# 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.

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

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

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

our goal is to make the relationship simpler. 2010
To save time on the GRE. you should get comfortable with estimating.000 in the numerator and 200. Don’t forget. 4x +5 OR 3x +6
I could approach this problem a few ways. Simplify by Adding/Subtracting Same Value 1. when choosing numbers to add or subtract. that you can manipulate both expressions to make the comparison simpler.Simplify When presented with two baffling expressions. though. 0. In the meantime. June 9th. First. it generally narrows it down to
.000 / 100
When you see many zeros in fractions like this. which is clearly indeterminate. 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. Stay tuned for some more strategies for quantitative comparisons that will save you time and increase accuracy. Remember. I could use the tried and true plug-in method.000 in the denominator.000. always think of ways to simplify before you calculate. 0.000. Quantitative Comparison.000/100 = 10/1 = 10. now. your first instinct should be to cross out matching zeros. 000 OR 1. Same idea for column b: 1. Even if estimating doesn’t give you the 100% accurate answer. I should just eliminate five zeros from the top and 5 zeros from the bottom. As long as I add or subtract the same number or variable from these expressions. series. and a fraction). Our answer is D. I’ll have the same relationship between the two expressions. If I have 2. a negative. try some of these strategies in Grockit! Posted in GRE. strategy | 2 Comments »
GRE Strategy – Estimation
Wednesday.5–you want to use a positive. where I would test a few simple numbers (preferably something like -2. look how simple it is? The comparison is any number (x) OR 1. and . Quantitative.000 / 200. 2. Let’s check out this example: 1. 2.

9 billion $7. let’s take a look at the following chart. 5.
. $127. Wind (2%) + Hydro (2%) + Nuclear (3%) = 7%. and the nuclear.74 billion
I would then pick E easily based on my estimate.6 million represents. 3. Numerical Estimations Practice estimating with percentages. and then multiply that by 7 to get $0.one obvious choice (if you’re good at estimating and round up and down appropriately). 2. Some questions even tell you to approximate.2 billion $10. Given the following five answer choices 1. 4.
The question asks: approximately what average amount per month did the Canadian government spend on nuclear.6 billion $8. This will save you a lot of time.1 million. so there really is no point calculating the precise answer there. hydro and wind column (keeping my finger on it so I don’t read the wrong thing) and add up those percentages. I tend to like figuring out 1%. 5% or 10% represents and working from there depending on the question. I would figure out what 1% represents – approximately $0.7 million. Estimation also comes in handy for quantitative comparisons because you don’t need the precise answer. hydro and wind power combined? I would look at the Canada row. particular on the questions with charts and graphs. you just need to know if they are equal or if one is bigger. In this case. For example. So I’m looking for what value 7% of $10.0 billion $.

The length of one edge of the cube is 6. The price/lb of coffee B is approximately $8/7 pounds = $1.1 / lb.
The important lesson in visual estimations is not to do it for triangles. the price/lb of coffee A is approximately $10/5 pounds = $2/lb. so you can choose B without even calculating what root 37 might be. So A is bigger. You should always assume that triangles are never drawn to scale and when looking at diagrams of
.
The same goes with this question. Which is also square root of 36. Visual Estimations Visual estimations usually work for things like graphs or simple diagrams like the problem below. Clearly AE is the longer line since it spans four rectangles instead of three.In the example above. Clearly square root of 37 will be a teensy bit bigger.

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

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

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

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

In the above example. First of all. Let’s look at these flaws in a little more depth: 1. in television shows. on commercials. There are other factors involved in this proposed outcome: preparedness of teachers and attentiveness of students. think about these flaws in depth and try to find them in everyday reasoning. most of the time. the only means–to increase reading skills of students. the superintendent may not have shown that the reading program by itself is enough to raise reading levels. 2. Becoming familiar with these flaws and how to spot them is the first step to writing a quality Argument Task.e. To practice. may find that a big competitor in a different city has increased sales by moving from a downtown location to a suburban one. a superintendent of a school argues that adopting a certain marketed reading program is necessary–i. Weak Analogies: The speaker may come to a conclusion about one thing on the basis of another thing. we’ll look at the next three flaws and discuss how to begin forming our Argument Task essay. For example. 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. if the manager of a business. it will be easy on the test. but we can’t completely analogize these different trading-card shops. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1
. it won’t. If you can spot them in everyday situations. Group Fallacy: It is pretty unrealistic to describe a group and then expect that every single member fulfills that characteristic. 3. For example. Maybe that particular city’s downtown district was already on the rise. however. 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. etc. Next time. 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 argument may seem sound. the demographics in their respective cities may respond to different incentives. we can’t make this analogy. the argument should clearly state that a member is a representative of the group as a whole. making your body paragraph organization pretty simple. 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. say a trading card shop. You can remember this fallacy by thinking about stereotypes. and the relocation merely reaped the benefits? Without this thorough background info.•
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. In order to avoid the member-group fallacy. The Member vs.

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

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

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

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

7. what was the average of her last three tests? Here. Example 1: John caught 14 fish after a long day of fishing. After weighing all of them together. then n=7. 14*4.Before we begin. If the aforementioned scores are 80. 60. The average of the figures in a set: (A)= T / N.Finding the total: IF you know the average and the number of figures/items (n) in a set. If her average score after the first three five tests was 89. 1. we have the info we need to find the average in question. 95.7= 65. and n is the number of figures in a set. 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. 8*83= 664. in pounds. and 90. The number of figures in a set (n). With this information. There are 3 numbers you want to know. If I want to find the average of seven different test scores. 80. they are related by the formula A= T / n. the total number of percentage points on the first five tests. 219 (total) / 3 (number of figures) = 73
. we have to find two totals before we can calculate the average of the final three tests. A = 550 / 7 = 78. T is the total sum of values. 3. her average score was 83. 75. Janet took 8 math tests. he calculated the average weight of the fish to be 4. let’s go over some basic rules for finding averages. 70. The most important rule to remember is that Average = Sum Total / Number of Figures Here are some possibilities for average questions and the strategies to solve them: 1. The sum total of all the figures in a set (T). then T= 550. In our example. where A is average.7 lbs. then simply multiply the average and the number of figures to find the sum total (T).57. of all the fish? Answer: Simply multiply 14 and 4.8 Example 2: Throughout the year. What is the total weight. 2. the total number of percentage points on all the tests 5*89= 445.

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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

so will yield a larger change. then subtracting from the original. and then decreased by 10%.
Percent change = Total Change/Original Value
Example: Before trading began.000. Which is bigger. versus two tougher ones. Example: A certain positive integer x is increased by 10%. James’ investment portfolio was worth $10.Recognize the difference between percent MORE/LESS THAN and percent OF
Example: What is 25% less than 8? ¼* 8 = 2.000/$10. The original x will be bigger.
The higher the number. and we’re done! On easy numbers like this. so 8 – 2 = 6 Example: What is 25% of 8? ¼*8 = 2
Use shortcuts
20% less than means 80% of. Conversely.000. just take 80% and be done. James’ investment portfolio grew by $2. you are probably missing what to apply the percent to.2.000 = 0. x or the resulting number? The 10% increase of x in the first round increases x by a certain amount. See the previous example: What is 25% less than 8? ¾*8 = 6.5)] in one neat step. it might not seem necessary.
. What was the percent change in James’ portfolio? Percent change = $2. it will save lots of time. the higher the resulting percent
Applying the same percent to a higher number will yield a higher number. but as numbers get larger. 50% more than 10 should be calculated by multiplying 10*3/2 [10*(1 + 0. At the end of market close. or 20%
Don’t add constants and percents
You should never find yourself trying to figure out what 5 + 6% equals. So instead of taking 20%. In this case. The 10% decrease in the 2nd round is applied to a higher number.

setting x = ticket price before tax. how many items did Jerome offer for sale? A. $25.05 (with tax) = $630 Note we can convert to fractions. If this price included a 5% sales tax. 750
.94 C. 25 people * x dollars/person * 1. $30 Without a calculator. Now we set up the equation. $23. what was the face value of each ticket price without the sales tax? A. Jerome sold 75% of the first 1. If he sold 40% of the total number of items he offered for sale. cancel and simplify.20 E.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. $22 B. 5% = 1/20 since 5*20 = 100. and are typically neater. $24 D. 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. fractions are always easier. They cancel well. and 30% of his remaining items.000 items he offered for sale. and all the tickets cost the same amount.

T. 2010
Number theory may sound scary. is to study these principles enough that they seem intuitive. we want to set up the equation – this will make things a lot easier. In this case. 1000 + R = T Now. Not R. Quantitative.800 D. 1.500 E. 1.000 = 4. if not. switching to fractions is always best. we have 2 equations and 2 unknowns.500 Choice E Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. We can solve! 750 + 3R/10 = 400 + 4R/10 350 = R/10 R = 3. 3/4*1000 + 3/10*R = 4/10*T We have 2 equations.050 C. And again.500 We always look back to the original question to see exactly what we are looking for. 4. but it’s just an intimidating name for some pretty elementary mathematical principles. The best option. Tags: percent Posted in GRE. You probably know most of these principles by memory. The GRE
. This is a good hint that there may be a hidden 2nd equation. though.500 Again.B. August 25th.000 = 3. T = R + 1.500 + 1. 3. and 1 unknown. you could easily execute a calculation to ascertain them. strategy | No Comments »
Number Theory
Wednesday.

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

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

We detect the pattern that regardless the value of n. I recently came across this question. Look for the closest whole number and count up or down from there. even though you can reduce 4 2/4 to 4 1/2. so your remainder is (15 -4) = 11. The remainder should NOT be reduced. The order goes as follows: Mom. 18/4 = 4 2/4. since a remainder of 9 leaves you a new whole number (with a remainder of 0). we are looking for the remainder above a one’s digit of either 0 or 5. when dividing by 9. so we only need to look at the one’s digit while multiplying. You then count down four from 150 to 146. 3^4n = 3^8 = 81*81 = one’s digit of 1.) Instead. Dad. 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. so the result will have a one’s digit of 7. Your remainder can only range from zero to the denominator of the fraction. When and number with a one’s digit of 7 dividing by 5. This is easier than recognizing 135/15 is a whole number and counting up. The remainder stays equal to 2. 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. In this scenario. 3. For example. when trying to find the remainder of 146/15. If Dad takes out the trash on January 18th. (A general rule of thumb is that if you think it’s taking too long. 3^4n = 3^4 = 81 = one’s digit of 1. who takes out the trash on March 26th? (There are 31 days in January and 28 days in February. which I think is a good introduction: What is the remainder of 3^(4n+3) divided by 5. we are left with a remainder of 2.1. multiples of even numbers are even. assuming n is a positive integer? Firstly. when dividing by 5. We can break 3^(4n+3) into 3^4n * 3^3 by the rules of exponents. Become familiar with common trends or patterns. 4. it probably is…. so 167/(even #) must have an ODD remainder. we see how many days pass between January 18 and March 26: January 19-31: 13 +
.) It’s clear that we don’t want to whip out our calendars and start counting. we only care about the one’s digit. your remainder options are 0-8. For example. you can see that 15 would go into 150 evenly. Sister. For example. 2. If n = 2. Brother.

4.125 1/9 = .33 repeating 1/4 = .268 B.4 D.11 repeating Note that multiplying these by constants will leave similarly instructive results.125
. For example: If x is an integer. such as: 3/8 = 3*1/8 = 3*0. which of the following is a possible value of (x² +2x – 7)/9? A. 8.166 repeating 1/8 = .166 repeating E.375 The more familiar with these you become.25 1/5 = .February 1-28: 28 + March 1 – 26: 26 = 67 days.5 1/3 = .20 1/6 = . Fractions and Decimals are the same thing You should be familiar with common decimals. so we count 3 from Dad.125 = 0. 1. 67/4 leaves you will a remainder of 3. 0. the quicker you can eliminate answer choices are clearly wrong. leaving us with Mom on March 26th. -2.555 repeating C. mainly: 1/2 = .

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

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

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

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

remember that your GRE prep is a collaboration between you. Proportions and Ratios. The writers recognize time is short.14 1/6 = 0. the GRE is a challenging test. and will give you ostensibly time-consuming calculations.333 repeating 1/2 = 0. So remember that even as you’re working hard. and your Experts and fellow students could probably use a light moment as much as you could. Be proactive about your practice and about asking questions. One way to mitigate this is by retaining a rockstar aptitude in manipulating fractions.5 repeating
. your fellow students.25 1/3 = 0. fractions will be easier to perform arithmetic. Some common ones to memorize:
• • • • • • • •
1/9 = 0. preparing for it is often a rigorous experience.125 1/7 = ~0. 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. which occur in a large portion of the questions. Oh My!
Friday. Finally.20 1/4 = 0. Decimals are sometimes more useful when comparing numbers relative to one another. And. finally. but these questions are the exception. and your Expert.5. 2010
GRE questions are notorious for seeming harder than they actually are. such as in a number line. Dividing by 5 is the same as multiplying by 2/10. try to have some fun with the studying process!
Yes. 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. you should take some time out to play. August 13th. and take advantage of the many ways that you can study for the exam. quickly convert to a fraction. strategy | 1 Comment »
Fractions. mistakes should be learned from and sometimes laughed off.111 repeating 1/8 = 0. GRE Prep. To summarize. too. But questions are sometimes funny. try to enjoy the process as much as you can. and your future is a serious thing.
90% of the time. Even if given a decimal (or percent) looks easy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. (Squares can be turned into triangles. August 3rd. Be careful in DS questions that pose equations in the context of quadratic equations with two solutions. unless necessary. 2010
In this series.
. we will cover many types of geometric scenarios encountered on the GRE. only the positive solution remains and the information is sufficient. draw in lines that create simple shapes.) is essential.Hopefully. Inferences must be drawn from fact. A basic knowledge of simple formulas (area. Tags: ratios and proportions Posted in GRE. but there are numerous shortcuts to geometry questions that will save you time. Today. Quantitative | No Comments »
Geometry Series Part 1: Circles Inscribed in Squares
Tuesday. Trust the pictures.) Shared angles will normally not be explicitly stated. etc. perimeter. for example. ratios and proportions aren’t so scary anymore. 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. Just because it looks like 90-degrees doesn’t mean it is! (Many of these common inferences will be detailed in this series. we’ll explore circles inscribed in squares. See if you can spot some ratio problems when you’re practicing on Grockit. but not too much.
For circles:
• • • • •
d=2r and all lines from the center to the exterior equal r.) Lengths cannot be negative. If one solution is negative and the other is positive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again. 42/13 hours/truck = 3 3/13 hours/truck.23 E. 3. we may not be able to decide between (D) or (E). However. are you averaging or adding the given times taken. 0. so 3/13 will be slightly lower. we instead subtract their speeds to find the relative velocity. If moving in the same direction.47 D. 3. You must add rates. but not necessarily in proportion. When moving at an angle. we may be looking at a geometry question. Objects moving at given speeds on the <a href=”http://grockit. trains and automobiles. Train B traveling at 90 m/hr also leaves New York for Dallas at 9 P. This can also be 1/6 trucks/1 hour. Train C leaves Dallas for New York at 9 P. If both workers load one truck simultaneously while maintaining their constant rates. Sometimes walking.
Relative Velocity
Planes. Remember the question is asking for the number of hours to fill 1 truck. Because the denominator is 13. Choice (E).M. we know the decimal cannot equal . 1/6 + 1/7 = 6/42 + 7/42 = 13/42 trucks/1 hour. we find the reciprocal of 13/42. A second worker can load the same truck in 7 hours. If moving toward or away from each other. in hours. When together.31 C.com/groups/gre/dashboard”>GRE</a>usually travel toward or away from each other.25 The rate of worker #1 is 1 truck/6 hours. We can also see that 3/12 will yield . Train A traveling at 60 m/hr leaves New York for Dallas at 6 P. what is the speed of Train C if the distance between Dallas and New York is 1260 miles? A. 0. approximately how long. To find this. If all three trains meet at the same time between New York and Dallas. we can add their speeds to see their relative velocities. they will complete 1/6 + 1/7 trucks/ 1 hour. Nor. The rate of worker #2 is 1/7. 2.M.25. will it take them to fill 1 truck? A. At this point. be careful of units. NOT the number of trucks completed in 1 hour. A worker can load 1 full truck in 6 hours.M.25. the decimal is important. 60 m/hr
.15 B.be less than BOTH of the individual rates.

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

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

Thus.25 paid at the end of the year. Mr. we know that the money triples in value every 14 years.25.In the above question. Here. which is equal to his balance of $500. Mr. you are paid interest on the interest that was paid in prior periods. Riley has $525 because the bank paid $25 in interest ($500*5%) into his account. plus the $25 interest paid at the end of 6 months. Mr. $15. so the final balance at the end of the next 14 year period will be $22. This interest is equal to $525*5% = $26. Mr.500 At first glance. They will pay 5% interest (10%/2) at the end of six months. $3. we are given x% as 8%. Mr. Therefore. it might be a bit easier to think about this without the use of compound interest. the three types of interest problems you will most likely encounter come test day will be simple interest. at the end of the year. Further. Compound interest can essentially be translated into “interest paid on interest”. 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). hence the phrase “compounding”. once in 14 years and one more time at the 28th year. Now. Riley earns $1. what will be its approximate worth in 28 years? A. The lesson? Compound interest always pays more! Let’s look at another similar type of problem that involves interest.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). and word problems involving the mention of
.25.500 will triple again. and then will pay another 5% at the end of the year. Riley deposited $500 into his account at a rate of 10% compounded semiannually and the bank will divide his interest into two equal parts.500*3). Overall. Riley has $551. compound interest. Money invested at x%. to get $7. If $2500 is invested at a rate of 8%. compounded annually. meaning that after one period.500 (or $7. Riley is then paid 5% on the $525 balance that was in his account at the end of the first six months. so all we need to do is take 112/8 = 14. triples in value in approximately every 112/x years. $5.750 B.000 E. compounded annually. 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. The correct answer choice is E. $22. So at the end of the six months.500*3).500 (or $2. we know that this balance of $7. $8. plus $26. we know that the money will triple exactly twice in 28 years. For this one. which might unnecessarily confuse you.600 C. For the second half of the year.100 D.

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

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

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

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

So in total. if we have 5 people and five seats on a plane. we get 4 combinations. Then choosing 3 accessories out of 4. A and E are also repeated twice so you have to divide by 2! twice more.What if the question tells you that you have a number of choices for one thing. Permutations with repeated terms This type of question usually asks. Then for the second seat. So if you are seating 5 people in 5 seats around a circular table.
. There are 7 letters so there are 7! ways of arranging these letters in order. how many different words can you form from the letters of word. And more often than not. For example. I have 4 people to choose from (because one person has already sat down). For example. And for the third seat. In general. you have to divide 7! by 2!. I have 3 people and so on. So the answer is 5! If I have 7 people and five seats. the same concept applies – 7 * 6 * 5 * 4 * 3 where each number represents the number of people I can choose from to put in each seat starting from the left. we get 10. we have 10*4 seat color-accessories combinations. Choosing 2 out of 5 and applying the formula. and since one P looks the same as the other P. the word will have repeated letters in it. and another number of choices for another. Permutations With permutations. there are 4 accessory combinations that we could match with it. How many different combinations of colors and dashboard options are available to this buyer? We look at seat colors first. we thus have 40 accessory combinations to match with it. But P is repeated twice. 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. because for every seat color combination. how many combinations can you have of the two things? For example. there are 120 ways of seating these 5 people. 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. you have 24 arrangements. If all the seats are empty and I want to fill the first seat. I have 5 people to choose from to fill the seat. when arranging n people in a circle. With 10 seat-color combinations. order matters. the first person you seat is just a point of reference. instead of having 120 seating arrangements like before. there are (n-1)! Number of ways. how many 7-letter words can you form from the word APPEASE.

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

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

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

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

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

The Issue topic is always about using what you know and making sense of it. Disagree: Modernism 1.S. 2. both essays include logical arguments with sufficient evidence. the mess of paint evokes the image of the action of painting. iii. 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. James Joyce’s Ulysses. is a complex and ostensibly chaotic mishmash of historical literary styles and references. to draw attention to the process and materials of artistic composition. i. Disagree: In twentieth century painting. e. While the “expert” essay has more complex and esoteric examples. all the while corresponding to a specific episode from Homer’s great epic poem The Odyssey. Art becomes less mimetic and more cerebral. we see a retreat from societal representation to more idiosyncratic aesthetics. In Victorian fiction. Agree: Dystopian Fiction: 1. i. authors like Jane Austen and George Eliot strive to replicate realistic social scenarios. follows a similar ambition. 1. Certain artistic movements are known for social commentary while others are famous for eschewing it. i. 2. visceral. or at least aspiring to something greater than it. 3. the poem comments on the current zeitgeist. or. Dystopian novels like 1984 make explicit the fears of totalitarian governments that were in power at the time. illustrating a detailed history of the development of English. 3. 2.4. The Expert’s Approach: If you have some knowledge of art history or literature. one particular chapter changes its style paragraph by paragraph. Agree: Victorian Literature 1. thereby reflecting the psychosocial consciousness of the time. i. often considered the quintessential modernist novel. 1. ii. that is.g. but its method in doing so recapitulates a history of the medium to draw attention to its status as an artwork. courtship and the social practices of marriage. T. thereby referring to itself as art rather than commenting on or exhibiting any societal impulse. you can certainly use that here. for example.
. in order to comment on and often critique social mores. In fact. in some instances. Modernists aspire to more than social commentary. Eliot’s The Wasteland. Austen’s Pride and Prejudice often elucidates the societal emphasis on marrying for status and financial security rather than marrying for love. for example. Each chapter of the novel exhibits a markedly different style and theme. however. Pollock’s technique–violently splattering paint on the canvas– can be viewed as a purely visceral impulse. Indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

not 40 or 400. add zeros to fill up the empty space. Counting from right to left.515 Multiplication 1. Manipulate the placement of the decimal in the product to fulfill step 3. If multiplying 6. Example: Add 382.345 + 2. 4. we have a total of 5 numbers after the decimals.003.170 ————384. 3. I need 5 digits after the decimal. Add zeros as necessary. Multiply the decimals as if the decimals are not present. if it makes things easier. I add 2 + 3=5). in 1356. Addition and Subtraction When adding and subtracting decimals. I know that my answer will have one digit before the decimal because 4 * 1 = 4. HINT: When multiplying simpler decimal numbers.232 and 1.003 Step 1: 452 x 3 ———1356 Step 2: In 4. my product is .5689 = 5689 / 10000 You’ll want one zero in the denominator for every digit in the decimal.17 Set it up like this: 382.45 and . always use common sense to avoid calculation errors. 2. My sum of digits equals the number of digits that should be to the right of the decimal in my product.84 = 84/100 .52 and . . and..
. line up the decimal points.345 and 2. and add these up (ex.356.52 and . Example: Multiply 4.01356. Count the number of digits after the decimal in each number. Step 3: So. If I am multiplying 4.4 = 4/10.6.

5 _ 8. 205 can go into 1783 about 8 times. Bring down the 5 from the dividend. as always. yielding 1783. I change . The first step is to stop using the calculator every time you make an arithmetic calculation. Do the same for the dividend. we are left with 8.25 to 25.7_____ 205 ) 1783. Bring up the decimal and place 7 after it.05 two times to the right to make 205.5 / . Example: Divide 17. Move the decimal point in the divisor to the right so that the divisor is a whole number (If my computation is 502. 205 goes into 1435 seven times.25 to 25) 2. is to practice on Grockit. so I’ll convert 502.05 1. Since there is no remainder left over. exactly. Move the decimal in the dividend the same number of places to the right (I moved the decimal two places to the right to convert . 5. 8 times 205 is 1640. 2.5 to 50250) 3.7
Working with decimals without a calculator is all about practice. 3. the second step. 4. 1783 minus 1640 is 143. Move decimal point in 2. Divide normally and bring the decimal straight up into the quotient.Division 1. here is the process verbalized: 1. Now we have 1435.25.835 by 2.
. 6. 7.5 1640 ——– 1435 1435 —— 0 For a little refresher in long division.