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.
5x + 5y / x + y
Here’s a chance for some good ol’ fashioned factoring. When you are testing variable expressions.Example 2. use your common sense. there are some rare cases when there are multiple quick methods to solving a problem. They’re equal. The Fallback Strategy: Use 1. Though there is usually one “fastest” method. 5( x +y ) / x +y OR 5
(X+Y) on top and bottom cancel. the answer must be D because when x= 0. a positive. This just goes to show you that there is usually more than one way to solve a math problem. 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. You must use a negative. the values are equal. or when we use a negative number. a
. 3x is larger. 0. we’d think that we arrived at this: 3 OR 4
We might choose B as a result. and a negative number as testers. 9^99 – 9^98 OR 9 ^98
Why don’t we divide both sides by 9^98? 1. giving you: 5 OR 5 Easy choice. When in doubt. Simplify by multiplying or dividing both sides by the same value: Let’s look at the problem we did above for the factoring method. 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. 1. the most reliable method to test them is to be thorough with the types of numbers you use. a fraction. when comparing 3x and 4x. We can actually use another method to figure out the answer. but we’d be wrong. It’s easy to see that.
zeroes. Fractions have some very special properties. Example 2: If x<0. fractions. the whole value is zero. positives. not bigger (. y >0. e. it must be A right? Common Not so fast. Remember. If we multiply a fraction by itself. but we’re not in the clear quite yet. Let’s check out some examples that show us why it’s necessary to be thorough. y is zero also. what if x is zero? Well in that case.25). Example 3: If 3x= 4y x OR y
We know that if x and y are positive. then x is greater than y. speed and accuracy are crucial! See other articles in this series:
. and of course. When negative numbers are involved. So in that case. then y is -3. Example 1: If x>0. and a zero. So in that case. our answer is D. our special numbers to test are negatives. z= 0… 3z (2x +5y) OR 3x (2z+5y)
When a zero is on the outside. always test them.5 * . When you practice on Grockit. we suggest that you use simple numbers in order to save yourself time and avoid any calculation errors. What we have is a negative multiplied by a positive. it happens to become smaller. so we know the answer is negative. Example 4: If x > 0 and x does NOT equal 1… x² OR x
So x must be positive and cannot be one. we can be confident that our second value is larger. But what if they are negative? If x is -4. as in our A value. Testing our second value gives us 3(-1) (2*0 + 5*2).5 = . remember. So in that case. so both values are equal. z=0 3z (2x +5y) OR 3x (2z+5y)
We still have zero for our first value. try using different strategies to figure out which work best for you. if x is 4 then y is 3. Our first value is larger. And.fraction. It turns out that the answer must be D. There you have it. y> 0. y is greater.g. Since all the other values are positive.
31 x 32 x 33 x 34 x 35 OR 32 x 33 x 34 x 35 x 36
Again. in your practice. we can cross out the numbers that appear in both expressions. Your job is not to find the correct answer amongst a group of answers (i. Such an approach is self-defeating. which is a good indicator that there is a much faster way to solve the problem. June 14th. 2010
Quantitative Comparison problems are not like standard math problems you’ll find on the SAT or a common standardized test. You merely have to find out if one of the two expressions is larger. and 35. now it’s quite clear that B is greater. or equal to the other. but notice that you can get away with much less. smaller.
. and how to quickly compare variable expressions. Calculation is not necessary. even if such a strategy appears to be the most obvious way to reach an answer. This may sound like a pain. 34. 3569 OR 3(10) + 5 (10²) + 6 (10¹) + 9 (10^0)
If I saw this problem without thinking. 33. Notice that 3569 is the same thing as saying 3000 + 500 + 60 + 9. Thus. we are left with a simple comparison: 31 OR 36. There is a simple trick here. 2. Before we examine certain question types. when not to calculate. Avoid Unnecessary Calculation If. Let’s look at some strategies that pinpoint those faster ways to solve quant comps: when to calculate. which would take you quite a while (not to mention leave you vulnerable to errors). or if such information is impossible to calculate. Quantitative. you might jump into calculation. multiple choice) or to find the correct answer and write it in. The art of quantitative comparison problems is getting away with the bare minimum to save time. you are doing unnecessary work. Quantitative Comparison. Many quantitative comparisons are designed to look time consuming. and I know that both expressions are equal. you notice yourself doing endless calculations.Quantitative Comparison Strategies Pt 1 Posted in GRE. series | No Comments »
Quantitative Comparison Strategies: Part 1
Monday. which is what the expression on the right is really saying. The GRE will not make you do endless calculations on paper.e. 32. etc). if you don’t quickly examine the two expressions intelligently. I might multiply out the second column (3 times 10³ is 3000. that is. let’s look at a couple simple examples to show how immediate calculation can be an inefficient strategy: 1. Since we are just comparing the two expressions.
Quantitative Comparison.000 / 200. when choosing numbers to add or subtract.000 / 100
When you see many zeros in fractions like this. 0. 000 OR 1. a negative.000 in the numerator and 200. so: Subtracting 5 from both sides gives us: 4x OR 3x+1 Subtracting 3x from both sides gives us: x OR 1 Now. my expression is simply 20/2 = 10. though.000/100 = 10/1 = 10. Let’s check out this example: 1. that you can manipulate both expressions to make the comparison simpler. If I have 2. June 9th. our goal is to make the relationship simpler. 2. Simplify by Adding/Subtracting Same Value 1. Quantitative. try some of these strategies in Grockit! Posted in GRE.Simplify When presented with two baffling expressions. strategy | 2 Comments »
GRE Strategy – Estimation
Wednesday. Remember. you should get comfortable with estimating. I’ll have the same relationship between the two expressions.000. look how simple it is? The comparison is any number (x) OR 1. which is clearly indeterminate.000 in the denominator. 2010
To save time on the GRE. series. Same idea for column b: 1. now. Don’t forget. I should just eliminate five zeros from the top and 5 zeros from the bottom. 0. always think of ways to simplify before you calculate. I could use the tried and true plug-in method.5–you want to use a positive. Even if estimating doesn’t give you the 100% accurate answer. 2. and a fraction). it generally narrows it down to
. where I would test a few simple numbers (preferably something like -2. and . In the meantime. As long as I add or subtract the same number or variable from these expressions. First. Our answer is D. 4x +5 OR 3x +6
I could approach this problem a few ways. your first instinct should be to cross out matching zeros. Stay tuned for some more strategies for quantitative comparisons that will save you time and increase accuracy.000.
So I’m looking for what value 7% of $10. Wind (2%) + Hydro (2%) + Nuclear (3%) = 7%. I would figure out what 1% represents – approximately $0.one obvious choice (if you’re good at estimating and round up and down appropriately). so there really is no point calculating the precise answer there. Given the following five answer choices 1. 2.74 billion
I would then pick E easily based on my estimate. 3.6 billion $8. In this case. and then multiply that by 7 to get $0.0 billion $. 5. you just need to know if they are equal or if one is bigger. particular on the questions with charts and graphs. Estimation also comes in handy for quantitative comparisons because you don’t need the precise answer. Numerical Estimations Practice estimating with percentages. $127.7 million. 4. hydro and wind power combined? I would look at the Canada row.9 billion $7.
. hydro and wind column (keeping my finger on it so I don’t read the wrong thing) and add up those percentages. 5% or 10% represents and working from there depending on the question. This will save you a lot of time.6 million represents.2 billion $10.1 million.
The question asks: approximately what average amount per month did the Canadian government spend on nuclear. and the nuclear. let’s take a look at the following chart. I tend to like figuring out 1%. For example. Some questions even tell you to approximate.
Which is also square root of 36.
The same goes with this question. Clearly AE is the longer line since it spans four rectangles instead of three.
The important lesson in visual estimations is not to do it for triangles. Clearly square root of 37 will be a teensy bit bigger. Visual Estimations Visual estimations usually work for things like graphs or simple diagrams like the problem below.1 / lb. You should always assume that triangles are never drawn to scale and when looking at diagrams of
. so you can choose B without even calculating what root 37 might be.In the example above. The price/lb of coffee B is approximately $8/7 pounds = $1. the price/lb of coffee A is approximately $10/5 pounds = $2/lb. The length of one edge of the cube is 6. So A is bigger.
so only apply mathematical rules.g. They may be.
. sum of interior angles is 180. you should only apply rules of triangles e. You might be tempted to think that QRT or QRS is an isosceles triangle. but they may not be. 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. isosceles triangles have two equal angles and two equal sides etc. For example.triangles. You don’t know. you need to add up the angles to get 10a. in the question below.
Second. just because one event happens after another. may be one of the most common you’ll encounter when examining the pool of arguments. Quantitative. and you can be confident that you’ll find more than one of them in any given argument. Again. so ice cream causes drowning. when water activities are also more popular.
. again. Here. Take this argument for example: As ice cream sales increase. you need to use the sum of angles = 180 rule. the speaker may claim that a correlation suggests causation. This one may take some headscratching to realize that ice cream is more popular in the summer months. strategy | No Comments »
Argument Writing Task: Part 3
Monday. T and S: 27 + 27 + y + y + x + x = 180. the rate of drowning deaths increases. by the same logic. This means that 2 y + 2 x = 126 thus y + x = 63. the speaker may claim that a temporal relationship suggests causation.g. it doesn’t mean that one event causes the other. But you wouldn’t know this just by looking at it. we learned a little about the first three types of logical flaws you might find in the argument task.e. post hoc ergo propter hoc). just because two phenomena often occur together. June 7th. Since the lines bisect angles Q. join a Grockit game today!
Posted in GRE. GRE Prep. more lovingly known as the post hoc fallacy. There are two basic ways a fallacious cause-and-effect claim can be made. you are not expected to cite these flaws by name or cite the names of their fancy Latin correlatives (e. i. A speaker may often use correlation to simply causation when a lurking variable is present. Correlation Does Not Imply Causation: This fallacy. 2010
In our last installment.As it turns out. This makes column A and B equal. so it’s essential that you master it. Studying these flaws will simply help you identify them on test day. 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. it doesn’t mean that event caused the other to occur. First. For more practice estimating. 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)
Further.5. make sure that if a survey should be conducted anonymously–like in the workplace–then it is indicated. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1 Argument Writing Task: Pt 2 Posted in GRE. it must be of significant size and characteristically representative of the population. e.g. we might fallaciously conclude that 78% of people identify “mint” as their favorite ice cream flavor. For example. 6. a survey asking the question “What is your favorite ice cream flavor?” should have more options than simply “coconut” and “mint. 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. To spot tainted data. For data to be considered legitimate it has to be collected in an unbiased. series | No Comments »
What’s the big idea?
Thursday. For a sample to adequately represent a larger population. unrepresentative. the results may be unreliable. For example. and scientific manner.org and practice identifying these flaws. a speaker may try to make a broad claim about graduate school’s impracticality by citing statistics from one particular university. Next time. Inappropriate Statistics: You will often find that these arguments cite statistical evidence to bolster their claims. fair. To really identify the source of the employment disparity. For example. compare the types of jobs sought by undergrads and grads. Biased or Tainted Data: Tainted data is the second problem that could arise with data samples. e. June 3rd. In the meantime.” from those findings. examine the economy of the surrounding area. 80 percent of University X undergrads were employed within one year of graduating. Verbal. the results may be unreliable if the method for collecting the data is biased. and show the distribution of majors among grads and undergrads. As you may find out. watch out for surveys that try to manipulate responses by providing narrow options. check out the pool of prompts at ets. The statistics of one university simply cannot account for a sweeping claim about graduate education.g. otherwise the quality of the data is compromised. if there is reason to believe that survey responses are dishonest. if the survey is designed. while only 50 percent of the graduate students of the same university were employed after one year. to yield certain responses. simply citing evidence does not prove a claim since the statistics may be faulty. This is where problems can arise. Also. or inapplicable. we’d have to compare the admission standards for undergrads and grad students. 2010
. we’ll look at an actual Argument Writing Task prompt and see how we can apply these logical flaws. consciously or unconsciously.
all of them will exhibit at least some of these flaws. Keep an eye out for keywords such as “in contrast”. “for example”. you won’t be able to skim through the passage to answer all the questions. But ETS is nice enough that the initial questions are very general or word specific. great leaders etc. 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. correlation does not imply causation) Relying on inappropriate or potentially unrepresentative statistics
. try to skim through and summarize each paragraph. but also considers the benefits. so learning them is essential. Then. context clues. 2010
In the last installment.e. You can also assume that politically incorrect answers are wrong and you can eliminate them. It could be as simple as the author is against stem cell research for this and this reason. Be careful of answers to look too much like the first or last sentences though! Often times. Posted in GRE. common sense will also tell you that the passage will never argue that studying Shakespeare in school is without value. i. Although there hundreds of possible arguments the ETS may choose. shifts in tone and argument (where necessary). Even if it is politically correct. “however” which signal shifts in the argument. Reading Comprehension. Don’t try to remember every single detail. In other words. To answer the initial general questions. Standardized test passages almost never criticize women.GRE reading comprehension passages are not simply lifted out of a book. before getting asking more in depth questions about the arguments. They are carefully edited by experienced test writers to make sure that they are packed full of information. minorities. Verbal | No Comments »
Argument Writing Task: Part 2
Tuesday. or that the selling or organs should be endorsed. they are thrown in there to lead you away from a more accurate answer. You don’t even have to come up with a detailed summary. we briefly looked at the kinds of flaws and fallacies you should expect to find in the given argument. we were introduced to the Argument Writing task and found out how it differs from the Issue Task. Just focus on the first and last sentence of each paragraph and skim through the examples in between. 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. June 1st. The passage will never support extreme. Always remember that the main idea is not generally a straightforward one-sided matter. controversial views.
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 Condition Assumption: The speaker of an argument may assume that a certain course of action is necessary or sufficient to achieve a result. on commercials. we’ll look at the next three flaws and discuss how to begin forming our Argument Task essay. we can’t make this analogy. The Member vs. For example. but we can’t completely analogize these different trading-card shops. Weak Analogies: The speaker may come to a conclusion about one thing on the basis of another thing. 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. 3. the superintendent may not have shown that the reading program by itself is enough to raise reading levels. Let’s look at these flaws in a little more depth: 1. the argument should clearly state that a member is a representative of the group as a whole. Becoming familiar with these flaws and how to spot them is the first step to writing a quality Argument Task. if the manager of a business. and the relocation merely reaped the benefits? Without this thorough background info. There are other factors involved in this proposed outcome: preparedness of teachers and attentiveness of students. First of all. the demographics in their respective cities may respond to different incentives. To practice. most of the time. If you can spot them in everyday situations. it won’t. think about these flaws in depth and try to find them in everyday reasoning. In the above example. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1
. Group Fallacy: It is pretty unrealistic to describe a group and then expect that every single member fulfills that characteristic. a superintendent of a school argues that adopting a certain marketed reading program is necessary–i. Maybe that particular city’s downtown district was already on the rise. it will be easy on the test. Watch out for them in your conversations. 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. say a trading card shop.•
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. Next time. In order to avoid the member-group fallacy. however.e. the only means–to increase reading skills of students. in television shows. For example. may find that a big competitor in a different city has increased sales by moving from a downtown location to a suburban one. making your body paragraph organization pretty simple. The argument may seem sound. You can remember this fallacy by thinking about stereotypes. etc. 2.
July 29th. Saintly behavior Clever conversation Lively imagination Agitation Lucidity
Let’s pretend we aren’t sure what “turpitude” means. you can locate the answer in a fraction of a second. 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. With a little knowledge.Archive for July. Clever conversation
. 1. 1. Saintly behavior 2. but we know it’s a negative word. Beware of words that simply “sound” negative or positive to you. there are words that make us think of something totally incongruous. If you don’t know the stem word. and you know that it has a negative or positive charge. Working backward is an effective technique that allows us to use what we know to get closer to our answer. we simply get rid of the negative antonym choices. never surrender like this on an antonym question. Provided you have enough time. For every word like “resplendent” that appropriately sounds positive (the “splend” makes us think of “splendid). you can still quickly narrow the answer down to a couple options. 2. Make sure that you have at least heard the word or read the word. When you know every single word. 4. 5. and technique. only D is negative. When you know the stem word but only some of the words in the answer choices. you can eliminate answer choices and significantly increase your chances of a correct answer. Let’s move on to other strategies to eliminate some choices. 3. So. so we’ve only gotten rid of one. The Positive/Negative Approach Let’s look at an example from an actual GRE test: TURPITUDE 1.” which makes me think of chewing gum. 2010
Paradoxically. like “strident. Define Antonyms of the Answer Choices (aka Working Backward) TURPITUDE 1. 2010
Working Backward: Antonyms
Thursday. unfortunately. though. logic. you will likely panic and blindly guess. if we know that turpitude is negative.
” and “turbid” are often mixed up. 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. which happens to be the right answer.” “solitude. Saintly behavior à morally depraved behavior 2.” a state or quality of something. Lively imagination 4. knowing the stem word’s definition would have gotten us the correct answer much faster. we were able to eliminate D. First. In the test writer’s mind. Let’s create antonyms for each of our choices. there was some reasoning behind my choice. “turbid” means cloudy. Lucidityà obscurity.” makes me skeptical because it lacks the kind of negative charge I would expect from a word like “turpitude. Because “depraved behavior” is certainly more negative than “lack of clarity. “Lack of imagination. since the words “turpitude.” In these examples and in general. would not be “unintelligent conversation.” though not as concrete as “unintelligent conversation. unclear. Thus it would make much more sense that “turpitude.” I’ll go with A. and hence.” and “fortitude.” Though these eliminations were based on speculation. but we have more work to do. A little thinking does go a long way. Lucidity Using the negative/positive strategy. I am now down to A or E. the suffix “-tude” means a state. Each antonym I created is sufficiently abstract (as opposed to concrete) and can be a state or condition. Clever conservation à banal. or condition of something. we should use a little critical thinking and reasonable speculation. Granted. Lively imaginationàLack of imagination 2. quality. Agitation 5. it is a particular action. lack of clarity Now. I can guess that E was a trap answer. and see how they match our mysterious stem word: 1. I’d think of the word “turpitude” and recognize that it ends in “-tude” like the other familiar words “gratitude. D.3. and there is no guarantee that such
. while “turpitude” means corrupt or depraved.” Unintelligent conversation is not really the state or quality of something.” “turgid. unintelligent conversation 1.
but outsmarting the test-writers is very important too. often making the problem appear a little bit easier than it actually is. Step back. When we are overwhelmed by figures and calculations.speculation will lead you to the correct answer.350 E. During practice. You may notice the anticipated answer in the choices and think that you won’t have to finish the problem. But. 2010
This is the second installment in the simple quantitative strategies series. things change. 32. vacabulary Posted in GRE. ballparking essentially means thinking about mathematical figures in a vague.685 D. it can be no other answer. strategy | No Comments »
Simple Quantitative Strategies. or attractors. July 26th.50. In terms of GRE quantitative strategy. no matter how many correct steps you painstakingly went through. Use the test format to your advantage. 1. and you go into human calculator mode. learning the processes is more than half the battle. don’t give up–use your brain! Tags: antonyms.33 percent is awfully close to one third. These strategies are here to remind you that there is just a bit more to studying than simply cramming math material. though. when you’re in the middle of a timed test. Moving a decimal one unit could transform a correct answer into a wrong answer. 70. common sense thinker will probably be able to answer this question without doing a calculation. imprecise. but nonetheless common sense manner.165 C.Looks look at an
. don’t overwork. BallparkingTo ‘ballpark’ is to roughly approximate. You see a question like this and immediately start calculating the product. Avoid TrapsNearly every multiple choice math problem has trap answers. and anticipate the clever gambits so often deployed by the ETS. These types of answers catch your eye for one reason or another. 5. Anxiety sets in. if you happen to stumble upon an antonym question like this. but we were still successful with some effort. This is where ballparking plays a significant role. 1. Yes. Verbal. A third of 50 is a little more than 15 (15*3= 45). Beating the GRE quantitative requires a balanced combination of math skills and test-taking skills– these strategies will help improve the latter. 35.Let’s look at a crude example:What’s 32.125 B. and look at the simplicity of the question.195 Any relaxed. The only thing close to that is B.16.33 % of 50?A. it’s easy to make mistakes. but remember that such a choice is probably a trap. Part 2
Averages. Quantitative. are likely to show up on the GRE Quantitative section. the price was reduced another 20%. during a special sale. or arithmetic means. isn’t it? But. 50% You may read this question and think that a 20 percent discount plus another 20% discount equals a 40% discount. why not imagine the shirt is 100 bucks to start. That’s a difference of 10064=36. Just perform the calculations as necessary. but they can mean big points in a pressured testing environment. let’s get real.example of what this might look like:1. the total discount is $36. Unfortunately. 42% e. but the test will probably present average questions in a more complicated way. Take 20% off of 100. when you practice. and you get 80. Rather than present you with all the numbers in a set and ask you to find the average of those numbers. Most of us know how to find the average. July 20th. Then. you’ve just missed a pretty easy question. Posted in GRE. the GRE average problems will present you with various combinations of known and unknown information. These two strategies may appear simple. series | No Comments »
Tuesday. Take 20% off of 80 (80 / 5 = 16) and you get 64. Seeing 40% as an answer choice. 25% b. you may be inclined to choose it and move on. which can end up making a huge difference on a computer adaptive test. We went from a 100 dollar shirt to a 64 dollar shirt. 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. B. First. The price of a T-shirt was reduced by 20%. think about these techniques! They will keep you from making careless mistakes on easy to intermediate problems. What was the total percentage discount from the original price?a. 40% d. So. 36% c. Thus.
If I want to find the average of seven different test scores. what was the average of her last three tests? Here. 95.57. then n=7. The sum total of all the figures in a set (T). 219 (total) / 3 (number of figures) = 73
. What is the total weight. If her average score after the first three five tests was 89. we have to find two totals before we can calculate the average of the final three tests. the total number of percentage points on the first five tests. and n is the number of figures in a set. 60. 1. A = 550 / 7 = 78. The average of the figures in a set: (A)= T / N. 14*4. 75.7= 65. let’s go over some basic rules for finding averages. 80. If the aforementioned scores are 80. There are 3 numbers you want to know. he calculated the average weight of the fish to be 4. of all the fish? Answer: Simply multiply 14 and 4. 3.Finding the total: IF you know the average and the number of figures/items (n) in a set. where A is average. The number of figures in a set (n). 2.7. With this information. we have the info we need to find the average in question.7 lbs. then T= 550.8 Example 2: Throughout the year. Janet took 8 math tests.Before we begin. they are related by the formula A= T / n. in pounds. 70. 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. In our example. Example 1: John caught 14 fish after a long day of fishing. After weighing all of them together. T is the total sum of values. 8*83= 664. then simply multiply the average and the number of figures to find the sum total (T). her average score was 83. the total number of percentage points on all the tests 5*89= 445. and 90. 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 average speed should be closer to 60. While some programs. If John traveled a greater distance at 60 mph. July 15th. Even the most complicated average problems stem from the formula. Average Speed = total distance / total time = 230 / 4 = 57. Rather. Don’t forget that ‘x’ counts as a number in the list. What was his average speed for the whole trip? First. it wouldn’t make sense for the average speed to lie right in the middle of 50 and 60. 44. and x is 35. All you have to do is set up an equation with the information you know. so our total number of figures is 4. 28. Remember. let’s figure out the total distance. 2010
So you’ve applied to several schools and you get a letter inviting you to an in-person interview. will pay for your airfare and arrange lodging with a current grad student.Example 3: If the average of 34. Tags: Averages Posted in GRE. 35= ( 34+44+28+x) / 4 35= 106 + x / 4 4 (35) = 106 + x x = 4(35) – 106 x = 34 2. Average Speed = total distance / total time The formula for average speed is quite simple and intuitive. 1 hour at 50 mph would be 50 miles. Quantitative | No Comments »
Nailing that Grad School Interview
Thursday. go back to the formula A=T / n. what is the value of x? Remember that Average = Total / Number of figures. John drove for 1 hour at 50 mph and for 3 hours at 60 mph.5 Note: the average speed is not merely the average of 50 and 60–that is a mistake that many students make. most schools probably won’t do
. Our total distance is 180 + 50 = 230 miles. The total time is 3+1 = 4 hours. we need both the total distance and the total time to calculate average speed. Always remember: when in doubt. Example 4: In traveling from city A to city B. and 3 hours at 60 mph would be 180 miles. particularly the science programs. but many overlook the formula when approaching average speed problems.
this. You may not be taking to a professor. don’t take your neighbor’s water glass etc. but even a friendly grad student who is buying you a drink at the bar may have something to contribute to the decision process. particularly during the main interview. the interview is also your chance to interview them. Let other people speak their turn. practical work opportunities. frequency of publication. 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. 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. (Don’t drink too much!) If you know ahead of time that there is going to be a formal dinner. So be sure to watch how you act and what you say. Before you leave. July 12th. ask about teaching opportunities during the program. without it being a CATastrophe
Monday. Regardless. spend a few days researching the department and the faculty. If you are asked to discuss an issue with some of your fellow applicants or grad students. It really helps too if you can demonstrate how your research experience ties in with their program. if there is a rotation program between professors and how that works. always acknowledge the person (preferably by name) and their opinion. such as saying “like” or “um” frequently. If you have some research experience yourself. you should try to attend because it indicates your interest in the program. please be aware that every moment could possibly be part of the “interview”. mentoring programs and job prospects. brush up on your table etiquette too – know your bread knife from your regular knife. remember not to monopolize the discussion even if you might have a lot to say. If you can weave their area of interest into your conversation. Try not to ask questions that indicate that you haven’t done your research. You should also try to speak more slowly that you think is normal. Some people have a tendency of raising their eyebrows or rolling their eyes that they may not even be aware of it. be prepared to explain and defend your work. because there is a tendency for people to rush what they are saying when they are nervous. Find out what their research interests are because you will be working under one of them. Finally. Always be conscious of your manner. Practicing taking a pause every time you catch yourself about to say that and it might help you say it less. and if you must disagree with them. before discussing yours. Posted in Grad School | No Comments »
Reading on a GRE CAT. 2010
. Others might have verbal tics. Instead.
and you can indicate that sentence in your notes with a line reference. the computer is less an assistance than a hindrance. and Perspective—issues are commonly addressed in questions. dates or time periods. and you should take advantage of it. The older you are. theories. Since you can’t indicate those things by underlining them or putting a star or other mark in the margin nearby. and other key words and phrases
Often. you don’t have that luxury. and new interp. use a notebook to annotate practice passages. Approach is how the author is writing the passage: is it a recommendation. often this will be summarized in one sentence.
Go to CAMP
CAMP—or Central Point.
Keep track of proper nouns. Here are a few ways to do that. interp. dates. underlining significant sections of the passage and putting notes in the margins near the relevant text. instead write a couple of words with a line reference to tell you where to find what you’re looking for.. Map. Para. 3—problems with trad. Jotting even just a few words to summarize each paragraph can help you get a handle on the passage and sharpen your focus.. or a Computer-Adaptive Test. Expedite the process by keeping track of the kinds of details that are common subjects of questions. is very different on a paper-based test than it is on a CAT. 1—intro. Approach. Standardized testing. a
. places. Examples of this would be references to individuals or groups of people. ect. and hunting for that detail in the passage can cost you precious time. But on some sections. On a CAT. particularly if chronology is important to the passage’s meaning. and key ideas that are addressed in detail only in one part of the passage. teen years. Central Point is the main idea of the passage. 2—traditional interpretation Para. especially reading comprehension. the more likely it is that you spent your childhood. Years of paper-based reading trains the test-taker to take notes on the passage itself. and even adulthood learning how to read in a paper-based world. a question will refer back to a specific detail without giving you a line reference. historical background Para. But learning to read actively even without the benefit of marking up the text is key to improving your reading comp score.The GRE is a CAT. even if you’re practicing on paper. An example might look like this: Para. 4—conclusion Taking notes like this as you read forces you to synthesize the text and read more efficiently. Get into the habit now.
Outline the passage paragraph by paragraph as you read
You will have scratch paper.
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,
we looked at the single most important step in writing your essay: brainstorming. “Machines relieve factory worker of monotonous work. or it can qualify the conditions of the prompt statement. finely tuned arguments are better than a bulk of crude ones. 2 Issue Writing Task pt. 1 Issue Writing Task pt. if some ideas are weak. Show the reader that you understand the implications of the issue at hand.” and “internet allows for ease of communication.” for example.” however. In our previous example statement. you should start to see a coherent argument forming. “pro” indicates that the idea supports the statement. organize these ideas into body paragraphs.
. After all. great ideas alone will not get you the grade.” To quickly identify the stance of these ideas. Don’t get too specific with your evidence here. Then. deserves a “con” since it argues that there are more prodigious technological achievements than those that make us comfortable. write down “pro” or “con” next to each. Verbal. Fewer. 2010
Last time. the most significant contribution of technology has been to make people’s lives more comfortable.” After you have labeled your pieces of evidence. or qualification of the statement’s argument. That’s where organization comes in. your first step is to identify each idea as “agreeing with” or “disagreeing with” the prompt statement. “Over the past century. so it deserves a “pro. Unfortunately. your argument can be one-sided.so you have no excuses—start writing! Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt.” “machines relieve factory worker of monotonous work. series | No Comments »
Issue Writing Task: Part 3
Thursday. “Advances in medicine. July 1st. follow these steps: 1. Remember. but do give an informative outline of your main arguments. Adopt a position / Articulate your thesis: When you look down at the overflowing mass of ideas you have written. Once you have your brilliant ideas down on paper. After you organize your ideas. you can’t write a solid essay without solid ideas. is an example in favor of the statement. don’t use them.” you might have jotted down “advances in medicine. 3 Tags: roadmap Posted in GRE. and “con” indicates that it opposes the statement.” “automotive safety. 2. articulate your stance on the issue. Try to see where ideas cohere. Introduction: Your introduction should first clearly articulate the argument in the given statement. disagreement. indicating your agreement.
though. These two stages of the writing process should take about 6 minutes. Don’t worry too much about refining your thesis statement at this stage. so do not strictly limit your argument before you begin writing. No need to leave a chunk of blank space—the magic of word processing takes care of this. so we don’t want the thesis seem forced or out of place. For that reason.” I personally have not heard of a student getting into grad school because of his or her GRE essays. when combined with the initial brainstorming stage. The purpose of your introduction is to build up to your argument.
.Your thesis. Ideally. but the process of writing them will help you refine your own ideas. August 31st. if your entire application package is borderline and you write one or two truly awful essays. Next time. which is essentially a sentence or two that outlines your argument. it’s important that you keep the AWA in perspective: it shouldn’t take up much of your prep time. It certainly seems possible. but you really want to devote the bulk of your time to the body paragraphs. If you’re taking a computer-based exam. Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt. 2010
Your GRE essays are unlikely to be the linchpin of your application. we’ll look at how to construct the body paragraphs. but it’s certainly to your advantage to spend some time familiarizing yourself with what makes for a good essay. you may choose to write the thesis after you’ve written your body because your argument may slightly change during the writing process. Very often. In fact. writing the body paragraphs leads to a more fine-tuned thesis. this is no big deal. that your essays could keep you out. Although I don’t like to say “never. your thesis statement should be organically integrated into your introduction. Not only are the body paragraphs the most important and most heavily weighted part of the essay. 2
Archive for August. and in the meantime. practice with Grockit or write some sample outlines and introductions. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time. 2010
Structuring Your Analysis of An Argument Essay
Tuesday. should go at the end of the introduction. 1 Issue Writing Task pt. it should take about 9 minutes tops. Stay tuned.
Remember. and wants to do her job as efficiently as possible.
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. and map out your three points) without any attempts at rhetorical bells and whistles. Paragraph 5: Briefly recap the flaws you’ve presented and diplomatically explain how those flaws could be remedied to present a stronger argument. this strategy can make your reader’s job far easier. your reader is probably going to devote no more than three to five minutes to your essay. WPTK would significantly reduce the incidence of auto accidents on Metropolis-area roads by providing traffic updates.
. Take a few minutes at the beginning of your AWA to outline the five sentences that will begin your paragraphs. a professor.and getting some feedback from a qualified source. if only because the task is not a familiar one to most grad school candidates. the most popular television station in Metropolis. or a test-prep specialist. Paragraph 2: Explanation of first flaw– this paragraph should have a strong topic sentence and then several sentences explaining the flaw in detail. Now. a composition instructor may have told you to use an “attention-getting” opening to really draw your audience in. To start your essay on the right note. Similarly. Also include a “roadmap” of the points that you will make. the ereader is programmed to assess organization. let’s look at a sample prompt and opening paragraph: Prompt: WPTK. in the order that you will make them. Of the two essays you’ll be expected to write. state your position. Paragraph 3: The second flaw gets the same treatment here as the first one did in the previous paragraph. 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. At some point in high school or college. and a simple. Paragraph 4: The third flaw is explained here in the manner established in the previous two paragraphs.” she is getting paid to read your essay. make sure that your first paragraph does what it needs to do (recap the argument. but your GRE AWA reader doesn’t need to be “drawn in. does not currently provide traffic updates to viewers. Since Metropolis is located in a Midwestern state with serious winter weather road delays 4 months out of the year. and a happy reader is probably more apt to make those tricky 4/5 line calls in your favor. The easiest format to use in writing this essay is the classic 5-paragraph style. 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. the Analysis of an Argument is likely to be the more challenging. whether that is a professional mentor. She’s likely to regard literary flourishes as a waste of your energy and her time.
25 = 1.” As you can see. or 30% off the sales price
Percents are basically fractions with a denominator of 100
Learn your common percents. and by predicting a “significant” reduction in Metropolis auto accidents without specifying what kind of a reduction would be deemed “significant. 62. by failing to explicitly state how the updates would affect auto accidents. 2010
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Tips For Percent Math Problems on the GRE
Friday.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. Posted in Essay. GRE. referring back to the issue briefly. Example: 20% = 1/5. However.25
. which can come in a variety of formats. Example: 16% of men. the argument also exhibits several serious flaws which could limit its persuasiveness. August 27th. the opening paragraph responds to the prompt by taking a clear position. and outlining the points that the essay will be addressing. which states that WPTK’s broadcast of traffic updates would reduce the incidence of auto accidents on Metropolis-area roads.Response Paragraph 1: The argument. Verbal. we will discuss some common problems students encounter with percent problems. 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. has merit. Let your concise. The author weakens his claim by assuming that televised traffic updates would be timely enough to impact drivers’ actions. Here are some quick pointers:
Percents MUST be APPLIED to something
A percent means nothing on it’s own. and convert to fractions whenever possible.
000. At the end of market close. then subtracting from the original.000. Conversely. x or the resulting number? The 10% increase of x in the first round increases x by a certain amount. The original x will be bigger. and we’re done! On easy numbers like this. The 10% decrease in the 2nd round is applied to a higher number. so 8 – 2 = 6 Example: What is 25% of 8? ¼*8 = 2
20% less than means 80% of. you are probably missing what to apply the percent to. it might not seem necessary.2.
. the higher the resulting percent
Applying the same percent to a higher number will yield a higher number. Example: A certain positive integer x is increased by 10%.000 = 0. versus two tougher ones. James’ investment portfolio grew by $2. but as numbers get larger. so will yield a larger change.
The higher the number.000/$10. So instead of taking 20%.
Percent change = Total Change/Original Value
Example: Before trading began. James’ investment portfolio was worth $10. 50% more than 10 should be calculated by multiplying 10*3/2 [10*(1 + 0.Recognize the difference between percent MORE/LESS THAN and percent OF
Example: What is 25% less than 8? ¼* 8 = 2. or 20%
Don’t add constants and percents
You should never find yourself trying to figure out what 5 + 6% equals. it will save lots of time. Which is bigger.5)] in one neat step. just take 80% and be done. What was the percent change in James’ portfolio? Percent change = $2. and then decreased by 10%. See the previous example: What is 25% less than 8? ¾*8 = 6. In this case.
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.000 items he offered for sale.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. and all the tickets cost the same amount. and 30% of his remaining items. what was the face value of each ticket price without the sales tax? A.94 C.20 E. setting x = ticket price before tax. $30 Without a calculator.05 (with tax) = $630 Note we can convert to fractions. 25 people * x dollars/person * 1. They cancel well. cancel and simplify. $22 B. 750
. If he sold 40% of the total number of items he offered for sale. $23. 5% = 1/20 since 5*20 = 100. If this price included a 5% sales tax. Jerome sold 75% of the first 1. $25. Now we set up the equation. how many items did Jerome offer for sale? A. and are typically neater. $24 D. fractions are always easier.
1. And again. 4. but it’s just an intimidating name for some pretty elementary mathematical principles. switching to fractions is always best. if not. Quantitative. 2010
Number theory may sound scary.500 + 1.500 E.500 Choice E Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further.500 We always look back to the original question to see exactly what we are looking for. strategy | No Comments »
Wednesday. T.800 D. The best option. though. You probably know most of these principles by memory. you could easily execute a calculation to ascertain them. The GRE
. We can solve! 750 + 3R/10 = 400 + 4R/10 350 = R/10 R = 3. Tags: percent Posted in GRE.B.050 C.500 Again. 1000 + R = T Now. Not R. 3. we want to set up the equation – this will make things a lot easier. we have 2 equations and 2 unknowns. In this case. 3/4*1000 + 3/10*R = 4/10*T We have 2 equations. This is a good hint that there may be a hidden 2nd equation. August 25th. T = R + 1.000 = 3. and 1 unknown. 1.000 = 4. is to study these principles enough that they seem intuitive.
5r + 6t E. rt B. which is even. just think that a product is only odd if you multiply two odds. so
. is even. 1. making number theory second nature will definitely save you some valuable seconds. D adds an even (odd times even) to an even (even times odd) . which of the following is odd? A. just think that a sum is only odd if you add an even and an odd. or we could use our knowledge of number theory to figure out the answer. We instantly know that rt. which is even. we could either plug in numbers for r and t. 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. Example Question If r is even and t is odd. 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. 6r + 5t In this example. 5rt C. C translates to an even (even ²) times an odd (t). 6(r²)t D.Quantitative section is all about saving time. so that’s even. times another even (6). 5rt means we multiply an odd times that even product. an odd times an even.
E is our answer. 43. 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 Then. and 59. odd. and Grockit makes great practice. so be sure to watch out for those pesky composite numbers like 51 and 57. and 59. In some questions. Some quick tips:
. If you were asked to identify the primes between 40 and 60. 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.that’s even. Quantitative | No Comments »
All About Remainders
Monday. for example. and you should notice that 49 is 7 squared. First. Primes: Prime numbers are numbers whose only factors are themselves and one. 19/3 leaves a remainder of 1. 47. August 23rd. 2010
Remainders are the NUMERATOR of a fraction from a mixed number that results from division. is a prime because it can only be evenly divided by itself and 1. since 19/3 = 6 1/3. 53. alternatively. you should quickly narrow down the primes with a sequence of steps. Take one last look at your group. For example. 2. which is finally odd. So we are now left with 41. Note that 1 is not a prime. 49. But. the less often you’ll have to do this. primes Posted in GRE. 11. E adds an even (even times even) to an odd (odd times odd). 43. and thus are not primes). Missing just one prime means missing the question. Tags: even. number theory. for example. practice makes perfect. 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. The more you practice finding primes. in the beginning. 53. you can just write down the odd numbers in the set. you will have to identify less recognizable primes. 47. it’s more important to be thorough than it is to be fast. cross out your multiples of 3. Remember. write down the numbers. and cross out all the even numbers (all even numbers greater than 2 can be divided by 2.
18/4 = 4 2/4. we see how many days pass between January 18 and March 26: January 19-31: 13 +
. since a remainder of 9 leaves you a new whole number (with a remainder of 0). 2. This is easier than recognizing 135/15 is a whole number and counting up. which I think is a good introduction: What is the remainder of 3^(4n+3) divided by 5. 3^4n = 3^8 = 81*81 = one’s digit of 1. so 167/(even #) must have an ODD remainder. Dad. Brother.1.) Instead. Sister. I recently came across this question. We can break 3^(4n+3) into 3^4n * 3^3 by the rules of exponents. If Dad takes out the trash on January 18th. For example. so the result will have a one’s digit of 7. Become familiar with common trends or patterns. We detect the pattern that regardless the value of n. we will be multiplying a term with a one’s digit of 1 with a term with a one’s digit of 7 (3³). If n = 1. 3. even though you can reduce 4 2/4 to 4 1/2. who takes out the trash on March 26th? (There are 31 days in January and 28 days in February. when dividing by 9. when trying to find the remainder of 146/15. Your remainder can only range from zero to the denominator of the fraction.) It’s clear that we don’t want to whip out our calendars and start counting. so we only need to look at the one’s digit while multiplying. we only care about the one’s digit. The remainder should NOT be reduced. For example. it probably is…. The remainder stays equal to 2. we are looking for the remainder above a one’s digit of either 0 or 5. when dividing by 5. 4. assuming n is a positive integer? Firstly. The order goes as follows: Mom. 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. For example. 3^4n = 3^4 = 81 = one’s digit of 1. Look for the closest whole number and count up or down from there. In this scenario. you can see that 15 would go into 150 evenly. You then count down four from 150 to 146. When and number with a one’s digit of 7 dividing by 5. so your remainder is (15 -4) = 11. your remainder options are 0-8. we are left with a remainder of 2. multiples of even numbers are even. If n = 2. (A general rule of thumb is that if you think it’s taking too long.
8. Fractions and Decimals are the same thing You should be familiar with common decimals.375 The more familiar with these you become.20 1/6 = . 67/4 leaves you will a remainder of 3. 0.555 repeating C.February 1-28: 28 + March 1 – 26: 26 = 67 days. For example: If x is an integer.125
.268 B.4 D. -2.166 repeating 1/8 = . mainly: 1/2 = .125 1/9 = .25 1/5 = . leaving us with Mom on March 26th. the quicker you can eliminate answer choices are clearly wrong.125 = 0.11 repeating Note that multiplying these by constants will leave similarly instructive results. 4. which of the following is a possible value of (x² +2x – 7)/9? A. 1. such as: 3/8 = 3*1/8 = 3*0. so we count 3 from Dad.166 repeating E.33 repeating 1/4 = .5 1/3 = .
So. the remainder will be a number repeating to the right of the decimal place. (D) by a factor of 6. -1. or 2² x 23. 4. -8. the factor tree. and (E) by a factor of 8. This practice may seem purposeless. 2² x 3³. The multiples of 8 include …-32. Only choice (B) fits that description. Let’s see an example:
Above are the factor trees for 108 and 92.a. 108 can be written as 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 3. Factor trees help us simply radicals (answer choices with radicals are almost always in simplified form). The multiples of an integer x are the infinite products of x and another integer. -2. 92 can be written as 2 x 2 x 23. -24. even if they do not ask you explicitly.k. The factors of 8.
. 2. 32. a. and -8. A factor tree is a diagram that breaks down a number into its corresponding factors. are 1. many questions will require you to find the factors of an integer. -4. or. 64… and so on. Prime Factorization: Prime factorization. is a process by which we present an integer as a product of all its primes. 2010
Finding factors of integers should become second nature on the GRE. for example. ((C) is divided by a factor of 5. more simply. a number that an integer can be evenly divided by. -16. We know that when divided by 9. The easiest way to do is to make a factor tree.) Join a Grockit game for more GMAT math practice with Jake! Tags: remainders Posted in GRE. 8. 0. 8. August 19th. 16. Notice that all the ends of the tree (those numbers that cannot be divided) are primes. Quantitative | No Comments »
Thursday. A factor is a divisor.We don’t have to start plugging in. but it has many practical applications.
the GCF of 60 and 15 is 15. if your answer to a multiple choice question was √96. I know that the biggest perfect square is 2 x 2 x 2 x 2. which is 4². I know that 96 is the same thing as 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3. Thus. you will be able to arrive at the answer mentally. first diagram the factor tree:
.For example. When the calculations are more difficult. or 16. Taking the GCF of bigger numbers. the GCF of 24 and 16 is 8. To simply a radical. Simplifying this. I’m not quite sure what it is off the top of my head. Greatest Common Factor: The greatest common factor (GCF) of two or more integers is the greatest integer that is a factor of those integers. is not always so easy. so I’ll use factor trees to directly arrive at the answer. Sometimes. chances are you won’t see √96 in your answer choices. Since I am trying to simplify the square root. however. Similarly. I know that sqrt96 = √16 x√3 x √2. For example. I know that √96 = 4√6. Because I have five 2s in my primes. however. you can use the factor tree to directly arrive at your answer. you’ll probably see the simplified version. Suppose I want to find the GCF of 256 and 72. I need to figure out the biggest square in those primes. since 8 is the greatest number that is a factor of both.
you can practice without looking for sample problems–just make some up on your own. Quantitative | No Comments »
How to Get the Most Out of Your GRE Lessons
Monday. so our GCF is just 2 x 17 = 34. first find how many primes are common to each prime factorization. To find the GCF. in this case. only 2 is common to both. August 16th. or 8. using each prime the smallest number of times in any of the factorizations. In this case. so 2³. 2³ is smaller than 2^8.Once you perform the prime factorization. we have the common factors 17 and 2. Tags: factor tree. it helps to write each as a product of powers: 256 = 2^8 and 72= 2³ x 3². Let’s see another example: GCF of 68 and 102 and 204. The GCF is the product of all the primes that appear in each factorization. is the GCF. Using factor trees would yield: 68 = 2² x 17 102 = 2 x 3 x 17 204= 2² x 3 x 17
Here. The good news is. Note: this one would be pretty difficult to figure out without the factor tree. 102 has the lowest power of 2. prime factorization Posted in GRE. The best way to get faster at prime factorizations and GCFs is to practice. 2010
Can you explain to me why choice C is the correct answer. but will be more than happy to put that aside to answer your questions or discuss your concerns.
2. A great question is something like. but I know that I find it much easier and more productive to address specific queries than extremely general ones.) Online learning tools also have potential applications that many people never fully explore. there are huge communities of online students and Experts who can give you feedback or guide you in the right direction. others spend time on Grockit.
I can’t speak for other Experts here. “I’ve noticed that I have trouble with Reading Comp detail questions. Come prepared!
If there’s any kind of background information that you should know before class. Some use books to do practice questions on their own. I’m here to offer a few tips to the people in that last group. but without specific knowledge of your trouble areas.
. know it.
Just because one of your classmates understands the question doesn’t mean that you are expected to understand it the same way. 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. People learn differently. and sometimes all a student needs is for something to be explained in a different way. waiting for someone just like you to come in for help.
3. And of course. If you’re not sure what.
4. Experts often have time before or after class specifically set aside for questions. there’s no guarantee that I’ll be giving you the kind of information that will help you as an individual test-taker. you’ll find your Expert sitting.People prepare for the GRE in many different ways. so don’t be afraid to approach yours to ask him or her to try to reframe the issue for you. Don’t be afraid to look for clarification if something doesn’t make sense. if anything. And homework regarding a lesson you’ve already learned will help cement the methods that have been demonstrated. he or she should be happy to clarify any issues regarding the type or amount of work you should do. That’s what the Experts are here for. some take a class or have a private tutor. 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. Ask the right questions. “I have trouble with Reading Comp. Often. like the one in this sample. ask your Expert. Take advantage of all the resources available to you.
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. you need to be doing. Can you give me some tips?” I may have tips to offer. if you arrive 20 minutes early.
1. (The Expert may be reading the newspaper or Facebooking on his or her Blackbery while waiting.
remember that your GRE prep is a collaboration between you. too. the GRE is a challenging test. To summarize. mistakes should be learned from and sometimes laughed off. you should take some time out to play. So remember that even as you’re working hard.5 repeating
. try to have some fun with the studying process!
90% of the time. finally. Dividing by 5 is the same as multiplying by 2/10. and take advantage of the many ways that you can study for the exam. 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. But questions are sometimes funny. and will give you ostensibly time-consuming calculations. your fellow students. August 13th. and your Expert. quickly convert to a fraction.25 1/3 = 0. such as in a number line. 2010
GRE questions are notorious for seeming harder than they actually are. try to enjoy the process as much as you can. which occur in a large portion of the questions. Finally. and remember to take time to relax a little! What are some of your favorite ways to relieve GRE preparation pressure? Posted in GRE.166 repeating 1/5 = 0.125 1/7 = ~0. Some common ones to memorize:
• • • • • • • •
1/9 = 0.333 repeating 1/2 = 0. Decimals are sometimes more useful when comparing numbers relative to one another. And. Be proactive about your practice and about asking questions. strategy | 1 Comment »
Fractions.111 repeating 1/8 = 0. The writers recognize time is short. but these questions are the exception. fractions will be easier to perform arithmetic. One way to mitigate this is by retaining a rockstar aptitude in manipulating fractions. preparing for it is often a rigorous experience. GRE Prep.14 1/6 = 0. Oh My!
Friday.20 1/4 = 0. and your future is a serious thing.5. Proportions and Ratios. Even if given a decimal (or percent) looks easy. and your Experts and fellow students could probably use a light moment as much as you could.
375) are also important to remember. the new ratio becomes: C/W = 3x/(13x + 12)
. for example. Do with this what you like: 7G = 2B or B = 7G/2. (x must be an integer. Keep in mind what you can logically combine. 6 C. the ratio will hold true. “The ratio of boys to girls is seven to two” can be expressed as the proportion: B/G = 7/2. we don’t actually know the number of girls and boys. C/W = 3x/13x. Note that when you have a ratio like B/G = 7/2. A denominator of a reduced fraction with a multiple of 7 will not have a finite decimal.375)
Denominators are super important. we can express this scale by “x”. If you have some. but generally practice and familiarity with the numbers helps a lot in doing quick arithmetic. Ratios A ratio is both a comparison and division. whatever. unless of course he chops his finger off by accident!) “When 12 more waiters are hired” is the insertion of an absolute. 9 D. such as 3/8 (0. or 70 boys and 20 girls. Since we don’t know the initial scale of the number of cooks and waiters. since you can’t have a portion of a cook. There are many many more shortcuts. and can simply be treated as such. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters is 3 to 13. When 12 more waiters are hired.•
Note: Multiples of these. Forget the “:” with ratios. Adding the 12 waiters.125 * 3 = 0. GRE writers love to provide ratios (which are multiplicative relationships) and then add an absolute component (addition/subtraction). 12 E. Notice that whatever x is. This list is by no means extensive. For example: At a certain restaurant. 4 B. There can be 14 boys and 4 girls. and what you cannot. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters changes to 3 to 16. How many cooks does the restaurant have? A. but can easily be derived by multiplying the original fraction (1/8 * 3 = 3/8 = 0. leave them in the comment field. 15 The key here is setting up the equation. Questions that insert absolute numbers should be taken with caution.
450 B. This will ensure you work with the smallest (and easiest) (and fastest) numbers possible. Proportions A proportion is two ratios set equal to each other like the question above. and we are taught to cross-multiply and solve for that variable.) After cross-multiplying. right? Well. 2400 E. we get: 16x = 13x + 12 3x = 12 x=4 Sweet. 750 D. Before you do that. Generally. 3200 The key word here is “spread evenly”. For example: A football field is 9600 square yards. (More on this below. The stimulus asks for the number of cooks. how many pounds of fertilizer were spread over an area of the field totaling 3600 square yards? A. recall that x represents the scaling factor. which we originally represented by 3x. So. Choice D.“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. If 1200 pounds of fertilizer are spread evenly across the entire field. 3*4 = 12 cooks. however. A/F = 9600/1200 = 3600/x Clearly. Answer A. there is a variable in one of the four slots. 600 C. we can eliminate the zeros on the left side: 9600/1200 = 3600/x 96/12 = 3600/x
. That’s 120 fingers. we want to cancel out the 3’s in both the numerator. it’s best to reduce top-bottom AND left-right before cross multiplying. and you can set equal the relationship of the wholes to the relationship of the parts. This implies that the relationship of fertilizer per square foot is uniform.
Chances are. This is one of my favorites from AP Biology that helped me remember the order of taxonomic classifications: Kingdom. If you’ve made it through college. we can still reduce left-to-right. Order. Genus. that is. Also. or anecdote. start with small numbers. that aids recall. most of us will either behave like a lost child or a disaffected teenager. No need to go for the biggest common factor. you’ve heard of mnemonic devices. Class. For this question we could have started by canceling 9600 and 3600 in the numerators. so long as you are reducing by the same factor. which are both divisible by 400 to get: 24/1200 = 9/x. 2010
Studying reams of vocabulary words can be a mind-numbing process. Quantitative | No Comments »
Tuesday. our brains are a built for more complicated and efficient processes than rote memorization. we’ll either cower in fear or reject the whole endeavor completely. Luckily. When faced with the task of memorizing 1000+ unfamiliar (and sometimes useless) words. Family. we can actually use creativity to improve the efficiency of learning vocabulary words.Then we can divide 96/12: 8 = 3600/x Here. a career in public administration will not require you to know the proper definition of peregrinate. You’ll eventually work your way down as the numbers progressively get easier. ratios Posted in GRE. a mnemonic is a linguistic device. August 10th.
. 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. Check out Grockit for more quantitative practice! Good luck! Tags: fractions. You can take it from here. proportions. Phylum. the ETS has a reason for this. 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). often a rhyme. acronym. To refresh your memory (I wonder if there’s a mnemonic to remember the definition of mnemonic?). Believe it or not.
Revoke formally Abrogate is not a notoriously complicated word. if the mnemonic works for you. come on for God sakes! You likely may have heard a different version of this. Hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases. a hypothetical remedy for all ills. is best encapsulated by the idiomatic expression “snake oil. Abrogate means almost the same thing as Abolish. I will think of a mnemonic for that definition.” Because I find this definition more interesting and useful. 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). you may be thinking that such information lends itself well to a mnemonic. The Mnemonic: Put rum in your nostrils (or nose) to cure a cold. Now. 1. The first definition is basically the same definition as the more familiar word panacea–a cure-all. but I could never recall it.” The Mnemonic: Abrogate= Abolish This is an example of the simplest kind of mnemonic you can imagine. rhyme. both those words begin with “ab. then use it. But. and. 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. Indeed. Let’s look at a few examples. Abrogate: 1.
. though. I would know that it had a simple definition. that’s all you need. once sought by the alchemists 2. drop it. but the best part is. the English word for “snake oil” is “nostrum.” In essence. The second definition. Then. Nostrum: 1. I remember having a difficult time remembering the word when I was studying for my GRE. but obscure words may not. Remember. this mnemonic as not as catchy as some others you’ve heard. but I find it pretty effective. I would recognize the word.” which is defined as “a worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills. If it doesn’t. There’s no use in struggling to remember the mnemonic device on top of remembering these words. but it has special relevance for me. of course. 1. Sometimes. it dawned on me.Species = King Philip. that is partly true. just an easy way to remember a close synonym.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. they all will help you memorize this specific information. or acronym here. Indeed. There is no fancy anecdote.
1%. respectively. 40% of the party goers are male. What is the ratio of male to female party goers? This question uses the aforementioned rule.For an impressively comprehensive list of vocabulary mnemonics. respectively. 4/7. It’s a brilliant site that exploits the power of online collaboration (not unlike Grockit) to enhance education. A ratio is a kind of fraction that measures two or more quantities in a group. This does not mean that 3/4 of the party goers are boys. and then form a fraction in which this sum is the denominator. or 42. then x / x+y and y /x+y express the proportions of x to the group and y to the group. if we have a ratio x:y. or 57. We now have to find the ratio. If you do want to find out what proportion or percentage of the party goers are boys or girls. You can also write this ratio as 3/4. Stated algebraically. 2010
Ratios and proportions are favorites of most standardized tests. there are 4 girls. August 5th. If 40% of the party is male.9 %. visit mnemonicdictionary. and the GRE is no exception. 3. if I want to find out what proportion of the party goers are boys. then 4/10 or 2/5 of the party is male and 3/5 of the party is female. Let’s see what an example using this rule might look like: Example 1: At a party. nor does it mean that 4/3 of the party goers are girls.com. a ratio of boys to girls (Boys: Girls) at a party is 3:4. Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
Ratios and Proportions
Thursday. of the party goers are boys. I add 3 and 4 (=7). but once you learn the basics. For example. of the party goers are girls. 3/7. They may be a bit intimidating if you are unfamiliar with how to approach them. and form the fraction 3/7. and then I take the ratio quantity of boys. you add the numerator and the denominator. but reverses the process.
. you’ll learn that ratio and proportions problems require only simple algebra. So. That means that for every 3 boys at the party.
4x= 4*6= 24 men 7x=7*6=42 women That last example was pretty simple. just add the coefficient x to each quantity and add: 4x+7x=11x.g. To answer a problem like this. so our answer MUST be a multiple of 11. 64 C. we can deduce some important information about the number of items. represents a fraction of the total number of party goers. 66. so 5*15 = 75
. we can simply express the ratio of males to females as 2/3 or 2:3. 70 E. Though we cannot find the total number of items in a group (e. 50 B. number of people at the party) if we are given a ratio. We know that the sum of the quantities. 78 At first. how many males and females would be there? If 11x=66. but how about a tougher one that uses the same concept: Example 3: In a right triangle. then the largest angle is 90 degrees. then x = 6. The only multiple of 11 in our choices is C. you may think that you do not have enough information to answer this question. which of the following could be the number of people at the party? A. the answer would be 3:2. the two acute angles have a ratio of 1:5. 11. but you do. 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. Extra Credit: If there were 66 people at the party. 66 D. then the two acute angles must equal 90 degrees. Note: If the question had asked for the proportion of females to males. so: 1x+5x =90 6x=90 x=15 The larger angle is 5x.Since we have two proportions expressed with the same denominator (2/5 and 3/5). What’s the measure of the larger acute angle? Before we apply the same method. Since the sum of the angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees. If this is a right triangle. let’s write down some important info.
Hopefully. for example. Be careful in DS questions that pose equations in the context of quadratic equations with two solutions. Quantitative | No Comments »
Geometry Series Part 1: Circles Inscribed in Squares
Tuesday.) is essential. Inferences must be drawn from fact.) Shared angles will normally not be explicitly stated. Just because it looks like 90-degrees doesn’t mean it is! (Many of these common inferences will be detailed in this series. perimeter. August 3rd. (Squares can be turned into triangles. ratios and proportions aren’t so scary anymore. 2010
In this series. If one solution is negative and the other is positive. See if you can spot some ratio problems when you’re practicing on Grockit. etc. 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. draw in lines that create simple shapes. only the positive solution remains and the information is sufficient.
. but there are numerous shortcuts to geometry questions that will save you time. we’ll explore circles inscribed in squares.
• • • • •
d=2r and all lines from the center to the exterior equal r. we will cover many types of geometric scenarios encountered on the GRE. but not too much. A basic knowledge of simple formulas (area. Tags: ratios and proportions Posted in GRE. Today. Trust the pictures. 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. unless necessary.) Lengths cannot be negative.
doing many practice problems. 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.
Two important takeaways:
1. since it creates 45-degree angles. eliminate answer choices that ONLY have π’s in them or don’t have any at all. When a circle is inscribed inside a square. 2010
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Don’t Get Lazy for your GRE Studies.
• • •
The diagonal equals s√2.
Find the large area and subtract the small area from it. When dealing with circles along with other figures. you will be provided with one bit of information that tells you a whole lot. so the hypotenuse = (s√2)/2). September 30th. These months take the form of figuring out what is on the test. perhaps taking a review class. Next Lesson: Inscribed Triangles. taking practice tests and then mentally preparing for the tests in the final few weeks. Get a Study Rountine Down!
Thursday. Follow the trail. you know everything about the circle! Use π = 22/7 with caution. the side equals the diameter.
Usually. Never assume without proof.
Archive for September.
Get Started Early
. 2. if not everything. If given the length of the side of the square in the above image. 2010
For many. The intersection of the diagonals creates a right angle. we can actually find the length of the hypotenuse of the internal triangle (s = d = 2r. your answer will look like x + yπ. Post below with other helpful tips for your fellow GREers. the GRE study experience will take several months. Remember 22/7 > π.• •
If you know r. Typically.
don’t drink wine. you will probably want at least 2 months for this practice phase and you will want a schedule. the next step is to figure out how you are going to study and for how long. you should focus on them and master them.
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. Eat healthy.
Relax and Be Confident
About a month before your test date you should be feeling confident and relaxed. get plenty of sleep. This will be after you have covered again areas that you struggle with. When you sign up for the GRE. and what the different sections include (there are millions of resources out there. and confidence is key!!
. and go somewhere quiet where you can concentrate. You should know that you have taken the necessary steps to prepare for the GRE and should have practiced literally 1000s of problems.Overall. and then 6 hours on the weekend. This should include diligence of what the GRE is all about. don’t watch tv. and perhaps get on a workout regimen to burn off some of that extra stress that preparation can cause. books. Study as if you were taking the test. it is smart to begin initial preparation a few months before your test. discipline yourself! Some people might take longer than others for this practice stage. Don’t like quantitative comparisons? Then spend a few weeks to tackle these types of problems. sleep and exercise will work wonders on your body in these last few months. In this final run. Others might want to buy preparation materials (such as the Official Guide for GRE Review books) and get started that way. but you will eventually figure out when you are ready to start taking practice exams. this might take a few weekends to get up to speed. Essentially you should know what you are getting into. If you are missing triangle and circle problems. You will be feeling good about yourself in the weeks leading up to the test. Don’t listen to music. what kinds of questions. etc). relax and be confident. A class will probably meet once or twice a week for several hours and if you don’t take a class. guides. you will come across a lot. You should know where you stand and what areas you might want to focus on in your last few weeks. Also. Assuming you are working or still in college during this process. you should think about creating a schedule (Perhaps Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 3 hours each. Look online and ask your friends. something like that).
Create a Study Schedule and Stick With It
Now that you know exactly what the GRE is. online resources. Some people might want to consider taking a class because they don’t have the time to self-study or need the direction. Regardless. Regardless. how many questions. Practice tests opportunities abound. what it tests exactly. etc. The right combination of diet. ETS gives you access to a few tests. It will provide you with increased brainpower and will be a great mental stimulus to give you a boost on test day. don’t study in environments that don’t simulate a real test. create a study schedule and stick to it.
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.” “because. on the day before your test. Get plenty of sleep. as you know. 1. You must be able to recognize the logical direction of a sentence. If you don’t normally.
.” and “surprisingly” become as important as words like “despotic. Continuation
Tuesday.” and “surreptitiously. then don’t have one. don’t do anything out of the ordinary. Go to bed with the peace of mind that you will do fantastic the next day. and. furthermore. also. indeed. the semicolon and the colon can function in the same way.Don’t Cram
Finally. words like “despite. don’t do anything that your body or mind is not used to. logical reasoning is just as important. relax and don’t do much of anything.” “benumbed. A pre-test routine and a schedule are imperative for a successful result on test day. are those words that tell us what logical direction a sentence is going. as food is proven to give you a mental boost. likewise. In the end. and cause and effect are three common types of logic that sentence completions can exhibit. GRE Prep. I like to have a big breakfast. September 28th. then have five cups of coffee. just do something relaxing and know that your months of preparation will serve you well.” Trigger words. Will one clause support another? Will it contrast another? Will it provide the effect of a cause? Contrast. Get excited for the test and for your preparation and it will no doubt pay great dividends on your day. While knowledge of vocabulary is necessary for these questions. Good luck!! Posted in GRE. Here are some words that will often signal continuation or support: additionally.
Follow Your Regular Routine
The day of your test. 2010
As you may have figured out. Bottom line. sentence completions do not only test you on vocabulary. too. as you could freak out or have a case of the jitters (literally). then. strategy | 1 Comment »
Sentence Completions: Contrast vs. Also. do not think about the 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. Do not cram. Continuation / Support: Certain trigger words or phrases indicate that a blank supports or continues an idea in the sentence. If you routinely drink coffee in the morning. like five cups. continuation. as it may throw you off.
Here’s a simple example. nevertheless. Trigger words signaling contrast can be explicit or implicit. on the contrary.Here’s an example: Some people believe that there is no such thing as true ——-: every action. surprisingly. Note Here’s an example: Even though the teacher continued to ——– her underachieving student. A cause and its effect are rarely synonymous in meaning. Essentially. but. despite. in order to. we can distinguish a cause and effect question from a contrast or continuation question. on the other hand. Make sure you keep this in mind when you encounter these cause and effect trigger words: because. which are often harder to detect. In this example. even though. given. rather than. the colon functions as a trigger word signaling continuation or support. Some implicit examples. but there is an important distinction. yet. hence. Even with this oversimplified example. consequently. in contrast. the clause following the colon defines the blank negatively. the clause following the colon defines the blank. Contrast: Certain trigger words also can indicate a contrast with an idea in the sentence. he would probably feel very disappointed. Cause and Effect: Cause and effect signal words are a bit like continuation/support words. include “ironically. illogically. still. we know that the teacher’s initial anger that characterizes the first blank must be diminished by his sincere promise to apply himself. notwithstanding.” 2. 3. they say. In this example. he felt ______. We cannot readily identify a word in the sentence that is either synonymous or antonymous with our blank.” which satisfies our contrast. Because John failed the test that he had been rigorously studying for. “even though. We have two contrasting ideas: harsh. her initial anger had been —— by his sincere promise to apply himself in the future.” Consequently. In this example. If there is “no such thing” as ______. Some explicit examples include although. nor are they directly opposite in meaning. we have an explicit contrast phrase.” then our prediction must be the opposite of self-interest.
. The answer to this sentence is “berate…abated. and. unexpectedly. is motivated by some degree of self-interest. the answer is “benevolence. angry criticism and then a mollified attitude. Indeed. as a result. while. therefore. thus. every action is “motivated by a degree of self-interest. We have to use cause and effect reasoning to figure out a prediction. paradoxically. If John failed a test he had been studying for. if…then.
Now. Posted in GRE. he felt ______. the best time to take the GRE is definitely while you are still in college. If you have the option of taking it during the beginning of senior year. we cannot simply gloss over the trigger words in sentence completions. mentally take note of the trigger words in a sentence. The most common time to take the GRE is at the end of your junior year or beginning of senior year.” Remember. unlike many other graduate school exams.’ we must radically change our approach to the problem. With just a change from ‘because’ to ‘although. be sure to check your extracurricular activities to make sure that your group doesn’t have a performance. Whenever you practice on Grockit. GRE scores are good for five years so it’s easier to take it now. an appropriate prediction might be “fine. Also.” “undiscouraged. 2010
While some graduate school applicants have been out of school for a while. while you’re still in the habit of studying and taking exams. as they tend to fill up very quickly. Lastly. some test centers offer testing times at both 8 am and noon. Here are some FAQs about taking the GRE as an undergraduate. Avoid scheduling your GRE for the middle or end of the semester/quarter when you will be stressed with midterms and finals. Sign up early if you want to get one of the noon times.
. Sentence Completion. Since college students tend to be night owls. consider which time slot you would prefer to take your exam. it is offered virtually every day of the year. September 27th.” “undeterred. Verbal | No Comments »
Taking the GRE While Still in College
Monday.” “happy. why don’t we change “because” to a contrast word. Happy studying!
When should I take the exam?
Since the GRE is a computer adaptive test. and see how that might change our prediction. study during the year but schedule the exam a few weeks after finals so that you will have some time to unwind. It will help you avoid simple mistakes that may cost you big points on the exam. event or gathering scheduled the week of your exam. Although John failed the test that he had been rigorously studying for. rather than when you’re working a 9-5 job and haven’t studied for anything in three years. Use this flexibility to your benefit and plan around your academic calendar when scheduling your exam. make sure you schedule it early in the term before your other campus responsibilities start becoming serious. If you take it at the end of junior year.For practice.
A polynomial is any expression that combines two or more monomials using addition. 1. there are myriad options for GRE prep. whether on your own or with professional help.ets. It’s normal to be nervous and stressed out as your test date approaches. you’ll be expected to know how to manipulate polynomials.What are my options for GRE prep?
Whether it’s an online course. college students are always busy. Compare this with your target GRE score to help you decide what type of help you need. Go to the www. If you’re an active learner. September 24th. If you have a lengthy paper due three days before your exam. to practice problems and take practice exams so you can work on your pacing. try to finish that assignment early so that you can keep your focus on the GRE. intramural sports. preferring to discuss methods and terms with others. in-person class or simply buying books and practicing on your own. examine your schedule for the last few weeks leading up to your GRE. make sure you distribute the minus sign. If you’re the type that studies better by yourself. With extracurricular activities. or multiplication. Example 1: (4x²+7x+11) – (x²+14x+15) What this means is:
. If you’re taking the exam during the academic year. just as you would for any other class. an online or in-person class might be best for you.
How do I balance GRE preparation with my regular course load?
Plan ahead. Let’s look at few different types of polynomial problems on the GRE. you might be better served by buying some of the many prep books on the market. subtraction. help your sanity by planning ahead and minimizing other stresses as much as possible. “2x+3y. is like taking an extra class. You need to set aside time regularly. and part-time campus jobs on top of academic classes.Subtraction: If you are subtracting two polynomials.” “3x² – y. But preparing for the GRE.org/gre and download their free Powerprep® Software to access practice tests so you can get a gauge of your raw performance. Keep your study habits in mind.” and “a+b” are simple examples of polynomials. For the GRE Quantitative section. Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Friday. Visit Grockit to join an interactive game and check out the Grockit forums and connect with other GRE test-takers.
(12x² + 6x – 3 ) / 3 = 4x² +2x – 1 3. (x-y)² = x² -2xy + y² C. What’s the average of: (5x²+10x-7) + (3x²-4x+4) + 4x² First. then our calculation is limited to (7)(13)=91 4. but just use the distributive property. Miscellaneous Polynomial Question Types
. If x-y=7 and x+y=13. Average of polynomials: When finding the average of polynomials. so we divide by how many items in the list there are). Example 2. here are some quick ways to multiply familiar binomials. Example 3:. add the expressions: 12x² + 6x -3 Divide the sum by 3 (we are finding the average. add the expressions and divide by the number of different self-contained expressions. (x+y)² = x²+2xy +y² Note: These three products should be memorized to save valuable time on the GRE. Dividing Polynomials: dividing polynomials may look daunting.4x² + 7x +11 – x² – 14x – 15 Combine like terms: 3x² – 7x – 4 2. 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). Binomial Products: Rather than use the distributive method (FOIL) every time. A. (x-y)(x+y) = x²-y² B.
Don’t plug in the 9999 immediately just because you think it’s an easy way out of doing algebra. your first instinct should be to manipulate the numerator and denominator until you can comfortably cancel out expressions. we can make this a lot easier with the rule x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y) With that logic. It will make you miserable. 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 consider each number a variable. and we can.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. Another trap here is that you may want to FOIL out the denominator. 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). If you find yourself doing tons of calculations. What’s the problem? We can’t add numerators unless we have the same denominator. do not think you can just square each of these numbers. 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. you can be confident that you overlooked a simpler solution to the problem. no calculator is allowed. 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. Remember. we will yield the same denominator in both expressions. say 10001=x and 9999=y. I bet we can manipulate the numerator a little further to yield this expression. we want to add 1/x² + 1/y². Example 7: What is the sum of the reciprocals of x² and y²? So. y² / x²*y² + x² / x²*y² =( x² + y²) / (x²*y²)
balmy B. How about 6 and 6? So. torrid C. equal 36. then…”. certain problems that seem to require extreme calculations really just require some crafty algebraic manipulation. If you need a little refresher with factoring. Having a thorough knowledge of polynomials will help you approach such problems the right way. then and as a result should give you a clue that the blank agrees with the rest of the sentence. Words such as because. when multiplied. you know that the two blanks should correspond. We can easily factor this polynomial. therefore.Example 8: What’s the value of x²+ 12x + 36 when x = 994 Like our earlier examples. Quantitative | No Comments »
Wednesday. This is known as Structural Agreement. Problem Solving. equal 12. and when added. attenuating E.000 As you can see. Let’s try a one blank sentence first. If you see certain words such as “because”. “therefore”. September 22nd. If one blank should be a positive word. Tags: polynomials Posted in GRE. symbiotic D. hence. don’t immediately plug in 994. Because of the ——– weather.. scan it quickly to see if it has any structural key words. “in addition” etc. This is particularly important in two-blank sentence completions. A.000. As always. (A second post on Structural Contrast will follow soon). the other blank should also be a positive word and vice versa. our goal here is to think of two numbers that. the children spent the day playing in the yard. mellifluous
. consequently. Give these strategies a try during practice on Grockit. (x+6)(x+6)…or (x+6)² Plug it in: 1000² = 1. 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. 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….
anachronisms D. A. “Anachronism” means out of its proper time period and I can guess what this word means from the roots “ana” and “chrono”.
. 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.The “because” should tell you that the weather was good.E. such as. “Placing a plasma-screen television in an early twentieth-century living room” suggests that the TV is out of place. In the following sentence. aboriginal E. it defines the blank for you. the children could play in the yard outdoors. such as is used to indicate that the sentence contains a structural agreement. From there. This eliminates “affluence”. “infirmity” and “benevolence”. the agreement might not be indicated so obviously as shown by the next two examples. exigencies E. for example. That family’s many financial woes include unemployment and the accompanying ——–. apply what other vocabulary guessing skills such as using roots if you don’t know what the words mean. Cummings is someone who rejects tradition for experimental forms.E. tempos Sometimes. The word accompanying in the following examples suggests that the blank echoes or strengthens “unemployment”. Strengthening words are also. which they are struggling to overcome. Cummings has been labeled an ——– because he rejected traditional poetic forms for his unique experimental ones. This means that you are looking for a positive word to fill in the blank and can get rid of torrid and attenuating. What follows such as defines or is an example of the first half of the sentence. such as placing a plasma-screen television in an early twentieth-century living room. rather than stay indoors. Case 2: Strengthening words A little different from cause and effect are strengthening or amplifying sentence. Imperfections B. injustices C. Here’s another example. A. E. industrial B. so I would pick choice C. Because the weather was good. E. in addition. in other words. This is where part of the sentence elaborates and sometimes strengths what’s said in the other half. The film was harshly criticized for its ——–. entrepreneur Because tells you that its an agreement and further. aberration C. iconoclast D.
Specifically. “rate equals distance over time. or one explains the other. a sexist… pestilences C. the clauses agree with one another. infirmity E. they claim that it advocates ——– that set back women’s social issues by decades.” If given any two of the three.
In questions where individuals work at different speeds. affluence C. affliction B. we typically need to add their separate rates together. Posted in GRE. where a worker’s “efficiency” is calculated by amount completed in a given period of time. an excellent… protocols D. the total time to complete the same task will
. A semicolon is usually to join to clauses that can otherwise stand on its own. Try this example: Critics of the self-help book deem it ——– folly. Always remember to check if the sentence contains a structural agreement or contrast. This doesn’t mean wasting time and writing each and every one out. Note that when working together. You can thus eliminate choice C and E because “excellent” and “laudable” do not indicate the critics’ dislike. penury D. Verbal | No Comments »
Work and Rates
Monday. More often than not. if the units remain constant. the agreement might be shown by the semicolon. Sentence Completion. you should be able to find the third. the second clause tells you that they do not like it because it “sets back women’s social issues by decades”. Problems involving “work” are essentially rate problems. benevolence Other times. a laudable… comportments The word “folly” suggests that the critics do not like the book. September 20th. a misogynist… behaviors B. a disturbing… intuitions E. 2010
There is one very important equation that guides all rate and work questions: r = d/t. A.A. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to pick the immediate answer that fits without checking that it makes sense in context. but rather simply recognizing their existence. Make sure you keep your units straight.
what is the speed of Train C if the distance between Dallas and New York is 1260 miles? A. 1/6 + 1/7 = 6/42 + 7/42 = 13/42 trucks/1 hour. Train B traveling at 90 m/hr also leaves New York for Dallas at 9 P.M. we can add their speeds to see their relative velocities. When together.be less than BOTH of the individual rates. Sometimes walking. trains and automobiles. we instead subtract their speeds to find the relative velocity. 0.31 C. If moving in the same direction. This can also be 1/6 trucks/1 hour.25. To find this. approximately how long. 60 m/hr
. we may be looking at a geometry question. Objects moving at given speeds on the <a href=”http://grockit. A second worker can load the same truck in 7 hours. we know the decimal cannot equal . 42/13 hours/truck = 3 3/13 hours/truck. Train C leaves Dallas for New York at 9 P. be careful of units. The rate of worker #2 is 1/7. 2.M. they will complete 1/6 + 1/7 trucks/ 1 hour. 3. Remember the question is asking for the number of hours to fill 1 truck. will it take them to fill 1 truck? A. Choice (E). in hours. If both workers load one truck simultaneously while maintaining their constant rates.23 E. When moving at an angle. but not necessarily in proportion. Nor. NOT the number of trucks completed in 1 hour. Train A traveling at 60 m/hr leaves New York for Dallas at 6 P.M.15 B. Because the denominator is 13.25 The rate of worker #1 is 1 truck/6 hours. 3. We can also see that 3/12 will yield . You must add rates.com/groups/gre/dashboard”>GRE</a>usually travel toward or away from each other. If all three trains meet at the same time between New York and Dallas.25. so 3/13 will be slightly lower. A worker can load 1 full truck in 6 hours.47 D. we find the reciprocal of 13/42. At this point. If moving toward or away from each other. Again. However. 0. we may not be able to decide between (D) or (E). are you averaging or adding the given times taken. the decimal is important.
so all we have to is add “plows” to the expression. and they will be at mile marker 540. here we want to interact plow-minutes. which has traveled the same time as B (6 hours). the time will be 3am. 120 m/hr D. This means that B will gain on A at a rate of 30 miles every hour. Feet and minutes are already compared. 1. If we divide 123 ft/min by 3 plows. it will take Train B 6 hours.400 E. Train B’s velocity is 30 m/hr. To catch up the 180 miles. 16.B. Choice (C). Rate of Train C = 720 miles/ 6 hours = 120 miles/hour.640 D. how much snow could 8 plows remove in 5 minutes? A. 131. 180 m/hr Relative to Train A. A gets to mile marker 180. we get:
. and traveled (1260 – 540) miles. 135 m/hr E. 984 C. 90 m/hr C. So when they all meet up. For example: Three plows working at identical constant rates can clear 123 ft of snow per minute.
Many times you may be asked to calculate the number of workers would be need to complete a certain task. 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 is then compared to the work completed. 328 B. In the three hours from 6pm to 9pm. 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. At this rate.200 Instead of man-hours. It may help consider the unit man-hours as the multiplication between workers and time.
work and rates Posted in GRE. How much money will be in Mr.000 (P = your principle) for one year (t = one year) at 6% simple interest (i = given interest rate). For compound interest. Choice (C). Quantitative | 1 Comment »
Interest and Compound Interest Problems
Thursday. Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. 2010
There are two types of interest problems on the GRE. first you need to divide the interest rate by how many compound periods there are. though this one involves compound interest. There are LOADS more rate questions. Simple interest is the most basic and is a function of P. and they include simple interest and compound interest. September 16th. so the value is constant. Riley deposits $500 into an account that pays 10% interest. Example: If you invested $1. because we are compounding semiannually. we can simply insert these into the existing rate. since we are multiplying top and bottom by 40. you would earn slightly more. the above equation tells us the amount of interest that would be earned on a principle amount invested (P). 41*40 feet / 40 plow-minutes = 1640 feet / 40 plow-minutes. So for in the above question. we need to divide 10% by 2 (because of 2 compounding periods). some are much more difficult. This is by no means exhaustive. i.060.123 ft/minute/3 plows = 41 ft/plow-minute At this rate. and if we were compounding quarterly. such as years or months). the interest rate earned on the principle. if we want to increase minutes to 5 and plows to 8. for a given time (t) at a given interest rate (i). Tags: man hours. The resulting equation is: Interest = iPt In basic terms.
. t (this is usually stated in periods. the principle amount of money invested. Note the absolute rate does not change. relative volocity. you would get $60 in interest at the end of the year and would have a total of $1. we would need to divide 10% by 4. compounded semiannually. Let’s look at similar type problem. Mr. and the amount of time the money is invested. Riley’s account at the end of one year? For compound interest.
Money invested at x%. 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). plus the $25 interest paid at the end of 6 months.100 D. you are paid interest on the interest that was paid in prior periods. Here. Riley has $525 because the bank paid $25 in interest ($500*5%) into his account. Mr.500 (or $7. Riley earns $1. Compound interest can essentially be translated into “interest paid on interest”. so the final balance at the end of the next 14 year period will be $22. Mr. we are given x% as 8%. we know that the money will triple exactly twice in 28 years. $5. which might unnecessarily confuse you.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). So at the end of the six months.000 E.In the above question. If $2500 is invested at a rate of 8%. what will be its approximate worth in 28 years? A. For the second half of the year. compounded annually.600 C. Further. so all we need to do is take 112/8 = 14. compound interest. Riley is then paid 5% on the $525 balance that was in his account at the end of the first six months. Riley deposited $500 into his account at a rate of 10% compounded semiannually and the bank will divide his interest into two equal parts. plus $26. once in 14 years and one more time at the 28th year. $15. hence the phrase “compounding”. which is equal to his balance of $500. $22. The correct answer choice is E. we know that this balance of $7.750 B. and then will pay another 5% at the end of the year.500 At first glance. Riley has $551.500*3).25 paid at the end of the year.25. Mr. Mr. For this one. This interest is equal to $525*5% = $26. They will pay 5% interest (10%/2) at the end of six months.25. Overall. The lesson? Compound interest always pays more! Let’s look at another similar type of problem that involves interest.500 will triple again. the three types of interest problems you will most likely encounter come test day will be simple interest. at the end of the year. it might be a bit easier to think about this without the use of compound interest.500*3). to get $7. Mr. meaning that after one period.500 (or $2. $8. Now. and word problems involving the mention of
. Thus. $3. we know that the money triples in value every 14 years. compounded annually. triples in value in approximately every 112/x years. 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. Therefore.
on the other hand. scan the sentence for any structural clues and then guess what word could fit in the blank before looking at your options. but that can be solved without the application of interest or compound interest methods. 2010
Unlike Structural Agreement. Have a compound interest problem or question you can’t figure out? Go to Grockit forums and ask Grockit’s expert tutors for help. I would guess “reserved” and see which option is most like that word. 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. communicative D. the two blanks are likely opposite in meaning. rather. structural contrasts indicate that there’s a shift in the sentence. in contrast. nor. taciturn E. A. nevertheless. Tags: compound interest. choice D. This tells you that her —– demeanor is opposite to her flamboyant acting. Her flamboyant acting during the school play was a distinct contrast to her usual ——– demeanor. remember that some questions can be solved intuitively. These are usually indicated by contrast words such as although. In a two-blank SC. despite. Although Mr. As always. The key to deciphering between compound interest and simple interest is to see how many periods the interest is paid…. This means you’re looking for a word that’s the opposite of flamboyant. in spite of If you see any of these words upon scanning the sentence. interest Posted in GRE. theatrical C. instead. September 14th. he did not ——– this recent campaign to raise teachers’ salaries. Finally. uninhibited B. however. breed
. yet. Let’s try a one-blank SC example first.interest.interest paid in one period is simple interest and interest “paid on interest” in multiple periods is compound interest. Winthrop has always been a leading advocate for educational reform. A. Quantitative | No Comments »
Tuesday. but. polite The structural clue here is a distinct contrast to. It turns out that there is only one choice. Let’s try another one-blank SC.
courteously…impolitely B. Verbal | No Comments »
How to Study for GRE Vocabulary
Sunday. even though she had already faced —— from several talent agencies. diminish D. 2010
. lewdly…respectfully E. hopeful… support D. Fred was pleased to find that his usually churlish brother-in-law behaved ——–. The contrast in the following example is even easier to spot. Notice that in both instances. repentently…arrogantly Posted in GRE. Moving on to two-blank SC. rather than ——–. at the party. miserable… insults B. September 12th. spearhead E. His usually churlish brotherin-law behaved — (opposite of churlish) —. Sentence Completion. legislate The keyword here is although: this tells you that even though he is a leading advocate.B. The songwriter was —— about the prospects for success in Nashville. A. humble… derogation Did you find the structural keyword in the above example? I found “even though”. gracefully…awkwardly C. My guess for the blank would be “he did not lead the campaign”. I would narrow my choices down to choice D and E. Looking at the options. rather than —(same as churlish)—. jocularly…timidly D. 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. Ultimately. irritated… encouragement C. he was NOT involved in this campaign. I would settle for pessimistic … rejection because one does not usually “face encouragement” or “face support”. the blanks are opposite. A. optimistic… rejection E. repent C. Recognizing this narrows it down to the options that are a positive word…negative word: choices A and B.
g. 4. 2. Once you learn these roots.” which means offensively loud. Use flash cards: Flash cards may sound a little old fashioned. read it in a magazine or in a textbook.” meaning speech. you can figure out that soliloquy means a speech you make alone or to yourself. a monologue. here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your time. write it down somewhere–scrawl it on a napkin. add a little phrase or sentence to help you remember the word’s proper use. cramming is not very effective. copy the unfamiliar words you encounter–found in both the questions and answer choices–in a separate document. 3. i.
. Write down Unfamiliar Words: I consider this step one of the most important and most overlooked. For example. If you have a hard time pronouncing it. 3.” meaning alone. spread out your vocabulary studying over a long time. Just looking at the immense vocabulary lists offered in prep books can discourage you from starting a study plan. through Grockit forum posts. easily understandable definition. Or. This may sound unnecessary for a written test.” I think of my friend “Tyler. 1. If you’re serious about studying vocabulary. and “loquy. On the lined side of the card. I think “vociferous=voice ferocious”). when I hear the word “tyro.” who just started learning to skateboard. or add a note that helps you remember that particular word (e. Without looking in the dictionary. which can be learned online. type it on the computer. write it down.e. If you have trouble with the word. creative. or even text it on your cell phone. propitiate = pruh-PIH-shee-eyt). If your buddy is up for a challenge. but knowing the correct pronunciation will allow you to use the word with confidence and correctly identify the word if it is spoken. Find a Study Buddy: Studying vocabulary in a group or with a friend makes the often tedious task a bit more fun. Whenever you come across an unfamiliar word that might be included in a GRE vocabulary list. for example. the word “soliloquy” contains the roots “sol / solo. you can switch it up: say the definition and ask for the word. When you practice on Grockit. In general.Learning vocabulary words the GRE is a pretty daunting task. competitive games may help you forget that you are studying in the first place. and build to it and study from it every day. or in test prep books. Make this document your official personal word list. write the word you need to learn on the blank side of the card. write down the roots and their meanings on the flash cards. All you have to do is take turns saying the word aloud and having the other person define the word. or. First.g. 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. write a short. when I hear the word “vociferous. especially when it comes to learning new words. write the word phonetically under the word (e. encourage some friendly competition. Go for Long Term: If you have the opportunity. but they are still one of the most effective ways to learn new words.” meaning “an inexperienced person / beginner / newbie.
Posted in GRE. In general. if I am trying to create a custom striped tie and I need to pick two colors for it out of 7. It may be easier to implement them into an essay or a volunteered comment in class. it’ll get a laugh. add them to an existing list. Verbal | No Comments »
GRE Combinations and Permutations
Friday. If you really want to know these words. You may think they are locked in your brain. try to implement them into casual speech. 2010
Let’s go over a few definitions before we go over the different types of combination and permutation questions. 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. n! = n*(n–1 )*(n–2)*…*3*2*1. 6. For any integer n. For example. n = 7. Repeat: Once you’ve “finished” learning a group of new words. When you choose something. The keyword that lets you know to use the combination formula is the word choose. September 10th. but chances are you may forget their meanings if you don’t keep reviewing. 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”. it doesn’t matter what order you choose them in. When you are ready for a new list. 6! = 6*5*4*3*2*1 Combinations Combinations are used when the order of the objects doesn’t matter. Studying vocabulary should always be a cumulative process. don’t just set it aside. r = 2 and the answer is 7! / (5! * 2!) = 21 Combinations of combinations
. you need to remember the formula for combination and permutation which involves the ! sign. at the very least. So in this case. The answer is to choose 2 colors out of 7. then how many color combinations can I have. The first thing to know is what ! means. Around the right crowd. though. Don’t neglect the words you’ve learned.5. Use the words: This may be the most challenging task in the list. trying out some of these big words will be welcomed.
For example. when arranging n people in a circle. and since one P looks the same as the other P. So in total. Permutations with repeated terms This type of question usually asks. 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. we thus have 40 accessory combinations to match with it. 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. How many different combinations of colors and dashboard options are available to this buyer? We look at seat colors first. how many 7-letter words can you form from the word APPEASE. if we have 5 people and five seats on a plane. And for the third seat. Choosing 2 out of 5 and applying the formula. there are (n-1)! Number of ways. how many different words can you form from the letters of word. there are 120 ways of seating these 5 people. you have to divide 7! by 2!. order matters. the word will have repeated letters in it. With 10 seat-color combinations. you have 24 arrangements. because for every seat color combination. I have 3 people and so on. I have 5 people to choose from to fill the seat. A and E are also repeated twice so you have to divide by 2! twice more. there are 4 accessory combinations that we could match with it. Then for the second seat. Permutations With permutations. And more often than not. So if you are seating 5 people in 5 seats around a circular table. Then choosing 3 accessories out of 4.What if the question tells you that you have a number of choices for one thing. But P is repeated twice. 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. In general. If all the seats are empty and I want to fill the first seat. So the answer is 5! If I have 7 people and five seats. we get 4 combinations. For example.
. instead of having 120 seating arrangements like before. and another number of choices for another. the first person you seat is just a point of reference. we have 10*4 seat color-accessories combinations. how many combinations can you have of the two things? For example. we get 10. I have 4 people to choose from (because one person has already sat down).
October 27th. Angles and opposite sides are in the same relative size order. square) are all the same. 30-60-90 triangle are ALWAYS in the ratio 1:√3:2 5. but only when a right triangle.
The center point of all three figures (triangle. 2010
Geometry Series Part 2: Inscribed Triangles
Wednesday. circle. we can derive the rest. Let’s continue with a standard diagram in which we have an equilateral triangle inscribed in a circle. 45-45-90 triangles are ALWAYS in the ratio 1:1:√2 4. square or triangle. These are formulas/concepts you must know: 1.) 3. If you don’t know it’s a right triangle. but this is ONLY true if the triangle is equilateral.The final answer is
Archive for October. let’s quickly review the essentials. 2010
To start off. We draw a perpendicular line from the center to the side of the triangle. a² + b² = c². but are NOT proportional. 7-24-25 (and their multiples. Pythagorean theorem does not apply! 2.
. 5-12-13. Therefore. 8-15-17. which is inscribed in a square. if given ANY piece of information about the circle. Common special right triangles include 3-4-5.
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. 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. solving for the base.
Area of an Equilateral Triangle
The area of an equilateral triangle equals (s²√3)/4. multiplying and dividing by 2. 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
. That was long to write. we should be able to derive essentially any other information. Here are your basic conversions: r = ½d = ½s. Memorize this. where s is the side of the square.Note that the hypotenuses of the smaller triangles are equal to the radius of the circle. finding the height. imagine how long it takes to do! If the area of the square = 64 and we needed to find the area of the triangle. It will save you the time of drawing a 30-60-90 triangle.
” and “How to Scroll. and practice makes perfect! Good luck! Read other articles in this series: Geometry Series pt 1. Be flexible in your reasoning.” While these lessons seem better suited for octogenarians at the Learning Annex. but right before you take the test.” “How to Select an Answer. There are infinite variations of these concepts. the GRE can be taken as a computer-based or paper-based test. In the image above.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. 2b = a. The four tutorials are “How to Use a Mouse. we must realize that a computer test necessitates its own set of preparations.
. but will come up on quant questions over and over.” “How to Use the Testing Tools. Though test format may not seem like a big deal at first. they do have an important purpose. Here are some facts and tips to help demystify the GRE Computer Based Test: 1. The Tutorials: This might sound silly. If you’re like most test-takers. Quantitative. 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. 2010
In the United States. October 26th. This information is never explicitly stated on tests. you probably have never taken a standardized test on a computer before. series | No Comments »
Preparing for a Computer Based Test
Tuesday. Circles inscribed in squares Tags: triangles Posted in GRE. you’ll have to work through four computer tutorials created by the GRE test software. You may be computer savvy.
Before the test begins. for an added bonus. and analogies. for example. use the scratch paper they give you to create a makeshift answer sheet. This may be the greatest disadvantage presented by the computer test.but the GRE software is not exactly Windows or Apple–familiarize yourself with its quirks. you will not be able to mark up your test. And. After all. It’s also not worth your energy to worry about that. though. after all. can come up in any order. The Computer Based Test isn’t something to be feared. What’s the Adaptive Mean?: The word “adaptive” in Computer Adaptive Test means that the test adapts to your skill level. 2. The test begins with average difficulty questions. Grockit makes great practice since it’s computer-based also. I mean reading comprehension of course). that you won’t get fatigued by one question typed either (and by one question type. On the computer test. Question Type Order: Unfortunately. No second chances. So. and vice versa. 4. You do not have sections of question types like you would on the SAT. Process of Elimination: You’ve probably already figured this one out. it’s customized to your individual performance. 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.. simply create two multiple choice columns. Do not try to predict your performance based on the difficulty of questions. Sentence completions. antonyms. and then the questions will become harder if you are answering correctly or easier if you are answering incorrectly. The good news is. No Skipping: On a computer-based test. you cannot see the next question until you answer the current question. That means no underlining words in passages and no crossing out answer choices. 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. no stalling. That’s right. If you want to make your answer sheet as precise as possible. On a computer-based test. Test Day. There you have it. and number each from 1 to 30. no saving the hardest for last. you cannot return to any one question after you’ve answered it. GRE Prep. Remember the “tutorials” you have to go through? You can take as long as you like during them. a burden is lifted. there is a way to circumvent this obstacle–use scratch paper. Luckily. Go practice! Tags: computer based test Posted in GRE. 3. strategy | No Comments »
Issue Writing Task: Use What You Know
. you will only see one question at a time. you won’t be comforted by the predictability of sections. You cannot mentally prepare yourself for one question type. you may find a “difficult” question easy. so this is a great time to make your answer sheet. It just takes some getting used to. 5. While this may initially cause some anxiety. This may make things a bit more difficult.
You might think that. The Parthenon. Let’s look at a relatively esoteric issue prompt and explore varying avenues of analysis. so as to reflect the core societal values of the age. as hard as that may be. The examples do not have to be in-depth analyses of the Renaissance masters–just use what you know. don’t reproduce your senior thesis in 45 minutes. Agree: Ancient and Renaissance architectures were often constructed to honor gods and provide an appropriate place of worship. 1. with the 200+ topics available. If you come across a topic that allows you to exploit your studies. so let’s simplify it: do the arts always reflect social ideas? That is. music. is the aim of art to reflect and comment on society? Let’s look at some ideas from different perspectives: 1. a chemistry student isn’t expected to know Shakespeare. Agree: Skyscrapers built in urban metropolises in the 20th century reflect the zeitgeist of technological progress. Why not take a step back and think about the kinds of art you could talk about.
. you may.) reveal the otherwise hidden ideas and impulses of a society. Though it seems certain issue prompts necessitate a thorough knowledge in some particular area. Each point will be labeled “agree” or “disagree” to indicate whether the example is for or against the speaker. keep in mind that your readers may not be conversant with your academic discipline. such is not the case. The above prompt is a somewhat confusing question. some appropriate for the expert and others for the layman: “The arts (painting. be searching your brain for any example of art you know something about. In fact. the ETS doesn’t expect this from you. the great European cathedrals 2. the pyramids. more importantly. in fact. and exhume those halfread classics from high school English. literature.” What we have here is a veritable breath of fresh air for any humanities or arts major. 1.Thursday. I’m sure none of you wants to do that (though I bet it’s been done before). 3. 2010
Admittedly. I want to offer an often unheeded caveat for those art lovers: don’t get too excited. the toughest part of the Issue Task is coming up with ideas that you’re confident in. scour the newspaper. Agree: Medieval and Renaissance painting was heavily religious. Students from all kinds of backgrounds take the GRE. dust off an old history book. Still. so try to temper your genius. This is probably a fruitless strategy. In other words. October 21st. etc. you’ll have to read an encyclopedia. i. The Layman’s Approach: If you’re not an art lover or humanities major. but it’s a kiss of death for anybody without a predilection for the arts. by all means go for it. if you come across a prompt that could benefit from your expertise. and an English student isn’t expected to understand hydrogen bonding. thereby reflecting the pervasive religious fervor in their respective societies. and. you may be worried by such a prompt.
S. or. 1. visceral. Indeed. i. T. both essays include logical arguments with sufficient evidence. i. 1. is a complex and ostensibly chaotic mishmash of historical literary styles and references.4. Disagree: Modernism 1. in some instances. Each chapter of the novel exhibits a markedly different style and theme.g. 2. Art becomes less mimetic and more cerebral. one particular chapter changes its style paragraph by paragraph. ii. Eliot’s The Wasteland. courtship and the social practices of marriage. Pollock’s technique–violently splattering paint on the canvas– can be viewed as a purely visceral impulse. for example. we see a retreat from societal representation to more idiosyncratic aesthetics. The Expert’s Approach: If you have some knowledge of art history or literature. While the “expert” essay has more complex and esoteric examples. Disagree: In twentieth century painting. for example. follows a similar ambition. In Victorian fiction. that is. the mess of paint evokes the image of the action of painting. The Issue topic is always about using what you know and making sense of it. e. 2. Agree: Dystopian Fiction: 1. James Joyce’s Ulysses. 3. 3. but its method in doing so recapitulates a history of the medium to draw attention to its status as an artwork. i. 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. thereby referring to itself as art rather than commenting on or exhibiting any societal impulse. often considered the quintessential modernist novel. i. in order to comment on and often critique social mores. iii. Modernists aspire to more than social commentary.
. In fact. illustrating a detailed history of the development of English. thereby reflecting the psychosocial consciousness of the time. to draw attention to the process and materials of artistic composition. Certain artistic movements are known for social commentary while others are famous for eschewing it. Austen’s Pride and Prejudice often elucidates the societal emphasis on marrying for status and financial security rather than marrying for love. all the while corresponding to a specific episode from Homer’s great epic poem The Odyssey. you can certainly use that here. Agree: Victorian Literature 1. the poem comments on the current zeitgeist. Dystopian novels like 1984 make explicit the fears of totalitarian governments that were in power at the time. 2. or at least aspiring to something greater than it. however. authors like Jane Austen and George Eliot strive to replicate realistic social scenarios.
All you are allowed are your locker key and photo identification because the administrator will check it before you enter the testing room. You will then be asked to sign the GRE Examination Testing Rules & Agreement. the last thing you should worry about on the day of your GRE is the testing environment. Wear layers in case the room is cold. Here are some tips about what to expect from the testing environment from arrival to departure. Don’t be surprised that others in the center may be taking different graduate exams. Once all of these administrative procedures are completed. Once this is completed. you can avoid distractions and concentrate solely on your performance. Issue Writing | No Comments »
It’s Test Day!
Monday. Posted in Essay. 2010
The GRE is unlike the SAT. try to use the knowledge that you already have rather than cram for new material.In your essay practice.
The Testing Room:
Before you enter the test room. Get comfortable with the procedures so that. the administrator will ask you to provide a digital fingerprint or palmvein pattern.
Try to arrive at the test center 15-30 minutes early because of the sign-in process. However. if there is a specific area in which you are particularly lacking. The palm sensor will soon replace the fingerprints as the only digital identification system. brush up on some new info. After weeks and months of preparation. you will need to provide your photo identification as well as your fingerprint or palm-vein pattern. For the palm system. The administrator will demonstrate the procedure of ensuring that certain knobs on the machine fit your fingers to get a proper pattern. While there may be slight differences from test center to test center. you will be on your own. on test day. you will choose a locker in which to place all of your belongings. you’ll need to show proper photo identification and tell the administrator which exam you’re there to take. and then try some prompts where you can use what you learned. Instead of sitting in a classroom with 25 other students all going through exactly the same experience. Then the administrator will escort you into the
. you will place each of your hands over a sensor. He or she will then take your photograph. ACT or any other standardized exam you took in high school. the basic sequence of events will be the same. First. October 18th.
Don’t forget that exceeding the 10 minutes allotted for the break takes time out of your next test section. If you chose to view your score. You will be seated at a station with a computer and likely some soundproof headphones. and one minute breaks between the remaining sections of the test. Once you signal. you will not be able to cancel it. You will be given the option of viewing your scores or canceling them. meaning you will have to verify either your digital fingerprint or palm-vein pattern. you’ve completed the test.testing room. When you re-enter the room. There probably will be people already in the room. you will have to digitally sign-out. don’t forget that the breaks are optional.
Score and Departure:
You’re done. return the key and leave with your report. Whatever you decide. and when all of your pages are filled. you can raise your hand to receive more scratch paper. you will have to provide your fingerprint or palm-vein pattern yet again before being escorted back to your station. Posted in GRE. Almost four hours after entering the center. in case mouse clicks or keyboard keys bother you. Test Day | No Comments »
. you will need to raise your hand once again so that the administrator will know to escort you from the room. Be sure to keep this because there will be an authorization number that you will need to view your official score. You can then access your locker and drink some water or snack on something small. Good luck! Post your test day experience below and check out Grockit forums for test day advice from other test-takers. Once you view your score. Then all you need to do is take your belongings out of your locker. you will need to provide either your fingerprint or palm pattern to sign out of the room. Again. When you leave the room. Don’t feel obligated to take them if you’re in the zone and want to stay focused.
There is an optional 10-minute breaks after the Analytical Writing section. or if you want a restroom or snack break. the time you have for yourself is probably more like 8 ½ to 9 minutes. once the procedures of signing out and signing back in are included. the ten minute break is a great opportunitie to leave the room and reorient yourself if you are a bit rattled. You cannot leave without signaling the test administrator. Even though the break is technically 10 minutes long. in the middle of their respective exams. the administrator will enter the room and escort you out. so be careful. However. The test administrator will provide you with scratch paper to use during the test. Again. an administrator will print out your unofficial score report.
which emphasizes the benefits of regular exercise at an early age. That statistic should not deter you. such a task would take a long time (don’t you have more important things to do?). “Previous experience has shown that our stores are most profitable in areas where residents are highly concerned with leading healthy lives. it’s time to look at a real possible argument task. in no particular order. a health food store.Argument Writing Task: Part 4
Thursday.” 1. which has many such residents. Plainsville’s schools are now mandating a fitness program. 2. 2010
After learning all the possible fallacies and how to spot them. Increase in sales of exercise shoes and clothing. where “residents are highly concerned with leading healthy lives. October 14th. We should therefore build our next new store in Plainsville. The local health club. When I say “real. While. Secondly. so to mimic your thought process and note-taking when you first come across an argument prompt: 1. a chain of stores selling health food and other health-related products. What’s the Argument?: The speaker claims that Nature’s Way. To confirm this. For one thing. The Problems with the Argument: I will enumerate potential problems I see with the speaker’s argument and reasoning. though the chances are very slim–approximately 1 out of 245. or whatever you realistically have time for) and think about how your arguments against the prompts might overlap. though these argument prompts are all ostensibly different. and 3. just check out a hearty sample of prompts (perhaps twenty or thirty. ideally. The similarities will pleasantly surprise you. With the convenience of fast
. 1. False correlation between exercise and health food: The speaker fallaciously correlates exercise with healthy eating habits. they repeat many of the same fallacies. 2.” I mean this could possibly be on your actual GRE. should open in Plainsville. We can even anticipate a new generation of customers: Plainsville’s schoolchildren are required to participate in a ‘fitness for life’ program. and the weight training and aerobics classes are always full.” How did we gather this profile of Plainsville’s inhabitants? According to our speaker. and you probably shouldn’t take it upon yourself to write practice essays for each and every prompt. which nearly closed five years ago due to lack of business. has more members than ever. The local health club is experiencing its highest rates of attendance. a healthy lifestyle entails both exercise and healthy eating habits. the two are not mutually inclusive. 2. 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. Nature’s Way is neither a health club nor a sporting goods store. but a health food store. three facts account for this description: 1. Plainsville merchants report that sales of running shoes and exercise clothing are at all-time highs.
why shouldn’t we assume that they can easily revert back to unhealthy lifestyles? 1. this guilt about eating habits encourages fast-food patrons to exercise. are at their worst in history. choose the best examples and develop them into coherent paragraphs. Though we may applaud the efforts of schools to introduce such a program. 1.” suggesting it’s the only one of its kind in Plainsville. more simply. on average.” may cause unintended opposition to exercise. Competition?: The speaker fails to mention the possibility or lack of competing health food stores. we cannot assume that the program will have any lasting effect on the children’s lifestyles. To write the essay. mandating exercise in school. Many children often willfully oppose orders given by parents and school teachers. 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. 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. then high rates of attendance do not suggest an overwhelming increase in the citizens’ exercise. the speaker must show a correlation between exercise habits and healthy eating habits.” but there are other possible sources of these increases. In fact. 1. 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. Suggestions for Improvement: To improve the argument.food. or. Future interest in exercise?: Even if Plainsville residents are interested in health foods. perhaps through a survey or study. Often. exercise clothes may be an inexpensive alternative to other clothing styles. Also. these changes in lifestyle habits are relatively recent. much like making beloved classics of literature “required texts. What we have here is an abundance of information. The speaker refers to the club as “the local health club. 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. our national eating habits. Don’t be afraid to integrate smaller fallacies into paragraphs: an abundance of information is not a
. the speaker should investigate the popularity of Plainsville’s health club and explain how Nature’s Way will plan to beat the competition. how do we know the interest will continue in the future? After all. but because of sheer childhood obstinacy. How can we be sure that Nature’s Way will thrive despite its potential new competition? 2. but not necessarily change their eating habits. If this is true. not quite an essay. not out of any sound reasoning.
USE IT! This way. your test scores will be drastically improved if you can eliminate even one or two incorrect answers. longer essays tend to receive higher scores. Even if you don’t know the exact answer. but not everyone employs these useful strategies that will save you valuable time come test day The CAT test format can be frustrating. Posted in GRE. you will become more proficient at identifying the key pieces of information. This should be a habit as you study for the GRE. you may want to give yourself 30 minutes and write this essay. I am certain that you will find this extremely annoying in a CAT environment. 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. Do not make this mistake. series | No Comments »
Helpful GRE CAT Tips
Monday. Without the luxury of being able to write notes. they don’t give you material to write things down for nothing. you can immediately eliminate answers that you know are incorrect. BUT. First. which will make your life much easier. Some of the following might sound like common sense. and. Next. One of the worst things you can do is to waste time staring at the screen. eliminate answers. you won’t have to write down much. but with your ABCDE and key pieces of information. Don’t waste your valuable brainpower trying to remember answers that might be right or wrong. Don’t worry about writing everything down at first. in fact. draw pictures. and time consuming. if you have them. using your own words and. make equations or draw pictures.bad thing. I can’t tell you how to
. a key here is to make sure you transfer information correctly. 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. Instead. do whatever you need to do to eliminate answers. The worst thing you can do is to write down wrong numbers or facts. 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. your own arguments. USE YOUR PENCIL AND BLUE BOOK (but do not waste valuable time writing needless things down). For practice. With easy questions. you will find that you are spending a lot of time looking between the screen in front of you and your blue book. as you will be able to make equations. for many reasons. you will have essentially transferred the problem from the computer screen to your paper. read the entire question carefully and write down the useful information (this is more geared for the Quantitative part). but there are some tricks that I found useful when taking the test that seemed to help me out. etc. but as you practice. If you can eliminate three incorrect answers. you should get in the habit of immediately writing down ABCDE on your scratch paper for every question. October 11th.
please post below. but make sure to practice them just as diligently as Antonyms or Analogies. But as you become comfortable with the material itself. it will be invaluable come test day. work slow to work fast. WRITE DOWN ABCDE. Another issue with CAT test prep is that it is difficult to simulate the test day environment. Supplement your computer testing with your paper (book) testing and vice-versa. Once you are certain you have it down in front of you. 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. As you read the sentence. They will contain tough vocabulary and will require a solid strategy to answer them correctly. and good luck! If you have any other strategies that you have found helpful. you will be on the lookout for keywords. 2010
Currently the GRE Verbal section tests approximately 6 sentence completions. Don’t become too comfortable with studying out of books. or check out Grockit’s GRE forums for more advice. Test Day | No Comments »
GRE: Sentence Completions Overview
Thursday. words that describe the blank or relate to the overall flow of the sentence (transition words). Eliminate answers as you go. Posted in GRE. 1. USE YOUR SCRATCH PAPER. Many GRE students find SC’s the easiest Verbal question-type. or about 1/5th of the total Verbal section. go to town on cracking the problem. Write down the keywords. but in general. Become comfortable with using the computer to answer questions. What do the words tell you about the blank? Here are some common transition keywords you’ll see on Test Day:
. Employing the above methods will help you become a master of the CAT environment and will definitely pay dividends come test day. October 7th. GRE Prep. it is essential that you are able to transfer your mastery of the material to a CAT environment. That is where prep services like Grockit come in. Write them down! It may seem redundant. but use that practice to become a master at translating the key pieces of information to your scrap paper.become a pro at accuracy. but the act of writing them down will slow down your impulses and force your brain to think critically.
Don’t let yourself read the answer choices without a written-down prediction. Sentence Completion. but your speed will increase as you practice and your brain becomes more disciplined. Instead of scanning the answers quickly looking for the correct one. Don’t be too narrow-minded in your elimination. but you DO have to write something down. “a positive word” or “something like angry” is perfectly acceptable. It may seem like this method of writing down keywords and predictions will slow you down. If you are at a loss for words. even a simple prediction like. This method will increase your accuracy by forcing your brain to do the necessary critical thinking – after all. eliminating the answer choices that could not possible match your prediction. 2010
While studying for the GRE. you can come up with a prediction for the blank. For example.” we want to keep it since it is at least a partial match. Surprise slows you down. isn’t that what the GRE is really testing? Get started with some sentence completions now on Grockit! Posted in GRE Prep. we hope to be familiar with every type of question before walking into the test. If you have more than one answer choice left after eliminating. and knowing what to do ahead of time
. 3. If you don’t write it down. Verbal | No Comments »
Guess and Eliminate – GRE Problem Solving
Tuesday. Eliminate answer choices. carefully move through the choices from A to E. then plug them into the sentence to see which one is correct. you will probably forget it as you read the answer choices. It doesn’t have to be brilliant. Once you’ve analyzed the keywords and punctuation of a sentence. Write down a prediction. October 5th.2. if our prediction was “messy” and one of the answer choices was “distraught.
correct answers tend to be “close” to incorrect ones. E. and answer choices that are “way far off” from the others are typically wrong. we will quickly address guessing tactics and.will save you time and help you earn more points. If you see a √3 in the answer choices. you may look for √3s.) Guessing on the Quantitative Section 1. there will inevitably be questions for which you will not know how to find the exact answer. Look for pairs of answers: wrong answers are chosen for a reason. (You’d pick the square root option. In this post. (Note: This post does not address quantitative comparison questions. 3. The last step: Take a peek at the last step of the question (if applicable). we know any answer that satisfies the description “even integer” is NOT the correct. However. if the question involves fractions or inverses. Know the question: If the question involves a 45-45-90 triangle. This is particularly helpful for geometry questions. of course. Plugging in numbers may
. y/x 4(y/x) 4x + y 2(x + y) 5(x – y)
Before we even start attacking the specifics of this question. you can reasonably eliminate that option. D. Because these mistakes are common. which of the following CANNOT be an even integer? A. Take a look at this example: If x is an odd integer and y is an even integer. For example. C. 1/4 and 4 are one simple mistake away from each other. Conversely.) Eliminating Definitively Wrong Answers On the quantitative section. then look for a pair where one option is the square root of another. which will addressed in a future post. if we have some hesitation on a question. 2. B. it helps to know which questions are absolutely incorrect without much thought. strategies to efficiently and accurately eliminate incorrect answer choices to reduce your options and point you in the right direction. for 30-60-90 triangles. If it asks you for the √x. more importantly. you might look for √2.
C. Then you can pick between (A). Do a very quick estimate of what the answer should look like. B.help. and (E) through a variety of strategies. so those are out. D. (D) and
. we can quickly recognize that any product including a factor of 2 must be even. and the answer is to be in miles/hour. but to save time.4%
After reading this question. If you have no clue how to answer this question. 23. E.8% 25% 28. (B). but because there is no mention of units. Answer choices (D) and (E) include “60”. approximately what percent of Sandwich’s total population would be over the age of 60? A. Keep track of units. we should think quickly about in which direction the percentage should be moving. you are still guessing between (C). x/m m/x xm 60m/x x/60m
The two units provided in the question are miles and miles/hour. C. (C). You can then worry only about (A). E. The town of Sandwich has a total of 5. chances are we will not have to do that this time. Answer choices (B) and (D) are multiplied by 4 and 2 respectively. We start at ¼ (25%) 60+ citizens and add more 60+ citizens to the population without any other additions.400 citizens. which is an indication that you are incorrectly converting hours to minutes. 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. D. Size Matters. We know that sometimes we might want to convert hours to minutes. 1/4 are over the age of 60. B.6% 30% 33. 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. and (C). Of these.
we can eliminate 9.(E) since (A) and (B) are clearly too low. they may lead you to the correct answer even when you’re not too confident about the material. 1. they tend to guess the extreme answer choice (i. As always.
Archive for November. 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. it is often the case on difficult multiple choice problems. 5 c. 2010
Quantitative Elimination Strategies: Part 1
Monday. 9 According to the strategy. they rarely allow that expected choice to be the answer. 4 b. These will help you save time. and more importantly. On hard problems. 2. and test makers will rarely let you get away with no calculation for a difficult problem. when you are asked to find the least (or greatest) number. When test-takers guess on these problems.
. 8 e. In fact. it certainly works most of the time. c is the answer (this question is pretty simple if we draw it out). and as a result. if asked for the greatest.e.’ While this is certainly not the case on quantitative comparisons. eliminate the least (or greatest) number from the answer choices. 2010
As with all multiple choice tests. GRE practice makes perfect. Answer choices are gifts that we test-takers must take advantage of. and it follows the test-maker’s logic. (Note: Answer choices are ALWAYS in ascending order. that should come out soon. 6 d. Keep an eye out for a similar article focusing on Quantitative Comparison questions. Test makers catch on to this. 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’ll pick the greatest). November 8th.) This was a quick overview of general concepts for math questions. Most students tend to go for the ‘not enough information’ choice when they are out of time. there is more to strategy than simply trying to answer the question. On a hard problem. often eliminate the answer choice ‘not enough information.
3. these are not hard and fast rules. 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. Posted in GRE. E. On hard problems. If you remember nothing else. working with decimals can be a daunting experience when somebody takes away your calculator. For example:
. November 4th. is a ‘not enough information. Quantitative. but you will increase your chances by avoiding these answers if you must guess. you’ll see more challenging examples for which you should use these elimination strategies.’ and b gets the number ‘8′ from the question. Remember. In the next installment. eliminate answer choices that merely repeat numbers from the problem. as we saw earlier. 8 c. you should be skeptical of answer choices b and e. This is basically a problem that needs to be converted into mathematical notation: x+20 = 8 + (10. Example 2: If the sum of x and 20 is 8 more than the difference of 10 and y. not enough info If this type of problem is giving you trouble. what is the value of x + y? A. GRE Prep. and you have no choice but to guess. Again. strategy | No Comments »
GRE Quantitative: Decimals
Thursday. there is no substitute for knowing the math. but you also want to increase your chances on the toughest problems. 9 d. 2010
If you haven’t done decimal arithmetic since grade school. Let’s see if we can answer it. -2 b.y) x + 12= 10-y x+y= 10 – 12 x+y= -2 A is our answer. 28 e.
my product is . we have a total of 5 numbers after the decimals. Addition and Subtraction When adding and subtracting decimals. 2.6. add zeros to fill up the empty space.345 and 2. I need 5 digits after the decimal.515 Multiplication 1. Example: Add 382.01356. Add zeros as necessary.003.
.. If multiplying 6.17 Set it up like this: 382. Step 3: So. Count the number of digits after the decimal in each number.232 and 1.003 Step 1: 452 x 3 ———1356 Step 2: In 4. Counting from right to left.52 and . HINT: When multiplying simpler decimal numbers. If I am multiplying 4. not 40 or 400. I add 2 + 3=5). in 1356.84 = 84/100 .52 and . and add these up (ex.45 and . Example: Multiply 4.5689 = 5689 / 10000 You’ll want one zero in the denominator for every digit in the decimal. if it makes things easier.345 + 2.356.170 ————384. and.4 = 4/10. 4. 3. Multiply the decimals as if the decimals are not present. My sum of digits equals the number of digits that should be to the right of the decimal in my product. line up the decimal points. always use common sense to avoid calculation errors. . Manipulate the placement of the decimal in the product to fulfill step 3. I know that my answer will have one digit before the decimal because 4 * 1 = 4.
835 by 2. 6.25. 4.
.5 _ 8.5 1640 ——– 1435 1435 —— 0 For a little refresher in long division. Since there is no remainder left over.7_____ 205 ) 1783. we are left with 8. 205 can go into 1783 about 8 times. the second step. 3. as always. I change . 5. The first step is to stop using the calculator every time you make an arithmetic calculation. here is the process verbalized: 1. 1783 minus 1640 is 143.05 two times to the right to make 205. 205 goes into 1435 seven times. is to practice on Grockit. Example: Divide 17.5 to 50250) 3. Do the same for the dividend. Bring down the 5 from the dividend.25 to 25) 2.7
Working with decimals without a calculator is all about practice. Bring up the decimal and place 7 after it. Move the decimal point in the divisor to the right so that the divisor is a whole number (If my computation is 502. yielding 1783. 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 . 2.Division 1. Divide normally and bring the decimal straight up into the quotient. Move decimal point in 2. so I’ll convert 502. exactly. 7. 8 times 205 is 1640.05 1.5 / . Now we have 1435.25 to 25.