Welcome to No Anxiety Prep

N.A.P. International, No Anxiety Prep, is excited to provide a dynamic, experienced and caring one-stop shop for college, graduate school and occupational needs. N.A.P. International provides premium one-on-one and small group test preparation services as well as academic and occupational counseling services both domestically and internationally. With years of journalistic and educational experience and hundreds of success stories, N.A.P. International has the dedication, experience, proven track record to help you achieve your goals, but in a setting that values each unique student. We aren’t a test prep factory churning out clients, disregarding their specific needs and goals; we’re a smaller company with better credentials, more empathy and the background to achieve those goals.

We specialize in test preparation, essay and application assistance, college counseling and resume/cover letter services; we believe each student and job seeker has a story to tell, and our goal is to help you convey that story in a stand-out way: your way.  Let us help you make one of the most important decisions of your life with the best information available. Best of all, we can come to you!

Why Hire A Private Educational Consultant?

Why will your child benefit from a personal counselor? Well, did you know guidance counselors spend an average of 38 minutes per student, per year on college counseling according to “Counseling and College Counseling in America’s High Schools”? Yikes! In fact, many of them, while well-intentioned, are not experienced in the world of college admissions and don’t know how to play “the game.” Additionally, many are driven by outside and conflicting interests, such as their employer’s desires (the school), which may not match up what is best for your child. As independent educational consultants, our job is to help your family achieve its goals. Period.

Why Hire A Private Occupational Consultant?

Today’s job market is as competitive as it’s ever been. An unstable economy, a market flooded with more college graduates than ever and the shrinking of certain fields have contributed to difficulty in attaining employment for many. Let us help you craft or tweak a resume that gets you noticed, not tossed in the boss’ trash basket. We can also help you perfect your public speaking skills so once you secure that interview, you’ll go in feeling confident and ready to be hired!


  • Nikkee is a fabulous teacher. She is passionate, intelligent, and truly cares about each student's score improvement. She not only helped me improve my scores, but also helped me improve my confidence. I walked into the test feeling strong, and positive. My score improved 550 points between my first test and my final score. Overall Nikkee taught me how to confidently conquer the test and to create a positive atmosphere surrounding the SAT.

    C.M., Alexandria, VA
  • Nikkee was quite helpful, even though we were "long distance". Nikkee, whom I met in Italy, gave excellent advice to find a college that "fit" my child's academic interests and campus living criteria, and encouraged my daughter to be upbeat and think positively when approaching her common application. She also described how transferring after freshman year could be a strategic way eventually to find the right "fit". She encouraged my daughter to write from the heart and in her own voice.

    Parent of C., Rome, Italy
  • No Anxiety Prep’s tutors are highly effective, thoughtful, and flexible mentors. My son responded so strongly to his tutor’s sincerity and positive attitude. I saw marked improvements not only in his test scores, but in his grades in school, and his overall outlook toward the future.

    H.R., Bethesda, MD
  • Nikkee played an integral role in my college admissions process. She not only helped keep me on track with all the essays but she also boosted my confidence. Nikkee does her research and always came prepared. I was so fortunate to have her help and expertise.

    R.A., Rockville, MD
  • Nikkee was the biggest support I had when applying to college and I owe everything to her. Having grown up with two parents who did not know much about college it was hard for me because I was really on my own. However, Nikkee made a huge difference. Originally only supposed to read over my essays, she took it upon herself to help me research different colleges and help me apply for every single school; I can never thank her enough. She did more than just help me academically. She also was a person that I could call at anytime if I had questions or even just to talk because I was stressed. Thanks to her I got into my first choice school and have never looked back!

    C.G., Poolesville, MD
  • Without a doubt, the best tutor I've ever had. Alexan effectively taught me what I needed to know to take the SAT in a clear and concise manner. Thanks to his constant enforcement and encouragement, I scored 400 points higher on my second SAT and as a result I am now going to one of the top 30 colleges in the nation.

    S.R., Potomac, MD
  • Nicole M. was the perfect tutor for me because she was laid back but knew how to push me just enough. She is the smartest tutor I’ve ever had, and her positivity and emphasis on being prepared allowed me to go into my ACT without fear and score over a 30.

    L.J., Fairfax, VA
  • "((Student)) got a letter in the mail from Yeshiva University congratulating (student) on becoming a Dean's Scholar. Thank you very much to them for the always helpful scholarship and THANK YOU as well!!!!!!"

    C.B., Silver Spring, MD
  • Nikkee Porcaro made studying for the SAT enjoyable – and I’m not kidding. After attempting the test twice, I was very unsatisfied with one area of the test and began looking for ways to improve my score. I met with many tutors before finding Nikkee and was growing increasingly frustrated and impatient about my stagnant, mediocre scores. When someone recommended Nikkee to my mom and I, I was very reluctant to meet with her as other tutors were bland and boring, and I was starting to believe I would have to settle for my original scores. After the first meeting with the bubbly, enthusiastic Nikkee, she had changed my entire attitude about the test and instilled a newfound confidence about defeating the SAT. Rather than dreading tutoring sessions with Nikkee as I would with any other tutor, the hour with her felt like ten minutes and I left feeling much less stressed. Because she was so incredibly helpful with the SAT, I also sought her help with my college essays. While writing is my worst nightmare and it can take me days to write short essays, I was able to compose a complete supplement essays in one sitting. She also sparked unparalleled creativity in me for my Common Application essay of which I was very proud. Without her tremendous help, my college application process would have been a disaster and I would still be unhappy with my SAT scores. Additionally, I still use the tools she taught me for writing now and believe she was the reason why English class in college was a breeze for me when it was always a challenge for me in high school.

    M.M., Bethesda, MD
  • Thanks again so much for all of your assistance leading up to the LSAT and submitting my applications. I was accepted at Catholic and American and both schools offered me approximately $100k in scholarships. Y'all's help was invaluable throughout this process!

    J.D., Washington, D.C.


Different schools have different resources; private schools often have a college adviser, but many do not. Public schools generally have guidance counselors or career centers, but that small number of people is serving thousands of students, often for issues other than college applications- not optimal for personalized attention.

  • N.A.P. International has the unique dual experience of both the journalism and college admissions worlds.
  • This allows us to combine strong communication and research skills with the knowledge and experience of the educational arena.
  • Most importantly, your child is the number one focus during all sessions, and since N.A.P. International is working with a fraction of the students a guidance counselor at a large high school would (in fact, we limit the number of students we work with), personalization and specialization become key aspects of your family’s application process.
Glad you asked!

    • Students should think about college starting at the beginning of high school, using this to inform decisions on what classes to take, extra-curriculars to participate in and service activities to become involved in. We can schedule a planning session for incoming freshman so your family can maximize your student’s time- before you know it, junior year will be upon you and it could be too late.
    • College counseling is excellent to start when the student enters high school, so the counselor and parents can map out a plan and a timeline for the student to follow to best position themselves for college admissions.
  • SAT II Subject Tests and AP tests are generally taken starting sophomore year and can go through senior year, depending on when the student takes particular classes.
  • Test preparation generally begins the summer before or fall of junior year. (Many of our tutors tend to book up 6-8 months in advance for test prep.)
  • By the middle of junior year, students should have taken at least one standardized test (SAT or ACT); by the middle of senior year, they should have taken their chosen test at least two but no more than three times.
  • The actual college application process should begin the summer before the student’s senior year; this allows time to compile a list of colleges to apply to as well as their respective admissions requirements, and begin those essays.
  • N.A.P. International generally works with high school students at various points in their high school careers for all types of advising, and usually begins work with prospective college students anywhere from July to December of their senior years.
  •  Remember, though: the earlier, the better! Removing the pressure of time from the process also removes much of the stress.


Students are certainly busy these days; that isn’t up for debate. However, time must be made for college applications to see results.

  • Remember, most every other student competing with you for college admission is in the same boat: good grades, participation in outside activities, service work. Your student needs to stand out!
  • It may mean that certain social or extracurricular activities take a backseat for a few weeks or months, but that time period will be just a tiny blip when you look back on it… as your settling into the dorm at a great college!
  • N.A.P. International specializes in the essay and research portions of the college admissions process; our work will save you time!
  • A good score is hard to quantify. For some students, attaining a score above the national average is a major achievement. For others, nothing under a 2000 will do.
  • There is no right or wrong answer; a good score is one that gets your student where he/she wants to be. A benchmark we use is this: A “good” score is one that puts your child in the 75th percentile or above of the accepted pool of students for the school(s) you’re looking at, statistics that can be found on many websites and that we can help you ascertain.
  •  That doesn’t mean a guaranteed admission by any means; students in a lower percentile may be admitted while those in a higher may be denied (as mentioned above, there are numerous factors that go into admission, which we are more than happy to discuss with you.)
  •  Score increases are based on many things: the student’s starting score, the work ethic/homework completion, practice tests taken, how long before the actual test that prep started, and how many sessions of prep there were. However, 90% of our students go up over 150 points on the SAT and 3-4 points on the ACT, with multiple students achieving increases of 400-600 points on the SAT and 7-11 points on the ACT. The sky is truly the limit if the student is willing to work.
  • Overall, a good score is one that shows your student’s improvement and makes him or her feel good about himself.
As much as N.A.P. International would like to guarantee admission into someone’s dream college, the nature of the college admissions process is unpredictable.

  • Numerous factors go into the admissions process, such as GPA, strength of class schedule, extra-curriculars, essays, legacy, race, geography, individual college preferences…the list is endless.
  •  Therefore, no matter someone’s scores or credentials, no guarantees can be made. Students with perfect scores have been turned down from Ivies; students with less than stellar grades have been accepted to their choice colleges.
  •  N.A.P. International works closely with a current college admission officer at a local college for consulting and uses the most current information on college admissions and essay writing, as well as years of experience helping other students attain admission to their choice schools. 
If only it were that easy!

  • Scores are a big part, but not the only part, of the admissions process.
  • While it is tempting to compare your student with other students, such comparisons are not valid because of the aforementioned unpredictable nature of the college admissions process.
  •  Score ranges provided by colleges and college selection books are helpful, but just because a student is in the range of scores or GPA does not mean they are guaranteed acceptance.
  • N.A.P. International strives to give students a competitive edge with essays and applications that stand out to admissions officials.
N.A.P. International knows there are many choices in the college counseling arena. However, N.A.P. is the best choice because it combines what every student needs: personalized attention with experience and proven results.

  • As a small company, we aren’t simply signing students up and moving them through our programs like an assembly line. We work with a small number of students to ensure they are getting the most personalized attention.
  • Additionally, N.A.P. International’s staff has been in the college preparation business full-time for the past six years and draws on that foundational experience, combined with continuous professional development in college admissions news, to ensure each student is listened to and assisted with their final goals in mind.
  • In the last year alone, N.A.P. International has helped students procure acceptance letters and/or scholarships from Princeton, Harvard, Duke, Emory, University of Pennsylvania, NYU, Tufts, Boston University, Xavier, Penn State, University of Maryland, Georgetown, Washington University of St. Louis, Bucknell, and The New School (Manhattan), just to name a few. See our Results page for a complete list!
You can expect the most personalized, expert attention available from N.A.P. International for your child.

  • You can expect a college counselor with a strong background in journalism and a Masters in education.
  • You can expect timely communication and frequent availability to answer your questions, and someone who genuinely cares about your student’s success.
  • From you, N.A.P. International expects constant parental involvement when necessary, consistent communication as to your family’s goals and expectations and a quiet place to work.
  • Most importantly, expect N.A.P. International to make the college admissions process much less stressful!