'New SAT 2005: Inside Out!'

India's ruling United Progressive Alliance's candidate for the post of Indian President Pratibha Patil greets the crowd during her visit to the Sabarmati Ashram, the residence of Mahatma Gandhi, in Ahmadabad, India, Sunday, July 15, 2007. Patil arrived in Ahmadabad to campaign for the presidential election. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
AP Photo/Ajit Solanki
Every year, more than two million high school students take the SAT college entrance exam, which can be an anxiety-inducing experience for many of them.

This year, more students may be feeling nervous about taking the SAT because a new version of the exam is being introduced this year. It will be taken for the first time nationally on March 12.

So on The Early Show's Study Hall, David Gruenbaum, the author of "New Sat 2005: Inside Out!", offers parents advice on how they can help their kids prepare for the exam.

The following are a combination of tips from Gruenbaum and from the College Board on what parents can do to help their children prepare for the SAT exam:

  • Get involved. Help them with their vocabulary, reading and math if you can.
  • Understand the entire process. The more parents know about the test; how it works in terms of what's on it; when and where to take the exam; the better they can help their teenager.
  • Get the student motivated. Gruenbaum thinks it's very important for parents and kids to visit colleges, so they can get excited about going and set goals for themselves.
  • Don't wait until the Fall of the senior year to take the exam for the first time. Gruenbaum said that any parent who allows their child to wait this long is putting him or her in jeopardy. He suggests that sophomores take it in the fall of this year.
  • Have students study together.
  • Hire a tutor or find a good college test preparation school. (Ask for references) Gruenbaum said that he has 17 years of experience. Because of the new test, some schools are hiring college students who may not be good teachers.
  • Don't take the test too seriously or too often. Students who take the exam too often may burn out.
  • Practice taking the test. It's the best thing to do for people who say they aren't good at taking tests.

Tips from the College Board
  • If you have younger kids get them to read as much as possible all the way through high school. Heavy reading will help increase their score on all parts of the test.
  • Be sure they take challenging courses in high school and not just try to take the easy courses because it's not going to help.
  • Encourage them to do practice tests. There are many ways they can do that. For example, by going to the College Board Web site where there are several free practice tests. They also have a SAT question of the day that the child can look for. There is a free practice that is sent to the guidance counselor of every student who registers to take the SAT. The counselor gives it to the student.
  • Be sure to have several No.2 pencils with erasers. If you are nervous, you may break a few. Bring an allowable type of calculator.

College-bound students have been taking the SAT exam since 1926. Eighty percent of colleges use the SAT test results in evaluating prospective students for admission.

Typically, students first take the SAT in March of their junior year. If they want to improve their scores, they can take it again in October of their senior year. Many students also take the test in their sophomore year to see how they will do. They can take it as many times as they want. Most college admission officers consider the highest score the student achieves.

The SAT has been revised over the years and some changes have probably been more significant than others over the years. This is considered a big one. Click here to find out what is new.