The Perfect Score Project: One Mother's Journey to Uncover the Secrets of the SAT

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The Perfect Score Project is an indispensable guide to acing the SAT – as well as the affecting story of a single mom’s quest to light a fire under her teenage son.
 
It all began as an attempt by Debbie Stier to help her high-school age son, Ethan, who would shortly be studying for the SAT.  Aware that Ethan was a typical teenager (i.e., completely uninterested in any test) and that a mind-boggling menu of test-prep options existed, she decided – on his behalf -- to sample as many as she could to create the perfect SAT test-prep recipe.
 
Debbie’s quest turned out to be an exercise in both hilarity and heartbreak as she took the SAT seven times in one year and in-between “went to school” on standardized testing.  Here, she reveals why the SAT has become so important, the cottage industries it has spawned, what really works in preparing for the test and what is a waste of time.
 
Both a toolbox of fresh tips and an amusing snapshot of parental love and wisdom colliding with teenage apathy, The Perfect Score Project rivets. In the book Debbie does it all: wrestles with Kaplan and Princeton Review, enrolls in Kumon, navigates khanacademy.org, meets regularly with a premier grammar coach, takes a battery of intelligence tests, and even cadges free lessons from the world’s most prestigious (and expensive) test prep company.
 
Along the way she answers the questions that plague every test-prep rookie, including: “When do I start?”...”Do the brand-name test prep services really deliver?”...”Which should I go with: a tutor, an SAT class, or self study?”...”Does test location really matter?” … “How do I find the right tutor?”…How do SAT scores affect merit aid?”... and “What’s the one thing I need to know?”
 
The Perfect Score Project’s combination of charm, authority, and unexpected poignancy makes it one of the most compulsively readable guides to SAT test prep ever – and a book that will make you think hard about what really matters.


From the Hardcover edition.
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About the author

Debbie Stier is a single mother of two teenagers.  Her book publishing career has spanned two decades, most of it spent in PR where she was responsible for publicizing dozens of iconic books ranging from The Notebook to Marley and Me.  Frequently covered by the media, including MediaBistro, New York Observor and New York Magazine, Debbie regularly speaks on topic pertaining to social media and technology as well as, most recently, standardized testing.  She lives with her son and daughter in New York City, but you can find her at theperfectscoreproject.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harmony
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Published on
Feb 25, 2014
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780307956699
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Education / Higher
Family & Relationships / Parenting / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Drawing on the first study of 1600 scorers conducted with the full cooperation of the College Board, here are the 7 secrets to success on the SAT -- and in life.

Every year roughly 2.3 million high school students take the SAT; of those, however, only 650 students on average achieve a perfect score of 1600. Such a statistic raises obvious questions: Who are these kids? What are they like? And how do they do it?

In a new landmark study, educator and executive recruiter Tom Fischgrund became the first researcher ever granted comprehensive access to these high academic achievers by the College Board, the body that administers the SAT. Weaving together in-depth interviews with perfect-score students, insights from their parents, and exclusive College Board data, in 1600 Perfect Score he reveals the 7 secrets that separate the cream from the crop.

Among the Revelations

Attending small private schools (or any school with classes) doesn't always make a big difference ... but having strong family support does

Paying for expensive classes or tutors doesn'talways make a big difference ... but takinglots of practice tests at home does

Having a strongly motivating teacher doesn't always make a big difference ... but having an independent passion for learning definitely does

Packed with intriguing case studies and practical advice -- and tips from the 1600 scorers themselves -- this essential book brings hard data and a new, more human perspective to one of the greatest challenges parents everywhere face: how to make sure their children have the best chance to thrive in high school, college, and beyond.

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
 
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
 
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
PWN is back, and better than ever.

The PWN the SAT Math Guide was created to help ambitious, highly motivated kids maximize their SAT math scores. Do you crave a higher score? Are you willing to do a little hard work to achieve it? Good. I knew I liked you.

Read this book from beginning to end, with a pencil in hand and a calculator and an Official SAT Study Guide by your side. When you’re done, you’ll be able to approach the SAT with confidence—very few questions will surprise you, and even fewer will be able to withstand your withering attacks.

Stand tall, intrepid student. Destiny awaits.

Updated for the New SAT

This new edition of the Math Guide has been updated, rather painstakingly, to reflect the realities of the new SAT coming March 2016. This book was not rushed to market to take advantage of interest in the new exam. I took my time, and hopefully I got it right.

Chapters are broken into five major sections: Techniques, Heart of Algebra, Passport to Advanced Math, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Additional Topics in Math. Each chapter concludes with a reference list of similar questions from official practice tests. 

Practice questions are designated as either “Calculator” or “No calculator.” Students will be forbidden from using their calculators for one whole section of the new SAT.

Emphasis is placed on nimbleness—the ability to approach problems in multiple ways to find the one that works best. Calculator solutions and shortcuts are provided where appropriate.

Join me online

Readers of this book are encouraged to register as Math Guide Owners at the PWN the SAT website. There will be video solutions and other bonus content there. Signing up there will also give me a way to get in touch with you if I make book updates. See details at http://mathguide.pwnthesat.com.

Something is going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen?
 
First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths are incompatible with basic psychological principles, as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. They interfere with healthy development. Anyone who embraces these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—is less likely to become an autonomous adult able to navigate the bumpy road of life.
 
Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to produce these untruths. They situate the conflicts on campus in the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization, including a rise in hate crimes and off-campus provocation. They explore changes in childhood including the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade.
 
This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.
The definitive career guide for grad students, adjuncts, post-docs and anyone else eager to get tenure or turn their Ph.D.  into their ideal job
 
Each year tens of thousands of students will, after years of hard work and enormous amounts of money, earn their Ph.D. And each year only a small percentage of them will land a job that justifies and rewards their investment. For every comfortably tenured professor or well-paid former academic, there are countless underpaid and overworked adjuncts, and many more who simply give up in frustration.
 
Those who do make it share an important asset that separates them from the pack: they have a plan. They understand exactly what they need to do to set themselves up for success.  They know what really moves the needle in academic job searches, how to avoid the all-too-common mistakes that sink so many of their peers, and how to decide when to point their Ph.D. toward other, non-academic options.
 
Karen Kelsky has made it her mission to help readers join the select few who get the most out of their Ph.D. As a former tenured professor and department head who oversaw numerous academic job searches, she knows from experience exactly what gets an academic applicant a job. And as the creator of the popular and widely respected advice site The Professor is In, she has helped countless Ph.D.’s turn themselves into stronger applicants and land their dream careers.
 
Now, for the first time ever, Karen has poured all her best advice into a single handy guide that addresses the most important issues facing any Ph.D., including:
 
-When, where, and what to publish
-Writing a foolproof grant application
-Cultivating references and crafting the perfect CV
-Acing the job talk and campus interview
-Avoiding the adjunct trap
-Making the leap to nonacademic work, when the time is right
 
The Professor Is In addresses all of these issues, and many more.
A groundbreaking manifesto about what our nation’s top schools should be—but aren’t—providing: “The ex-Yale professor effectively skewers elite colleges, their brainy but soulless students (those ‘sheep’), pushy parents, and admissions mayhem” (People).

As a professor at Yale, William Deresiewicz saw something that troubled him deeply. His students, some of the nation’s brightest minds, were adrift when it came to the big questions: how to think critically and creatively and how to find a sense of purpose. Now he argues that elite colleges are turning out conformists without a compass.

Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale’s admissions committee. As schools shift focus from the humanities to “practical” subjects like economics, students are losing the ability to think independently. It is essential, says Deresiewicz, that college be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success in order to forge their own paths. He features quotes from real students and graduates he has corresponded with over the years, candidly exposing where the system is broken and offering clear solutions on how to fix it.

“Excellent Sheep is likely to make…a lasting mark….He takes aim at just about the entirety of upper-middle-class life in America….Mr. Deresiewicz’s book is packed full of what he wants more of in American life: passionate weirdness” (The New York Times).
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