Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Review: The Perfect Score Project

Though I used to teach SAT prep for Kaplan, it was many, many moons ago. And of course, it was even longer ago that I actually TOOK the SAT. Have I ever told you that I took the test twice and got the same score both times? The second time, I went up in verbal and down in math! (This was back before the verbal was renamed Critical Reading.)   My memory is spotty but I am PRETTY SURE I did next to no test prep. I think I got some flash cards from someone I knew--maybe one of my sisters or a friend. The internet back then was not what it is now, so it is unlikely that I did any test prep on the College Board website. In any case, I went in there, took the test and passed muster. NYU took the best of my scores--the best math and the best verbal, and combined into one score. Thanks to Debbie's book, The Perfect Score Project: One Mother's Journey to Uncover the Secrets of the SAT I now know this is called superscoring.  Thanks to Debbie's book, I now know a lot of things that I didn't know before! The poor woman sat down for seven SAT exams, on a personal mission to help her son do his best on his own SAT exam. Actually, she had fun doing this so maybe I shouldn't feel so sorry for her! I actually kind of, sort of, wish I could take the SAT again, using the wisdom Debbie gleaned over the course of her project.
The book may be about the SAT but the story that unfolds is about one mother's struggle and triumph to hold her family together.  While stress is not an inherent part of SAT prep (at least, I don't think it is for everyone), in cases where there is a lot riding on SAT performance, relationships will be impacted.  Debbie was particularly obsessed with the test because she saw it as her son's best opportunity to pay for college. She felt sure that a high score would improve his chances of earning merit scholarships.  We, the reader, reap the benefits of her intensive experiment on locking down SAT success. Whether you are a tutor or a parent, this book is well worth reading--it is a font of information and knowledge that can be found across the internet and in every test prep center brought together into one humorous, uplifting volume.

Find Debbie at The Perfect Score Project. She is also on Twitter: 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. This post contains affiliate links.