Debbie Stier

The Unbiased SAT Prep Expert

“Debbie Stier is truly an expert on the SAT. . . [Her] lively lecture about SAT prep was an eye opener, and the wise, practical solutions she imparted were priceless.”

Bronxville School

“Debbie connected with the parents and sent them away with tools to help guide their children – and help reduce some of their stress for the daunting journey of the SAT!”

—REACH Community & Youth Agency 

Debbie Stier is the unbiased SAT expert and mom, featured on NBC’s Today Show and in The New Yorker. Her keynote talks and workshops, based on her book The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT, alleviate the stress and anxiety of SAT prep for parents, students, and educators. Her expert knowledge of SAT study prep comes straight from the trenches as both a mom and a student. She took the SAT seven times as an adult and improved her scores by 330 points. The work she did with her son helped him improve his score by 590 points so that he scored in the 95 percentile and received multiple and received multiple offers from top-ranking colleges with significant scholarship money attached. Her talks are unbiased because she is not affiliated with any one study prep method and waded through the miasma of study prep from Kaplan to Kumon to tutors and everything in between.

Read the prologue of The Perfect Score Project to understand why on earth a mother would take the SAT herself: Prologue.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to discern the best SAT study prep (tutor, class, self study) appropriate for each student, budget and time commitment
  • Secrets to motivating your teens to study
  • Tested tips on test-taking strategy and where and when to take the tests
  • What SAT test scores mean and how they affect not only merit aid but future employment
  • How to turn the SAT journey into a bonding experience with your kid
  • What will and will not change about the new SAT of 2016
  • How parents can work together with schools and vice versa

Who is Debbie Stier?

Stier took the SAT as an adult to crack the hype surrounding the test and motivate her son to study and boost his scores. She then took the test another six times to see if she could improve on her own modest high school scores. The journey became the research for The Perfect Score Project. Stier has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, CBS This Morning, Daily Ticker on Yahoo Finance, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Parade Magazine (twice), The Huffington Post (twice), the Harvard Crimson, USA Today, Education Week (Part I, Part II), Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project Blog, The Journal News, and Gotham Gal. Stier is a contributor to about the SAT, as well as Psychology Today. She has delivered talks at a range of venues: high schools, PTA groups, SXSW, Media Bistro, Columbia University, and NYU. An executive in book publishing for many years, Stier now speaks across the country and consults with families and schools about SAT study prep.

Parents, Teaches, and Tutors Agree with Debbie:

“Thanks so much – my daughter got a 2300 on her first try! She (mostly) followed your program, no prep course needed!”

—Jodi Westrum, Mom

“As a teacher, it sparked so many ideas that made me want to shout them from the top of the roof to my fellow teachers. . . she offers some great advice that should not be missed. . .  That’s what we, as teachers, love to see… a parent who cares enough to go through it with their child!”

—Jamie Meddings, High school teacher

“Debbie’s experience gave us hope that our child, given the right tools, and a ‘long run-way’ to prepare for the SAT is capable of achieving a great score.”

—Parent from West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, Princeton Juction

“My job would be a lot easier if all parents had to read this book.”

—Vince Kotchian, SAT tutor

“What Stier does give – and she delivers this in spades – is an idea of what the SAT experience is like for both you and your child and a solid orientation about how you as a parent can actually help. This alone is worth it’s weight in gold.”

—New Jersey Mom

Praise for Debbie Stier’s Talks

“Debbie Stier is truly an expert on the SAT. With humor, common sense, and a down-to-earth demeanor, Debbie spoke to a mix of parents and students. One father and son were so inspired by how Debbie and her son studied for the SAT together, that they are going to do her Perfect Score Project together. Debbie’s lively lecture about SAT prep was an eye opener, and the wise, practical solutions she imparted were priceless.”

—Katie Casperson, Chair, Health & Wellness Committee, Bronxville School

“Debbie Stier’s SAT prep presentation was honest, thorough and engaging! She offered vital information, created a lively discussion, and did it with wit, humor, and from the heart! Debbie connected with the parents and sent them away with tools to help guide their children – and help reduce some of their stress for the daunting journey of the SAT!”

—Lydia von Barta, Assistant Director, REACH Community & Youth Agency of

Commack & Half Hollow Hills, NY

“Debbie was so wonderful to work with and such a delightful speaker. Afterward, one participant told me (among several compliments that I heard from other participants), ‘She’s just the best speaker ever! None of the other speakers are as interesting and funny as her! She should be a professor!”’

—Hanna Lee, Youth Services Librarian, Princeton Public Library

“Debbie gave a fabulous reading and Q&A. I could have listened to her talk about The Perfect Score Project all night. I thank her for writing this book! It is a bible for me, and now for many of my friends. She has have done such a service.”

 —DeLauné Michele, Founder, Spoken Interludes Literary Salon

Praise for The Perfect Score Project

“It’s hard to resist a mom who puts her money – or in this case, her No. 2 pencil – where her mouth is.”

Family Circle

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 iimperfections. 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.”

–Bruce Feiler, New York Times columnist and

bestselling author of The Secrets of Happy Families

“Debbie Stier’s Perfect Score Project presentation is so useful and rich that every parent and teacher of students priming for the SAT needs to know what she knows. It’s the best PTSA talk I’ve ever heard, bar none.”

—Catherine Johnson, best-selling author of Animals in Translation

“What she 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 giving this book to my sons when it’s their turn to take the SAT as a way to ground us through the process.”

—Rosalind Wiseman, New York Times bestselling author of Masterminds & Wingmen

and Queen Bees & Wannabees

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. . . 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.”

—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home

The Perfect ScoreProject 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.

—Emily McKhann, co-founder of The Motherhood

and author of Living with the End in Mind

“Stier’s 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!”

—William C. Taylor, cofounder of Fast Company and author of Practically Radical

“This book is about motivation, and hard work, and parenting, but, above all, it’s about forming the deepest bonds of family connection. So many parents will recognize themselves in Debbie’s amazing story – they’ll see themselves in her, and they’ll see their children in her children.”

—Laura Zigman, author of the national bestseller Animal Husbandry

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.

—Ellen Galinsky, President, Families and Work Institute

and author of Mind in the Making

“I am always passionate when people are scratching their own itch.  Debbie Stier is clearly doing that, and knowing first-hand the dynamism she brings to a project to ensure its success, this makes me extremely excited about the direction she is headed in, and her ability to change the game.”

—Gary Vaynerchuk, author of the New York Times bestsellers,

Crush It! and The Thank You Economy

Reader reviews on Amazon (includes reviews from parents, teachers and guidance counselors)

Reader reviews on Goodreads (includes reviews from parents, teachers and guidance counselors)