# Archive for June, 2010

**Issue Writing Task: Part 2
**

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Last time, we looked at what the Issue Writing task is and what exactly it asks of us. Your job is to present your perspective on an issue. You may agree with, disagree with, or qualify the given statement, but you must defend your perspective with evidence and a convincing argument. The range of topics is very broad, but the specific content of each question does not really allow you to tailor one essay–say, on Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King–to all possible essay prompts. The essay prompts run the gamut of intellectual disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, history, law and government, political science, philosophy, the fine arts, the performing arts, literature, physical science, and economics. Fortunately, you’ll have your choice of two prompts to choose from. You do not need to have a specialized knowledge in any one of these disciplines, but if you do, it will undoubtedly facilitate your writing and ideation. Fortunately, you’ll have your choice of two statements to choose from. So, if there is one or two topics you want to avoid, chances are you’ll have your chance to avoid them. ETS has been kind enough to actually show us all the possible topics beforehand here: http://www.ets.org/gre/general/prepare/sample_questions/analytical/issues/index.html. Yes, there are hundreds, but it helps to look at a bunch of these, and feel free to practice with them. For many students, the first looming question about an essay assignment is length. Most authorities suggest that the issue writing task be at least 400 words, which, in 45 minutes, is rather brief. That being said, length is never really the main goal. A concise, wellarticulated essay of 400 words will be better than a wordy, redundant, and trite essay of 700 words. At the same time, a 700 word essay with many convincing examples and articulate prose will be better than a vague 400 word essay without concrete examples. In the end, length should not be on your mind: clear writing, convincing examples, and a solid argument should be your focus. Now, let’s look at the writing process. Beginning a timed essay will probably be the most intimidating part, so make sure you develop a system for writing them. Here’s the first, and in my opinion, most important, step for writing the essay: 1. Brainstorm: As soon as you decide which of the two choices you’d like to write on, begin the brainstorming process. Jot down some reasons for and against the issue. You may already have a personal opinion about the issue, but set that aside. Let your ability to reason an argument do the choosing for you. Based on the reasons you brainstorm, you may want to argue for the issue, against it, or qualify it.

When brainstorming, it is important to stay on track. Always keep that quoted statement in mind, and reread it to come up with new ideas. Before you jump into pro and con arguments, briefly sum up the statement’s argument on paper. For example, let’s look at an actual prompt from the GRE website: “”Over the past century, the most significant contribution of technology has been to make people’s lives more comfortable.” What’s the author trying to say? Simply put, the argument is that in the 20th century, the most important accomplishment of technology has been to make people more comfortable. Immediately, you should think of important technological accomplishments that don’t fit into this narrow category. Advances in medicine, for example, allow people to live longer. Yes, you may concede that certain drugs have been engineered to reduce human suffering and thus make people more comfortable, but on a grand scale, medicine has accomplished much more than comfort. Don’t forget, you’ll want to acknowledge what statement’s argument. Technology has indeed made people comfortable: automated machines have reduced the monotony of factory labor, computer engineering has allowed for the construction of safer and more efficient vehicles, roads, etc, and the internet has allowed us to more easily keep in touch with distant friends and families. Certainly these facts fall into the author’s argument, but it’s your job to assess their “significance” in the face of other technological achievements. Brainstorming is all about parsing the author’s statement into manageable parts that inspire ideas. The statement tells you what to include and exclude in your essay. Never assume that you can just write an essay about ‘technology’ and avoid the statement’s argument. Each statement is specific, and your response should be the same. Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt. 1 Posted in Essay, GRE, GRE Prep, Verbal, series | No Comments »

**Issue Writing Task: Part 1
**

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

45 minutes of your entire exam will be devoted to the Issue Writing task, so even though it may not be the most famous section of the test, do not take it lightly. Do not assume that, because this is simply a timed essay, you do not have to study for it. Though practicing writing may be an even bigger pain than practicing multiple choice questions, you still have to do it to increase your chances of a high score. Your job in Issue Writing is to present your perspective on an issue. The Issue will consist of two elements: a statement of your task and a 1-2 sentence topic which is a statement of opinion on an issue. Your statement of task will always be the same: “present your perspective on the following issue; use relevant reasons and/or examples to support your viewpoint.” The topic might look like this: “The objective of science is

largely opposed to that of art: while science seeks to discover truths, art seeks to obscure them.” Before you see your topic, the testing system will present you with more directions specific to the task; 1. Writing on any topic other than the one presented is unacceptable. 2.The topic will appear as a brief statement on an issue of general interest. 3. You are free to accept, reject, or qualify the statement. 4.You should support your perspective with reasons and/or examples from such sources as your experience, observation, reading, and academic studies. 5. You should take a few minutes to plan your response before you begin typing. 6. You should leave time to reread your response and make any revisions you think are needed. What’s the most important detail in these lengthy directions? You are free to “accept, reject, or qualify the statement.” Don’t feel compelled to take a firm stance on the issue. As long as have an intellectual argument that is on topic, you’ll be fine; just make sure your evidence comes from “experience, observation, reading, and academic studies,” and not something you totally made up. The topics for the Issue come from an official pool of questions. Unfortuneately, there are hundreds of possible topics. On the other hand, the topics share many common themes. Here is a pretty comprehensive list of what you might expect: 1. Practicality and utility versus creativity and personal enrichment 2. The importance of cultural identity (customs, rituals, and ideals) 3 Keys to individual success and progress 4. Keys to societal progress, and how we define it 5. How we obtain or advance knowledge, and what constitutes knowledge or advancement of knowledge 6. The objectives and methods of formal education

7. The value of studying history 8. The impact of technology on society and on individuals 9. The sorts of people society considers heroes or great leaders 10.The function and value of art and science (for individuals and for society) 11. The proper role of government, business, and individuals in ensuring the wellbeing of society 12. Conformity and tradition versus individuality and innovation Though the Issue task seems dauntingly broad, there really are only about twelve different topics to write about. Don’t be fooled by the abundance of quotes–you’ll soon learn how to quickly break down a quote into one of the twelve basic topics above. Next time, we’ll look at how to properly study for the issue writing task and how to effectively write your essay. Until then, exercise your GRE skills with Grockit. Posted in Essay, GRE, Issue Writing, series | 3 Comments »

**Quantitative Comparison Strategies: Part 2
**

Friday, June 18th, 2010

This is the second installment of the quantitative comparison strategies; below, you’ll find traditional and alternative strategies to solving quantitative comparisons. Factoring: Factoring is another popular way to simplify both expressions in order to make a comparison easier. Factoring doesn’t just mean pulling an x out of an expression. You can, and should, factor with constants (real, known numbers) in order to simplify. Let’s check out a few examples: Example 1. 9^99 – 9^98 OR 9 ^98

Hmm. There’s no way I’m calculating this one. Let’s try to factor out a 9^98. It helps to remember your basic multiplication and exponent rules, e.g. (x^5)(x)= x^6 9^98 (9 – 1) = 9^98 (8) OR OR 9^98 9^98

What’s bigger: a huge number times 8 or that huge number by itself? Clearly, A is bigger.

They’re equal. Though there is usually one “fastest” method.Example 2. or when we use a negative number. The Fallback Strategy: Use 1. 0. You must use a negative. When in doubt. use your common sense. It’s easy to see that. a fraction. a
. and a negative number as testers. 1. 5( x +y ) / x +y OR 5
(X+Y) on top and bottom cancel. the answer must be D because when x= 0. 9^99 – 9^98 OR 9 ^98
Why don’t we divide both sides by 9^98? 1. 3x is larger. Let’s look at an example where you would not want to use this method: 3x OR 4x OR OR 9 ^98 / 9^98 9^0
If we tried to simplify by dividing by x. there are some rare cases when there are multiple quick methods to solving a problem. We can actually use another method to figure out the answer. we’d think that we arrived at this: 3 OR 4
We might choose B as a result. 5x + 5y / x + y
OR
5
Here’s a chance for some good ol’ fashioned factoring. This just goes to show you that there is usually more than one way to solve a math problem. when comparing 3x and 4x. a positive. but we’d be wrong. 9^99 – 9^98 / 9^98 9^1 – 9^0 9-1 OR 1 → 8 OR 1→A Warning: Do not simplify by multiplication or division unless you know the quantity you are using is positive. Simplify by multiplying or dividing both sides by the same value: Let’s look at the problem we did above for the factoring method. the most reliable method to test them is to be thorough with the types of numbers you use. the values are equal. When you are testing variable expressions. giving you: 5 OR 5 Easy choice.

Example 1: If x>0.g. z=0 3z (2x +5y) OR 3x (2z+5y)
We still have zero for our first value. Testing our second value gives us 3(-1) (2*0 + 5*2). our answer is D. it must be A right? Common Not so fast. not bigger (. fractions. z= 0… 3z (2x +5y) OR 3x (2z+5y)
When a zero is on the outside. Let’s check out some examples that show us why it’s necessary to be thorough. speed and accuracy are crucial! See other articles in this series:
. Example 2: If x<0.5 * . Example 3: If 3x= 4y x OR y
We know that if x and y are positive. Remember. it happens to become smaller. our special numbers to test are negatives. as in our A value. When negative numbers are involved.fraction. Example 4: If x > 0 and x does NOT equal 1… x² OR x
So x must be positive and cannot be one. So in that case. y >0. y is greater. Since all the other values are positive. but we’re not in the clear quite yet. zeroes. so we know the answer is negative. Fractions have some very special properties. always test them. and a zero. and of course. So in that case.5 = . what if x is zero? Well in that case. If we multiply a fraction by itself. And. y> 0. y is zero also. the whole value is zero. So in that case. we can be confident that our second value is larger. try using different strategies to figure out which work best for you. if x is 4 then y is 3. What we have is a negative multiplied by a positive. so both values are equal. It turns out that the answer must be D. we suggest that you use simple numbers in order to save yourself time and avoid any calculation errors. then y is -3. When you practice on Grockit. positives. But what if they are negative? If x is -4. then x is greater than y.25). There you have it. remember. e. Our first value is larger.

but notice that you can get away with much less. June 14th. Before we examine certain question types. you notice yourself doing endless calculations. The art of quantitative comparison problems is getting away with the bare minimum to save time. This may sound like a pain. when not to calculate. There is a simple trick here. etc). you are doing unnecessary work. series | No Comments »
Quantitative Comparison Strategies: Part 1
Monday. 32. Quantitative Comparison. and 35. which is what the expression on the right is really saying. in your practice. if you don’t quickly examine the two expressions intelligently. multiple choice) or to find the correct answer and write it in. we can cross out the numbers that appear in both expressions.Quantitative Comparison Strategies Pt 1 Posted in GRE. and I know that both expressions are equal.
. Such an approach is self-defeating. which is a good indicator that there is a much faster way to solve the problem. we are left with a simple comparison: 31 OR 36. Calculation is not necessary. even if such a strategy appears to be the most obvious way to reach an answer.e. Your job is not to find the correct answer amongst a group of answers (i. Let’s look at some strategies that pinpoint those faster ways to solve quant comps: when to calculate. or if such information is impossible to calculate. 3569 OR 3(10) + 5 (10²) + 6 (10¹) + 9 (10^0)
If I saw this problem without thinking. smaller. Notice that 3569 is the same thing as saying 3000 + 500 + 60 + 9. 2. let’s look at a couple simple examples to show how immediate calculation can be an inefficient strategy: 1. that is. 33. or equal to the other. 31 x 32 x 33 x 34 x 35 OR 32 x 33 x 34 x 35 x 36
Again. Many quantitative comparisons are designed to look time consuming. 2010
Quantitative Comparison problems are not like standard math problems you’ll find on the SAT or a common standardized test. 34. now it’s quite clear that B is greater. Since we are just comparing the two expressions. I might multiply out the second column (3 times 10³ is 3000. Thus. The GRE will not make you do endless calculations on paper. Avoid Unnecessary Calculation If. which would take you quite a while (not to mention leave you vulnerable to errors). you might jump into calculation. You merely have to find out if one of the two expressions is larger. and how to quickly compare variable expressions. Quantitative.

Our answer is D.5–you want to use a positive. First. If I have 2. Let’s check out this example: 1. I could use the tried and true plug-in method. In the meantime. your first instinct should be to cross out matching zeros.Simplify When presented with two baffling expressions. Even if estimating doesn’t give you the 100% accurate answer. you should get comfortable with estimating.000 / 100
When you see many zeros in fractions like this. and a fraction). Simplify by Adding/Subtracting Same Value 1. look how simple it is? The comparison is any number (x) OR 1. try some of these strategies in Grockit! Posted in GRE. which is clearly indeterminate. a negative. 000 OR 1. though. As long as I add or subtract the same number or variable from these expressions.000. that you can manipulate both expressions to make the comparison simpler. so: Subtracting 5 from both sides gives us: 4x OR 3x+1 Subtracting 3x from both sides gives us: x OR 1 Now. Don’t forget. Same idea for column b: 1. 2. our goal is to make the relationship simpler. Quantitative. always think of ways to simplify before you calculate. Stay tuned for some more strategies for quantitative comparisons that will save you time and increase accuracy.000/100 = 10/1 = 10. I should just eliminate five zeros from the top and 5 zeros from the bottom. 4x +5 OR 3x +6
I could approach this problem a few ways.000 in the numerator and 200. now. series. Remember. and . where I would test a few simple numbers (preferably something like -2.000.000 / 200. 2. when choosing numbers to add or subtract. 0. 2010
To save time on the GRE. I’ll have the same relationship between the two expressions. June 9th.000 in the denominator. it generally narrows it down to
. Quantitative Comparison. strategy | 2 Comments »
GRE Strategy – Estimation
Wednesday. my expression is simply 20/2 = 10. 0.

hydro and wind column (keeping my finger on it so I don’t read the wrong thing) and add up those percentages. so there really is no point calculating the precise answer there. and then multiply that by 7 to get $0. Wind (2%) + Hydro (2%) + Nuclear (3%) = 7%. you just need to know if they are equal or if one is bigger. So I’m looking for what value 7% of $10.74 billion
I would then pick E easily based on my estimate. This will save you a lot of time. hydro and wind power combined? I would look at the Canada row. 3.0 billion $. Given the following five answer choices 1.6 billion $8.one obvious choice (if you’re good at estimating and round up and down appropriately). 4. and the nuclear. 5.6 million represents. particular on the questions with charts and graphs. I would figure out what 1% represents – approximately $0.2 billion $10.
. For example. let’s take a look at the following chart.
The question asks: approximately what average amount per month did the Canadian government spend on nuclear.7 million. Some questions even tell you to approximate. 2. Estimation also comes in handy for quantitative comparisons because you don’t need the precise answer. I tend to like figuring out 1%.9 billion $7.1 million. In this case. 5% or 10% represents and working from there depending on the question. $127. Numerical Estimations Practice estimating with percentages.

So A is bigger.
The same goes with this question. Which is also square root of 36.1 / lb. Visual Estimations Visual estimations usually work for things like graphs or simple diagrams like the problem below.In the example above. Clearly AE is the longer line since it spans four rectangles instead of three. The price/lb of coffee B is approximately $8/7 pounds = $1. so you can choose B without even calculating what root 37 might be.
The important lesson in visual estimations is not to do it for triangles. Clearly square root of 37 will be a teensy bit bigger. You should always assume that triangles are never drawn to scale and when looking at diagrams of
. The length of one edge of the cube is 6. the price/lb of coffee A is approximately $10/5 pounds = $2/lb.

You don’t know. isosceles triangles have two equal angles and two equal sides etc. Do not estimate based on what you see!
This question is a little trickier. and equate 10a to 180 degrees to figure out that a=18 degrees. in the question below. but they may not be. so only apply mathematical rules.g. You might be tempted to think that QRT or QRS is an isosceles triangle. sum of interior angles is 180.
. you need to add up the angles to get 10a.triangles. They may be. you should only apply rules of triangles e. For example.

more lovingly known as the post hoc fallacy. join a Grockit game today!
Posted in GRE. so ice cream causes drowning. again. 2010
In our last installment. T and S: 27 + 27 + y + y + x + x = 180. and you can be confident that you’ll find more than one of them in any given argument. just because one event happens after another. it doesn’t mean that one event causes the other.As it turns out. First. This means that 2 y + 2 x = 126 thus y + x = 63. There are two basic ways a fallacious cause-and-effect claim can be made. the speaker may claim that a temporal relationship suggests causation. A speaker may often use correlation to simply causation when a lurking variable is present. i. may be one of the most common you’ll encounter when examining the pool of arguments. This makes column A and B equal. by the same logic. Second. Again.
. correlation does not imply causation) Relying on inappropriate or potentially unrepresentative statistics Relying on biased or tainted data (methods for collecting data must be unbiased and the poll responses must be credible)
4. Take this argument for example: As ice cream sales increase. strategy | No Comments »
Argument Writing Task: Part 3
Monday. This one may take some headscratching to realize that ice cream is more popular in the summer months. the speaker may claim that a correlation suggests causation. GRE Prep. we learned a little about the first three types of logical flaws you might find in the argument task. when water activities are also more popular. the rate of drowning deaths increases. Since the lines bisect angles Q. For more practice estimating.e. it doesn’t mean that event caused the other to occur. just because two phenomena often occur together. post hoc ergo propter hoc). you are not expected to cite these flaws by name or cite the names of their fancy Latin correlatives (e. is the list:
• • • • • •
Assuming that characteristics of a group apply to each member of that group Assuming that a certain condition is necessary for a certain outcome Drawing a weak analogy between two things Confusing a cause-effect relationship with a correlation (famously known as post hoc ergo propter hoc. But you wouldn’t know this just by looking at it. so it’s essential that you master it. Quantitative. Studying these flaws will simply help you identify them on test day. Correlation Does Not Imply Causation: This fallacy. you need to use the sum of angles = 180 rule. Here. June 7th.g.

a speaker may try to make a broad claim about graduate school’s impracticality by citing statistics from one particular university. we might fallaciously conclude that 78% of people identify “mint” as their favorite ice cream flavor. For example.” from those findings. unrepresentative. if there is reason to believe that survey responses are dishonest. consciously or unconsciously. This is where problems can arise.5. Next time.g. Inappropriate Statistics: You will often find that these arguments cite statistical evidence to bolster their claims. compare the types of jobs sought by undergrads and grads. For a sample to adequately represent a larger population. 80 percent of University X undergrads were employed within one year of graduating. if the survey is designed. 6. For data to be considered legitimate it has to be collected in an unbiased. In the meantime. a survey asking the question “What is your favorite ice cream flavor?” should have more options than simply “coconut” and “mint. or inapplicable. e. The statistics of one university simply cannot account for a sweeping claim about graduate education. To spot tainted data. we’d have to compare the admission standards for undergrads and grad students. otherwise the quality of the data is compromised.org and practice identifying these flaws. 2010
. Also. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1 Argument Writing Task: Pt 2 Posted in GRE. the results may be unreliable. simply citing evidence does not prove a claim since the statistics may be faulty. the results may be unreliable if the method for collecting the data is biased. and scientific manner. Verbal. we’ll look at an actual Argument Writing Task prompt and see how we can apply these logical flaws. e. For example. make sure that if a survey should be conducted anonymously–like in the workplace–then it is indicated. June 3rd. Biased or Tainted Data: Tainted data is the second problem that could arise with data samples. examine the economy of the surrounding area.g. watch out for surveys that try to manipulate responses by providing narrow options. The speaker may often cite a statistic that polled a sample group in order to draw a conclusion about a larger group represented by the sample. and show the distribution of majors among grads and undergrads. As you may find out. For example. series | No Comments »
What’s the big idea?
Thursday. it must be of significant size and characteristically representative of the population. while only 50 percent of the graduate students of the same university were employed after one year. fair. To really identify the source of the employment disparity. check out the pool of prompts at ets. to yield certain responses. Further.

shifts in tone and argument (where necessary). Keep an eye out for keywords such as “in contrast”.e. Posted in GRE. Standardized test passages almost never criticize women. Be careful of answers to look too much like the first or last sentences though! Often times. i. but also considers the benefits. before getting asking more in depth questions about the arguments. minorities. To answer the initial general questions. try to skim through and summarize each paragraph. June 1st. Reading Comprehension. common sense will also tell you that the passage will never argue that studying Shakespeare in school is without value. Always remember that the main idea is not generally a straightforward one-sided matter. they are thrown in there to lead you away from a more accurate answer. we were introduced to the Argument Writing task and found out how it differs from the Issue Task. or that the selling or organs should be endorsed. great leaders etc. In other words. Here again are those logical flaws:
• • • • •
Assuming that characteristics of a group apply to each member of that group Assuming that a certain condition is necessary for a certain outcome Drawing a weak analogy between two things Confusing a cause-effect relationship with a correlation (famously known as post hoc ergo propter hoc. Verbal | No Comments »
Argument Writing Task: Part 2
Tuesday. “for example”. “however” which signal shifts in the argument. you won’t be able to skim through the passage to answer all the questions. 2010
In the last installment. You can also assume that politically incorrect answers are wrong and you can eliminate them. all of them will exhibit at least some of these flaws. controversial views. Although there hundreds of possible arguments the ETS may choose. Just focus on the first and last sentence of each paragraph and skim through the examples in between. we briefly looked at the kinds of flaws and fallacies you should expect to find in the given argument. so learning them is essential. They are carefully edited by experienced test writers to make sure that they are packed full of information. Definitely skim through to the end of the passage to get a good idea what side the author is taking and the points that he or she considers before coming to a conclusion. But ETS is nice enough that the initial questions are very general or word specific. You don’t even have to come up with a detailed summary. It could be as simple as the author is against stem cell research for this and this reason. context clues. correlation does not imply causation) Relying on inappropriate or potentially unrepresentative statistics
. Even if it is politically correct. Then. Don’t try to remember every single detail. The passage will never support extreme.GRE reading comprehension passages are not simply lifted out of a book.

For example.e. Maybe that particular city’s downtown district was already on the rise. the demographics in their respective cities may respond to different incentives. Next time. most of the time. Group Fallacy: It is pretty unrealistic to describe a group and then expect that every single member fulfills that characteristic. the argument should clearly state that a member is a representative of the group as a whole. if the manager of a business. First of all. Watch out for them in your conversations. The Necessary Condition Assumption: The speaker of an argument may assume that a certain course of action is necessary or sufficient to achieve a result. Let’s look at these flaws in a little more depth: 1. it won’t. however. making your body paragraph organization pretty simple. In order to avoid the member-group fallacy.•
Relying on biased or tainted data (methods for collecting data must be unbiased and the poll responses must be credible)
Most of the arguments contain three or four of these flaws. You can remember this fallacy by thinking about stereotypes. the superintendent may not have shown that the reading program by itself is enough to raise reading levels. say a trading card shop. In the above example. etc. on commercials. a superintendent of a school argues that adopting a certain marketed reading program is necessary–i. The Member vs. If you can spot them in everyday situations. Becoming familiar with these flaws and how to spot them is the first step to writing a quality Argument Task. The “sufficient” line of reasoning is weak if the speaker fails to provide evidence that the proposed course of action would be sufficient to bring about the desired result by itself. The “necessary” line of reasoning is particularly weak if the speaker does not provide evidence that no other means of achieving the same result is possible. 2. may find that a big competitor in a different city has increased sales by moving from a downtown location to a suburban one. For example. 3. we can’t make this analogy. The argument may seem sound. we’ll look at the next three flaws and discuss how to begin forming our Argument Task essay. in television shows. it will be easy on the test. think about these flaws in depth and try to find them in everyday reasoning. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1
. Weak Analogies: The speaker may come to a conclusion about one thing on the basis of another thing. To practice. There are other factors involved in this proposed outcome: preparedness of teachers and attentiveness of students. We generally think of stereotypes as harmful because they unfairly limit a certain group to one definable characteristic that is often founded on little to no evidence. the only means–to increase reading skills of students. and the relocation merely reaped the benefits? Without this thorough background info. but we can’t completely analogize these different trading-card shops.

When you know every single word. Make sure that you have at least heard the word or read the word. So. 1. if we know that turpitude is negative. With a little knowledge. Define Antonyms of the Answer Choices (aka Working Backward) TURPITUDE 1. Clever conversation
. and technique. never surrender like this on an antonym question. 2010
Working Backward: Antonyms
Thursday. Working backward is an effective technique that allows us to use what we know to get closer to our answer. 5. antonyms can be both the easiest and the hardest question type–it all depends on whether or not you know the words in the question. though. you can eliminate answer choices and significantly increase your chances of a correct answer. you can locate the answer in a fraction of a second. Saintly behavior Clever conversation Lively imagination Agitation Lucidity
Let’s pretend we aren’t sure what “turpitude” means. we simply get rid of the negative antonym choices. like “strident. The Positive/Negative Approach Let’s look at an example from an actual GRE test: TURPITUDE 1. Provided you have enough time. you will likely panic and blindly guess. 2. unfortunately. Beware of words that simply “sound” negative or positive to you. 4. Saintly behavior 2. July 29th. 3. you can still quickly narrow the answer down to a couple options. there are words that make us think of something totally incongruous. so we’ve only gotten rid of one. 2010
Paradoxically. For every word like “resplendent” that appropriately sounds positive (the “splend” makes us think of “splendid). Let’s move on to other strategies to eliminate some choices. 1. When you know the stem word but only some of the words in the answer choices. and you know that it has a negative or positive charge. but we know it’s a negative word.Archive for July.” which makes me think of chewing gum. If you don’t know the stem word. only D is negative. logic.

Let’s create antonyms for each of our choices. Thus it would make much more sense that “turpitude. or condition of something. Agitation 5.” makes me skeptical because it lacks the kind of negative charge I would expect from a word like “turpitude. Saintly behavior à morally depraved behavior 2. we should use a little critical thinking and reasonable speculation.” Unintelligent conversation is not really the state or quality of something. we ask ourselves these four questions: Does turpitude likely mean morally depraved behavior? Does turpitude likely mean unintelligent conversation? Does turpitude likely mean a lack of imagination? Does turpitude likely mean a lack of clarity? At this point. Because “depraved behavior” is certainly more negative than “lack of clarity. would not be “unintelligent conversation.” I’ll go with A. unintelligent conversation 1. Lucidity Using the negative/positive strategy. the suffix “-tude” means a state. Lively imaginationàLack of imagination 2. and there is no guarantee that such
.” a state or quality of something. Clever conservation à banal.” “turgid. A little thinking does go a long way. Lively imagination 4. it is a particular action. I am now down to A or E. lack of clarity Now.3. and hence. we were able to eliminate D. D. I’d think of the word “turpitude” and recognize that it ends in “-tude” like the other familiar words “gratitude. quality. In the test writer’s mind.” Though these eliminations were based on speculation. but we have more work to do. there was some reasoning behind my choice.” and “turbid” are often mixed up. while “turpitude” means corrupt or depraved. knowing the stem word’s definition would have gotten us the correct answer much faster.” “solitude. which happens to be the right answer.” In these examples and in general. unclear.” and “fortitude. First. and see how they match our mysterious stem word: 1. Lucidityà obscurity. “turbid” means cloudy.” though not as concrete as “unintelligent conversation. I can guess that E was a trap answer. Each antonym I created is sufficiently abstract (as opposed to concrete) and can be a state or condition. Granted. since the words “turpitude. “Lack of imagination.

BallparkingTo ‘ballpark’ is to roughly approximate. 32. 2010
This is the second installment in the simple quantitative strategies series. But. 1. 35. no matter how many correct steps you painstakingly went through. Part 2
Monday. vacabulary Posted in GRE.165 C. ballparking essentially means thinking about mathematical figures in a vague.125 B. 70. but remember that such a choice is probably a trap. imprecise.350 E. Moving a decimal one unit could transform a correct answer into a wrong answer. During practice.195 Any relaxed. July 26th. often making the problem appear a little bit easier than it actually is. common sense thinker will probably be able to answer this question without doing a calculation. don’t give up–use your brain! Tags: antonyms. In terms of GRE quantitative strategy. These strategies are here to remind you that there is just a bit more to studying than simply cramming math material. it can be no other answer.685 D. These types of answers catch your eye for one reason or another. and anticipate the clever gambits so often deployed by the ETS. This is where ballparking plays a significant role. but nonetheless common sense manner. or attractors. and look at the simplicity of the question. You see a question like this and immediately start calculating the product. When we are overwhelmed by figures and calculations.50. Beating the GRE quantitative requires a balanced combination of math skills and test-taking skills– these strategies will help improve the latter. things change. but we were still successful with some effort. if you happen to stumble upon an antonym question like this. Step back.16. when you’re in the middle of a timed test. though. Avoid TrapsNearly every multiple choice math problem has trap answers.speculation will lead you to the correct answer. learning the processes is more than half the battle. 1. Anxiety sets in. but outsmarting the test-writers is very important too. Use the test format to your advantage. You may notice the anticipated answer in the choices and think that you won’t have to finish the problem. A third of 50 is a little more than 15 (15*3= 45). Verbal. The only thing close to that is B. 5. it’s easy to make mistakes.Let’s look at a crude example:What’s 32. and you go into human calculator mode. strategy | No Comments »
Simple Quantitative Strategies. don’t overwork.Looks look at an
.33 percent is awfully close to one third.33 % of 50?A. Yes.

or arithmetic means. Take 20% off of 100. 40% d.
. The price of a T-shirt was reduced by 20%. Did you really think that the test would give you a question that required such minimal effort as adding 10 and 10? It’s nice to dream. What was the total percentage discount from the original price?a. but they can mean big points in a pressured testing environment. which can end up making a huge difference on a computer adaptive test. Just perform the calculations as necessary. the total discount is $36. That’s a difference of 10064=36. you may be inclined to choose it and move on. why not imagine the shirt is 100 bucks to start. First. during a special sale. and you get 80. Most of us know how to find the average. July 20th. isn’t it? But.example of what this might look like:1. We went from a 100 dollar shirt to a 64 dollar shirt. Thus. you’ve just missed a pretty easy question. Seeing 40% as an answer choice. So. the GRE average problems will present you with various combinations of known and unknown information. the price was reduced another 20%. 2010
Averages. Rather than present you with all the numbers in a set and ask you to find the average of those numbers. Unfortunately. 25% b. 50% You may read this question and think that a 20 percent discount plus another 20% discount equals a 40% discount. series | No Comments »
Averages
Tuesday. but the test will probably present average questions in a more complicated way. think about these techniques! They will keep you from making careless mistakes on easy to intermediate problems. B. Take 20% off of 80 (80 / 5 = 16) and you get 64. are likely to show up on the GRE Quantitative section. Posted in GRE. Quantitative. when you practice. These two strategies may appear simple. Then. 36% c. let’s get real. 42% e.

and n is the number of figures in a set. then simply multiply the average and the number of figures to find the sum total (T). If her average score after the first three five tests was 89. what was the average of her last three tests? Here. There are 3 numbers you want to know. 3. then T= 550. the total number of percentage points on all the tests 5*89= 445.57. her average score was 83.Before we begin. The average of the figures in a set: (A)= T / N. After weighing all of them together. In our example. What is the total weight. the total number of percentage points on the first five tests. then n=7. in pounds. The number of figures in a set (n).Finding the total: IF you know the average and the number of figures/items (n) in a set. 70.7 lbs. 219 (total) / 3 (number of figures) = 73
. T is the total sum of values. 1. let’s go over some basic rules for finding averages.7. we have the info we need to find the average in question. we know that the total number of percentage points on the last three tests must be the total of all the tests minus the total of the first five tests: 664-445 = 219 Now. 14*4. The most important rule to remember is that Average = Sum Total / Number of Figures Here are some possibilities for average questions and the strategies to solve them: 1. The sum total of all the figures in a set (T). where A is average. Example 1: John caught 14 fish after a long day of fishing. 80. of all the fish? Answer: Simply multiply 14 and 4.7= 65. 95.8 Example 2: Throughout the year. he calculated the average weight of the fish to be 4. 75. they are related by the formula A= T / n. A = 550 / 7 = 78. With this information. we have to find two totals before we can calculate the average of the final three tests. Janet took 8 math tests. If I want to find the average of seven different test scores. 60. 2. 8*83= 664. and 90. If the aforementioned scores are 80.

John drove for 1 hour at 50 mph and for 3 hours at 60 mph. July 15th. The total time is 3+1 = 4 hours.5 Note: the average speed is not merely the average of 50 and 60–that is a mistake that many students make. but many overlook the formula when approaching average speed problems. let’s figure out the total distance. 1 hour at 50 mph would be 50 miles. so our total number of figures is 4. Don’t forget that ‘x’ counts as a number in the list. Tags: Averages Posted in GRE. Quantitative | No Comments »
Nailing that Grad School Interview
Thursday. 35= ( 34+44+28+x) / 4 35= 106 + x / 4 4 (35) = 106 + x x = 4(35) – 106 x = 34 2. Even the most complicated average problems stem from the formula. All you have to do is set up an equation with the information you know. Always remember: when in doubt. go back to the formula A=T / n. it wouldn’t make sense for the average speed to lie right in the middle of 50 and 60. 28. 2010
So you’ve applied to several schools and you get a letter inviting you to an in-person interview. What was his average speed for the whole trip? First. Remember. If John traveled a greater distance at 60 mph. Rather. most schools probably won’t do
. Our total distance is 180 + 50 = 230 miles. the average speed should be closer to 60. we need both the total distance and the total time to calculate average speed. Average Speed = total distance / total time = 230 / 4 = 57. and x is 35. will pay for your airfare and arrange lodging with a current grad student. Example 4: In traveling from city A to city B. 44. particularly the science programs. what is the value of x? Remember that Average = Total / Number of figures. Average Speed = total distance / total time The formula for average speed is quite simple and intuitive. While some programs.Example 3: If the average of 34. and 3 hours at 60 mph would be 180 miles.

Others might have verbal tics. particularly during the main interview. Practicing taking a pause every time you catch yourself about to say that and it might help you say it less. So be sure to watch how you act and what you say. remember not to monopolize the discussion even if you might have a lot to say. If you have some research experience yourself. Always be conscious of your manner.this. Finally. Some people have a tendency of raising their eyebrows or rolling their eyes that they may not even be aware of it. always acknowledge the person (preferably by name) and their opinion. Regardless. spend a few days researching the department and the faculty. you should try to attend because it indicates your interest in the program. and if you must disagree with them. It really helps too if you can demonstrate how your research experience ties in with their program. without it being a CATastrophe
Monday. because there is a tendency for people to rush what they are saying when they are nervous. mentoring programs and job prospects. before discussing yours. 2010
. practical work opportunities. please be aware that every moment could possibly be part of the “interview”. Try not to ask questions that indicate that you haven’t done your research. not only might the professors take up more of the interview time discussing their work but it also shows that you are serious about the school. Before you leave. brush up on your table etiquette too – know your bread knife from your regular knife. Find out what their research interests are because you will be working under one of them. Let other people speak their turn. ask about teaching opportunities during the program. If you are asked to discuss an issue with some of your fellow applicants or grad students. be prepared to explain and defend your work. July 12th. don’t take your neighbor’s water glass etc. Instead. (Don’t drink too much!) If you know ahead of time that there is going to be a formal dinner. if there is a rotation program between professors and how that works. Making a list of your academic and research interests and your graduate school goals and matching that list up with the program is often a good way of organizing your thoughts to the big question – “so why are you interested in our program?” If your school has planned an entire weekend of activities for you. frequency of publication. such as saying “like” or “um” frequently. but even a friendly grad student who is buying you a drink at the bar may have something to contribute to the decision process. You should also try to speak more slowly that you think is normal. Posted in Grad School | No Comments »
Reading on a GRE CAT. If you can weave their area of interest into your conversation. You may not be taking to a professor. the interview is also your chance to interview them.

An example might look like this: Para. interp. On a CAT. Map. teen years. especially reading comprehension. and key ideas that are addressed in detail only in one part of the passage. 2—traditional interpretation Para. Expedite the process by keeping track of the kinds of details that are common subjects of questions.The GRE is a CAT. 4—conclusion Taking notes like this as you read forces you to synthesize the text and read more efficiently.. you don’t have that luxury. or a Computer-Adaptive Test. theories.
Go to CAMP
CAMP—or Central Point. Years of paper-based reading trains the test-taker to take notes on the passage itself. and Perspective—issues are commonly addressed in questions. Approach is how the author is writing the passage: is it a recommendation. and you can indicate that sentence in your notes with a line reference.. a
. and new interp. even if you’re practicing on paper. Since you can’t indicate those things by underlining them or putting a star or other mark in the margin nearby. a question will refer back to a specific detail without giving you a line reference. and hunting for that detail in the passage can cost you precious time. Jotting even just a few words to summarize each paragraph can help you get a handle on the passage and sharpen your focus. places. use a notebook to annotate practice passages. But learning to read actively even without the benefit of marking up the text is key to improving your reading comp score. historical background Para. underlining significant sections of the passage and putting notes in the margins near the relevant text. and even adulthood learning how to read in a paper-based world. Approach. Central Point is the main idea of the passage. 3—problems with trad. and other key words and phrases
Often. particularly if chronology is important to the passage’s meaning. dates. is very different on a paper-based test than it is on a CAT. Standardized testing. Examples of this would be references to individuals or groups of people. the computer is less an assistance than a hindrance. often this will be summarized in one sentence. Here are a few ways to do that. ect. Get into the habit now. Para. But on some sections. The older you are. the more likely it is that you spent your childhood. dates or time periods. instead write a couple of words with a line reference to tell you where to find what you’re looking for.
Keep track of proper nouns. and you should take advantage of it.
Outline the passage paragraph by paragraph as you read
You will have scratch paper. 1—intro.

historical account, a rebuttal of a different idea, or something else entirely? There are lots of possibilities here, but remember that each detail in the passage will in some way serve the author’s primary motivation in writing the passage; nailing the author’s approach can help you answer questions that ask you about the purpose of a specific statement or the passage as a whole. Map is that paragraph outline that we talked about in number 1 above. And Perspective is a one-word summary of the author’s tone: is it positive, negative, neutral, or something else? Boil the tone down to a single word, and you’ll be prepared if it is the subject of a question, which it often is. By taking a few quick notes on the CAMP issues before you tackle the question, you’ll be able to focus on finding correct answers that align with your CAMP notes, instead of being tempted by distracting wrong answers. A sample CAMP note set might look like this: C: lines 4—7 A: Rebuttal of traditional theory M: Para.1—intro, historical background Para. 2—traditional interpretation Para. 3—problems with trad. interp., and new interp. Para. 4—conclusion P: Critical Reading on a CAT can require some adaptation of your usual approach, but with practice, it’s absolutely a surmountable challenge. Start early, be consistent with taking CAMP notes on scratch paper during your practice, and remember that active reading is the key to success on the GRE! Posted in GRE, GRE Prep, strategy | No Comments »

**Simple Quantitative Strategies, Part 1
**

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Before you review all that algebra and geometry you’ve forgotten over the years, and before you practice with an endless sequence of practice problems, you should learn a few simple tips that well help you immensely on test day. Learn these early, and reinforce them during practice. 1. Be careful early on. When you take a computer adaptive test, you have to take certain things into consideration. One commonly overlooked fact is that the

questions at the beginning of each section are weighed more heavily. I’ll say that again: the questions you answer at the beginning have a bigger impact on your score. What does this mean for the average test taker? Well, if you’re like most people, you may not be super confident in your math abilities, so you tend to move quickly at the beginning of a math section. You may move especially quickly through easy questions. This can be very dangerous. Moving too quickly, even on the easiest of questions, can spell disaster. Careless mistakes at the beginning of the section will drastically hurt your score; painstakingly working through a very difficult question at the end of the section will only slightly increase your score.Take your time. It’s worth it. 2. Know what the question is asking for. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a question that requires you to solve for some unknown variable x, and then it asks you “What’s the value of x/2?” or “What’s the value of 4x” or “What’s the value of sqrt(x)?” The GRE test writers know that multiplying your final answer by 2 does not prove your mathematical prowess. Rather, it tests your test taking ability. Often, what happens is that students read a question, figure out what they must do to arrive at the answer (say, solving for variable x), and then stop once they’ve figured out said variable. Why go any further? I’ve just done the algebra. I’ve unlocked the problem; I’ve got the answer. It’s that feeling of knowing the familiar process of solving for x that is dangerous; once you arrive at x, you feel finished. And, I guarantee that the value of ‘x’ will be in the answer choice, further reassuring you that you’ve completed this question correctly. But, unfortunately, the answer is not x, but 4x (or some variation, arbitrary or not, invented by the test writers). To avoid this, consciously think about following directions more so than you usually do. Don’t assume you know the drill, even if you really do know the drill. The test writers are looking for these cheap ways to trick smart students into missing the answer. 1. Don’t overwork quantitative comparisons. When it comes to math problems, students tend to work systematically. The way most of us are taught math in high school is to do many versions of the same problem over and over again. This causes us to associate math problems with systematic, almost mindless computation. We often don’t think critically about math problems; we don’t step back and assume a bird’s eye view. This kind of thinking should be avoided on GRE Quantitative, especially on quantitative comparisons. In a quantitative comparison problem, your job is to figure out which value is bigger; you technically do not have to know the exact value of each column to know which is bigger, and sometimes your efforts to do so may cause you precious seconds.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about: Column A. Column A: 1/15 + 1/9 + 1/5 OR Column B: 1/5 + 1/15 + 1/10

Now, if you are rushing through the test and mindlessly calculating, when you see numbers that can be calculated, you’ll waste your time on a problem like this, which can be answered in about half a second. Take a second. Step back. Look at the problem. You’ll notice each column shares the sum 1/5 + 1/15. That means those fractions are irrelevant. You’re really just comparing 1/9 to 1/10, and you should know immediately that 1/9 is bigger (when you have two fractions with the same numerator, the fraction with the smaller denominator is bigger–1/2 > 1/3 > 1/4 > 1/5 …). It always pays to stop and think about a problem before you begin calculating. Please stay tuned for the next installment of simple quantitative strategies. Until then, use these strategies during Grockit practice, and see if they help you eliminate careless mistakes. Posted in GRE, GRE Prep, Quantitative, strategy | No Comments »

**Issue Writing Task: Part 4
**

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

In our last post, we learned about the intricacies of GRE Issue pre-writing and the introduction. Both are tremendously important to write a quality essay, but, let’s face it, they are really just leading up to the body of your essay. The body of an essay contains the evidence and reasons for an argument. Each paragraph should adopt one unified reason in support of an overall argument. How many body paragraphs should there be? You could probably get away with as few as two, but I’d say three body paragraphs is a good minimum to shoot for. Any more paragraphs than that is just good insurance. 1. Starting the Body: If you have written a solid outline of your essay, then, by all means, follow it. If you haven’t yet figured out the order of your ideas, but you have grouped them into coherent sections, then begin with what you feel is easiest to write (a paragraph that is easy to write is often convincing and logical). Remember, if you realize that a different order of body paragraphs would make more sense, then you can arrange them later. Taking a computer test has its perks—take advantage of them. Each one of your body paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence that tells the reader what the paragraph is about. Since the essay graders are not spending much time on each essay, make their lives easier by providing a roadmap to follow. A clear essay makes a happy grader; a happy grader makes a happy test-taker.

If you decide to qualify the prompt statement and choose to present opposing sides of an argument, then paragraph order is very important. For example, if you’re evaluating the argument that “political leaders should withhold information from the public,” you might want to argue that while political leaders cannot be expected to divulge the embarrassing minutia of their personal lives, they must remain honest in order to avoid falling into demagoguery and to uphold the values of democracy. What I’ve done with this thesis is concede a point to my opposition, which I will acknowledge in the beginning of my essay, but then I will end strong with my “honest is the best policy” argument. It would be nonsense to end my evidence with a concession. The last body paragraph is the one that will most strongly resonate with your reader, so if you opt for a thesis like this one, start with your concession and move into your strong argument. 2. Conclusion: No matter how tired you are after writing the body paragraphs, you must write a conclusion. Some may argue that the conclusion paragraph is often superfluous or redundant, but it is still a convention that you adhere to—at least for the GRE. The conclusion is meant for you to remind the reader of the main thrust of your essay. In your conclusion, restate your thesis, preferably in different words. If you can, try to think of a larger implication of your argument. Ask yourself “so what” after you’ve written these 500 words, and maybe a broader implication will come to you. If it doesn’t, don’t worry: an insightful flourish at the end of an essay may help put you into 6 territory, but don’t stress about forcing brilliance if it’s not coming naturally. 3. Revise: Allow yourself around 8-10 minutes to revise your essay. Watch out for awkward phrasing, inappropriate diction, and poor grammar. While you are reading through for these mechanical errors, think about the logical flow of your essay. You do have that copy/paste function to rearrange sentences and paragraphs, so use it to your advantage. When rereading your essay, keep these things in mind: -Don’t be too one-sided. While it’s fine to adopt a strong position, don’t be afraid to acknowledge other viewpoints or anticipate objections. -Pay attention to flow. Each paragraph should flow naturally to the next. This is easier said than done, but, sometimes, all you’ll need is a transitional phrase or sentence to do the trick. -Avoid unnecessary repetition. Under the time constraint, you may notice yourself repeating key phrases over and over. If it seems tiresome as you read, cut it down. Redundancy is a sign of immature writing, and while essay graders may acknowledge it as a common side effect of timed writing, it’s best to cut it out if you can. -Check for consistency. Does your intro address the topic? Does your body address your intro? Does your conclusion address your body? All parts of your essay should work together as a whole, and they should directly address the prompt Just follow these steps and you’ll have a quality GRE essay. The only way to test your skills, however, is to practice. Luckily, the GRE website gives you all the possible topics,

is an example in favor of the statement. indicating your agreement. Try to see where ideas cohere. Introduction: Your introduction should first clearly articulate the argument in the given statement. finely tuned arguments are better than a bulk of crude ones. write down “pro” or “con” next to each. Then. your argument can be one-sided.” and “internet allows for ease of communication. follow these steps: 1. don’t use them.” After you have labeled your pieces of evidence. 2 Issue Writing Task pt. you can’t write a solid essay without solid ideas. series | No Comments »
Issue Writing Task: Part 3
Thursday.” you might have jotted down “advances in medicine. “Machines relieve factory worker of monotonous work. and “con” indicates that it opposes the statement. 2. the most significant contribution of technology has been to make people’s lives more comfortable. Remember. 3 Tags: roadmap Posted in GRE. Show the reader that you understand the implications of the issue at hand. That’s where organization comes in. 2010
Last time. “pro” indicates that the idea supports the statement. if some ideas are weak.” for example. 1 Issue Writing Task pt. “Over the past century. great ideas alone will not get you the grade. or it can qualify the conditions of the prompt statement.” “automotive safety. organize these ideas into body paragraphs. Unfortunately. After all. but do give an informative outline of your main arguments. Verbal. articulate your stance on the issue. deserves a “con” since it argues that there are more prodigious technological achievements than those that make us comfortable.” “machines relieve factory worker of monotonous work.
. we looked at the single most important step in writing your essay: brainstorming. or qualification of the statement’s argument. After you organize your ideas. disagreement. July 1st.so you have no excuses—start writing! Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt. Adopt a position / Articulate your thesis: When you look down at the overflowing mass of ideas you have written. you should start to see a coherent argument forming. Fewer. In our previous example statement. Don’t get too specific with your evidence here.” To quickly identify the stance of these ideas. “Advances in medicine. so it deserves a “pro. your first step is to identify each idea as “agreeing with” or “disagreeing with” the prompt statement.” however. Once you have your brilliant ideas down on paper.

and in the meantime. but you really want to devote the bulk of your time to the body paragraphs. No need to leave a chunk of blank space—the magic of word processing takes care of this. The purpose of your introduction is to build up to your argument. it should take about 9 minutes tops. if your entire application package is borderline and you write one or two truly awful essays.Your thesis. when combined with the initial brainstorming stage. Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt. practice with Grockit or write some sample outlines and introductions. 1 Issue Writing Task pt. Next time. should go at the end of the introduction. this is no big deal. though. It certainly seems possible.
. writing the body paragraphs leads to a more fine-tuned thesis. For that reason. Don’t worry too much about refining your thesis statement at this stage. 2010
Structuring Your Analysis of An Argument Essay
Tuesday. Very often. we’ll look at how to construct the body paragraphs. These two stages of the writing process should take about 6 minutes. 2
Archive for August. Not only are the body paragraphs the most important and most heavily weighted part of the essay. August 31st. so we don’t want the thesis seem forced or out of place.” I personally have not heard of a student getting into grad school because of his or her GRE essays. so do not strictly limit your argument before you begin writing. Although I don’t like to say “never. but it’s certainly to your advantage to spend some time familiarizing yourself with what makes for a good essay. which is essentially a sentence or two that outlines your argument. your thesis statement should be organically integrated into your introduction. it’s important that you keep the AWA in perspective: it shouldn’t take up much of your prep time. that your essays could keep you out. but the process of writing them will help you refine your own ideas. If you’re taking a computer-based exam. Stay tuned. 2010
Your GRE essays are unlikely to be the linchpin of your application. Ideally. In fact. you may choose to write the thesis after you’ve written your body because your argument may slightly change during the writing process. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time.

and well-written topic sentences that use transition words and clearly state the point of each paragraph are a big help in creating the kind of organizational structure that earns you points on test day.
. let’s look at a sample prompt and opening paragraph: Prompt: WPTK. whether that is a professional mentor. WPTK would significantly reduce the incidence of auto accidents on Metropolis-area roads by providing traffic updates. does not currently provide traffic updates to viewers. Paragraph 4: The third flaw is explained here in the manner established in the previous two paragraphs. the Analysis of an Argument is likely to be the more challenging.
A good rule of thumb is that your reader should be able to get the gist of your entire argument just by skimming the first sentence of each paragraph. Paragraph 2: Explanation of first flaw– this paragraph should have a strong topic sentence and then several sentences explaining the flaw in detail. She’s likely to regard literary flourishes as a waste of your energy and her time. and map out your three points) without any attempts at rhetorical bells and whistles.and getting some feedback from a qualified source. and wants to do her job as efficiently as possible. The easiest format to use in writing this essay is the classic 5-paragraph style. Paragraph 3: The second flaw gets the same treatment here as the first one did in the previous paragraph. if only because the task is not a familiar one to most grad school candidates. a professor. the ereader is programmed to assess organization. effective format will look something like this:
•
• • • •
Paragraph 1: Brief recap of argument and statement that the argument has merit but also contains multiple flaws. in the order that you will make them. Now. state your position. Paragraph 5: Briefly recap the flaws you’ve presented and diplomatically explain how those flaws could be remedied to present a stronger argument. Of the two essays you’ll be expected to write. At some point in high school or college. and a happy reader is probably more apt to make those tricky 4/5 line calls in your favor. the most popular television station in Metropolis. but your GRE AWA reader doesn’t need to be “drawn in. your reader is probably going to devote no more than three to five minutes to your essay.” she is getting paid to read your essay. To start your essay on the right note. a composition instructor may have told you to use an “attention-getting” opening to really draw your audience in. or a test-prep specialist. and a simple. Take a few minutes at the beginning of your AWA to outline the five sentences that will begin your paragraphs. make sure that your first paragraph does what it needs to do (recap the argument. Similarly. this strategy can make your reader’s job far easier. Remember. Since Metropolis is located in a Midwestern state with serious winter weather road delays 4 months out of the year. Also include a “roadmap” of the points that you will make.

” As you can see. and convert to fractions whenever possible. or 30% off the sales price
Percents are basically fractions with a denominator of 100
Learn your common percents. Let your concise. the argument also exhibits several serious flaws which could limit its persuasiveness. and outlining the points that the essay will be addressing. August 27th. However. Posted in Essay. GRE.25 = 1. we will discuss some common problems students encounter with percent problems. referring back to the issue briefly. The author weakens his claim by assuming that televised traffic updates would be timely enough to impact drivers’ actions.25
. Here are some quick pointers:
Percents MUST be APPLIED to something
A percent means nothing on it’s own.Response Paragraph 1: The argument. by failing to explicitly state how the updates would affect auto accidents. informative opening paragraph set the tone for your essay! Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to post questions on essay structures. the opening paragraph responds to the prompt by taking a clear position. has merit. which states that WPTK’s broadcast of traffic updates would reduce the incidence of auto accidents on Metropolis-area roads. Example: 16% of men. and by predicting a “significant” reduction in Metropolis auto accidents without specifying what kind of a reduction would be deemed “significant. 62. Verbal. 2010
In this article. which can come in a variety of formats.5% = 5/8
The word “of” means multiply
Example: 80% of men = 4/5 * (total # of men)
Percents higher than 100 are numbers higher than 1
Example: 125% = 100% + 25% = 1 + 0. analysis of an argument | No Comments »
Tips For Percent Math Problems on the GRE
Friday. Example: 20% = 1/5.

So instead of taking 20%. just take 80% and be done. and we’re done! On easy numbers like this. What was the percent change in James’ portfolio? Percent change = $2. versus two tougher ones.000. or 20%
Don’t add constants and percents
You should never find yourself trying to figure out what 5 + 6% equals.000/$10. then subtracting from the original. Which is bigger. so will yield a larger change. The 10% decrease in the 2nd round is applied to a higher number. the higher the resulting percent
Applying the same percent to a higher number will yield a higher number. See the previous example: What is 25% less than 8? ¾*8 = 6.000. so 8 – 2 = 6 Example: What is 25% of 8? ¼*8 = 2
Use shortcuts
20% less than means 80% of. it might not seem necessary. you are probably missing what to apply the percent to.
Percent change = Total Change/Original Value
Example: Before trading began. The original x will be bigger.Recognize the difference between percent MORE/LESS THAN and percent OF
Example: What is 25% less than 8? ¼* 8 = 2.
The higher the number. 50% more than 10 should be calculated by multiplying 10*3/2 [10*(1 + 0. At the end of market close. but as numbers get larger.5)] in one neat step. In this case. Conversely. and then decreased by 10%.
. James’ investment portfolio grew by $2. James’ investment portfolio was worth $10. x or the resulting number? The 10% increase of x in the first round increases x by a certain amount. it will save lots of time.2.000 = 0. Example: A certain positive integer x is increased by 10%.

cancel and simplify. and all the tickets cost the same amount.000 items he offered for sale. If he sold 40% of the total number of items he offered for sale. 750
. fractions are always easier. $22 B. Look how easy it gets? 25*(21/20)*x = 630 5*(21/4)*x = 630 x = 630*4 / 5*21 x = $24 Choice C Example 2: During an auction. $30 Without a calculator. and are typically neater. Now we set up the equation.05 (with tax) = $630 Note we can convert to fractions.94 C. They cancel well. how many items did Jerome offer for sale? A.Let’s take a look at two examples!
Example 1: A tour group of 25 people paid a total of $630 for entrance to a museum. Jerome sold 75% of the first 1. what was the face value of each ticket price without the sales tax? A. 5% = 1/20 since 5*20 = 100. setting x = ticket price before tax. 25 people * x dollars/person * 1. $23. $25. $24 D.20 E. If this price included a 5% sales tax. and 30% of his remaining items.

500 E.050 C. And again. The best option. is to study these principles enough that they seem intuitive. and 1 unknown. Tags: percent Posted in GRE.000 = 3. The GRE
.500 Again. if not. T. In this case. switching to fractions is always best.B. We can solve! 750 + 3R/10 = 400 + 4R/10 350 = R/10 R = 3.800 D. Quantitative. 1.500 + 1. Not R. though. 3. 1000 + R = T Now. you could easily execute a calculation to ascertain them. T = R + 1. August 25th.500 We always look back to the original question to see exactly what we are looking for. strategy | No Comments »
Number Theory
Wednesday. 3/4*1000 + 3/10*R = 4/10*T We have 2 equations. 1.000 = 4. 4.500 Choice E Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. we want to set up the equation – this will make things a lot easier. 2010
Number theory may sound scary. You probably know most of these principles by memory. This is a good hint that there may be a hidden 2nd equation. but it’s just an intimidating name for some pretty elementary mathematical principles. we have 2 equations and 2 unknowns.

We instantly know that rt. D adds an even (odd times even) to an even (even times odd) . so
. C translates to an even (even ²) times an odd (t). making number theory second nature will definitely save you some valuable seconds. 5rt C. rt B. which of the following is odd? A. 5r + 6t E. we could either plug in numbers for r and t. or we could use our knowledge of number theory to figure out the answer. just think that a product is only odd if you multiply two odds. 6r + 5t In this example. just think that a sum is only odd if you add an even and an odd. so that’s even.Quantitative section is all about saving time. Odds and Evens Addition Even + even = even (12+14=36) Odd+ Odd = even (13+19=32) Even + Odd = odd (8 + 11 = 19) To more easily remember these. 1. 5rt means we multiply an odd times that even product. which is even. Example Question If r is even and t is odd. is even. which is even. an odd times an even. times another even (6). Multiplication Even x even = even (6 x 4 = 24) Odd x odd = odd (5 x 3 = 15) Even x odd = even (6 x 5= 30) To more easily remember these. 6(r²)t D.

and 59. 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 Then. for example. since 19/3 = 6 1/3. Take one last look at your group. number theory. 47. 53. alternatively. which is finally odd. If you were asked to identify the primes between 40 and 60. in the beginning. 19/3 leaves a remainder of 1. 53. Missing just one prime means missing the question. Note that 1 is not a prime. you can just write down the odd numbers in the set. Tags: even. it’s more important to be thorough than it is to be fast. cross out your multiples of 3. For example. 43. 47. Remember. 43. 2010
Remainders are the NUMERATOR of a fraction from a mixed number that results from division.that’s even. But. and cross out all the even numbers (all even numbers greater than 2 can be divided by 2. you will have to identify less recognizable primes. and you should notice that 49 is 7 squared. 11. so be sure to watch out for those pesky composite numbers like 51 and 57. practice makes perfect. is a prime because it can only be evenly divided by itself and 1. In some questions. E adds an even (even times even) to an odd (odd times odd). primes Posted in GRE. Primes: Prime numbers are numbers whose only factors are themselves and one. 49. and thus are not primes). August 23rd. you should quickly narrow down the primes with a sequence of steps. it may help you to recall that a number is divisible by 3 if its digits add up to 3) 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 Then. So we are now left with 41. Quantitative | No Comments »
All About Remainders
Monday. and Grockit makes great practice. E is our answer. 2. Some quick tips:
. odd. write down the numbers. The more you practice finding primes. the less often you’ll have to do this. First. and 59. cross out multiples of 5 (those that end in 5 or 0) 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 We are left with 41. for example.

4. When and number with a one’s digit of 7 dividing by 5. In this scenario. Brother. so 167/(even #) must have an ODD remainder. You then count down four from 150 to 146.) Instead. For example. when trying to find the remainder of 146/15. we are left with a remainder of 2. 3. Look for the closest whole number and count up or down from there. we see how many days pass between January 18 and March 26: January 19-31: 13 +
. Sister.) It’s clear that we don’t want to whip out our calendars and start counting. since a remainder of 9 leaves you a new whole number (with a remainder of 0). The order goes as follows: Mom. when dividing by 5.1. your remainder options are 0-8. Pattern questions with division are many times Remainder questions at their core The 4 members of the Jones Family rotate who takes out the trash on a daily basis. 2. even though you can reduce 4 2/4 to 4 1/2. If n = 1. multiples of even numbers are even. so we only need to look at the one’s digit while multiplying. The remainder stays equal to 2. If n = 2. which I think is a good introduction: What is the remainder of 3^(4n+3) divided by 5. who takes out the trash on March 26th? (There are 31 days in January and 28 days in February. we are looking for the remainder above a one’s digit of either 0 or 5. I recently came across this question. so the result will have a one’s digit of 7. If Dad takes out the trash on January 18th. Dad. it probably is…. assuming n is a positive integer? Firstly. you can see that 15 would go into 150 evenly. We can break 3^(4n+3) into 3^4n * 3^3 by the rules of exponents. This is easier than recognizing 135/15 is a whole number and counting up. The remainder should NOT be reduced. we will be multiplying a term with a one’s digit of 1 with a term with a one’s digit of 7 (3³). 18/4 = 4 2/4. We detect the pattern that regardless the value of n. For example. (A general rule of thumb is that if you think it’s taking too long. 3^4n = 3^4 = 81 = one’s digit of 1. Become familiar with common trends or patterns. 3^4n = 3^8 = 81*81 = one’s digit of 1. so your remainder is (15 -4) = 11. when dividing by 9. For example. we only care about the one’s digit. Your remainder can only range from zero to the denominator of the fraction.

166 repeating 1/8 = .375 The more familiar with these you become. leaving us with Mom on March 26th.125 = 0. Fractions and Decimals are the same thing You should be familiar with common decimals. -2.4 D. For example: If x is an integer.25 1/5 = . mainly: 1/2 = . 1. 4.166 repeating E. 0.125
.555 repeating C. which of the following is a possible value of (x² +2x – 7)/9? A. such as: 3/8 = 3*1/8 = 3*0.5 1/3 = . 67/4 leaves you will a remainder of 3.268 B.February 1-28: 28 + March 1 – 26: 26 = 67 days.20 1/6 = .125 1/9 = .33 repeating 1/4 = . 8. the quicker you can eliminate answer choices are clearly wrong. so we count 3 from Dad.11 repeating Note that multiplying these by constants will leave similarly instructive results.

2010
Finding factors of integers should become second nature on the GRE. the remainder will be a number repeating to the right of the decimal place. the factor tree. A factor is a divisor. a number that an integer can be evenly divided by. The multiples of an integer x are the infinite products of x and another integer. Prime Factorization: Prime factorization. Notice that all the ends of the tree (those numbers that cannot be divided) are primes. 16. -8. more simply. -1.We don’t have to start plugging in. August 19th.k. -24. even if they do not ask you explicitly. a. or. The easiest way to do is to make a factor tree. 8. Let’s see an example:
Above are the factor trees for 108 and 92. and -8. but it has many practical applications.a. 64… and so on. are 1. ((C) is divided by a factor of 5. for example. 32. and (E) by a factor of 8. Factor trees help us simply radicals (answer choices with radicals are almost always in simplified form). many questions will require you to find the factors of an integer. Only choice (B) fits that description. -4. We know that when divided by 9.) Join a Grockit game for more GMAT math practice with Jake! Tags: remainders Posted in GRE. 2² x 3³. or 2² x 23. So. 8. -16. 92 can be written as 2 x 2 x 23. The factors of 8. 0.
. 4. Quantitative | No Comments »
Prime Factorization
Thursday. 108 can be written as 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 3. This practice may seem purposeless. (D) by a factor of 6. 2. The multiples of 8 include …-32. -2. is a process by which we present an integer as a product of all its primes. A factor tree is a diagram that breaks down a number into its corresponding factors.

I know that 96 is the same thing as 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3. you’ll probably see the simplified version. the GCF of 24 and 16 is 8. Simplifying this. Suppose I want to find the GCF of 256 and 72. Similarly. I need to figure out the biggest square in those primes. first diagram the factor tree:
So. however. or 16. you will be able to arrive at the answer mentally. To simply a radical. Greatest Common Factor: The greatest common factor (GCF) of two or more integers is the greatest integer that is a factor of those integers. if your answer to a multiple choice question was √96. since 8 is the greatest number that is a factor of both. is not always so easy. Because I have five 2s in my primes. When the calculations are more difficult. I know that sqrt96 = √16 x√3 x √2. Taking the GCF of bigger numbers.For example. which is 4². the GCF of 60 and 15 is 15. however. Since I am trying to simplify the square root. Thus.
. I’m not quite sure what it is off the top of my head. For example. I know that √96 = 4√6. so I’ll use factor trees to directly arrive at the answer. I know that the biggest perfect square is 2 x 2 x 2 x 2. you can use the factor tree to directly arrive at your answer. chances are you won’t see √96 in your answer choices. Sometimes.

so 2³. The good news is. or 8. it helps to write each as a product of powers: 256 = 2^8 and 72= 2³ x 3². so our GCF is just 2 x 17 = 34. prime factorization Posted in GRE. To find the GCF. Tags: factor tree. August 16th. Let’s see another example: GCF of 68 and 102 and 204. 2³ is smaller than 2^8. we have the common factors 17 and 2. only 2 is common to both. In this case. The best way to get faster at prime factorizations and GCFs is to practice. first find how many primes are common to each prime factorization. Note: this one would be pretty difficult to figure out without the factor tree. is the GCF. Quantitative | No Comments »
How to Get the Most Out of Your GRE Lessons
Monday. you can practice without looking for sample problems–just make some up on your own. 102 has the lowest power of 2.Once you perform the prime factorization. in this case. The GCF is the product of all the primes that appear in each factorization. 2010
. Using factor trees would yield: 68 = 2² x 17 102 = 2 x 3 x 17 204= 2² x 3 x 17
Here. using each prime the smallest number of times in any of the factorizations.

In live classes. Preview reading or practice problems ensure that you’re coming to your lesson with the basic foundation of knowledge that you will build upon to master the skills being taught. to help them get the most out of one-on-one time with their teachers or tutors (herein referred to as your Expert). Post questions on Grockit forums and reach out for help. there are huge communities of online students and Experts who can give you feedback or guide you in the right direction.
I can’t speak for other Experts here. “I have trouble with Reading Comp. That’s what the Experts are here for. Ask the right questions. and sometimes all a student needs is for something to be explained in a different way. Come prepared!
If there’s any kind of background information that you should know before class. like the one in this sample.) Online learning tools also have potential applications that many people never fully explore.
3.
2. there’s no guarantee that I’ll be giving you the kind of information that will help you as an individual test-taker. waiting for someone just like you to come in for help. And of course. but will be more than happy to put that aside to answer your questions or discuss your concerns. Take advantage of all the resources available to you. ask your Expert. Experts often have time before or after class specifically set aside for questions. some take a class or have a private tutor.
. he or she should be happy to clarify any issues regarding the type or amount of work you should do. (The Expert may be reading the newspaper or Facebooking on his or her Blackbery while waiting. Can you give me some tips?” I may have tips to offer. so don’t be afraid to approach yours to ask him or her to try to reframe the issue for you. if anything.
4. but without specific knowledge of your trouble areas. you need to be doing. you’ll find your Expert sitting. know it. Often. if you arrive 20 minutes early. Don’t be afraid to look for clarification if something doesn’t make sense. People learn differently. but I know that I find it much easier and more productive to address specific queries than extremely general ones. If you’re not sure what. And homework regarding a lesson you’ve already learned will help cement the methods that have been demonstrated. Some use books to do practice questions on their own.People prepare for the GRE in many different ways. others spend time on Grockit. I’m here to offer a few tips to the people in that last group. Can you explain to me why choice C is the correct answer. and not choice E? And how can I apply that to other RC detail questions?” I will be able to offer much more productive feedback to that than to someone saying.
1.
Just because one of your classmates understands the question doesn’t mean that you are expected to understand it the same way. A great question is something like. “I’ve noticed that I have trouble with Reading Comp detail questions.

mistakes should be learned from and sometimes laughed off. which occur in a large portion of the questions. such as in a number line. you should take some time out to play. finally. Be proactive about your practice and about asking questions. August 13th.14 1/6 = 0. Even if given a decimal (or percent) looks easy.111 repeating 1/8 = 0. but these questions are the exception. and your Expert. Oh My!
Friday. And. too.25 1/3 = 0. preparing for it is often a rigorous experience. and will give you ostensibly time-consuming calculations.125 1/7 = ~0.
90% of the time. One way to mitigate this is by retaining a rockstar aptitude in manipulating fractions. and your future is a serious thing. Dividing by 5 is the same as multiplying by 2/10. the GRE is a challenging test.166 repeating 1/5 = 0.20 1/4 = 0. To summarize. So remember that even as you’re working hard. 2010
GRE questions are notorious for seeming harder than they actually are. GRE Prep. try to enjoy the process as much as you can. The writers recognize time is short. try to have some fun with the studying process!
Yes. Proportions and Ratios. For example:
• • •
840/5 = ? 840/5 = 840*(2/10) = 84*2 = 168 Multiplying or dividing by 10’s and 2’s is generally easier than using 5’s. fractions will be easier to perform arithmetic.5. and your Experts and fellow students could probably use a light moment as much as you could. strategy | 1 Comment »
Fractions.333 repeating 1/2 = 0. quickly convert to a fraction.5 repeating
. and take advantage of the many ways that you can study for the exam. Some common ones to memorize:
• • • • • • • •
1/9 = 0. Decimals are sometimes more useful when comparing numbers relative to one another. your fellow students. and remember to take time to relax a little! What are some of your favorite ways to relieve GRE preparation pressure? Posted in GRE. But questions are sometimes funny. remember that your GRE prep is a collaboration between you. Finally.

125 * 3 = 0. There can be 14 boys and 4 girls. C/W = 3x/13x. but generally practice and familiarity with the numbers helps a lot in doing quick arithmetic. This list is by no means extensive. Keep in mind what you can logically combine. (x must be an integer. such as 3/8 (0. A denominator of a reduced fraction with a multiple of 7 will not have a finite decimal. 4 B. When 12 more waiters are hired. For example: At a certain restaurant. GRE writers love to provide ratios (which are multiplicative relationships) and then add an absolute component (addition/subtraction). but can easily be derived by multiplying the original fraction (1/8 * 3 = 3/8 = 0. we don’t actually know the number of girls and boys. Ratios A ratio is both a comparison and division. There are many many more shortcuts. leave them in the comment field. Notice that whatever x is. 6 C. and can simply be treated as such. 9 D. we can express this scale by “x”. Note that when you have a ratio like B/G = 7/2. the new ratio becomes: C/W = 3x/(13x + 12)
. If you have some. “The ratio of boys to girls is seven to two” can be expressed as the proportion: B/G = 7/2. unless of course he chops his finger off by accident!) “When 12 more waiters are hired” is the insertion of an absolute. for example. or 70 boys and 20 girls. 15 The key here is setting up the equation.375)
Denominators are super important. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters changes to 3 to 16. Questions that insert absolute numbers should be taken with caution. the ratio will hold true. whatever. How many cooks does the restaurant have? A. Do with this what you like: 7G = 2B or B = 7G/2. Adding the 12 waiters. Since we don’t know the initial scale of the number of cooks and waiters.375) are also important to remember. and what you cannot.•
Note: Multiples of these. 12 E. since you can’t have a portion of a cook. Forget the “:” with ratios. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters is 3 to 13.

This implies that the relationship of fertilizer per square foot is uniform. recall that x represents the scaling factor. however. and you can set equal the relationship of the wholes to the relationship of the parts. Answer A. That’s 120 fingers.“The ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters changes to 3 to 16” defines this new ratio: C/W = 3x/(13x + 12) = 3/16 STOP! Before we cross multiply and solve for x. Choice D. and we are taught to cross-multiply and solve for that variable. This will ensure you work with the smallest (and easiest) (and fastest) numbers possible.) After cross-multiplying. there is a variable in one of the four slots. which we originally represented by 3x. 2400 E. If 1200 pounds of fertilizer are spread evenly across the entire field. 600 C. it’s best to reduce top-bottom AND left-right before cross multiplying. 750 D. Generally. The stimulus asks for the number of cooks. So. right? Well. (More on this below. we can eliminate the zeros on the left side: 9600/1200 = 3600/x 96/12 = 3600/x
. Proportions A proportion is two ratios set equal to each other like the question above. we want to cancel out the 3’s in both the numerator. A/F = 9600/1200 = 3600/x Clearly. For example: A football field is 9600 square yards. we get: 16x = 13x + 12 3x = 12 x=4 Sweet. 450 B. Before you do that. 3*4 = 12 cooks. how many pounds of fertilizer were spread over an area of the field totaling 3600 square yards? A. 3200 The key word here is “spread evenly”.

Luckily. a career in public administration will not require you to know the proper definition of peregrinate. You can take it from here. If you’ve made it through college. To refresh your memory (I wonder if there’s a mnemonic to remember the definition of mnemonic?). You’ll eventually work your way down as the numbers progressively get easier. our brains are a built for more complicated and efficient processes than rote memorization. Order. but the prodigious task of learning these daunting words is analogous to the rigors of graduate school (even if the analogy is a bit of stretch). which are both divisible by 400 to get: 24/1200 = 9/x. Check out Grockit for more quantitative practice! Good luck! Tags: fractions. Genus. often a rhyme. ratios Posted in GRE. acronym. Phylum. Family. or anecdote. start with small numbers. we’ll either cower in fear or reject the whole endeavor completely. we can actually use creativity to improve the efficiency of learning vocabulary words. For this question we could have started by canceling 9600 and 3600 in the numerators. we can still reduce left-to-right. Also. proportions. This is one of my favorites from AP Biology that helped me remember the order of taxonomic classifications: Kingdom. Believe it or not. that is.
. No need to go for the biggest common factor.Then we can divide 96/12: 8 = 3600/x Here. When faced with the task of memorizing 1000+ unfamiliar (and sometimes useless) words. 2010
Studying reams of vocabulary words can be a mind-numbing process. August 10th. Chances are. most of us will either behave like a lost child or a disaffected teenager. that aids recall. you’ve heard of mnemonic devices. by canceling 4 in both: 2 = 900/x Oh wait! There’s more! Both 2 and 900 are divisible by 2! 1 = 450/x x = 450 It DOES NOT matter whether you start top-bottom or left-right. the ETS has a reason for this. a mnemonic is a linguistic device. Quantitative | No Comments »
Mnemonic Vocabulary
Tuesday. so long as you are reducing by the same factor. Class.

” In essence.
. 1. There is no fancy anecdote. just an easy way to remember a close synonym. once sought by the alchemists 2. If it doesn’t. it dawned on me.” which is defined as “a worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills. then use it. The Mnemonic: Put rum in your nostrils (or nose) to cure a cold. but it has special relevance for me. 1. if the mnemonic works for you. but I find it pretty effective. both those words begin with “ab. though. come on for God sakes! You likely may have heard a different version of this. Let’s look at a few examples. of course. they all will help you memorize this specific information. I would recognize the word. Putting rum in your nostrils sounds like those many specious home remedies for preventing colds that you may have heard about (most of which have been debunked by scientists). is best encapsulated by the idiomatic expression “snake oil. Hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases. rhyme. that is partly true. but the best part is. Now. but obscure words may not. Then. I would know that it had a simple definition.Patent medicine whose efficacy is questionable Nostrum is a pretty rare word but a surprisingly useful one since one of its definitions is pretty unique. I will think of a mnemonic for that definition. or acronym here. this mnemonic as not as catchy as some others you’ve heard. The first definition is basically the same definition as the more familiar word panacea–a cure-all. Revoke formally Abrogate is not a notoriously complicated word. that’s all you need. I remember having a difficult time remembering the word when I was studying for my GRE. a hypothetical remedy for all ills. the English word for “snake oil” is “nostrum. many words do happen to conduce corresponding mnemonics–it’s all a matter of using your creativity and finding that customized mnemonic that works for you. drop it.” Because I find this definition more interesting and useful. but I could never recall it. Indeed. The second definition. There’s no use in struggling to remember the mnemonic device on top of remembering these words. But. and. Abrogate: 1. Indeed. you may be thinking that such information lends itself well to a mnemonic. Remember. Abrogate means almost the same thing as Abolish. Sometimes.” The Mnemonic: Abrogate= Abolish This is an example of the simplest kind of mnemonic you can imagine.Species = King Philip. Nostrum: 1.

For an impressively comprehensive list of vocabulary mnemonics. Let’s see what an example using this rule might look like: Example 1: At a party. of the party goers are girls.
. I add 3 and 4 (=7). That means that for every 3 boys at the party. What is the ratio of male to female party goers? This question uses the aforementioned rule. You can also write this ratio as 3/4. there are 4 girls. 3. a ratio of boys to girls (Boys: Girls) at a party is 3:4. then 4/10 or 2/5 of the party is male and 3/5 of the party is female. and then I take the ratio quantity of boys. If you do want to find out what proportion or percentage of the party goers are boys or girls. They may be a bit intimidating if you are unfamiliar with how to approach them. 4/7. respectively.9 %. Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
Ratios and Proportions
Thursday. We now have to find the ratio. 2010
Ratios and proportions are favorites of most standardized tests. A ratio is a kind of fraction that measures two or more quantities in a group. Stated algebraically. of the party goers are boys.1%. August 5th. you add the numerator and the denominator. and the GRE is no exception. For example. If 40% of the party is male. So. you’ll learn that ratio and proportions problems require only simple algebra. It’s a brilliant site that exploits the power of online collaboration (not unlike Grockit) to enhance education. nor does it mean that 4/3 of the party goers are girls. or 42. respectively. if I want to find out what proportion of the party goers are boys.com. This does not mean that 3/4 of the party goers are boys. and form the fraction 3/7. but reverses the process. or 57. but once you learn the basics. 3/7. and then form a fraction in which this sum is the denominator. if we have a ratio x:y. 40% of the party goers are male. then x / x+y and y /x+y express the proportions of x to the group and y to the group. visit mnemonicdictionary.

let’s write down some important info.Since we have two proportions expressed with the same denominator (2/5 and 3/5). To answer a problem like this. What’s the measure of the larger acute angle? Before we apply the same method. 50 B. 11. we can deduce some important information about the number of items. then x = 6. how many males and females would be there? If 11x=66. We know that the sum of the quantities. so: 1x+5x =90 6x=90 x=15 The larger angle is 5x. which of the following could be the number of people at the party? A. but how about a tougher one that uses the same concept: Example 3: In a right triangle. but you do. 4x= 4*6= 24 men 7x=7*6=42 women That last example was pretty simple. so 5*15 = 75
. Since the sum of the angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees. represents a fraction of the total number of party goers. then the two acute angles must equal 90 degrees. we can simply express the ratio of males to females as 2/3 or 2:3. 64 C. number of people at the party) if we are given a ratio. 66. Note: If the question had asked for the proportion of females to males.g. Though we cannot find the total number of items in a group (e. If this is a right triangle. 78 At first. the answer would be 3:2. you may think that you do not have enough information to answer this question. just add the coefficient x to each quantity and add: 4x+7x=11x. The only multiple of 11 in our choices is C. so our answer MUST be a multiple of 11. Extra Credit: If there were 66 people at the party. the two acute angles have a ratio of 1:5. 66 D. then the largest angle is 90 degrees. 70 E. A GRE question testing this rule may look like this: Example 2: If the ratio of men to women at a party is 4:7.

For circles:
• • • • •
d=2r and all lines from the center to the exterior equal r.) Lengths cannot be negative. Be careful in DS questions that pose equations in the context of quadratic equations with two solutions.) Shared angles will normally not be explicitly stated.
. but there are numerous shortcuts to geometry questions that will save you time. we’ll explore circles inscribed in squares. we will cover many types of geometric scenarios encountered on the GRE. Inferences must be drawn from fact. ratios and proportions aren’t so scary anymore.Hopefully. perimeter. C = 2πr = πd A = πr² NEVER use 2πr² unless you are adding the areas of identical circles! Tangent lines create right angles with the radius that meets that tangent. Some Things to Remember
• • • •
•
The center of the square is the same point as the center of the circle Draw lines! Depending on what the stimulus asks for. Today. etc. only the positive solution remains and the information is sufficient. unless necessary. A basic knowledge of simple formulas (area. August 3rd.) is essential. for example. See if you can spot some ratio problems when you’re practicing on Grockit. If one solution is negative and the other is positive. but not too much. Trust the pictures. draw in lines that create simple shapes. Just because it looks like 90-degrees doesn’t mean it is! (Many of these common inferences will be detailed in this series. (Squares can be turned into triangles. Tags: ratios and proportions Posted in GRE. Quantitative | No Comments »
Geometry Series Part 1: Circles Inscribed in Squares
Tuesday. 2010
In this series.

2010
For many. so the hypotenuse = (s√2)/2). 2.
Get Started Early
. since it creates 45-degree angles. you will be provided with one bit of information that tells you a whole lot. Never assume without proof. Get a Study Rountine Down!
Thursday. Post below with other helpful tips for your fellow GREers. If given the length of the side of the square in the above image. taking practice tests and then mentally preparing for the tests in the final few weeks. This article suggests some pre-test routines and gives an idea of what people should be expecting and doing in the months leading up to their test. the GRE study experience will take several months. 2010
« Older Entries
Don’t Get Lazy for your GRE Studies. Remember 22/7 > π. These months take the form of figuring out what is on the test. When a circle is inscribed inside a square.
Shaded Areas
Find the large area and subtract the small area from it.
Usually.
Two important takeaways:
1. Next Lesson: Inscribed Triangles. Typically.
Archive for September.• •
If you know r.
For squares:
• • •
The diagonal equals s√2. doing many practice problems. we can actually find the length of the hypotenuse of the internal triangle (s = d = 2r. if not everything. eliminate answer choices that ONLY have π’s in them or don’t have any at all. the side equals the diameter. When dealing with circles along with other figures. Follow the trail. your answer will look like x + yπ. you know everything about the circle! Use π = 22/7 with caution. September 30th. The intersection of the diagonals creates a right angle. perhaps taking a review class.

etc). discipline yourself! Some people might take longer than others for this practice stage. Eat healthy. A class will probably meet once or twice a week for several hours and if you don’t take a class. You should know that you have taken the necessary steps to prepare for the GRE and should have practiced literally 1000s of problems.
Relax and Be Confident
About a month before your test date you should be feeling confident and relaxed. create a study schedule and stick to it.Overall. online resources. Look online and ask your friends. you will probably want at least 2 months for this practice phase and you will want a schedule. If you are missing triangle and circle problems. you should think about creating a schedule (Perhaps Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 3 hours each. what kinds of questions. how many questions. and go somewhere quiet where you can concentrate. Essentially you should know what you are getting into. but you will eventually figure out when you are ready to start taking practice exams. don’t drink wine. The right combination of diet.
Focus on Problem Areas
The next step should be to take a few practice tests to see what scores you are achieving and this will also tell you what areas you should focus on in the final home stretch. Some people might want to consider taking a class because they don’t have the time to self-study or need the direction. books. something like that). you should focus on them and master them. Practice tests opportunities abound. Assuming you are working or still in college during this process. get plenty of sleep. It will provide you with increased brainpower and will be a great mental stimulus to give you a boost on test day. When you sign up for the GRE. relax and be confident. what it tests exactly. Don’t listen to music. This should include diligence of what the GRE is all about. you will come across a lot. don’t study in environments that don’t simulate a real test. and perhaps get on a workout regimen to burn off some of that extra stress that preparation can cause. You should know where you stand and what areas you might want to focus on in your last few weeks. and then 6 hours on the weekend. the next step is to figure out how you are going to study and for how long. and confidence is key!!
. Regardless. Study as if you were taking the test. it is smart to begin initial preparation a few months before your test. This will be after you have covered again areas that you struggle with. Regardless. In this final run. this might take a few weekends to get up to speed. and what the different sections include (there are millions of resources out there. You will be feeling good about yourself in the weeks leading up to the test. etc. ETS gives you access to a few tests. guides.
Create a Study Schedule and Stick With It
Now that you know exactly what the GRE is. don’t watch tv. sleep and exercise will work wonders on your body in these last few months. Also. Don’t like quantitative comparisons? Then spend a few weeks to tackle these types of problems. Others might want to buy preparation materials (such as the Official Guide for GRE Review books) and get started that way.

on the day before your test. at least 8 hours – your mind will not function well if you are tired and/or if you have your mind on something else. If you routinely drink coffee in the morning. A pre-test routine and a schedule are imperative for a successful result on test day. then have five cups of coffee. also. strategy | 1 Comment »
Sentence Completions: Contrast vs. as food is proven to give you a mental boost. just do something relaxing and know that your months of preparation will serve you well. GRE Prep. but if you are not much of an eater in the AM (assuming you have a morning test) then maybe stick to what you are accustomed to. as you could freak out or have a case of the jitters (literally). Will one clause support another? Will it contrast another? Will it provide the effect of a cause? Contrast. Here are some words that will often signal continuation or support: additionally. Bottom line. furthermore. September 28th.” Trigger words. Get plenty of sleep. sentence completions do not only test you on vocabulary. are those words that tell us what logical direction a sentence is going.
. too.” and “surprisingly” become as important as words like “despotic. I like to have a big breakfast. Do not cram. don’t do anything that your body or mind is not used to. 2010
As you may have figured out. 1. Good luck!! Posted in GRE. indeed. Go to bed with the peace of mind that you will do fantastic the next day. and cause and effect are three common types of logic that sentence completions can exhibit. then don’t have one. You must be able to recognize the logical direction of a sentence. likewise. Also. the semicolon and the colon can function in the same way. While knowledge of vocabulary is necessary for these questions. and. as it may throw you off.” “benumbed. relax and don’t do much of anything. continuation. words like “despite.Don’t Cram
Finally.
Follow Your Regular Routine
The day of your test. like five cups. Get excited for the test and for your preparation and it will no doubt pay great dividends on your day. as you know.” “because. Continuation
Tuesday. logical reasoning is just as important. then. do not think about the test. don’t do anything out of the ordinary. Continuation / Support: Certain trigger words or phrases indicate that a blank supports or continues an idea in the sentence. In the end. If you don’t normally.” and “surreptitiously.

Indeed. Some implicit examples. Here’s a simple example. but there is an important distinction. The answer to this sentence is “berate…abated. her initial anger had been —— by his sincere promise to apply himself in the future. in contrast. given. we know that the teacher’s initial anger that characterizes the first blank must be diminished by his sincere promise to apply himself.Here’s an example: Some people believe that there is no such thing as true ——-: every action. surprisingly. if…then. yet. in order to. on the other hand. we can distinguish a cause and effect question from a contrast or continuation question. is motivated by some degree of self-interest. angry criticism and then a mollified attitude. unexpectedly. still. If John failed a test he had been studying for. notwithstanding. In this example. If there is “no such thing” as ______. Contrast: Certain trigger words also can indicate a contrast with an idea in the sentence. despite. 3. they say. Essentially. he felt ______. Even with this oversimplified example. “even though. he would probably feel very disappointed. even though. We cannot readily identify a word in the sentence that is either synonymous or antonymous with our blank. consequently. A cause and its effect are rarely synonymous in meaning. thus. Trigger words signaling contrast can be explicit or implicit. illogically. hence. therefore.” Consequently. on the contrary. paradoxically. nor are they directly opposite in meaning. Cause and Effect: Cause and effect signal words are a bit like continuation/support words. the clause following the colon defines the blank. In this example. the answer is “benevolence. as a result. We have to use cause and effect reasoning to figure out a prediction. We have two contrasting ideas: harsh. rather than. Note Here’s an example: Even though the teacher continued to ——– her underachieving student. Because John failed the test that he had been rigorously studying for.
. nevertheless. In this example.” then our prediction must be the opposite of self-interest. which are often harder to detect. every action is “motivated by a degree of self-interest.” which satisfies our contrast. Some explicit examples include although. Make sure you keep this in mind when you encounter these cause and effect trigger words: because. the clause following the colon defines the blank negatively. the colon functions as a trigger word signaling continuation or support.” 2. include “ironically. and. but. we have an explicit contrast phrase. while.

as they tend to fill up very quickly. an appropriate prediction might be “fine.For practice.” “undeterred. The most common time to take the GRE is at the end of your junior year or beginning of senior year. consider which time slot you would prefer to take your exam. Verbal | No Comments »
Taking the GRE While Still in College
Monday. while you’re still in the habit of studying and taking exams. Since college students tend to be night owls. It will help you avoid simple mistakes that may cost you big points on the exam. If you have the option of taking it during the beginning of senior year.” Remember. rather than when you’re working a 9-5 job and haven’t studied for anything in three years. make sure you schedule it early in the term before your other campus responsibilities start becoming serious. Happy studying!
When should I take the exam?
Since the GRE is a computer adaptive test.” “happy. the best time to take the GRE is definitely while you are still in college. Use this flexibility to your benefit and plan around your academic calendar when scheduling your exam. Lastly. unlike many other graduate school exams. Although John failed the test that he had been rigorously studying for.” “undiscouraged. event or gathering scheduled the week of your exam. Posted in GRE. GRE scores are good for five years so it’s easier to take it now. study during the year but schedule the exam a few weeks after finals so that you will have some time to unwind. we cannot simply gloss over the trigger words in sentence completions. Now. Sentence Completion. If you take it at the end of junior year. it is offered virtually every day of the year. 2010
While some graduate school applicants have been out of school for a while. and see how that might change our prediction. Whenever you practice on Grockit. why don’t we change “because” to a contrast word. Also. he felt ______. Here are some FAQs about taking the GRE as an undergraduate.
. September 27th. With just a change from ‘because’ to ‘although.’ we must radically change our approach to the problem. be sure to check your extracurricular activities to make sure that your group doesn’t have a performance. Sign up early if you want to get one of the noon times. Avoid scheduling your GRE for the middle or end of the semester/quarter when you will be stressed with midterms and finals. mentally take note of the trigger words in a sentence. some test centers offer testing times at both 8 am and noon.

Keep your study habits in mind. You need to set aside time regularly. If you’re taking the exam during the academic year. “2x+3y. college students are always busy. With extracurricular activities. you’ll be expected to know how to manipulate polynomials.Subtraction: If you are subtracting two polynomials.” “3x² – y. you might be better served by buying some of the many prep books on the market. preferring to discuss methods and terms with others. try to finish that assignment early so that you can keep your focus on the GRE.ets. September 24th. 2010
A polynomial is any expression that combines two or more monomials using addition. For the GRE Quantitative section.
How do I balance GRE preparation with my regular course load?
Plan ahead. intramural sports. help your sanity by planning ahead and minimizing other stresses as much as possible. examine your schedule for the last few weeks leading up to your GRE. whether on your own or with professional help. 1. Example 1: (4x²+7x+11) – (x²+14x+15) What this means is:
. If you have a lengthy paper due three days before your exam. and part-time campus jobs on top of academic classes. just as you would for any other class.” and “a+b” are simple examples of polynomials. make sure you distribute the minus sign. there are myriad options for GRE prep. If you’re the type that studies better by yourself. an online or in-person class might be best for you. Compare this with your target GRE score to help you decide what type of help you need. in-person class or simply buying books and practicing on your own. Let’s look at few different types of polynomial problems on the GRE. to practice problems and take practice exams so you can work on your pacing. subtraction. Visit Grockit to join an interactive game and check out the Grockit forums and connect with other GRE test-takers. It’s normal to be nervous and stressed out as your test date approaches. Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Polynomials
Friday.What are my options for GRE prep?
Whether it’s an online course.org/gre and download their free Powerprep® Software to access practice tests so you can get a gauge of your raw performance. is like taking an extra class. If you’re an active learner. or multiplication. Go to the www. But preparing for the GRE.

What’s the average of: (5x²+10x-7) + (3x²-4x+4) + 4x² First.4x² + 7x +11 – x² – 14x – 15 Combine like terms: 3x² – 7x – 4 2. A. here are some quick ways to multiply familiar binomials. add the expressions and divide by the number of different self-contained expressions. then our calculation is limited to (7)(13)=91 4. Miscellaneous Polynomial Question Types
. If x-y=7 and x+y=13. (x+y)² = x²+2xy +y² Note: These three products should be memorized to save valuable time on the GRE. (x-y)(x+y) = x²-y² B. Average of polynomials: When finding the average of polynomials. so we divide by how many items in the list there are). add the expressions: 12x² + 6x -3 Divide the sum by 3 (we are finding the average. (12x² + 6x – 3 ) / 3 = 4x² +2x – 1 3. but just use the distributive property. Example 3:. Example 4: (32(a²)b + 12a(b³)c) / 8ab = 32(a²)b / 8ab + 12a(b³)c / 8ab = 4a + (3/2) (b² )c 5. what is the value of x²-y² Because we know that x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y). Dividing Polynomials: dividing polynomials may look daunting. (x-y)² = x² -2xy + y² C. Binomial Products: Rather than use the distributive method (FOIL) every time. Example 2.

If we consider each number a variable. we will yield the same denominator in both expressions. your first instinct should be to manipulate the numerator and denominator until you can comfortably cancel out expressions. What’s the problem? We can’t add numerators unless we have the same denominator. I bet we can manipulate the numerator a little further to yield this expression. do not think you can just square each of these numbers. you can be confident that you overlooked a simpler solution to the problem. y² / x²*y² + x² / x²*y² =( x² + y²) / (x²*y²)
. Don’t plug in the 9999 immediately just because you think it’s an easy way out of doing algebra.Example 5 : What is the value of (10001)² – (9999)² When you see a problem like this. When you see a very complicated expression like this. Example 7: What is the sum of the reciprocals of x² and y²? So. we can make this a lot easier with the rule x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y) With that logic. It will make you miserable. say 10001=x and 9999=y. Another trap here is that you may want to FOIL out the denominator. we want to add 1/x² + 1/y². Let’s try some factoring: numerator: 4x³ – x = x ( 4x² – 1) [That's the only way we could factor it ] denominator: (2x+1) (6x-3) = (2x+1)* 3(2x-1) Hmm. x (4x²-1) = x (2x+1) (2x-1) So: x (2x+1)(2x-1) / 3(2x+1)(2x-1) = x / 3 NOW we can plug in. no calculator is allowed. Remember. we know that the initial expression= (10001-9999)(10001+9999)= =2 * 20000 = 40000 Example 6: What is the value of ((4x³)-x) / (2x+1)(6x-3) when x = 9999 Same idea here. If we multiply the top and bottom of the first expression by y² and multiply the top and bottom of the second expression by x². the denominator has the expression (2x+1). and we can. If you find yourself doing tons of calculations.

hence.Example 8: What’s the value of x²+ 12x + 36 when x = 994 Like our earlier examples. “in addition” etc. equal 12. don’t immediately plug in 994. balmy B. our goal here is to think of two numbers that. certain problems that seem to require extreme calculations really just require some crafty algebraic manipulation.000. Because of the ——– weather. Let’s try a one blank sentence first. If you need a little refresher with factoring. A. the children spent the day playing in the yard. therefore. Having a thorough knowledge of polynomials will help you approach such problems the right way. This is known as Structural Agreement. Quantitative | No Comments »
Structural Agreement
Wednesday. (A second post on Structural Contrast will follow soon). and when added. then…”. “therefore”. you know that the two blanks should correspond. Tags: polynomials Posted in GRE. (x+6)(x+6)…or (x+6)² Plug it in: 1000² = 1. If one blank should be a positive word. the other blank should also be a positive word and vice versa. We can easily factor this polynomial.000 As you can see. scan it quickly to see if it has any structural key words. If you see certain words such as “because”. As always. when multiplied. Give these strategies a try during practice on Grockit.. consequently. September 22nd. symbiotic D. Problem Solving. mellifluous
. How about 6 and 6? So. Here are two situations which indicate that the sentence contains a structural agreement Case 1: Cause and Effect A cause and effect sentence usually runs like this: “Because…. torrid C. 2010
A common mistake that students make when doing sentence completions is forgetting to check if the sentence makes logical sense even though the word seems to fit the blank. Words such as because. then and as a result should give you a clue that the blank agrees with the rest of the sentence. This is particularly important in two-blank sentence completions. attenuating E. equal 36.

What follows such as defines or is an example of the first half of the sentence. entrepreneur Because tells you that its an agreement and further. “infirmity” and “benevolence”. “Anachronism” means out of its proper time period and I can guess what this word means from the roots “ana” and “chrono”. Because the weather was good. That family’s many financial woes include unemployment and the accompanying ——–. A. “Placing a plasma-screen television in an early twentieth-century living room” suggests that the TV is out of place. for example. tempos Sometimes. it defines the blank for you.The “because” should tell you that the weather was good. so I would pick choice C. This means that you are looking for a positive word to fill in the blank and can get rid of torrid and attenuating. aberration C. Strengthening words are also. such as placing a plasma-screen television in an early twentieth-century living room. the children could play in the yard outdoors. Cummings has been labeled an ——– because he rejected traditional poetic forms for his unique experimental ones. The film was harshly criticized for its ——–. Is “aberration” the definition of such a person? Is “aboriginal”? You can eliminate choices when you realize that the blank is defined by certain phrases in the sentence. exigencies E. in addition. apply what other vocabulary guessing skills such as using roots if you don’t know what the words mean. rather than stay indoors.
. This eliminates “affluence”.E. aboriginal E. iconoclast D. which they are struggling to overcome. the agreement might not be indicated so obviously as shown by the next two examples. A. Imperfections B. Case 2: Strengthening words A little different from cause and effect are strengthening or amplifying sentence.E. E. The word accompanying in the following examples suggests that the blank echoes or strengthens “unemployment”. anachronisms D. In the following sentence. Cummings is someone who rejects tradition for experimental forms. injustices C. such as is used to indicate that the sentence contains a structural agreement. E. Here’s another example. in other words. such as. From there. This is where part of the sentence elaborates and sometimes strengths what’s said in the other half. industrial B.

Problems involving “work” are essentially rate problems. Verbal | No Comments »
Work and Rates
Monday.” If given any two of the three. September 20th. Note that when working together. if the units remain constant. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to pick the immediate answer that fits without checking that it makes sense in context. A. affluence C. You can thus eliminate choice C and E because “excellent” and “laudable” do not indicate the critics’ dislike.
Working Together
In questions where individuals work at different speeds. the clauses agree with one another. a misogynist… behaviors B. a laudable… comportments The word “folly” suggests that the critics do not like the book. Sentence Completion. you should be able to find the third. penury D. infirmity E. 2010
There is one very important equation that guides all rate and work questions: r = d/t. affliction B. “rate equals distance over time. where a worker’s “efficiency” is calculated by amount completed in a given period of time. Posted in GRE. a disturbing… intuitions E. More often than not. but rather simply recognizing their existence. we typically need to add their separate rates together. A semicolon is usually to join to clauses that can otherwise stand on its own. an excellent… protocols D. benevolence Other times. the agreement might be shown by the semicolon. This doesn’t mean wasting time and writing each and every one out. the second clause tells you that they do not like it because it “sets back women’s social issues by decades”. or one explains the other. they claim that it advocates ——– that set back women’s social issues by decades. Make sure you keep your units straight. Always remember to check if the sentence contains a structural agreement or contrast. the total time to complete the same task will
. a sexist… pestilences C. Try this example: Critics of the self-help book deem it ——– folly.A. Specifically.

be careful of units. 1/6 + 1/7 = 6/42 + 7/42 = 13/42 trucks/1 hour.31 C. At this point.M. If moving in the same direction. 0. 60 m/hr
.25.M.com/groups/gre/dashboard”>GRE</a>usually travel toward or away from each other. However. we may not be able to decide between (D) or (E). This can also be 1/6 trucks/1 hour. You must add rates. 2. approximately how long. We can also see that 3/12 will yield . NOT the number of trucks completed in 1 hour. Sometimes walking. A worker can load 1 full truck in 6 hours. so 3/13 will be slightly lower. 3.25.23 E. If both workers load one truck simultaneously while maintaining their constant rates. Train B traveling at 90 m/hr also leaves New York for Dallas at 9 P. are you averaging or adding the given times taken. If moving toward or away from each other. we may be looking at a geometry question. A second worker can load the same truck in 7 hours. Train A traveling at 60 m/hr leaves New York for Dallas at 6 P. trains and automobiles. Objects moving at given speeds on the <a href=”http://grockit. To find this. If all three trains meet at the same time between New York and Dallas. 0. will it take them to fill 1 truck? A. When together. Because the denominator is 13. Nor.M. When moving at an angle. Train C leaves Dallas for New York at 9 P. but not necessarily in proportion.be less than BOTH of the individual rates. we can add their speeds to see their relative velocities. The rate of worker #2 is 1/7. in hours.47 D. 42/13 hours/truck = 3 3/13 hours/truck. Remember the question is asking for the number of hours to fill 1 truck. they will complete 1/6 + 1/7 trucks/ 1 hour. we know the decimal cannot equal . we find the reciprocal of 13/42. 3.25 The rate of worker #1 is 1 truck/6 hours. we instead subtract their speeds to find the relative velocity.15 B. Again. the decimal is important. Choice (E).
Relative Velocity
Planes. what is the speed of Train C if the distance between Dallas and New York is 1260 miles? A.

So when they all meet up.200 Instead of man-hours. 135 m/hr E.B. It may help consider the unit man-hours as the multiplication between workers and time. In the three hours from 6pm to 9pm.
Man Hours
Many times you may be asked to calculate the number of workers would be need to complete a certain task. and traveled (1260 – 540) miles. For example: Three plows working at identical constant rates can clear 123 ft of snow per minute. Feet and minutes are already compared. how much snow could 8 plows remove in 5 minutes? A. If we divide 123 ft/min by 3 plows. 120 m/hr D.640 D. we get:
. Choice (C). 131. so all we have to is add “plows” to the expression. 984 C. 328 B. A gets to mile marker 180. 1. and they will be at mile marker 540. 90 m/hr C. At this rate. 16. This means that B will gain on A at a rate of 30 miles every hour. Notice that: Train A = 9 hours at 60 miles/hour = 540 miles Train B = 6 hours at 90 miles/hour = 540 miles We can now tackle Train C. Rate of Train C = 720 miles/ 6 hours = 120 miles/hour. the time will be 3am. Train B’s velocity is 30 m/hr. it will take Train B 6 hours. Keep in mind that the number of workers (at the same efficiency) is inversely proportional to the amount of time it takes one to complete a given task. which has traveled the same time as B (6 hours).400 E. To catch up the 180 miles. 180 m/hr Relative to Train A. here we want to interact plow-minutes. which is then compared to the work completed.

you would get $60 in interest at the end of the year and would have a total of $1. the principle amount of money invested. first you need to divide the interest rate by how many compound periods there are. work and rates Posted in GRE. the above equation tells us the amount of interest that would be earned on a principle amount invested (P). you would earn slightly more. we would need to divide 10% by 4. Choice (C). There are LOADS more rate questions. For compound interest. since we are multiplying top and bottom by 40. September 16th. 41*40 feet / 40 plow-minutes = 1640 feet / 40 plow-minutes. the interest rate earned on the principle. Simple interest is the most basic and is a function of P. and if we were compounding quarterly. and the amount of time the money is invested. Mr. for a given time (t) at a given interest rate (i). The resulting equation is: Interest = iPt In basic terms. some are much more difficult. i. if we want to increase minutes to 5 and plows to 8. we can simply insert these into the existing rate.123 ft/minute/3 plows = 41 ft/plow-minute At this rate. This is by no means exhaustive. Riley deposits $500 into an account that pays 10% interest. though this one involves compound interest. because we are compounding semiannually. Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. Note the absolute rate does not change. 2010
There are two types of interest problems on the GRE. so the value is constant. Riley’s account at the end of one year? For compound interest. How much money will be in Mr. relative volocity. we need to divide 10% by 2 (because of 2 compounding periods). Example: If you invested $1. and they include simple interest and compound interest. Tags: man hours. So for in the above question.060. such as years or months).000 (P = your principle) for one year (t = one year) at 6% simple interest (i = given interest rate).
. Quantitative | 1 Comment »
Interest and Compound Interest Problems
Thursday. Let’s look at similar type problem. compounded semiannually. t (this is usually stated in periods.

compounded annually. The lesson? Compound interest always pays more! Let’s look at another similar type of problem that involves interest. For this one. $8.500 (or $2. Riley earns $1. $22. So first we need to multiply the original $2500 invested by 3 to get the balance at the end of year 14 (because it triples). to get $7.500 (or $7. this one seems pretty tricky because you are given x% as the interest rate and it asks you about compounding and it might seem difficult where to find a starting point for this. compounded annually. Riley is then paid 5% on the $525 balance that was in his account at the end of the first six months. Riley has $525 because the bank paid $25 in interest ($500*5%) into his account. The correct answer choice is E.In the above question.500 will triple again. we know that the money triples in value every 14 years. $3. we know that the money will triple exactly twice in 28 years. $5. it might be a bit easier to think about this without the use of compound interest. Now. which is equal to his balance of $500. $15. Mr. so the final balance at the end of the next 14 year period will be $22. what will be its approximate worth in 28 years? A.100 D. Overall.25 more with this compound interest than he would have been paid if he were paid only 10% simple interest (would have been only $550). Riley has $551.500*3). hence the phrase “compounding”. once in 14 years and one more time at the 28th year. we are given x% as 8%. Further. Mr. They will pay 5% interest (10%/2) at the end of six months. compound interest. triples in value in approximately every 112/x years. and then will pay another 5% at the end of the year. plus the $25 interest paid at the end of 6 months. you are paid interest on the interest that was paid in prior periods.500*3). plus $26.25. Therefore.25. so all we need to do is take 112/8 = 14.750 B.000 E. and word problems involving the mention of
. If $2500 is invested at a rate of 8%.500 At first glance.25 paid at the end of the year. Thus. For the second half of the year. meaning that after one period. So at the end of the six months. the three types of interest problems you will most likely encounter come test day will be simple interest. which might unnecessarily confuse you. Money invested at x%. Riley deposited $500 into his account at a rate of 10% compounded semiannually and the bank will divide his interest into two equal parts. Mr.600 C. This interest is equal to $525*5% = $26. Here. Mr. Compound interest can essentially be translated into “interest paid on interest”. at the end of the year. Mr. we know that this balance of $7.

Quantitative | No Comments »
Structural contrast
Tuesday. you should realize that the word you are looking for in a one-blank sentence completion (SC) is probably opposite in meaning to the rest of the sentence. As always. Tags: compound interest. It turns out that there is only one choice. 2010
Unlike Structural Agreement.interest paid in one period is simple interest and interest “paid on interest” in multiple periods is compound interest. nor. in contrast. This means you’re looking for a word that’s the opposite of flamboyant. Winthrop has always been a leading advocate for educational reform. structural contrasts indicate that there’s a shift in the sentence. I would guess “reserved” and see which option is most like that word. theatrical C. Have a compound interest problem or question you can’t figure out? Go to Grockit forums and ask Grockit’s expert tutors for help. remember that some questions can be solved intuitively. polite The structural clue here is a distinct contrast to. on the other hand. instead. Let’s try another one-blank SC. September 14th. The key to deciphering between compound interest and simple interest is to see how many periods the interest is paid…. Her flamboyant acting during the school play was a distinct contrast to her usual ——– demeanor. the two blanks are likely opposite in meaning. nevertheless. A. but that can be solved without the application of interest or compound interest methods. communicative D. breed
. but. yet. Although Mr. interest Posted in GRE. scan the sentence for any structural clues and then guess what word could fit in the blank before looking at your options. he did not ——– this recent campaign to raise teachers’ salaries. however. These are usually indicated by contrast words such as although. choice D. A. uninhibited B.interest. Let’s try a one-blank SC example first. in spite of If you see any of these words upon scanning the sentence. Finally. despite. taciturn E. In a two-blank SC. rather. This tells you that her —– demeanor is opposite to her flamboyant acting.

My guess for the blank would be “he did not lead the campaign”. even though she had already faced —— from several talent agencies. Notice that in both instances. legislate The keyword here is although: this tells you that even though he is a leading advocate. he was NOT involved in this campaign. The contrast in the following example is even easier to spot. the blanks are opposite. humble… derogation Did you find the structural keyword in the above example? I found “even though”. courteously…impolitely B. His usually churlish brotherin-law behaved — (opposite of churlish) —. repentently…arrogantly Posted in GRE. jocularly…timidly D. diminish D. irritated… encouragement C. September 12th. Moving on to two-blank SC. A. miserable… insults B. Looking at the options. Sentence Completion. Verbal | No Comments »
How to Study for GRE Vocabulary
Sunday. gracefully…awkwardly C. The songwriter was —— about the prospects for success in Nashville. A. rather than —(same as churlish)—. lewdly…respectfully E. rather than ——–. repent C. Ultimately. I would settle for pessimistic … rejection because one does not usually “face encouragement” or “face support”. So I know that the songwriter was either optimistic about Nashville even though she had faced rejection or that the songwriter was pessimistic about Nashville even though she had gotten several offers. 2010
. hopeful… support D. optimistic… rejection E. spearhead E. Recognizing this narrows it down to the options that are a positive word…negative word: choices A and B. Fred was pleased to find that his usually churlish brother-in-law behaved ——–.B. at the party. I would narrow my choices down to choice D and E.

here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your time. and build to it and study from it every day. Write down Unfamiliar Words: I consider this step one of the most important and most overlooked. but knowing the correct pronunciation will allow you to use the word with confidence and correctly identify the word if it is spoken.g.Learning vocabulary words the GRE is a pretty daunting task. 1. 3.” who just started learning to skateboard. If you have trouble with the word. creative. or add a note that helps you remember that particular word (e. write the word you need to learn on the blank side of the card. If your buddy is up for a challenge. competitive games may help you forget that you are studying in the first place. Use flash cards: Flash cards may sound a little old fashioned.
. write it down. Go for Long Term: If you have the opportunity. cramming is not very effective. read it in a magazine or in a textbook. easily understandable definition. especially when it comes to learning new words. 2. you can figure out that soliloquy means a speech you make alone or to yourself. On the lined side of the card. copy the unfamiliar words you encounter–found in both the questions and answer choices–in a separate document. or. the word “soliloquy” contains the roots “sol / solo.g. through Grockit forum posts. 4. 3. When you practice on Grockit. Once you learn these roots. write down the roots and their meanings on the flash cards. or even text it on your cell phone. Find a Study Buddy: Studying vocabulary in a group or with a friend makes the often tedious task a bit more fun. spread out your vocabulary studying over a long time. write it down somewhere–scrawl it on a napkin. when I hear the word “tyro. which can be learned online.” meaning alone.” which means offensively loud. If you have a hard time pronouncing it. This may sound unnecessary for a written test.” meaning “an inexperienced person / beginner / newbie. Make this document your official personal word list. Or. write a short. add a little phrase or sentence to help you remember the word’s proper use. Without looking in the dictionary. Whenever you come across an unfamiliar word that might be included in a GRE vocabulary list. type it on the computer. when I hear the word “vociferous. First. but they are still one of the most effective ways to learn new words. Just looking at the immense vocabulary lists offered in prep books can discourage you from starting a study plan.” meaning speech. i. and “loquy. or in test prep books. If you’re serious about studying vocabulary. I think “vociferous=voice ferocious”). for example. encourage some friendly competition. a monologue. Learn your word roots: Many GRE vocabulary words contain easily identifiable word roots that help you with the answer. Whether or not you heard it on the street or in a conversation. For example. In general. propitiate = pruh-PIH-shee-eyt). All you have to do is take turns saying the word aloud and having the other person define the word. you can switch it up: say the definition and ask for the word. write the word phonetically under the word (e.” I think of my friend “Tyler.e.

For any integer n. If you really want to know these words.5. then how many color combinations can I have. at the very least. n = 7. It may be easier to implement them into an essay or a volunteered comment in class. Use the words: This may be the most challenging task in the list. 6! = 6*5*4*3*2*1 Combinations Combinations are used when the order of the objects doesn’t matter. So in this case. though. you need to remember the formula for combination and permutation which involves the ! sign. Calculators have combination and permuation functions built in but you won’t be able to use them on your GRE “!” is read aloud as “factorial”. September 10th. trying out some of these big words will be welcomed. In general. n! = n*(n–1 )*(n–2)*…*3*2*1. it doesn’t matter what order you choose them in. You may think they are locked in your brain. The general formula for choose r objects out of n objects (where r is obviously less than or equal to n) is n! / (n – r)! r! For example. Repeat: Once you’ve “finished” learning a group of new words. Studying vocabulary should always be a cumulative process. Verbal | No Comments »
GRE Combinations and Permutations
Friday. When you choose something. if I am trying to create a custom striped tie and I need to pick two colors for it out of 7. don’t just set it aside. but chances are you may forget their meanings if you don’t keep reviewing. For example. add them to an existing list. The keyword that lets you know to use the combination formula is the word choose. Posted in GRE. try to implement them into casual speech. The first thing to know is what ! means. When you are ready for a new list. 6. Don’t neglect the words you’ve learned. The answer is to choose 2 colors out of 7. it’ll get a laugh. 2010
Let’s go over a few definitions before we go over the different types of combination and permutation questions. r = 2 and the answer is 7! / (5! * 2!) = 21 Combinations of combinations
. Around the right crowd.

how many different words can you form from the letters of word. there are 4 accessory combinations that we could match with it. and another number of choices for another. And for the third seat. Permutations in a circle What if you need to sit people around a circular table? Since there is no longer a left end and a right end. There are 7 letters so there are 7! ways of arranging these letters in order. Then for the second seat. I have 5 people to choose from to fill the seat.
. Permutations With permutations. In general.What if the question tells you that you have a number of choices for one thing. So the answer is 5! If I have 7 people and five seats. the same concept applies – 7 * 6 * 5 * 4 * 3 where each number represents the number of people I can choose from to put in each seat starting from the left. there are (n-1)! Number of ways. if we have 5 people and five seats on a plane. instead of having 120 seating arrangements like before. you have to divide 7! by 2!. how many combinations can you have of the two things? For example. we get 4 combinations. With 10 seat-color combinations. order matters. we get 10. there are 120 ways of seating these 5 people. I have 3 people and so on. the first person you seat is just a point of reference. the word will have repeated letters in it. A and E are also repeated twice so you have to divide by 2! twice more. we thus have 40 accessory combinations to match with it. we have 10*4 seat color-accessories combinations. when arranging n people in a circle. And more often than not. you have 24 arrangements. Choosing 2 out of 5 and applying the formula. So if you are seating 5 people in 5 seats around a circular table. and since one P looks the same as the other P. How many different combinations of colors and dashboard options are available to this buyer? We look at seat colors first. I have 4 people to choose from (because one person has already sat down). any buyer of a new sports car has to pick between 2 of 5 options for seat colors and 3 of 4 options for dashboard accessories. So in total. because for every seat color combination. But P is repeated twice. For example. how many 7-letter words can you form from the word APPEASE. Then choosing 3 accessories out of 4. Permutations with repeated terms This type of question usually asks. For example. If all the seats are empty and I want to fill the first seat.

7-24-25 (and their multiples.The final answer is
Archive for October. October 27th. we can derive the rest. 5-12-13. Angles and opposite sides are in the same relative size order. Common special right triangles include 3-4-5. 8-15-17. circle. Pythagorean theorem does not apply! 2. square or triangle. which is inscribed in a square. 2010
Geometry Series Part 2: Inscribed Triangles
Wednesday. if given ANY piece of information about the circle. a² + b² = c². Let’s continue with a standard diagram in which we have an equilateral triangle inscribed in a circle. We draw a perpendicular line from the center to the side of the triangle.
The center point of all three figures (triangle. Therefore. These are formulas/concepts you must know: 1. but this is ONLY true if the triangle is equilateral. let’s quickly review the essentials. but only when a right triangle.
. 30-60-90 triangle are ALWAYS in the ratio 1:√3:2 5. 45-45-90 triangles are ALWAYS in the ratio 1:1:√2 4. 2010
To start off. but are NOT proportional. If you don’t know it’s a right triangle. square) are all the same.) 3.

It will save you the time of drawing a 30-60-90 triangle. That was long to write. we just use the conversions above: d=8 r=4 side of triangle = 4√3 Area of triangle = [(4√3)²√3]/4 = 16*3*√3 / 4 = 4*3*√3 = 12√3
Angle Relationships
. The sides of the 30-60-90 triangles become ½r : (r√3)/2 : r respectively The side of the equilateral triangle becomes 2*(r√3)/2 = r√3 If given the area of the square. imagine how long it takes to do! If the area of the square = 64 and we needed to find the area of the triangle. multiplying and dividing by 2. solving for the base. Memorize this.
Area of an Equilateral Triangle
The area of an equilateral triangle equals (s²√3)/4. finding the height.Note that the hypotenuses of the smaller triangles are equal to the radius of the circle. we should be able to derive essentially any other information. Here are your basic conversions: r = ½d = ½s. We also know that the smaller triangles are each 30-60-90 because you are taking the 120degree internal angle from the circle’s center and cutting it in two. where s is the side of the square.

Though test format may not seem like a big deal at first. 2010
In the United States. Here are some facts and tips to help demystify the GRE Computer Based Test: 1. and practice makes perfect! Good luck! Read other articles in this series: Geometry Series pt 1. series | No Comments »
Preparing for a Computer Based Test
Tuesday. but will come up on quant questions over and over. Circles inscribed in squares Tags: triangles Posted in GRE. There are infinite variations of these concepts. you probably have never taken a standardized test on a computer before. they do have an important purpose. Quantitative.
. you’ll have to work through four computer tutorials created by the GRE test software.Another important rule is that the interior angle created from of two radii extending to the outside of the circle is exactly twice the measure of any angle on the circle extending to those same points. we must realize that a computer test necessitates its own set of preparations. but right before you take the test. In the image above.” and “How to Scroll. the GRE can be taken as a computer-based or paper-based test.” While these lessons seem better suited for octogenarians at the Learning Annex. the computer-based test is by the far the more popular choice because you can sign up to take it almost every day of the year. If you’re like most test-takers.” “How to Select an Answer. This information is never explicitly stated on tests. Be flexible in your reasoning. 2b = a. The four tutorials are “How to Use a Mouse.” “How to Use the Testing Tools. You may be computer savvy. The Tutorials: This might sound silly. October 26th.

Do not try to predict your performance based on the difficulty of questions. It just takes some getting used to. No second chances. and analogies. On the computer test. The good news is. The test begins with average difficulty questions. for an added bonus. so this is a great time to make your answer sheet. Question Type Order: Unfortunately. you cannot see the next question until you answer the current question. You cannot mentally prepare yourself for one question type. No Skipping: On a computer-based test. you will only see one question at a time. I mean reading comprehension of course). Before the test begins. It’s also not worth your energy to worry about that. This may make things a bit more difficult. Test Day. After all. Process of Elimination: You’ve probably already figured this one out. and vice versa. for example. You do not have sections of question types like you would on the SAT. That’s right. you may find a “difficult” question easy. This may be the greatest disadvantage presented by the computer test. GRE Prep. 3. and then the questions will become harder if you are answering correctly or easier if you are answering incorrectly. what’s the solution? Just learn to deal with the handicap? No! You simply cannot afford to lose the luxury of crossing out answers on a standardized multiple choice test. simply create two multiple choice columns.but the GRE software is not exactly Windows or Apple–familiarize yourself with its quirks. no saving the hardest for last. 2. 4. no stalling. a burden is lifted. you will not be able to mark up your test. Go practice! Tags: computer based test Posted in GRE. And. Remember the “tutorials” you have to go through? You can take as long as you like during them. If you want to make your answer sheet as precise as possible. though. Luckily. That means no underlining words in passages and no crossing out answer choices. you won’t be comforted by the predictability of sections. Grockit makes great practice since it’s computer-based also. The Computer Based Test isn’t something to be feared. 5. On a computer-based test. While this may initially cause some anxiety. There you have it. after all. antonyms. What’s the Adaptive Mean?: The word “adaptive” in Computer Adaptive Test means that the test adapts to your skill level. you cannot return to any one question after you’ve answered it. Sentence completions. can come up in any order. strategy | No Comments »
Issue Writing Task: Use What You Know
. it’s customized to your individual performance. use the scratch paper they give you to create a makeshift answer sheet. there is a way to circumvent this obstacle–use scratch paper. So. and number each from 1 to 30. that you won’t get fatigued by one question typed either (and by one question type.. it helps to think of this limitation as a liberation: intimidating questions can no longer loom over your head as you take the test–ah.

) reveal the otherwise hidden ideas and impulses of a society. the great European cathedrals 2. keep in mind that your readers may not be conversant with your academic discipline. 3. more importantly. but it’s a kiss of death for anybody without a predilection for the arts. you’ll have to read an encyclopedia.
. a chemistry student isn’t expected to know Shakespeare. Though it seems certain issue prompts necessitate a thorough knowledge in some particular area. music. the pyramids. This is probably a fruitless strategy. The Layman’s Approach: If you’re not an art lover or humanities major. 1. the ETS doesn’t expect this from you. you may. some appropriate for the expert and others for the layman: “The arts (painting.Thursday. so let’s simplify it: do the arts always reflect social ideas? That is. with the 200+ topics available. if you come across a prompt that could benefit from your expertise. Let’s look at a relatively esoteric issue prompt and explore varying avenues of analysis. 2010
Admittedly. scour the newspaper. Agree: Ancient and Renaissance architectures were often constructed to honor gods and provide an appropriate place of worship. Students from all kinds of backgrounds take the GRE. In fact. etc. by all means go for it. The examples do not have to be in-depth analyses of the Renaissance masters–just use what you know. I want to offer an often unheeded caveat for those art lovers: don’t get too excited. 1. October 21st. and exhume those halfread classics from high school English. Still. as hard as that may be. you may be worried by such a prompt. so as to reflect the core societal values of the age. In other words. in fact. The Parthenon. I’m sure none of you wants to do that (though I bet it’s been done before). so try to temper your genius. i. the toughest part of the Issue Task is coming up with ideas that you’re confident in. The above prompt is a somewhat confusing question.” What we have here is a veritable breath of fresh air for any humanities or arts major. and an English student isn’t expected to understand hydrogen bonding. thereby reflecting the pervasive religious fervor in their respective societies. Why not take a step back and think about the kinds of art you could talk about. don’t reproduce your senior thesis in 45 minutes. Each point will be labeled “agree” or “disagree” to indicate whether the example is for or against the speaker. Agree: Skyscrapers built in urban metropolises in the 20th century reflect the zeitgeist of technological progress. You might think that. and. If you come across a topic that allows you to exploit your studies. Agree: Medieval and Renaissance painting was heavily religious. literature. is the aim of art to reflect and comment on society? Let’s look at some ideas from different perspectives: 1. be searching your brain for any example of art you know something about. such is not the case. dust off an old history book.

thereby reflecting the psychosocial consciousness of the time.
. both essays include logical arguments with sufficient evidence. 2. follows a similar ambition. but its method in doing so recapitulates a history of the medium to draw attention to its status as an artwork. Art becomes less mimetic and more cerebral. illustrating a detailed history of the development of English. that is. i. or. in order to comment on and often critique social mores. one particular chapter changes its style paragraph by paragraph. The Expert’s Approach: If you have some knowledge of art history or literature. for example. i. Austen’s Pride and Prejudice often elucidates the societal emphasis on marrying for status and financial security rather than marrying for love. authors like Jane Austen and George Eliot strive to replicate realistic social scenarios.g. however. i. 3. in some instances. 2. Eliot’s The Wasteland. The Issue topic is always about using what you know and making sense of it. James Joyce’s Ulysses. In fact. iii. ii. In Victorian fiction.S. all the while corresponding to a specific episode from Homer’s great epic poem The Odyssey. i. T. we see a retreat from societal representation to more idiosyncratic aesthetics. for example. you can certainly use that here. visceral. Disagree: In twentieth century painting. often considered the quintessential modernist novel. thereby referring to itself as art rather than commenting on or exhibiting any societal impulse. is a complex and ostensibly chaotic mishmash of historical literary styles and references. Modernists aspire to more than social commentary. or at least aspiring to something greater than it. Each chapter of the novel exhibits a markedly different style and theme. 1. Agree: Dystopian Fiction: 1. to draw attention to the process and materials of artistic composition. Pollock’s technique–violently splattering paint on the canvas– can be viewed as a purely visceral impulse. the mess of paint evokes the image of the action of painting. 2. Disagree: Modernism 1. courtship and the social practices of marriage.4. the poem comments on the current zeitgeist. Certain artistic movements are known for social commentary while others are famous for eschewing it. most critics of the movement agree that one philosophical project of modernism is to isolate the form of art and the form of the medium. While the “expert” essay has more complex and esoteric examples. 1. Agree: Victorian Literature 1. Dystopian novels like 1984 make explicit the fears of totalitarian governments that were in power at the time. Indeed. 3. e.

He or she will then take your photograph. you can avoid distractions and concentrate solely on your performance. you will choose a locker in which to place all of your belongings. Wear layers in case the room is cold.
Arrival:
Try to arrive at the test center 15-30 minutes early because of the sign-in process. The administrator will demonstrate the procedure of ensuring that certain knobs on the machine fit your fingers to get a proper pattern. First. the basic sequence of events will be the same. Once this is completed. Get comfortable with the procedures so that. The palm sensor will soon replace the fingerprints as the only digital identification system.In your essay practice. brush up on some new info. Then the administrator will escort you into the
. However. try to use the knowledge that you already have rather than cram for new material. You will then be asked to sign the GRE Examination Testing Rules & Agreement. if there is a specific area in which you are particularly lacking. you’ll need to show proper photo identification and tell the administrator which exam you’re there to take. on test day. Posted in Essay. and then try some prompts where you can use what you learned. Issue Writing | No Comments »
It’s Test Day!
Monday. Don’t be surprised that others in the center may be taking different graduate exams. All you are allowed are your locker key and photo identification because the administrator will check it before you enter the testing room. the administrator will ask you to provide a digital fingerprint or palmvein pattern. Here are some tips about what to expect from the testing environment from arrival to departure. Instead of sitting in a classroom with 25 other students all going through exactly the same experience.
The Testing Room:
Before you enter the test room. the last thing you should worry about on the day of your GRE is the testing environment. you will be on your own. After weeks and months of preparation. you will place each of your hands over a sensor. you will need to provide your photo identification as well as your fingerprint or palm-vein pattern. October 18th. ACT or any other standardized exam you took in high school. Once all of these administrative procedures are completed. While there may be slight differences from test center to test center. 2010
The GRE is unlike the SAT. For the palm system.

an administrator will print out your unofficial score report. you will need to raise your hand once again so that the administrator will know to escort you from the room.
Breaks:
There is an optional 10-minute breaks after the Analytical Writing section. When you re-enter the room. When you leave the room. Again. the administrator will enter the room and escort you out. Don’t forget that exceeding the 10 minutes allotted for the break takes time out of your next test section. you will have to digitally sign-out. You cannot leave without signaling the test administrator. once the procedures of signing out and signing back in are included. the time you have for yourself is probably more like 8 ½ to 9 minutes. meaning you will have to verify either your digital fingerprint or palm-vein pattern. so be careful. Once you signal. You will be given the option of viewing your scores or canceling them. Again. Posted in GRE. Then all you need to do is take your belongings out of your locker.
Score and Departure:
You’re done. or if you want a restroom or snack break. Whatever you decide.testing room. Good luck! Post your test day experience below and check out Grockit forums for test day advice from other test-takers. you’ve completed the test. in case mouse clicks or keyboard keys bother you. return the key and leave with your report. Even though the break is technically 10 minutes long. you will not be able to cancel it. you will have to provide your fingerprint or palm-vein pattern yet again before being escorted back to your station. you will need to provide either your fingerprint or palm pattern to sign out of the room. You can then access your locker and drink some water or snack on something small. Test Day | No Comments »
. Be sure to keep this because there will be an authorization number that you will need to view your official score. You will be seated at a station with a computer and likely some soundproof headphones. Don’t feel obligated to take them if you’re in the zone and want to stay focused. and one minute breaks between the remaining sections of the test. and when all of your pages are filled. If you chose to view your score. Almost four hours after entering the center. However. The test administrator will provide you with scratch paper to use during the test. in the middle of their respective exams. There probably will be people already in the room. you can raise your hand to receive more scratch paper. Once you view your score. don’t forget that the breaks are optional. the ten minute break is a great opportunitie to leave the room and reorient yourself if you are a bit rattled.

The Problems with the Argument: I will enumerate potential problems I see with the speaker’s argument and reasoning. such a task would take a long time (don’t you have more important things to do?). which emphasizes the benefits of regular exercise at an early age. but a health food store. Plainsville merchants report that sales of running shoes and exercise clothing are at all-time highs. and the weight training and aerobics classes are always full. With the convenience of fast
. which has many such residents.” 1. so to mimic your thought process and note-taking when you first come across an argument prompt: 1. When I say “real. “Previous experience has shown that our stores are most profitable in areas where residents are highly concerned with leading healthy lives.Argument Writing Task: Part 4
Thursday. 2. they repeat many of the same fallacies.” How did we gather this profile of Plainsville’s inhabitants? According to our speaker. three facts account for this description: 1. We should therefore build our next new store in Plainsville. ideally. The local health club. That statistic should not deter you. October 14th. Here is one such prompt to get us started: The Prompt The following appeared in a memorandum written by the vice president of Nature’s Way. We can even anticipate a new generation of customers: Plainsville’s schoolchildren are required to participate in a ‘fitness for life’ program. a health food store. Secondly. just check out a hearty sample of prompts (perhaps twenty or thirty. To confirm this. should open in Plainsville. While. and 3. For one thing. 2010
After learning all the possible fallacies and how to spot them. a chain of stores selling health food and other health-related products. 2. it’s time to look at a real possible argument task. which nearly closed five years ago due to lack of business. The similarities will pleasantly surprise you. or whatever you realistically have time for) and think about how your arguments against the prompts might overlap. in no particular order. and you probably shouldn’t take it upon yourself to write practice essays for each and every prompt. the two are not mutually inclusive. What’s the Argument?: The speaker claims that Nature’s Way. has more members than ever. Nature’s Way is neither a health club nor a sporting goods store. though these argument prompts are all ostensibly different.” I mean this could possibly be on your actual GRE. 2. False correlation between exercise and health food: The speaker fallaciously correlates exercise with healthy eating habits. The local health club is experiencing its highest rates of attendance. where “residents are highly concerned with leading healthy lives. 1. Increase in sales of exercise shoes and clothing. a healthy lifestyle entails both exercise and healthy eating habits. though the chances are very slim–approximately 1 out of 245. Plainsville’s schools are now mandating a fitness program.

Often. this guilt about eating habits encourages fast-food patrons to exercise. Also. why shouldn’t we assume that they can easily revert back to unhealthy lifestyles? 1. An increase in health club attendance does not guarantee profits for Nature’s Way: Perhaps the local health club is full because of a lack of competition. are at their worst in history. If this is true.” suggesting it’s the only one of its kind in Plainsville. What we have here is an abundance of information. The sale of running shoes and exercise clothing could be attributed to a fashion trend that prizes the aesthetic value– rather than the functional value–of such clothes.” may cause unintended opposition to exercise. Suggestions for Improvement: To improve the argument. how do we know the interest will continue in the future? After all. the speaker must show a correlation between exercise habits and healthy eating habits. the speaker should investigate the popularity of Plainsville’s health club and explain how Nature’s Way will plan to beat the competition. choose the best examples and develop them into coherent paragraphs.” but there are other possible sources of these increases. but not necessarily change their eating habits. or. Future interest in exercise?: Even if Plainsville residents are interested in health foods. How can we be sure that Nature’s Way will thrive despite its potential new competition? 2. not quite an essay. much like making beloved classics of literature “required texts. but because of sheer childhood obstinacy. 1. Don’t be afraid to integrate smaller fallacies into paragraphs: an abundance of information is not a
. exercise clothes may be an inexpensive alternative to other clothing styles. 1. perhaps through a survey or study. Competition?: The speaker fails to mention the possibility or lack of competing health food stores. Though we may applaud the efforts of schools to introduce such a program. on average.food. The compulsory exercise program is a poor indicator of future healthy lifestyles: The speaker mistakenly assumes that the compulsory “fitness for life” program enacted by schools will foster a new generation of health conscious individuals. 1. Many children often willfully oppose orders given by parents and school teachers. The speaker refers to the club as “the local health club. To write the essay. 1. not out of any sound reasoning. these changes in lifestyle habits are relatively recent. more simply. Does buying exercise clothing necessarily cause exercise?: The speaker assumes that the increase in health-related items suggests that the residents of Plainsville are “highly concerned with leading healthy lives. then high rates of attendance do not suggest an overwhelming increase in the citizens’ exercise. In fact. our national eating habits. we cannot assume that the program will have any lasting effect on the children’s lifestyles. mandating exercise in school.

USE YOUR PENCIL AND BLUE BOOK (but do not waste valuable time writing needless things down). your test scores will be drastically improved if you can eliminate even one or two incorrect answers. Next. but with your ABCDE and key pieces of information. Do not make this mistake. If you can eliminate three incorrect answers. you will have essentially transferred the problem from the computer screen to your paper. First. but not everyone employs these useful strategies that will save you valuable time come test day The CAT test format can be frustrating. For practice. you won’t have to write down much. I can’t tell you how to
. Without the luxury of being able to write notes. longer essays tend to receive higher scores. Posted in GRE. 2010
One of the biggest frustrations of taking a CAT test is that you don’t have the questions and answers right there in front of you. WRITE THEM DOWN! You have no idea how many times you will be very appreciative of doing this when you look down and see that you have two answers to choose from instead of trying to look up at your screen and trying to remember what answers you told yourself to eliminate. your probability of guessing the right answer is 50%! So be sure to get in the habit of writing down ABCDE and then crossing answers out as you go. do whatever you need to do to eliminate answers. using your own words and. a key here is to make sure you transfer information correctly. eliminate answers. The worst thing you can do is to write down wrong numbers or facts. Some of the following might sound like common sense. etc. they don’t give you material to write things down for nothing. but as you practice. you should get in the habit of immediately writing down ABCDE on your scratch paper for every question. Even if you don’t know the exact answer. you will find that you are spending a lot of time looking between the screen in front of you and your blue book. you will become more proficient at identifying the key pieces of information. One of the worst things you can do is to waste time staring at the screen. With easy questions.bad thing. if you have them. I am certain that you will find this extremely annoying in a CAT environment. series | No Comments »
Helpful GRE CAT Tips
Monday. you can immediately eliminate answers that you know are incorrect. Instead. as you will be able to make equations. in fact. October 11th. Don’t worry about writing everything down at first. This should be a habit as you study for the GRE. BUT. your own arguments. you may want to give yourself 30 minutes and write this essay. Don’t waste your valuable brainpower trying to remember answers that might be right or wrong. for many reasons. but there are some tricks that I found useful when taking the test that seemed to help me out. make equations or draw pictures. read the entire question carefully and write down the useful information (this is more geared for the Quantitative part). and time consuming. USE IT! This way. which will make your life much easier. and. draw pictures.

October 7th. 2010
Currently the GRE Verbal section tests approximately 6 sentence completions. but in general. I’m sure that you will employ traditional book based studying (such as Official Guide for GRE Review) and I highly encourage you to use such books. WRITE DOWN ABCDE. But as you become comfortable with the material itself. Test Day | No Comments »
GRE: Sentence Completions Overview
Thursday. Employing the above methods will help you become a master of the CAT environment and will definitely pay dividends come test day. Many GRE students find SC’s the easiest Verbal question-type. Once you are certain you have it down in front of you. but make sure to practice them just as diligently as Antonyms or Analogies. it will be invaluable come test day. and good luck! If you have any other strategies that you have found helpful. Posted in GRE. Become comfortable with using the computer to answer questions. but the act of writing them down will slow down your impulses and force your brain to think critically. GRE Prep. please post below. 1. USE YOUR SCRATCH PAPER. words that describe the blank or relate to the overall flow of the sentence (transition words). Supplement your computer testing with your paper (book) testing and vice-versa. it is essential that you are able to transfer your mastery of the material to a CAT environment. Write them down! It may seem redundant. work slow to work fast. They will contain tough vocabulary and will require a solid strategy to answer them correctly. but use that practice to become a master at translating the key pieces of information to your scrap paper. As you read the sentence. What do the words tell you about the blank? Here are some common transition keywords you’ll see on Test Day:
. Eliminate answers as you go. Write down the keywords. Another issue with CAT test prep is that it is difficult to simulate the test day environment. or about 1/5th of the total Verbal section. Don’t become too comfortable with studying out of books.become a pro at accuracy. That is where prep services like Grockit come in. go to town on cracking the problem. or check out Grockit’s GRE forums for more advice. you will be on the lookout for keywords.

Eliminate answer choices. 2010
While studying for the GRE. This method will increase your accuracy by forcing your brain to do the necessary critical thinking – after all. we hope to be familiar with every type of question before walking into the test. eliminating the answer choices that could not possible match your prediction. even a simple prediction like. October 5th. then plug them into the sentence to see which one is correct. you will probably forget it as you read the answer choices. Sentence Completion.” we want to keep it since it is at least a partial match. Instead of scanning the answers quickly looking for the correct one. Surprise slows you down. you can come up with a prediction for the blank. but your speed will increase as you practice and your brain becomes more disciplined. and knowing what to do ahead of time
. if our prediction was “messy” and one of the answer choices was “distraught. 3. It may seem like this method of writing down keywords and predictions will slow you down. For example. Verbal | No Comments »
Guess and Eliminate – GRE Problem Solving
Tuesday. Once you’ve analyzed the keywords and punctuation of a sentence. Don’t let yourself read the answer choices without a written-down prediction. If you don’t write it down. If you have more than one answer choice left after eliminating.2. “a positive word” or “something like angry” is perfectly acceptable. carefully move through the choices from A to E. If you are at a loss for words. Don’t be too narrow-minded in your elimination. but you DO have to write something down. It doesn’t have to be brilliant. isn’t that what the GRE is really testing? Get started with some sentence completions now on Grockit! Posted in GRE Prep. Write down a prediction.

then look for a pair where one option is the square root of another. for 30-60-90 triangles. Take a look at this example: If x is an odd integer and y is an even integer. we will quickly address guessing tactics and. you may look for √3s. you might look for √2. 1/4 and 4 are one simple mistake away from each other. if the question involves fractions or inverses. correct answers tend to be “close” to incorrect ones. However. and answer choices that are “way far off” from the others are typically wrong. if we have some hesitation on a question. B. 3. For example. Because these mistakes are common. If you see a √3 in the answer choices.) Guessing on the Quantitative Section 1. Know the question: If the question involves a 45-45-90 triangle. y/x 4(y/x) 4x + y 2(x + y) 5(x – y)
Before we even start attacking the specifics of this question. C. we know any answer that satisfies the description “even integer” is NOT the correct. strategies to efficiently and accurately eliminate incorrect answer choices to reduce your options and point you in the right direction. In this post. of course.will save you time and help you earn more points. Plugging in numbers may
. Look for pairs of answers: wrong answers are chosen for a reason.) Eliminating Definitively Wrong Answers On the quantitative section. 2. you can reasonably eliminate that option. which of the following CANNOT be an even integer? A. D. This is particularly helpful for geometry questions. which will addressed in a future post. there will inevitably be questions for which you will not know how to find the exact answer. (Note: This post does not address quantitative comparison questions. it helps to know which questions are absolutely incorrect without much thought. E. Conversely. more importantly. If it asks you for the √x. The last step: Take a peek at the last step of the question (if applicable). (You’d pick the square root option.

Keep track of units. C. we should think quickly about in which direction the percentage should be moving. but to save time. Answer choices (D) and (E) include “60”. but because there is no mention of units.4%
After reading this question. 1/4 are over the age of 60. which is an indication that you are incorrectly converting hours to minutes. If an advertising campaign attracts a number of new residents over 60 equal to 1/5 of the town’s current 60+ citizens and there are no other changes in the population. you are still guessing between (C). Take a look at this example: How long (in hours) will it take Steve to run m miles if he runs at a constant speed of x miles per hour? A. This will move the percent UP.help. Then you can pick between (A). We start at ¼ (25%) 60+ citizens and add more 60+ citizens to the population without any other additions. chances are we will not have to do that this time. E.6% 30% 33. Answer choices (B) and (D) are multiplied by 4 and 2 respectively. Size Matters. We know that sometimes we might want to convert hours to minutes. D. The town of Sandwich has a total of 5. B.8% 25% 28. and (C). D. Of these. and the answer is to be in miles/hour. If you have no clue how to answer this question. (D) and
. B. 23. Do a very quick estimate of what the answer should look like. You can then worry only about (A). so those are out. and (E) through a variety of strategies.400 citizens. (B). C. E. (C). approximately what percent of Sandwich’s total population would be over the age of 60? A. x/m m/x xm 60m/x x/60m
The two units provided in the question are miles and miles/hour. we can quickly recognize that any product including a factor of 2 must be even.

we can eliminate 9.’ While this is certainly not the case on quantitative comparisons. On a hard problem. 4 b. 2. On hard problems. Most students tend to go for the ‘not enough information’ choice when they are out of time. often eliminate the answer choice ‘not enough information. When test-takers guess on these problems. GRE practice makes perfect. and more importantly. they tend to guess the extreme answer choice (i. there is more to strategy than simply trying to answer the question. that should come out soon. November 8th.
. it certainly works most of the time.(E) since (A) and (B) are clearly too low. and test makers will rarely let you get away with no calculation for a difficult problem. eliminate the least (or greatest) number from the answer choices.) This was a quick overview of general concepts for math questions.
Archive for November. (Note: Answer choices are ALWAYS in ascending order. In fact. they may lead you to the correct answer even when you’re not too confident about the material. Test makers catch on to this. c is the answer (this question is pretty simple if we draw it out). 2010
Quantitative Elimination Strategies: Part 1
Monday. 6 d. it is often the case on difficult multiple choice problems. Keep an eye out for a similar article focusing on Quantitative Comparison questions. when you are asked to find the least (or greatest) number. Answer choices are gifts that we test-takers must take advantage of.e. 9 According to the strategy. 1. While we could never say that this rule works 100 percent of the time. Every effective test-taker must understand the strategies used to effectively eliminate wrong answer choices. and it follows the test-maker’s logic. These will help you save time. if asked for the greatest. and as a result. 2010
As with all multiple choice tests. 5 c. As always. they’ll pick the greatest). 8 e. Example 1: What is the maximum number of points common to the intersection of a square and a triangle if no two sides coincide? a. they rarely allow that expected choice to be the answer.

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GRE Quantitative: Decimals
Thursday. eliminate answer choices that merely repeat numbers from the problem. you should be skeptical of answer choices b and e. and you have no choice but to guess. This is basically a problem that needs to be converted into mathematical notation: x+20 = 8 + (10. you’ll see more challenging examples for which you should use these elimination strategies.y) x + 12= 10-y x+y= 10 – 12 x+y= -2 A is our answer. what is the value of x + y? A. -2 b. Let’s see if we can answer it. there is no substitute for knowing the math. remember that a decimal is really a decimal fraction–all decimals can be written as fractions with their respective powers of ten as the denominator. E.’ and b gets the number ‘8′ from the question. is a ‘not enough information. but you will increase your chances by avoiding these answers if you must guess. Posted in GRE. If you remember nothing else. 2010
If you haven’t done decimal arithmetic since grade school. not enough info If this type of problem is giving you trouble. working with decimals can be a daunting experience when somebody takes away your calculator. but you also want to increase your chances on the toughest problems. these are not hard and fast rules. GRE Prep. On hard problems. 28 e. In the next installment. as we saw earlier. 9 d. For example:
. November 4th.3. 8 c. Example 2: If the sum of x and 20 is 8 more than the difference of 10 and y. Quantitative. Again. Remember.

515 Multiplication 1.6.356.45 and . always use common sense to avoid calculation errors. . and add these up (ex. I know that my answer will have one digit before the decimal because 4 * 1 = 4. Example: Multiply 4. not 40 or 400.170 ————384. Addition and Subtraction When adding and subtracting decimals.345 + 2.232 and 1. 2.5689 = 5689 / 10000 You’ll want one zero in the denominator for every digit in the decimal. Counting from right to left. Add zeros as necessary.4 = 4/10.17 Set it up like this: 382. If multiplying 6. line up the decimal points. Manipulate the placement of the decimal in the product to fulfill step 3.52 and . add zeros to fill up the empty space. I add 2 + 3=5). 3.01356.345 and 2. and. Example: Add 382.003.003 Step 1: 452 x 3 ———1356 Step 2: In 4.. Count the number of digits after the decimal in each number.84 = 84/100 . I need 5 digits after the decimal. 4. my product is . HINT: When multiplying simpler decimal numbers. if it makes things easier. My sum of digits equals the number of digits that should be to the right of the decimal in my product. in 1356. Step 3: So.52 and . Multiply the decimals as if the decimals are not present. we have a total of 5 numbers after the decimals.
. If I am multiplying 4.

Move decimal point in 2. Since there is no remainder left over. yielding 1783.05 1. Example: Divide 17.Division 1. 205 goes into 1435 seven times.
. 3. Now we have 1435.835 by 2. 2. 6.7
Working with decimals without a calculator is all about practice.5 1640 ——– 1435 1435 —— 0 For a little refresher in long division. as always. I change . we are left with 8.7_____ 205 ) 1783. Bring down the 5 from the dividend. 205 can go into 1783 about 8 times.5 / .25 to 25) 2. Bring up the decimal and place 7 after it. 7. The first step is to stop using the calculator every time you make an arithmetic calculation. so I’ll convert 502.25 to 25. Move the decimal in the dividend the same number of places to the right (I moved the decimal two places to the right to convert .5 to 50250) 3. the second step. Divide normally and bring the decimal straight up into the quotient. exactly.25. here is the process verbalized: 1. 4. Move the decimal point in the divisor to the right so that the divisor is a whole number (If my computation is 502.5 _ 8. 8 times 205 is 1640. is to practice on Grockit. 1783 minus 1640 is 143. Do the same for the dividend. 5.05 two times to the right to make 205.