Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Perfect Score Project (Review) have three children who have already navigated the SAT/ACT’s. My oldest spent a few weeks studying for the tests. My second spent NO time studying. Actually, I’m not sure he even took the SAT. He may have only taken the ACT (without preparation). My third child spent many months studying—first for the PSAT, then for the SAT. She was determined to reach National Merit status like her older sister. All three scored well, although I am sure that child #3 was able to improve her scores through her intense preparation.

I was not involved in any of the preparation process. My daughters chose the study materials that they thought would help them, and studied on their own.

I have one more child who has yet to navigate the waters of college prep and testing. This one, frankly, is an average and fairly unmotivated student. I’m seeing that I may need to be a bit more involved this time!

The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT, by Debbie Stier, describes the year-long journey of the author to crack the secrets to scoring a high SAT score. She had a middle schooler of her own that wasn’t particularly motivated in school and had no interest in thinking ahead to college or standardized testing. Thinking that she could motivate him by taking the journey with him, she set a goal to take the SAT seven times in one year, and to prepare intensely, using as many different methods as possible.

This hilarious, yet extremely helpful, story is packed with tips about study methods that work, and those that don’t. It relates her antics as she searches for the best tutors and pores through study books—some off track, some too easy or too difficult, and some just confusing or misleading. The author describes her meltdowns, the embarrassing situations she got herself into, and her successes and failures. She also relates her struggles and successes with her children as she attempted to bring them on board the project.

Did you know that

  • all study materials are not the same?
  • it can make a difference which testing center you choose?
  • the “experts” claim that preparation can only raise a score by 10-15 points?
  • some tutors charge $800 an hour for SAT prep!?
  • the official SAT Blue Book is the best resource for testing preparation?

I learned a lot while reading this book and will certainly refer back to it frequently as my daughter approaches the time when she will need to start the testing process. I’m also now following the Perfect Score Project Blog for even more help.

I highly recommend The Perfect Score Project to anyone preparing for the SAT or to anyone who has ever taken the SAT or struggled with an unmotivated child and who is looking for an entertaining read. It’s the perfect mix of fun reading with how-to book.

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

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