The project began as an attempt by Debbie Stier to help her teenage son, Ethan, who would shortly be studying for the SAT. Aware that Ethan was a typical teenager (i.e., uninterested in any test, especially a 4-hour standardized exam) and would be facing a much more competitive admissions process and economy than when she was in high school, she decided to climb into the trenches with him. She took the SAT 7 times in one year, ultimately compiling an accessible and relatable guide that is both a consumer report of fresh tips and an amusing snapshot of parental love and wisdom colliding with teenage apathy. Stier quickly became hooked, and her quest turned into an exercise in both hilarity and heartbreak as she persisted in deciphering the mind-boggling menu of test prep options.
In The Perfect Score Project Debbie tries it all, from Kaplan, to Kumon and The Khan Academy; she meets with a premier grammar coach, takes a battery of intelligence tests, and studies with the world’s most prestigious (and expensive) test prep company. She answers all the questions that overwhelm students and parents facing the SAT: “When do I start?” “Does brand-name test-prep work?” “Do I need a tutor, a class, or can I self-study?” “What’s the one thing I need to know?” and, “What’s the secret to teenage motivation?”
The Perfect Score Project 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.
“This book is about motivation, and hard work, and parenting, but, above all, it’s about forming the deepest bonds of family connection…here the test Debbie took over and over and over again becomes a metaphor: she chooses to do the hardest work of her life, and it pays off in a thousand different ways”.
– Laura Zigman
Debbie Stier is the mother of two teenagers. Her book publishing career has spanned two decades, most of it spent in PR where she was responsible for publicizing dozens of iconic books ranging from The Notebook to Marley and Me. Frequently covered by the media, including MediaBistro, New York Observor and New York Magazine, Debbie regularly speaks on topic pertaining to social media and technology as well as, most recently, standardized testing. She lives with her son and daughter in New York City, but you can find her at theperfectscoreproject.com.
You can sign up for a series of tailored emails that will lead you step-by-step through the entire SAT process:
Each series also includes links to SAT resources and articles that I highly recommend.