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The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT by Debbie Stier
is a very funny book about a mom trying to help her test-averse son. Trying to get him the best possible score, she ended up taking the SAT by herself, as an adult, seven different times in five different locations - can you imagine?!
This book was a fun read for parents, and I really enjoyed the honesty as Debbie wrote about her struggles. During the process of taking these SAT tests, she tries different study methods and interviews test prep professionals. As I followed her journey of frustration, I learned even more about SAT preparation. I recommend this book for parents (not teens) who are doing research on SAT testing. If you are wondering about the different kinds of test preparation, you'll enjoy this fun, light-hearted, information-filled family saga.
The biggest drawback was unnecessary swearing early in the book. In Chapter 2, before the chapter even begins, there is a swear word that makes me uncomfortable recommending this book for teens. I think parents might look over the word, since many of us might hear this in the community, but I wouldn't want children to read it. The word was especially frustrating to me because it was in a quotation introducing the chapter. It was the only chapter that had a quotation, but apparently this quote with swearing was important enough to include as an introduction. In other places, some swearing is implied with symbols, but not overt. Again, it was especially frustrating to me because I spent so much time and effort getting perfect quotes for each chapter of my book, College Admission and Scholarships
. I know how much work it was to choose them, but I chose quotes from The Bible and The Princess Bride. I can't imagine writing a book about a high school topic like the SAT test and including profanity for no apparent reason. The *s* word in a book for high school... I don't get it.
Debbie has some great insights for test preparation. Every test location is completely different, so be sure to check out the test location. No amount of studying, and no investment in professionals, can compensate for a lack of understanding in the subject area (like the math section - you just can't raise your score by much unless you understand algebra.) She talks a lot about daily practice, but also about developing stamina - the ability to sit though such a long test. "Taking full, timed practice SATs using College Board material (only) is an essential ingredient for success on the SAT" and she suggests mimicking the actual test conditions as best you can. She really stresses using the College Board "Blue Book" which is "The Official SAT Study Guide"
which comes with or without a DVD. She suggests the SAT Online Course, because it has even more real, practice, full-length SAT tests.
The book was a fun read for parents, and I think parents would enjoy it, but don't make the kids read it.
I don't mind making my kids take the test, but I can't imagine doing it myself! Would you do it yourself? Would you do it if you thought it could increase your child's test score?