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The Perfect Score Project - Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT by Debbie Stier

The Perfect Score Project by Debbie Stier is a fascinating book (borne out of a fascinating plan!) - 281 pages, 20 chapters of SAT prep information wrapped in the true story of a mom who took the SAT seven times while working to encourage her son to do his best rather then settling for mediocrity. Is that novel, or what?!? You don't have the opportunity to read about this type of undertaking every day; needless to say, I was very interested in Debbie's story.

The Perfect Score Project is an informative, well-written book that makes the reader feel right at home as soon as you turn to page 1. Each chapter has "info boxes" that contain valuable tidbits to help your student get the most from their SAT preparation ~ so no worries that this book just tells Debbie Stier's tale of taking a difficult standardized test over and over again. Nope, the book doesn't just tell her tale, it gives loads of excellent information that moms of high-school students can use.

Here is an example of the type of advice you'll find in The Perfect Score:

                Characteristics of a Great Test Location
                         ~ classrooms, rather than gymnasiums or cafeterias ,are used for testing
                         ~ full-size desks & chairs (versus chairs with attached tablet desks)
                         ~ a visible clock in the testing room
                         ~ proctors who abide by official test rules

As a homeschooling mom with two kids in college and three still at home, I can tell you that tips like these really do make a big difference in the score your student gets on the SAT. (And in case you're wondering, "How on earth do I find a great test location?" no worries; she tells you how in the book!) She was tackling this project in 2011, and there may be a few changes that have taken place since then. My oldest graduated in 2011, so I have experience with the SAT in the same frame of time that Debbie's book relates. My second oldest graduated in 2013, and there were some changes to the College Board website and the admission ticket (specifically it now requires a photo of the student on the ticket itself - so have a pic your teen likes saved to your desktop...because they WILL gripe if you use a picture they don't find flattering!)

As a mother who was asked to participate in a Q&A session/private interview with College Board representatives, and one who has perused the site fairly extensively, I feel somewhat qualified to say that this book is a good resource to have on hand if you have a child considering college. And why take a chance with a test score that could save tens of thousands of dollars in student loans? A good score = money for college. Resources that lead to a good score = a great investment.

I do, however, have to share a disclaimer. I'm a homeschooling mother, and the official name of my blog is "Encouraging Moms Who Homeschool". That is why I write - to encourage homeschooling mothers. And I'm not quiet about my faith in Jesus Christ on my blog. So it won't come as any surprise when I say that this book, as it is written to an audience that is much broader than the audience my blog is written for, is not what I'd call "clean". There is language that I do not approve of ~ curse words and misuse of God's name. Not on every page, and maybe it's mild as compared to other non-Christian books. But I cannot post a review of this book to my specific audience and leave out those details. It bothered me when reading the book, and I assume it would also bother others.

The book as a whole is really a gem, a treasure-trove of insight and an honest look at a mom's concern for her son's future. Overall I loved it. And overall I highly recommend it. (And I don't really ever recommend books that have any foul language in them - so my recommendation says a whole lot about the value of the subject matter covered in The Perfect Score Project.)

On my "Page Turner Scale" of 1 to 5, I gave this book a 5.

To learn more about the book, visit  or read more @ Random House online.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Day 294 done :)

Jan L. Burt
author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study


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