Synopses & Reviews
For the six million parents of teens annually navigating the bewildering world of SAT prep (a $4.5 billion industry), The Perfect Score Project is a straight-from-the-trenches road map with everything you need to know, written as a funny, compelling narrative by a mom on a quest for SAT mastery.
These days high SAT scores are seen as the ticket to a good college--and, ultimately, a successful life--and yet, for parents, the torment of cajoling one's kid into studying is made worse by the tangle of advice about how to study, whether any of the prep programs have value, and if so, which. Debbie Stier made it her mission to cut through that tangle and ace the SAT--partly in an attempt to bond with her test-taking son and partly as a midlife do over (she'd scored so low in high school her college choices were narrowed to a few). As part of her quest, Debbie took the SAT seven times and sampled test-prep methods like a restaurant critic. Here she imparts her hard-won knowledge, delivering the inside skinny on Kaplan and Kumon, Cogmed brain-training exercises, what it's like to hand over your test-taking brain to a $1000 hour tutor, and lots more. Part SAT-prep consumer guide, part amusing intellectual-quest narrative reminiscent of A. J. Jacobs's The Know-It-All, this one-of-a-kind book informs and entertains.
About the Author
The Perfect Score Project is an indispensable guide to acing the SAT – as well as the affecting story of a single mom’s quest to light a fire under her teenage son.
It all began as an attempt by Debbie Stier to help her high-school age son, Ethan, who would shortly be studying for the SAT. Aware that Ethan was a typical teenager (i.e., completely uninterested in any test) and that a mind-boggling menu of test-prep options existed, she decided – on his behalf -- to sample as many as she could to create the perfect SAT test-prep recipe.
Debbie’s quest turned out to be an exercise in both hilarity and heartbreak as she took the SAT seven times in one year and in-between “went to school” on standardized testing. Here, she reveals why the SAT has become so important, the cottage industries it has spawned, what really works in preparing for the test and what is a waste of time.
Both a toolbox of fresh tips and an amusing snapshot of parental love and wisdom colliding with teenage apathy, The Perfect Score Project rivets. In the book Debbie does it all: wrestles with Kaplan and Princeton Review, enrolls in Kumon, navigates khanacademy.org, meets regularly with a premier grammar coach, takes a battery of intelligence tests, and even cadges free lessons from the world’s most prestigious (and expensive) test prep company.
Along the way she answers the questions that plague every test-prep rookie, including: “When do I start?”...”Do the brand-name test prep services really deliver?”...”Which should I go with: a tutor, an SAT class, or self study?”...”Does test location really matter?” … “How do I find the right tutor?”… “How do SAT scores affect merit aid?”... and “What’s the one thing I need to know?”
The Perfect Score Project’s combination of charm, authority, and unexpected poignancy makes it one of the most compulsively readable guides to SAT test prep ever – and a book that will make you think hard about what really matters.
From the Hardcover edition.