The girls were engaged, asking questions, really listening. After you left, the conversation continued; they were sharing stories, strategies, questioning each other on what they thought the best options were, etc. Your level of engagement is remarkable and everything you say to them is so positive and well thought out. I also appreciate the time you took to demystify the New SAT and the options you suggested for our girls; especially with them being the first to take the new SAT and how colleges will react to the new format. NCL is a wonderful organization and we have loved working within our communities with our daughters to build a brighter future for not only them, but for others. It’s nice to meet people with the same goals in mind.

- Anne Stewart, Grade Level Adviser, National Charity League: Foothill Chapter
Our Patronesses gave Nick Standlea and Test Prep Gurus the highest of marks. His presentation “Reducing Anxiety in Standardized Testing and the College Admission Process” was highly informative and entertaining (and just as important, it did not include a sales pitch of any kind). I highly recommend that other National Charity League Chapters include Nick in their annual program!

- Tania Jernigan, President, National Charity League: Monarch Chapter

Handouts for Your Students

Counselors, please email us if you would like hard copies mailed to your school. 

Test Prep Gurus

Test Prep Gurus