Featured Student: Peter Anzideo

Last updated May 14, 2024 

With a couple of weeks until graduation and the start of his freshman year at Case Western Reserve University on the horizon, Cheltenham High School senior Peter Anzideo has a lot to celebrate. One of his notable accomplishments was a top score on the March 2023 SAT. Peter, with the help of A+ Test Prep and Tutoring, was able to boost his score significantly, earning a 1450 on the test. Peter’s 100-point improvement speaks to his hard work and the support he received from his verbal tutor, Patsy Graber, and math tutor, John Silbaugh. We recently spoke with Peter and his tutors to highlight Peter’s success and to reflect on his test prep journey.

A+: It’s been over a year since you completed tutoring and took the SAT. Can you recall what made you choose A+?

Peter: My college counselor, Linda Hollenback, suggested a bunch of different SAT tutoring options to us at the beginning of my college application process, and ultimately we decided on A+ considering price, proximity, and positive word-of-mouth.

A+: Looking back, what challenges did you face, and what advice did you receive from your tutors that helped you overcome those challenges?

Peter: One of my biggest challenges was time efficiency. Specifically, on the math section I could solve lots of the given problems but would take roundabout ways. Working with John Silbaugh, I ultimately grasped the most effective routes, whether it was logic-based deduction or finding a shortcut to make the problem easier to solve.

Peter’s mother shares her son’s view. According to her, “Peter knew the subject matter; what he needed to learn were the test-taking strategies for navigating the SAT.” John and Patsy, Peter’s math and verbal tutors, “provided him with those strategies and encouraged him along the way. John especially helped Peter focus on approaching the math questions in a way that stopped him from getting bogged down in the questions.”

Peter needed perseverance, in addition to effective strategy, to be successful. John recalls that “Peter struggled at times with somewhat stagnant score movement. He did not see consistent improvement, which was can be frustrating. It took him a while to move away from using algebraic solutions for problems where there were other, more efficient routes to solutions.” What helped Peter, says Silbaugh, was “#1 was his effort and commitment to improve, and #2 his ability to see the tutor-tutee relationship as more peer-to-peer than student-to-teacher, which meant he was very open to feedback and also willing to give his perspective on questions as they came up.”

Patsy, Peter’s verbal tutor, was equally impressed. “Peter was also adept at looking for his own strategies to help himself,” she says. “For example, he decided to save the paired passages until he’d finished the rest of the reading section. This prevented him from running out of time on the rest of the reading passages. Peter showed grit and perseverance, as well as ingenuity.”

A+:  It sounds like you and your tutors worked well together and found ways to overcome some of the difficulties you faced. Were there any other tips or strategies that you felt made a difference?

Peter: Both the positive reassurance from my tutors and putting in the work outside of tutoring sessions with practice tests and sample problem assignments were beneficial. If you’re willing to put in the work, A+ tutors will help you get to the next level with your scores; however, how much you get out of it ultimately comes down to your willingness to practice outside sessions. I forget who exactly told me this, but one of my tutors mentioned “power posing” to me as a suggestion for a confidence boost going into a test. While it might seem silly, I believe that doing this little exercise before my test ultimately helped me to ace it.

Patsy echoes Peter, citing his work ethic and commitment as keys to his success, “Peter completed all assignments, listened carefully to all information during test prep, and asked the right questions when necessary.” She adds that “Working with Peter was a pleasure. He is a caring and competent young man. He worked very hard to improve his SAT scores, and it paid off. He always asked the right questions when there was something he didn’t quite understand. When given reasons for some of his errors, he took them to heart and showed subsequent improvement every time.”

For John, it was Peter’s attitude that made the most significant impact. “Peter was very easy to work with. His curiosity about math problems was evident from the beginning, as was his skill in applying what he had learned in his math classes in school. Peter started the program with pretty strong diagnostic scores, but he never exhibited the slightest bit of complacency—he was willing to keep working on content areas that were less familiar and on strategies to help him with efficiency and time management. He completed every homework assignment thoroughly and thoughtfully and made sure to bring questions for us to discuss in our sessions. He did a great job!”

A+: Since you were so successful, what advice can you give students who are just getting started or considering test prep?

Peter: It might seem daunting at first, but just take it week-by-week, session-by-session, and make sure to continue doing your practice problems and tests at home and before you know it you’ll have improved your score!

A+:  With testing behind you and graduation coming up, what can you tell us about your future goals and plans?

Peter: I was interested in the University of Pittsburgh, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Michigan, and I ultimately accepted Case Western Reserve University’s offer to attend. I’m interested in engineering, likely mechanical, chemical, or concentrated in physics, with a long term goal of studying nuclear engineering, hopefully at the graduate level. I also think I’ll minor in history!

Patsy and John are excited and optimistic about Peter’s future and could not be more pleased with his achievement. As John says, “Peter’s really bright, and he will do very well in college and beyond.” Meanwhile, Patsy wants Peter to know that she “loved working with him” and she “wishes him a great college experience!”

Congratulations, Peter!

At A+ Test Prep and Tutoring, our practices are based on the latest developments in educational theory and research. We have an excellent team of tutors who can help you with standardized testing, executive functioning, or achievement in any other school subject. If you want to find out more about our services, call 215-886-9188.


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