The project began as an attempt to help my son, Ethan, who was about to prepare for the SAT. Aware that he 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 I was in high school, I decided to climb into the trenches with him and turn this reviled right of passage into a shared experience that we would endure together.
I ended up taking the test myself seven times and compiling a guide that is part everything I learned about teenage motivation, and part consumer reports guide to test prep.
If you would like to know more, you can download the prologue.
“The Perfect Score Project is the perfect book for parenting in the age of anxiety. What begins with a mother’s worry about her teenage son quickly shifts to the moving story of a woman discovering the roots of her own imperfections. By year’s end, you’re cheering Debbie on as she and her son sit side-by-side, helping each other score higher. She has scripted the unimaginable: SAT—The Love Story.”
“Debbie Stier’s saga of descending into SAT test frenzy is jam-packed with truly sound advice for conquering test fatigue, understanding superscoring, overcoming performance anxiety and perfecting the ‘fine art of bubbling.’ Enjoy Debbie’s cautionary tale of obsession and taking seven SATS – but don’t try this at home!”
“Debbie Stier is a break-the-mold person. She is far ahead of the curve in seeing the future and finding ways to articulate it. She sees how things fit together — the essence of creativity — long before others do. So it’s no surprise that The Perfect Score Project is a break-the-mold book. Whereas the college application process, and in particular SAT preparation, fills parents and students with anxiety and a sense of being overwhelmed, Debbie’s experiences and hard-won insights offer much needed clarity.”
“With The Perfect Score Project, Debbie Stier has accomplished the equivalent of moving mountains: she has made taking the SAT a fascinating, irresistible adventure. The Perfect Score Project will have teens, their parents, high school guidance counselors, SAT prep centers and colleges reconsidering everything they think they know about the SAT and the world of test prep. Debbie’s entertaining, pioneering and eye-opening book is a page turner that will grab you from the beginning. And it may just inspire you to follow her lead and strive for a perfect score too.”
“I loved this book. Debbie Stier’s story of her year-long project answers every question about the SAT—and somehow turns this information into a lively and engaging adventure. I’m inspired to follow her advice (my poor fourteen-year-old has no idea). Parents especially will find this account packed with invaluable insights, from a funny, endearing friend who gives the inside scoop on how to deal with the nightmare.”
“What Debbie shows us in The Perfect Score is the possibility of strengthening our relationships with our children and empathizing with them in a time when anxiety often pulls us apart. I can so easily imagine using this book with my sons when it’s their turn to take the SAT as a way to ground us through the process.”
“Vince Lombardi, the greatest football coach of all time, famously said, ‘If we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ He could have been describing Debbie Stier’s unforgettable chase for a perfect SAT score. Her tips, lessons, and no-nonsense insights are insatiably useful. Her story is genuinely moving – not just a woman’s obsession with a test, but a mother’s love for her son. A perfect 800 in my book!”
“This book isn’t what you might think. More than just a guide to succeeding at ‘the test,’ it’s a primer for succeeding at life. Stier deftly connects success, mindset, and habit. The Perfect Score Project is the book every parent should read before diving into SAT prep.”
“I never would have been motivated (or even known enough) to study with my son if I hadn’t read your book. He mumbled a very quiet thank you as he disappeared into his room with his PSAT results. SAT, here we come!”