Book Review: The Perfect Score Project

Title: The Perfect Score Project
Subtitle: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT
Author: Debbie Stier
Genre: Parenting, Family Relationships
Book Release: February 25, 2014

Here is the description of the book from the editor:

I think you’ll find this book hard to put down
even if you haven’t reflected much lately on standardized
tests or worried how they may affect the students in your life.
In The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT,
Debbie Stier has skillfully embedded invaluable information and advice within a compelling personal narrative of a devoted and loving mother striving to relate to her teenage kids.
The book probes deep into a ritual of adolescence in this case, taking the SAT. Debbie’s son was approaching the age when he’d begin grappling with the test, and to help him through the ordeal, she decided to research every test prep method imaginable.
As it turned out, the quest played out like a fun Hollywood
movie-not what she expected. 
It began with the College Board’s Question of the Day, which activated Debbie’s anxiety from her own high school SAT experience.Her efforts led her to retake the SAT seven times, shuttling from the Gothic halls of private boarding schools, to the cinder-block gyms of suburban public schools, to an urban high school in the Bronx, where, after passing through a metal detector,testers were greeted by posters advising them to “SAY NO 2 KNIVES.” 
In reading the story of Debbie’s “whatever it takes” effort to rescue her son from underachievement, you may experience a shock of recognition and feel yourself propelled by the same fears and concerns about how your child is going to get into a decent college and realize his or her potential.Debbie’s relationship with her son will resonate with parents everywhere.
You’ll come away from this book having learned a ton and feeling good about the kind of love that makes a mother like Debbie Stier go the extra mile. The book is surprising, hilarious, and, at times, poignant. There are some antic “Perils of Pauline” moments, some wacky characters, and even a parent/teenager war that breaks out. There’s reconciliation and, ultimately, a happy ending.

She took the test 7 times! Can you say "helicopter mom?"  or maybe "tiger mom?"  Either way, when you read this book you can see how much the author loves her son and wants him to succeed.  I took the test once and that was because I had to.  I would never willingly take it again.  I understand the sacrifice that this mother made.  

Most teenage boys and some teenage girls are not fans of studying for the SAT.   Most of them despise the SAT but know it is necessary evil if they want to attend college.  Where should your child start?  What classes should they take?  What prep books should they read?  What are the best test taking rituals?  The author answers all of these questions.  She knows because she tried it herself.  She not only took the test seven times but she studied for it seven times!

I don't see teenagers reading this book but I do think that every parent should.  She does all the work for you.  It is the best "how to" guide to the SAT.  Even if you took the SAT, it was probably 25 years ago and boy have times changed.  She tells it to you straight and gives you advice about where to invest your time and money when it come to prepping for the SAT.

My only disappointment was that I thought the book would be written from a Christian perspective since it was from a Christian publishing company.  There were no references to faith or the Christian life in the book.  I think that praying for your child as they enter this exciting time of their life is the most important thing that you can do!

Disclaimer:  I received this advanced copy of the book for free from Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Great review, thank you for sharing it, I was curious about this book, and will probably keep it off my list for now. Thanks for sharing with Cozy Reading Spot!


  2. I agree that praying for your child during that time is crucial! You never know if teenagers will read the book. This is something I would have read as a teenager. ;) But I think you are right, this is probably more for the parents. Thanks for linking up to the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

  3. That was a very detailed review! This is indeed an important and all consuming topics for any child who is nearing the SATs. I reecntly read the "Smartest kids in the world" by Amanda Ripley and it was an eye-opener! Thanks for sharing this review at KidLit BlogHop. I am putting this one on our to read shelf!
    -Resh @ Stackingbooks

  4. Thanks for sharing with the Kid Lit Blog Hop. As a high school teacher, I taught as many strategies as I could find for the ACT which is the test our kids took. Anything is a help.


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