Kristy' s Brain Food

My Honest Thought's and Amazing Book Reviews

Want your children to succeed?

on November 24, 2014
The Perfect score

The Perfect score

Title: The Perfect Score Project

Author: Debbie Stier

Genre : Educational

Length: 306 pages

Publisher: Harmony

Release Date: February 25, 2014

Available at: Harmony, Amazon, Barnes & Noble,

book review 8

*I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in return for a fair and honest review.*


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, 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.


The Perfect Score has inspired thousands of parents, students and teachers to connect and transform the most reviled right of passage in a high school student’s life into a positive experience. This book provides concrete research on the best ways to succeed on a test that serves as the last big milestone before kids leave for college.

After taking the SAT’s a whopping 7 times in one year to test out her methods, she discovered that nothing beats the daily grind — forget the cramming and flash studying. Instead, begin and the foundational levels in math and grammar and vocabulary, and work at it regularly. Also, she offers particular advice for how to learn to write quality essays for the SAT writing section.

All the study dos and don’ts are clustered in shaded text boxes throughout the book, making the reader’s study plan that much simpler. What Stier discovered in her test year about preparing for the SAT can be of great benefit to any teen, or parent of a teen, heading to college.

The book is chock full of tips about what did and did not work for Ms. Stier. Many suggestions are tips that are easy to put into practice and don’t have a great time requirement. For example, in the case of the essay. The book suggests having two historical and two literary examples that you can work into the essay. It also says that the length of the essay makes a difference and to use big words. Essays using personal examples tend to get lower scores than those using literary and historical examples. If you are going all out and want to use a private tutor or a tutoring service, there are helpful suggestions for that as well?

Overall Impression: 

 4 * – I really liked it – Having three teenage children (18,16,&13) this book is definitely something I want in my repitore to help my children succeed to their highest potential. There are many avenues out there to pursue to make the SAT’s easier but the truth is it’s meant to be hard. Debbie’s book allows us to use methods she herself tried and proved their helpfulness. It is a book My kids and I will be using as each of them take the steps toward getting into the college of their dreams.

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