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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.
the answer must be D because when x= 0. You must use a negative. a positive. there are some rare cases when there are multiple quick methods to solving a problem. giving you: 5 OR 5 Easy choice. 1. 9^99 – 9^98 OR 9 ^98 Why don’t we divide both sides by 9^98? 1.Example 2. 3x is larger. 5( x +y ) / x +y OR 5 (X+Y) on top and bottom cancel. use your common sense. Simplify by multiplying or dividing both sides by the same value: Let’s look at the problem we did above for the factoring method. 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. This just goes to show you that there is usually more than one way to solve a math problem. When in doubt. 0. The Fallback Strategy: Use 1. When you are testing variable expressions. the most reliable method to test them is to be thorough with the types of numbers you use. we’d think that we arrived at this: 3 OR 4 We might choose B as a result. the values are equal. when comparing 3x and 4x. a fraction. and a negative number as testers. Though there is usually one “fastest” method. or when we use a negative number. We can actually use another method to figure out the answer. a . 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. It’s easy to see that. They’re equal. but we’d be wrong. 5x + 5y / x + y OR 5 Here’s a chance for some good ol’ fashioned factoring.
Let’s check out some examples that show us why it’s necessary to be thorough. What we have is a negative multiplied by a positive. z= 0… 3z (2x +5y) OR 3x (2z+5y) When a zero is on the outside.g. And. it happens to become smaller. speed and accuracy are crucial! See other articles in this series: . Example 2: If x<0. as in our A value. positives. Testing our second value gives us 3(-1) (2*0 + 5*2). Our first value is larger. Remember. it must be A right? Common Not so fast. z=0 3z (2x +5y) OR 3x (2z+5y) We still have zero for our first value. then y is -3. Since all the other values are positive. When you practice on Grockit. and of course. zeroes. our special numbers to test are negatives. 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. So in that case. try using different strategies to figure out which work best for you. y> 0. we suggest that you use simple numbers in order to save yourself time and avoid any calculation errors.25). if x is 4 then y is 3.fraction. But what if they are negative? If x is -4. fractions. e. but we’re not in the clear quite yet. and a zero.5 = . not bigger (. Example 3: If 3x= 4y x OR y We know that if x and y are positive. the whole value is zero. what if x is zero? Well in that case. our answer is D. remember. So in that case. Example 1: If x>0. It turns out that the answer must be D. then x is greater than y. Fractions have some very special properties. When negative numbers are involved. y >0. we can be confident that our second value is larger.5 * . If we multiply a fraction by itself. There you have it. So in that case. y is zero also. so we know the answer is negative. y is greater. always test them.
if you don’t quickly examine the two expressions intelligently. and I know that both expressions are equal. you are doing unnecessary work. that is. which is a good indicator that there is a much faster way to solve the problem. Avoid Unnecessary Calculation If. series | No Comments » Quantitative Comparison Strategies: Part 1 Monday. etc). Before we examine certain question types. Let’s look at some strategies that pinpoint those faster ways to solve quant comps: when to calculate. The art of quantitative comparison problems is getting away with the bare minimum to save time. and how to quickly compare variable expressions. Calculation is not necessary. in your practice. 33. I might multiply out the second column (3 times 10³ is 3000. you might jump into calculation.e. This may sound like a pain. Such an approach is self-defeating. you notice yourself doing endless calculations. . but notice that you can get away with much less. Many quantitative comparisons are designed to look time consuming. There is a simple trick here. smaller. You merely have to find out if one of the two expressions is larger. 31 x 32 x 33 x 34 x 35 OR 32 x 33 x 34 x 35 x 36 Again. and 35. which is what the expression on the right is really saying. The GRE will not make you do endless calculations on paper. June 14th. Notice that 3569 is the same thing as saying 3000 + 500 + 60 + 9. 3569 OR 3(10) + 5 (10²) + 6 (10¹) + 9 (10^0) If I saw this problem without thinking. Your job is not to find the correct answer amongst a group of answers (i. or equal to the other. let’s look at a couple simple examples to show how immediate calculation can be an inefficient strategy: 1. Quantitative. which would take you quite a while (not to mention leave you vulnerable to errors). now it’s quite clear that B is greater. even if such a strategy appears to be the most obvious way to reach an answer. or if such information is impossible to calculate. Since we are just comparing the two expressions. 2010 Quantitative Comparison problems are not like standard math problems you’ll find on the SAT or a common standardized test. Quantitative Comparison. we can cross out the numbers that appear in both expressions.Quantitative Comparison Strategies Pt 1 Posted in GRE. 2. we are left with a simple comparison: 31 OR 36. Thus. multiple choice) or to find the correct answer and write it in. when not to calculate. 32. 34.
and . my expression is simply 20/2 = 10. As long as I add or subtract the same number or variable from these expressions.000 in the denominator. look how simple it is? The comparison is any number (x) OR 1. June 9th. always think of ways to simplify before you calculate.000 in the numerator and 200. I could use the tried and true plug-in method. Remember. when choosing numbers to add or subtract. now.5–you want to use a positive. 4x +5 OR 3x +6 I could approach this problem a few ways. so: Subtracting 5 from both sides gives us: 4x OR 3x+1 Subtracting 3x from both sides gives us: x OR 1 Now.000. and a fraction). Quantitative Comparison. series. Let’s check out this example: 1. strategy | 2 Comments » GRE Strategy – Estimation Wednesday.000 / 200. First. where I would test a few simple numbers (preferably something like -2. you should get comfortable with estimating. 0. try some of these strategies in Grockit! Posted in GRE. Our answer is D. your first instinct should be to cross out matching zeros.Simplify When presented with two baffling expressions. 2010 To save time on the GRE. 2. a negative. In the meantime. If I have 2. 000 OR 1. Quantitative. I should just eliminate five zeros from the top and 5 zeros from the bottom. it generally narrows it down to .000/100 = 10/1 = 10. 2. our goal is to make the relationship simpler. Same idea for column b: 1. Don’t forget. 0.000. that you can manipulate both expressions to make the comparison simpler. Stay tuned for some more strategies for quantitative comparisons that will save you time and increase accuracy. though. which is clearly indeterminate. I’ll have the same relationship between the two expressions.000 / 100 When you see many zeros in fractions like this. Even if estimating doesn’t give you the 100% accurate answer. Simplify by Adding/Subtracting Same Value 1.
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. 4. let’s take a look at the following chart.2 billion $10. 5.74 billion I would then pick E easily based on my estimate. 3. Wind (2%) + Hydro (2%) + Nuclear (3%) = 7%. Given the following five answer choices 1. and the nuclear. 2. $127. particular on the questions with charts and graphs.7 million. so there really is no point calculating the precise answer there.one obvious choice (if you’re good at estimating and round up and down appropriately).9 billion $7. and then multiply that by 7 to get $0. The question asks: approximately what average amount per month did the Canadian government spend on nuclear. So I’m looking for what value 7% of $10. you just need to know if they are equal or if one is bigger. For example. hydro and wind column (keeping my finger on it so I don’t read the wrong thing) and add up those percentages.1 million.6 billion $8.0 billion $. In this case. 5% or 10% represents and working from there depending on the question. Numerical Estimations Practice estimating with percentages. . Some questions even tell you to approximate. I would figure out what 1% represents – approximately $0. This will save you a lot of time.6 million represents. I tend to like figuring out 1%.
1 / lb. You should always assume that triangles are never drawn to scale and when looking at diagrams of . So A is bigger. the price/lb of coffee A is approximately $10/5 pounds = $2/lb. Clearly square root of 37 will be a teensy bit bigger. The same goes with this question.In the example above. The length of one edge of the cube is 6. so you can choose B without even calculating what root 37 might be. Clearly AE is the longer line since it spans four rectangles instead of three. The price/lb of coffee B is approximately $8/7 pounds = $1. Visual Estimations Visual estimations usually work for things like graphs or simple diagrams like the problem below. Which is also square root of 36. The important lesson in visual estimations is not to do it for triangles.
For example.triangles. and equate 10a to 180 degrees to figure out that a=18 degrees. but they may not be. . sum of interior angles is 180.g. you need to add up the angles to get 10a. so only apply mathematical rules. you should only apply rules of triangles e. Do not estimate based on what you see! This question is a little trickier. isosceles triangles have two equal angles and two equal sides etc. in the question below. You might be tempted to think that QRT or QRS is an isosceles triangle. You don’t know. They may be.
again.g. Again. June 7th. This makes column A and B equal. it doesn’t mean that event caused the other to occur. just because one event happens after another. it doesn’t mean that one event causes the other. the speaker may claim that a correlation suggests causation. GRE Prep. we learned a little about the first three types of logical flaws you might find in the argument task. For more practice estimating. Studying these flaws will simply help you identify them on test day. This one may take some headscratching to realize that ice cream is more popular in the summer months. 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. Quantitative. . 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. you need to use the sum of angles = 180 rule. and you can be confident that you’ll find more than one of them in any given argument.As it turns out.e. the speaker may claim that a temporal relationship suggests causation. may be one of the most common you’ll encounter when examining the pool of arguments. Take this argument for example: As ice cream sales increase. A speaker may often use correlation to simply causation when a lurking variable is present. just because two phenomena often occur together. so ice cream causes drowning. i. There are two basic ways a fallacious cause-and-effect claim can be made. when water activities are also more popular. by the same logic. so it’s essential that you master it. the rate of drowning deaths increases. Correlation Does Not Imply Causation: This fallacy. But you wouldn’t know this just by looking at it. Second. T and S: 27 + 27 + y + y + x + x = 180. strategy | No Comments » Argument Writing Task: Part 3 Monday. Since the lines bisect angles Q. Here. you are not expected to cite these flaws by name or cite the names of their fancy Latin correlatives (e. more lovingly known as the post hoc fallacy. post hoc ergo propter hoc). This means that 2 y + 2 x = 126 thus y + x = 63. 2010 In our last installment. join a Grockit game today! Posted in GRE. First.
if there is reason to believe that survey responses are dishonest. and scientific manner. fair. check out the pool of prompts at ets. June 3rd. For example.g. Also. we’ll look at an actual Argument Writing Task prompt and see how we can apply these logical flaws. 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. consciously or unconsciously. To spot tainted data.g. In the meantime. The statistics of one university simply cannot account for a sweeping claim about graduate education. This is where problems can arise. while only 50 percent of the graduate students of the same university were employed after one year. Inappropriate Statistics: You will often find that these arguments cite statistical evidence to bolster their claims. Next time. otherwise the quality of the data is compromised. For a sample to adequately represent a larger population. Further.org and practice identifying these flaws. if the survey is designed. 2010 . it must be of significant size and characteristically representative of the population. or inapplicable.5. the results may be unreliable. we’d have to compare the admission standards for undergrads and grad students. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1 Argument Writing Task: Pt 2 Posted in GRE. As you may find out. to yield certain responses. the results may be unreliable if the method for collecting the data is biased. 6. compare the types of jobs sought by undergrads and grads. e. 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. Verbal. Biased or Tainted Data: Tainted data is the second problem that could arise with data samples. and show the distribution of majors among grads and undergrads. examine the economy of the surrounding area.” from those findings. To really identify the source of the employment disparity. unrepresentative. a survey asking the question “What is your favorite ice cream flavor?” should have more options than simply “coconut” and “mint. e. For example. For example. 80 percent of University X undergrads were employed within one year of graduating. a speaker may try to make a broad claim about graduate school’s impracticality by citing statistics from one particular university. we might fallaciously conclude that 78% of people identify “mint” as their favorite ice cream flavor. For data to be considered legitimate it has to be collected in an unbiased. watch out for surveys that try to manipulate responses by providing narrow options.
Verbal | No Comments » Argument Writing Task: Part 2 Tuesday. But ETS is nice enough that the initial questions are very general or word specific. i. “however” which signal shifts in the argument. all of them will exhibit at least some of these flaws. common sense will also tell you that the passage will never argue that studying Shakespeare in school is without value. you won’t be able to skim through the passage to answer all the questions. Just focus on the first and last sentence of each paragraph and skim through the examples in between. we briefly looked at the kinds of flaws and fallacies you should expect to find in the given argument. In other words. Posted in GRE. before getting asking more in depth questions about the arguments. 2010 In the last installment. controversial views. The passage will never support extreme. Standardized test passages almost never criticize women. context clues. shifts in tone and argument (where necessary). or that the selling or organs should be endorsed. we were introduced to the Argument Writing task and found out how it differs from the Issue Task.GRE reading comprehension passages are not simply lifted out of a book. It could be as simple as the author is against stem cell research for this and this reason. great leaders etc. You can also assume that politically incorrect answers are wrong and you can eliminate them. “for example”. Reading Comprehension. correlation does not imply causation) Relying on inappropriate or potentially unrepresentative statistics . Although there hundreds of possible arguments the ETS may choose. 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. so learning them is essential. but also considers the benefits. June 1st. To answer the initial general questions. try to skim through and summarize each paragraph. They are carefully edited by experienced test writers to make sure that they are packed full of information. Always remember that the main idea is not generally a straightforward one-sided matter. Keep an eye out for keywords such as “in contrast”. Even if it is politically correct. they are thrown in there to lead you away from a more accurate answer. 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. Be careful of answers to look too much like the first or last sentences though! Often times.e. You don’t even have to come up with a detailed summary. Then. minorities. Don’t try to remember every single detail.
a superintendent of a school argues that adopting a certain marketed reading program is necessary–i. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1 . 2. say a trading card shop. First of all. etc. but we can’t completely analogize these different trading-card shops. 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 should clearly state that a member is a representative of the group as a whole. 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. Let’s look at these flaws in a little more depth: 1. Group Fallacy: It is pretty unrealistic to describe a group and then expect that every single member fulfills that characteristic. may find that a big competitor in a different city has increased sales by moving from a downtown location to a suburban one. For example. If you can spot them in everyday situations. we can’t make this analogy. think about these flaws in depth and try to find them in everyday reasoning. Watch out for them in your conversations. You can remember this fallacy by thinking about stereotypes. The argument may seem sound. it won’t. In the above example. 3. For example.e. making your body paragraph organization pretty simple. Maybe that particular city’s downtown district was already on the rise. we’ll look at the next three flaws and discuss how to begin forming our Argument Task essay. Next time. the demographics in their respective cities may respond to different incentives. In order to avoid the member-group fallacy. There are other factors involved in this proposed outcome: preparedness of teachers and attentiveness of students. the only means–to increase reading skills of students. Weak Analogies: The speaker may come to a conclusion about one thing on the basis of another thing. however. if the manager of a business. it will be easy on the test. and the relocation merely reaped the benefits? Without this thorough background info. in television shows. most of the time. the superintendent may not have shown that the reading program by itself is enough to raise reading levels. Becoming familiar with these flaws and how to spot them is the first step to writing a quality Argument Task.• 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. 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. The Member vs. on commercials. To practice. 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.
Archive for July. Define Antonyms of the Answer Choices (aka Working Backward) TURPITUDE 1. So. 2010 Paradoxically. like “strident. logic. When you know every single word. but we know it’s a negative word. we simply get rid of the negative antonym choices. you will likely panic and blindly guess. Provided you have enough time. 2010 Working Backward: Antonyms Thursday. 5. 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. With a little knowledge. Beware of words that simply “sound” negative or positive to you. For every word like “resplendent” that appropriately sounds positive (the “splend” makes us think of “splendid). 4. If you don’t know the stem word. Make sure that you have at least heard the word or read the word. though. Saintly behavior 2. Clever conversation . so we’ve only gotten rid of one. 1. Working backward is an effective technique that allows us to use what we know to get closer to our answer. and technique. 1. you can locate the answer in a fraction of a second.” which makes me think of chewing gum. and you know that it has a negative or positive charge. unfortunately. The Positive/Negative Approach Let’s look at an example from an actual GRE test: TURPITUDE 1. you can still quickly narrow the answer down to a couple options. July 29th. 2. 3. Let’s move on to other strategies to eliminate some choices. Saintly behavior Clever conversation Lively imagination Agitation Lucidity Let’s pretend we aren’t sure what “turpitude” means. you can eliminate answer choices and significantly increase your chances of a correct answer. never surrender like this on an antonym question. if we know that turpitude is negative. 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. only D is negative.
Saintly behavior à morally depraved behavior 2.” and “fortitude. Lively imagination 4.” “solitude.” and “turbid” are often mixed up. knowing the stem word’s definition would have gotten us the correct answer much faster. would not be “unintelligent conversation. which happens to be the right answer. and there is no guarantee that such .” Unintelligent conversation is not really the state or quality of something. A little thinking does go a long way. Lucidity Using the negative/positive strategy. there was some reasoning behind my choice. Lucidityà obscurity.” makes me skeptical because it lacks the kind of negative charge I would expect from a word like “turpitude. while “turpitude” means corrupt or depraved. Agitation 5.” In these examples and in general.” “turgid. Lively imaginationàLack of imagination 2. but we have more work to do. quality. Because “depraved behavior” is certainly more negative than “lack of clarity. unclear. the suffix “-tude” means a state. Let’s create antonyms for each of our choices.” I’ll go with A. Granted. 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.” though not as concrete as “unintelligent conversation. I am now down to A or E. since the words “turpitude. and hence.” a state or quality of something. “Lack of imagination. D. and see how they match our mysterious stem word: 1.” Though these eliminations were based on speculation. I can guess that E was a trap answer.3. Clever conservation à banal. First. we should use a little critical thinking and reasonable speculation. In the test writer’s mind. lack of clarity Now. we were able to eliminate D. it is a particular action. “turbid” means cloudy. Thus it would make much more sense that “turpitude. Each antonym I created is sufficiently abstract (as opposed to concrete) and can be a state or condition. or condition of something. I’d think of the word “turpitude” and recognize that it ends in “-tude” like the other familiar words “gratitude. unintelligent conversation 1.
Avoid TrapsNearly every multiple choice math problem has trap answers. though.speculation will lead you to the correct answer. but nonetheless common sense manner. vacabulary Posted in GRE. These strategies are here to remind you that there is just a bit more to studying than simply cramming math material. 1. or attractors.685 D. it’s easy to make mistakes. In terms of GRE quantitative strategy. Yes.33 percent is awfully close to one third. imprecise. but outsmarting the test-writers is very important too.50. The only thing close to that is B.33 % of 50?A. it can be no other answer. Part 2 Monday. Step back.125 B. Use the test format to your advantage. Verbal. things change.350 E. if you happen to stumble upon an antonym question like this. Beating the GRE quantitative requires a balanced combination of math skills and test-taking skills– these strategies will help improve the latter.16. This is where ballparking plays a significant role. strategy | No Comments » Simple Quantitative Strategies. and you go into human calculator mode. But. when you’re in the middle of a timed test. but we were still successful with some effort. 5. and anticipate the clever gambits so often deployed by the ETS. no matter how many correct steps you painstakingly went through. but remember that such a choice is probably a trap. 2010 This is the second installment in the simple quantitative strategies series. A third of 50 is a little more than 15 (15*3= 45). don’t overwork. 32. July 26th. 70. When we are overwhelmed by figures and calculations. don’t give up–use your brain! Tags: antonyms. During practice. often making the problem appear a little bit easier than it actually is. Moving a decimal one unit could transform a correct answer into a wrong answer. BallparkingTo ‘ballpark’ is to roughly approximate. common sense thinker will probably be able to answer this question without doing a calculation.Let’s look at a crude example:What’s 32. These types of answers catch your eye for one reason or another. 35.165 C. Anxiety sets in. learning the processes is more than half the battle.195 Any relaxed. You see a question like this and immediately start calculating the product. and look at the simplicity of the question. ballparking essentially means thinking about mathematical figures in a vague. 1. You may notice the anticipated answer in the choices and think that you won’t have to finish the problem.Looks look at an .
. First. but they can mean big points in a pressured testing environment. the total discount is $36. 36% c. That’s a difference of 10064=36. 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. during a special sale. think about these techniques! They will keep you from making careless mistakes on easy to intermediate problems. isn’t it? But. The price of a T-shirt was reduced by 20%. 2010 Averages. What was the total percentage discount from the original price?a. 25% b. Just perform the calculations as necessary. the price was reduced another 20%. 42% e. or arithmetic means. These two strategies may appear simple.example of what this might look like:1. 50% You may read this question and think that a 20 percent discount plus another 20% discount equals a 40% discount. are likely to show up on the GRE Quantitative section. but the test will probably present average questions in a more complicated way. you’ve just missed a pretty easy question. Thus. So. let’s get real. Quantitative. Most of us know how to find the average. series | No Comments » Averages Tuesday. Rather than present you with all the numbers in a set and ask you to find the average of those numbers. Then. 40% d. the GRE average problems will present you with various combinations of known and unknown information. B. why not imagine the shirt is 100 bucks to start. you may be inclined to choose it and move on. when you practice. Posted in GRE. Unfortunately. We went from a 100 dollar shirt to a 64 dollar shirt. Seeing 40% as an answer choice. which can end up making a huge difference on a computer adaptive test. Take 20% off of 100. and you get 80. Take 20% off of 80 (80 / 5 = 16) and you get 64. July 20th.
8*83= 664. 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. they are related by the formula A= T / n.57.8 Example 2: Throughout the year. With this information. There are 3 numbers you want to know. we have to find two totals before we can calculate the average of the final three tests. If the aforementioned scores are 80. The average of the figures in a set: (A)= T / N. and 90. After weighing all of them together. her average score was 83. then n=7.Before we begin. Janet took 8 math tests. 14*4. In our example. let’s go over some basic rules for finding averages.Finding the total: IF you know the average and the number of figures/items (n) in a set. in pounds. T is the total sum of values. 3. 95.7= 65. the total number of percentage points on all the tests 5*89= 445. If I want to find the average of seven different test scores. The number of figures in a set (n). What is the total weight. we have the info we need to find the average in question. A = 550 / 7 = 78. The sum total of all the figures in a set (T). then simply multiply the average and the number of figures to find the sum total (T). 219 (total) / 3 (number of figures) = 73 . Example 1: John caught 14 fish after a long day of fishing.7. 75.7 lbs. 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. and n is the number of figures in a set. what was the average of her last three tests? Here. If her average score after the first three five tests was 89. 80. 60. he calculated the average weight of the fish to be 4. 70. 2. where A is average. the total number of percentage points on the first five tests. then T= 550. of all the fish? Answer: Simply multiply 14 and 4. 1.
go back to the formula A=T / n. What was his average speed for the whole trip? First. Even the most complicated average problems stem from the formula. Our total distance is 180 + 50 = 230 miles. and x is 35. Example 4: In traveling from city A to city B. All you have to do is set up an equation with the information you know. let’s figure out the total distance. Average Speed = total distance / total time The formula for average speed is quite simple and intuitive. 2010 So you’ve applied to several schools and you get a letter inviting you to an in-person interview. will pay for your airfare and arrange lodging with a current grad student. Always remember: when in doubt. If John traveled a greater distance at 60 mph. John drove for 1 hour at 50 mph and for 3 hours at 60 mph. Quantitative | No Comments » Nailing that Grad School Interview Thursday. most schools probably won’t do . 1 hour at 50 mph would be 50 miles. While some programs.5 Note: the average speed is not merely the average of 50 and 60–that is a mistake that many students make. Don’t forget that ‘x’ counts as a number in the list. 28. July 15th. Tags: Averages Posted in GRE. but many overlook the formula when approaching average speed problems.Example 3: If the average of 34. Remember. it wouldn’t make sense for the average speed to lie right in the middle of 50 and 60. Average Speed = total distance / total time = 230 / 4 = 57. and 3 hours at 60 mph would be 180 miles. 35= ( 34+44+28+x) / 4 35= 106 + x / 4 4 (35) = 106 + x x = 4(35) – 106 x = 34 2. 44. 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. particularly the science programs. the average speed should be closer to 60. Rather. so our total number of figures is 4. The total time is 3+1 = 4 hours.
brush up on your table etiquette too – know your bread knife from your regular knife. (Don’t drink too much!) If you know ahead of time that there is going to be a formal dinner. such as saying “like” or “um” frequently. because there is a tendency for people to rush what they are saying when they are nervous. Before you leave. don’t take your neighbor’s water glass etc. Others might have verbal tics. particularly during the main interview. and if you must disagree with them. mentoring programs and job prospects. 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. Try not to ask questions that indicate that you haven’t done your research. It really helps too if you can demonstrate how your research experience ties in with their program. If you can weave their area of interest into your conversation. frequency of publication. be prepared to explain and defend your work. without it being a CATastrophe Monday. spend a few days researching the department and the faculty. please be aware that every moment could possibly be part of the “interview”. July 12th. Instead. If you are asked to discuss an issue with some of your fellow applicants or grad students. you should try to attend because it indicates your interest in the program.this. Posted in Grad School | No Comments » Reading on a GRE CAT. Let other people speak their turn. Finally. remember not to monopolize the discussion even if you might have a lot to say. if there is a rotation program between professors and how that works. Regardless. Find out what their research interests are because you will be working under one of them. but even a friendly grad student who is buying you a drink at the bar may have something to contribute to the decision process. If you have some research experience yourself. the interview is also your chance to interview them. always acknowledge the person (preferably by name) and their opinion. Practicing taking a pause every time you catch yourself about to say that and it might help you say it less. You may not be taking to a professor. practical work opportunities. You should also try to speak more slowly that you think is normal. 2010 . Always be conscious of your manner. Some people have a tendency of raising their eyebrows or rolling their eyes that they may not even be aware of it. before discussing yours. ask about teaching opportunities during the program. 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. So be sure to watch how you act and what you say.
. and key ideas that are addressed in detail only in one part of the passage. The older you are. and Perspective—issues are commonly addressed in questions. Approach is how the author is writing the passage: is it a recommendation. An example might look like this: Para. and new interp. Jotting even just a few words to summarize each paragraph can help you get a handle on the passage and sharpen your focus. instead write a couple of words with a line reference to tell you where to find what you’re looking for. and you can indicate that sentence in your notes with a line reference. teen years. use a notebook to annotate practice passages. is very different on a paper-based test than it is on a CAT. Para. Years of paper-based reading trains the test-taker to take notes on the passage itself. dates. you don’t have that luxury. dates or time periods. and hunting for that detail in the passage can cost you precious time. Outline the passage paragraph by paragraph as you read You will have scratch paper. a question will refer back to a specific detail without giving you a line reference. Examples of this would be references to individuals or groups of people. 3—problems with trad. often this will be summarized in one sentence.. particularly if chronology is important to the passage’s meaning. ect. 4—conclusion Taking notes like this as you read forces you to synthesize the text and read more efficiently. But learning to read actively even without the benefit of marking up the text is key to improving your reading comp score. especially reading comprehension. or a Computer-Adaptive Test. even if you’re practicing on paper. Standardized testing. underlining significant sections of the passage and putting notes in the margins near the relevant text. 2—traditional interpretation Para.The GRE is a CAT. places. a . and even adulthood learning how to read in a paper-based world. interp. Expedite the process by keeping track of the kinds of details that are common subjects of questions. Approach. Go to CAMP CAMP—or Central Point. Since you can’t indicate those things by underlining them or putting a star or other mark in the margin nearby. But on some sections. Here are a few ways to do that. Central Point is the main idea of the passage. Map. Get into the habit now. the computer is less an assistance than a hindrance. historical background Para. theories. 1—intro. and other key words and phrases Often. Keep track of proper nouns. On a CAT. and you should take advantage of it. the more likely it is that you spent your childhood.
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,
Once you have your brilliant ideas down on paper. Unfortunately. indicating your agreement. but do give an informative outline of your main arguments.” for example. your first step is to identify each idea as “agreeing with” or “disagreeing with” the prompt statement. Try to see where ideas cohere. “Advances in medicine. organize these ideas into body paragraphs. After you organize your ideas. 3 Tags: roadmap Posted in GRE. you should start to see a coherent argument forming. if some ideas are weak. great ideas alone will not get you the grade. the most significant contribution of technology has been to make people’s lives more comfortable. “pro” indicates that the idea supports the statement. 2 Issue Writing Task pt. Then.so you have no excuses—start writing! Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt. follow these steps: 1. and “con” indicates that it opposes the statement. write down “pro” or “con” next to each. so it deserves a “pro. Fewer. series | No Comments » Issue Writing Task: Part 3 Thursday. That’s where organization comes in.” and “internet allows for ease of communication. your argument can be one-sided. Don’t get too specific with your evidence here. you can’t write a solid essay without solid ideas. or qualification of the statement’s argument. is an example in favor of the statement. 2. Show the reader that you understand the implications of the issue at hand. disagreement.” “machines relieve factory worker of monotonous work. “Over the past century. After all. deserves a “con” since it argues that there are more prodigious technological achievements than those that make us comfortable.” however. Verbal.” To quickly identify the stance of these ideas. Adopt a position / Articulate your thesis: When you look down at the overflowing mass of ideas you have written.” you might have jotted down “advances in medicine. July 1st. 2010 Last time. . or it can qualify the conditions of the prompt statement. don’t use them. articulate your stance on the issue.” “automotive safety.” After you have labeled your pieces of evidence. In our previous example statement. 1 Issue Writing Task pt. “Machines relieve factory worker of monotonous work. Introduction: Your introduction should first clearly articulate the argument in the given statement. we looked at the single most important step in writing your essay: brainstorming. finely tuned arguments are better than a bulk of crude ones. Remember.
though. For that reason. and in the meantime. when combined with the initial brainstorming stage. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time. Next time. 2010 Your GRE essays are unlikely to be the linchpin of your application. 1 Issue Writing Task pt. writing the body paragraphs leads to a more fine-tuned thesis. Ideally. 2 Archive for August. Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt. It certainly seems possible. you may choose to write the thesis after you’ve written your body because your argument may slightly change during the writing process. August 31st. but it’s certainly to your advantage to spend some time familiarizing yourself with what makes for a good essay. but the process of writing them will help you refine your own ideas. that your essays could keep you out. These two stages of the writing process should take about 6 minutes. Don’t worry too much about refining your thesis statement at this stage. 2010 Structuring Your Analysis of An Argument Essay Tuesday. Not only are the body paragraphs the most important and most heavily weighted part of the essay. Stay tuned. this is no big deal. Although I don’t like to say “never. it should take about 9 minutes tops. practice with Grockit or write some sample outlines and introductions. we’ll look at how to construct the body paragraphs.Your thesis. If you’re taking a computer-based exam. your thesis statement should be organically integrated into your introduction. it’s important that you keep the AWA in perspective: it shouldn’t take up much of your prep time. so we don’t want the thesis seem forced or out of place.” I personally have not heard of a student getting into grad school because of his or her GRE essays. should go at the end of the introduction. which is essentially a sentence or two that outlines your argument. Very often. . but you really want to devote the bulk of your time to the body paragraphs. so do not strictly limit your argument before you begin writing. In fact. The purpose of your introduction is to build up to your argument. No need to leave a chunk of blank space—the magic of word processing takes care of this. if your entire application package is borderline and you write one or two truly awful essays.
Paragraph 5: Briefly recap the flaws you’ve presented and diplomatically explain how those flaws could be remedied to present a stronger argument. whether that is a professional mentor. your reader is probably going to devote no more than three to five minutes to your essay. but your GRE AWA reader doesn’t need to be “drawn in. 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. Since Metropolis is located in a Midwestern state with serious winter weather road delays 4 months out of the year. WPTK would significantly reduce the incidence of auto accidents on Metropolis-area roads by providing traffic updates. or a test-prep specialist. She’s likely to regard literary flourishes as a waste of your energy and her time. in the order that you will make them. and a happy reader is probably more apt to make those tricky 4/5 line calls in your favor. . this strategy can make your reader’s job far easier. Paragraph 3: The second flaw gets the same treatment here as the first one did in the previous paragraph. and wants to do her job as efficiently as possible. make sure that your first paragraph does what it needs to do (recap the argument. the Analysis of an Argument is likely to be the more challenging. if only because the task is not a familiar one to most grad school candidates. the most popular television station in Metropolis. To start your essay on the right note. the ereader is programmed to assess organization. does not currently provide traffic updates to viewers. Of the two essays you’ll be expected to write. and a simple. Also include a “roadmap” of the points that you will make. Remember. and map out your three points) without any attempts at rhetorical bells and whistles. state your position.and getting some feedback from a qualified source. a composition instructor may have told you to use an “attention-getting” opening to really draw your audience in. and well-written topic sentences that use transition words and clearly state the point of each paragraph are a big help in creating the kind of organizational structure that earns you points on test day. The easiest format to use in writing this essay is the classic 5-paragraph style. a professor. Now.” she is getting paid to read your essay. Paragraph 4: The third flaw is explained here in the manner established in the previous two paragraphs. let’s look at a sample prompt and opening paragraph: Prompt: WPTK. Take a few minutes at the beginning of your AWA to outline the five sentences that will begin your paragraphs. Similarly. At some point in high school or college. A good rule of thumb is that your reader should be able to get the gist of your entire argument just by skimming the first sentence of each paragraph. Paragraph 2: Explanation of first flaw– this paragraph should have a strong topic sentence and then several sentences explaining the flaw in detail.
analysis of an argument | No Comments » Tips For Percent Math Problems on the GRE Friday. we will discuss some common problems students encounter with percent problems. which can come in a variety of formats.25 . or 30% off the sales price Percents are basically fractions with a denominator of 100 Learn your common percents.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. the opening paragraph responds to the prompt by taking a clear position. Example: 16% of men. 62. However.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. Verbal. The author weakens his claim by assuming that televised traffic updates would be timely enough to impact drivers’ actions.25 = 1. Here are some quick pointers: Percents MUST be APPLIED to something A percent means nothing on it’s own. 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. Let your concise. August 27th. has merit. Example: 20% = 1/5. and outlining the points that the essay will be addressing. and convert to fractions whenever possible. by failing to explicitly state how the updates would affect auto accidents. the argument also exhibits several serious flaws which could limit its persuasiveness. and by predicting a “significant” reduction in Metropolis auto accidents without specifying what kind of a reduction would be deemed “significant. GRE.” As you can see. referring back to the issue briefly. 2010 In this article. Posted in Essay.
The original x will be bigger. so 8 – 2 = 6 Example: What is 25% of 8? ¼*8 = 2 Use shortcuts 20% less than means 80% of. Which is bigger. and then decreased by 10%. and we’re done! On easy numbers like this. What was the percent change in James’ portfolio? Percent change = $2.000.5)] in one neat step. . So instead of taking 20%.2. 50% more than 10 should be calculated by multiplying 10*3/2 [10*(1 + 0. 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. Percent change = Total Change/Original Value Example: Before trading began. In this case.000/$10. so will yield a larger change. just take 80% and be done. The higher the number. Conversely. the higher the resulting percent Applying the same percent to a higher number will yield a higher number.000 = 0. The 10% decrease in the 2nd round is applied to a higher number. x or the resulting number? The 10% increase of x in the first round increases x by a certain amount. or 20% Don’t add constants and percents You should never find yourself trying to figure out what 5 + 6% equals. James’ investment portfolio grew by $2. it will save lots of time. See the previous example: What is 25% less than 8? ¾*8 = 6. At the end of market close. Example: A certain positive integer x is increased by 10%. but as numbers get larger. you are probably missing what to apply the percent to. it might not seem necessary.000. versus two tougher ones. then subtracting from the original.
20 E. If he sold 40% of the total number of items he offered for sale. how many items did Jerome offer for sale? A. cancel and simplify. $22 B. $24 D. and all the tickets cost the same amount. Now we set up the equation. 750 . and 30% of his remaining items. what was the face value of each ticket price without the sales tax? A. fractions are always easier. 5% = 1/20 since 5*20 = 100. setting x = ticket price before tax.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.94 C.000 items he offered for sale. $30 Without a calculator. $23. 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. 25 people * x dollars/person * 1. If this price included a 5% sales tax. They cancel well. $25. Jerome sold 75% of the first 1.05 (with tax) = $630 Note we can convert to fractions. and are typically neater.
and 1 unknown. you could easily execute a calculation to ascertain them. we want to set up the equation – this will make things a lot easier.500 Again. 4. 1. strategy | No Comments » Number Theory Wednesday.B. T = R + 1.500 We always look back to the original question to see exactly what we are looking for. You probably know most of these principles by memory. And again. switching to fractions is always best. but it’s just an intimidating name for some pretty elementary mathematical principles.800 D. 1000 + R = T Now. T. We can solve! 750 + 3R/10 = 400 + 4R/10 350 = R/10 R = 3.050 C.500 Choice E Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. though. we have 2 equations and 2 unknowns.500 E. is to study these principles enough that they seem intuitive. Quantitative. if not.000 = 4.000 = 3. 1. August 25th. 3. 2010 Number theory may sound scary. Tags: percent Posted in GRE. The best option.500 + 1. This is a good hint that there may be a hidden 2nd equation. Not R. In this case. The GRE . 3/4*1000 + 3/10*R = 4/10*T We have 2 equations.
an odd times an even. Example Question If r is even and t is odd. so that’s even. we could either plug in numbers for r and t.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. 6r + 5t In this example. 5r + 6t E. 5rt means we multiply an odd times that even product. so . D adds an even (odd times even) to an even (even times odd) . 6(r²)t D. 5rt C. or we could use our knowledge of number theory to figure out the answer. 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. just think that a sum is only odd if you add an even and an odd. rt B. which of the following is odd? A. which is even. is even. 1. just think that a product is only odd if you multiply two odds. which is even. making number theory second nature will definitely save you some valuable seconds. times another even (6). C translates to an even (even ²) times an odd (t). We instantly know that rt.
Take one last look at your group. Quantitative | No Comments » All About Remainders Monday. August 23rd. number theory. 49. and 59. 11. and 59. 53. and Grockit makes great practice. For example. write down the numbers. primes Posted in GRE. 2010 Remainders are the NUMERATOR of a fraction from a mixed number that results from division. E adds an even (even times even) to an odd (odd times odd). the less often you’ll have to do this. 43. and thus are not primes). alternatively. If you were asked to identify the primes between 40 and 60. Tags: even. you can just write down the odd numbers in the set. since 19/3 = 6 1/3. E is our answer. is a prime because it can only be evenly divided by itself and 1. which is finally odd. In some questions. in the beginning. practice makes perfect. 47. cross out your multiples of 3. First. for example. you should quickly narrow down the primes with a sequence of steps. Remember. Missing just one prime means missing the question. for example. 19/3 leaves a remainder of 1. But. 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. 53. Some quick tips: . 2. and cross out all the even numbers (all even numbers greater than 2 can be divided by 2. Primes: Prime numbers are numbers whose only factors are themselves and one. odd. Note that 1 is not a prime. 47. cross out multiples of 5 (those that end in 5 or 0) 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 We are left with 41. The more you practice finding primes. and you should notice that 49 is 7 squared. it’s more important to be thorough than it is to be fast. So we are now left with 41. 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 Then.that’s even. you will have to identify less recognizable primes. 43. so be sure to watch out for those pesky composite numbers like 51 and 57.
) It’s clear that we don’t want to whip out our calendars and start counting. when dividing by 9. 2. we only care about the one’s digit. you can see that 15 would go into 150 evenly. Become familiar with common trends or patterns. we are left with a remainder of 2. so your remainder is (15 -4) = 11. In this scenario. assuming n is a positive integer? Firstly. For example. so the result will have a one’s digit of 7. since a remainder of 9 leaves you a new whole number (with a remainder of 0). your remainder options are 0-8. we see how many days pass between January 18 and March 26: January 19-31: 13 + . You then count down four from 150 to 146. 18/4 = 4 2/4. For example. The remainder stays equal to 2. we are looking for the remainder above a one’s digit of either 0 or 5. For example. even though you can reduce 4 2/4 to 4 1/2. Your remainder can only range from zero to the denominator of the fraction. The order goes as follows: Mom. we will be multiplying a term with a one’s digit of 1 with a term with a one’s digit of 7 (3³). 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. If n = 2. I recently came across this question. 4. so 167/(even #) must have an ODD remainder. The remainder should NOT be reduced. Sister.1. Look for the closest whole number and count up or down from there. so we only need to look at the one’s digit while multiplying. which I think is a good introduction: What is the remainder of 3^(4n+3) divided by 5. Brother. We detect the pattern that regardless the value of n. when trying to find the remainder of 146/15. This is easier than recognizing 135/15 is a whole number and counting up. 3^4n = 3^4 = 81 = one’s digit of 1. when dividing by 5. Dad. it probably is…. When and number with a one’s digit of 7 dividing by 5. We can break 3^(4n+3) into 3^4n * 3^3 by the rules of exponents. 3^4n = 3^8 = 81*81 = one’s digit of 1. If Dad takes out the trash on January 18th. who takes out the trash on March 26th? (There are 31 days in January and 28 days in February. 3.) Instead. multiples of even numbers are even. If n = 1. (A general rule of thumb is that if you think it’s taking too long.
555 repeating C.125 .February 1-28: 28 + March 1 – 26: 26 = 67 days. 1. which of the following is a possible value of (x² +2x – 7)/9? A. 8.125 1/9 = . the quicker you can eliminate answer choices are clearly wrong.375 The more familiar with these you become.125 = 0.5 1/3 = . so we count 3 from Dad. Fractions and Decimals are the same thing You should be familiar with common decimals. leaving us with Mom on March 26th. 0.11 repeating Note that multiplying these by constants will leave similarly instructive results. 4.166 repeating E. For example: If x is an integer. such as: 3/8 = 3*1/8 = 3*0. mainly: 1/2 = .33 repeating 1/4 = .20 1/6 = .4 D. 67/4 leaves you will a remainder of 3. -2.166 repeating 1/8 = .268 B.25 1/5 = .
are 1. 32. Only choice (B) fits that description. but it has many practical applications. 108 can be written as 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 3. The multiples of an integer x are the infinite products of x and another integer. August 19th. (D) by a factor of 6. So. Factor trees help us simply radicals (answer choices with radicals are almost always in simplified form). 16. This practice may seem purposeless. A factor tree is a diagram that breaks down a number into its corresponding factors. Notice that all the ends of the tree (those numbers that cannot be divided) are primes. 8. ((C) is divided by a factor of 5. a.a. 92 can be written as 2 x 2 x 23. The easiest way to do is to make a factor tree. -24. for example. . Let’s see an example: Above are the factor trees for 108 and 92. 8.k.) Join a Grockit game for more GMAT math practice with Jake! Tags: remainders Posted in GRE. -4. -16. even if they do not ask you explicitly. We know that when divided by 9. Quantitative | No Comments » Prime Factorization Thursday. or. -8. and (E) by a factor of 8. The factors of 8.We don’t have to start plugging in. 64… and so on. 0. Prime Factorization: Prime factorization. A factor is a divisor. 2. more simply. -2. The multiples of 8 include …-32. and -8. many questions will require you to find the factors of an integer. 2010 Finding factors of integers should become second nature on the GRE. 4. 2² x 3³. -1. a number that an integer can be evenly divided by. the factor tree. the remainder will be a number repeating to the right of the decimal place. is a process by which we present an integer as a product of all its primes. or 2² x 23.
Thus. When the calculations are more difficult. To simply a radical. is not always so easy. Greatest Common Factor: The greatest common factor (GCF) of two or more integers is the greatest integer that is a factor of those integers. I know that sqrt96 = √16 x√3 x √2. which is 4². For example. Similarly. I know that 96 is the same thing as 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3. however. Since I am trying to simplify the square root. you can use the factor tree to directly arrive at your answer. or 16.For example. so I’ll use factor trees to directly arrive at the answer. you will be able to arrive at the answer mentally. Because I have five 2s in my primes. Suppose I want to find the GCF of 256 and 72. chances are you won’t see √96 in your answer choices. I need to figure out the biggest square in those primes. first diagram the factor tree: So. . Sometimes. you’ll probably see the simplified version. the GCF of 24 and 16 is 8. since 8 is the greatest number that is a factor of both. Taking the GCF of bigger numbers. Simplifying this. if your answer to a multiple choice question was √96. the GCF of 60 and 15 is 15. I know that the biggest perfect square is 2 x 2 x 2 x 2. however. I know that √96 = 4√6. I’m not quite sure what it is off the top of my head.
using each prime the smallest number of times in any of the factorizations. Quantitative | No Comments » How to Get the Most Out of Your GRE Lessons Monday. we have the common factors 17 and 2.Once you perform the prime factorization. in this case. only 2 is common to both. In this case. prime factorization Posted in GRE. Note: this one would be pretty difficult to figure out without the factor tree. The best way to get faster at prime factorizations and GCFs is to practice. 102 has the lowest power of 2. 2010 . August 16th. you can practice without looking for sample problems–just make some up on your own. The good news is. first find how many primes are common to each prime factorization. is the GCF. it helps to write each as a product of powers: 256 = 2^8 and 72= 2³ x 3². To find the GCF. so 2³. Using factor trees would yield: 68 = 2² x 17 102 = 2 x 3 x 17 204= 2² x 3 x 17 Here. Let’s see another example: GCF of 68 and 102 and 204. 2³ is smaller than 2^8. so our GCF is just 2 x 17 = 34. The GCF is the product of all the primes that appear in each factorization. Tags: factor tree. or 8.
Can you give me some tips?” I may have tips to offer. 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. so don’t be afraid to approach yours to ask him or her to try to reframe the issue for you. but without specific knowledge of your trouble areas. Can you explain to me why choice C is the correct answer. If you’re not sure what. I’m here to offer a few tips to the people in that last group.People prepare for the GRE in many different ways. but will be more than happy to put that aside to answer your questions or discuss your concerns. there’s no guarantee that I’ll be giving you the kind of information that will help you as an individual test-taker. Experts often have time before or after class specifically set aside for questions. waiting for someone just like you to come in for help. Come prepared! If there’s any kind of background information that you should know before class. ask your Expert. you need to be doing.) Online learning tools also have potential applications that many people never fully explore. 1. if you arrive 20 minutes early. And homework regarding a lesson you’ve already learned will help cement the methods that have been demonstrated. if anything. 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. And of course. “I have trouble with Reading Comp. Post questions on Grockit forums and reach out for help. 4. 2. I can’t speak for other Experts here. . 3. and sometimes all a student needs is for something to be explained in a different way. others spend time on Grockit. “I’ve noticed that I have trouble with Reading Comp detail questions. A great question is something like. Don’t be afraid to look for clarification if something doesn’t make sense. Often. People learn differently. Take advantage of all the resources available to you. he or she should be happy to clarify any issues regarding the type or amount of work you should do. some take a class or have a private tutor. know it. to help them get the most out of one-on-one time with their teachers or tutors (herein referred to as your Expert). Ask the right questions. Some use books to do practice questions on their own. like the one in this sample. but I know that I find it much easier and more productive to address specific queries than extremely general ones. Just because one of your classmates understands the question doesn’t mean that you are expected to understand it the same way. you’ll find your Expert sitting. (The Expert may be reading the newspaper or Facebooking on his or her Blackbery while waiting. In live classes. That’s what the Experts are here for. there are huge communities of online students and Experts who can give you feedback or guide you in the right direction.
Oh My! Friday. Dividing by 5 is the same as multiplying by 2/10. Be proactive about your practice and about asking questions. strategy | 1 Comment » Fractions.14 1/6 = 0.125 1/7 = ~0. quickly convert to a fraction. and your Experts and fellow students could probably use a light moment as much as you could. too. the GRE is a challenging test.5 repeating . finally. you should take some time out to play.25 1/3 = 0. And. mistakes should be learned from and sometimes laughed off.5. But questions are sometimes funny.20 1/4 = 0. So remember that even as you’re working hard. Proportions and Ratios. and take advantage of the many ways that you can study for the exam. fractions will be easier to perform arithmetic. such as in a number line. remember that your GRE prep is a collaboration between you.333 repeating 1/2 = 0.111 repeating 1/8 = 0. Some common ones to memorize: • • • • • • • • 1/9 = 0. your fellow students. and your future is a serious thing. preparing for it is often a rigorous experience. try to have some fun with the studying process! Yes. try to enjoy the process as much as you can. August 13th. and remember to take time to relax a little! What are some of your favorite ways to relieve GRE preparation pressure? Posted in GRE. 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. The writers recognize time is short. and will give you ostensibly time-consuming calculations. 2010 GRE questions are notorious for seeming harder than they actually are. GRE Prep.166 repeating 1/5 = 0. Even if given a decimal (or percent) looks easy. To summarize. 90% of the time. Decimals are sometimes more useful when comparing numbers relative to one another. Finally. which occur in a large portion of the questions. One way to mitigate this is by retaining a rockstar aptitude in manipulating fractions. but these questions are the exception. and your Expert.
Forget the “:” with ratios. If you have some. Notice that whatever x is. for example. Ratios A ratio is both a comparison and division. (x must be an integer. 12 E. A denominator of a reduced fraction with a multiple of 7 will not have a finite decimal. but generally practice and familiarity with the numbers helps a lot in doing quick arithmetic. There can be 14 boys and 4 girls. Adding the 12 waiters. whatever. How many cooks does the restaurant have? A. the new ratio becomes: C/W = 3x/(13x + 12) .375) Denominators are super important. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters changes to 3 to 16. Do with this what you like: 7G = 2B or B = 7G/2. Since we don’t know the initial scale of the number of cooks and waiters. Note that when you have a ratio like B/G = 7/2. or 70 boys and 20 girls. we can express this scale by “x”. and what you cannot. Questions that insert absolute numbers should be taken with caution. but can easily be derived by multiplying the original fraction (1/8 * 3 = 3/8 = 0. When 12 more waiters are hired. 4 B.• Note: Multiples of these. Keep in mind what you can logically combine. There are many many more shortcuts. For example: At a certain restaurant. GRE writers love to provide ratios (which are multiplicative relationships) and then add an absolute component (addition/subtraction). the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters is 3 to 13.375) are also important to remember. leave them in the comment field. unless of course he chops his finger off by accident!) “When 12 more waiters are hired” is the insertion of an absolute. such as 3/8 (0. “The ratio of boys to girls is seven to two” can be expressed as the proportion: B/G = 7/2. 6 C. C/W = 3x/13x. and can simply be treated as such.125 * 3 = 0. 15 The key here is setting up the equation. we don’t actually know the number of girls and boys. This list is by no means extensive. since you can’t have a portion of a cook. 9 D. the ratio will hold true.
) After cross-multiplying. we want to cancel out the 3’s in both the numerator. we get: 16x = 13x + 12 3x = 12 x=4 Sweet. and we are taught to cross-multiply and solve for that variable. recall that x represents the scaling factor. Answer A. which we originally represented by 3x. 3*4 = 12 cooks. 450 B. This implies that the relationship of fertilizer per square foot is uniform. 3200 The key word here is “spread evenly”. A/F = 9600/1200 = 3600/x Clearly. there is a variable in one of the four slots. 750 D. 2400 E. The stimulus asks for the number of cooks. right? Well. how many pounds of fertilizer were spread over an area of the field totaling 3600 square yards? A. That’s 120 fingers. however. So. (More on this below. Proportions A proportion is two ratios set equal to each other like the question above. 600 C. it’s best to reduce top-bottom AND left-right before cross multiplying. For example: A football field is 9600 square yards. This will ensure you work with the smallest (and easiest) (and fastest) numbers possible. If 1200 pounds of fertilizer are spread evenly across the entire field. we can eliminate the zeros on the left side: 9600/1200 = 3600/x 96/12 = 3600/x . Choice D. Before you do that.“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. and you can set equal the relationship of the wholes to the relationship of the parts. Generally.
. You can take it from here. Believe it or not. you’ve heard of mnemonic devices. Family. Phylum. 2010 Studying reams of vocabulary words can be a mind-numbing process. ratios Posted in GRE. a career in public administration will not require you to know the proper definition of peregrinate. we’ll either cower in fear or reject the whole endeavor completely. 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). Order. most of us will either behave like a lost child or a disaffected teenager. that is. Chances are. Also. so long as you are reducing by the same factor. Quantitative | No Comments » Mnemonic Vocabulary Tuesday. To refresh your memory (I wonder if there’s a mnemonic to remember the definition of mnemonic?). acronym. 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. start with small numbers. that aids recall. the ETS has a reason for this.Then we can divide 96/12: 8 = 3600/x Here. If you’ve made it through college. we can actually use creativity to improve the efficiency of learning vocabulary words. You’ll eventually work your way down as the numbers progressively get easier. Luckily. which are both divisible by 400 to get: 24/1200 = 9/x. often a rhyme. Check out Grockit for more quantitative practice! Good luck! Tags: fractions. No need to go for the biggest common factor. our brains are a built for more complicated and efficient processes than rote memorization. we can still reduce left-to-right. proportions. or anecdote. a mnemonic is a linguistic device. When faced with the task of memorizing 1000+ unfamiliar (and sometimes useless) words. This is one of my favorites from AP Biology that helped me remember the order of taxonomic classifications: Kingdom. Genus. August 10th. For this question we could have started by canceling 9600 and 3600 in the numerators. Class.
Putting rum in your nostrils sounds like those many specious home remedies for preventing colds that you may have heard about (most of which have been debunked by scientists). you may be thinking that such information lends itself well to a mnemonic. but it has special relevance for me. 1. the English word for “snake oil” is “nostrum. but obscure words may not. that’s all you need. The first definition is basically the same definition as the more familiar word panacea–a cure-all. but the best part is.” In essence. come on for God sakes! You likely may have heard a different version of this. I will think of a mnemonic for that definition. . and.” The Mnemonic: Abrogate= Abolish This is an example of the simplest kind of mnemonic you can imagine.Species = King Philip. but I find it pretty effective. 1. is best encapsulated by the idiomatic expression “snake oil. If it doesn’t. Indeed.” which is defined as “a worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills. There is no fancy anecdote. There’s no use in struggling to remember the mnemonic device on top of remembering these words. Now. this mnemonic as not as catchy as some others you’ve heard. they all will help you memorize this specific information. Indeed. both those words begin with “ab. a hypothetical remedy for all ills. Remember. The second definition.” Because I find this definition more interesting and useful. But. I would recognize the word. once sought by the alchemists 2. it dawned on me. I remember having a difficult time remembering the word when I was studying for my GRE. Abrogate: 1. Nostrum: 1. drop it. rhyme. Sometimes. Let’s look at a few examples. that is partly true. Abrogate means almost the same thing as Abolish. Then. or acronym here.Patent medicine whose efficacy is questionable Nostrum is a pretty rare word but a surprisingly useful one since one of its definitions is pretty unique. I would know that it had a simple definition. then use it. just an easy way to remember a close synonym. 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. Hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases. if the mnemonic works for you. of course. The Mnemonic: Put rum in your nostrils (or nose) to cure a cold. though. but I could never recall it. Revoke formally Abrogate is not a notoriously complicated word.
So.9 %. This does not mean that 3/4 of the party goers are boys. but reverses the process. and then I take the ratio quantity of boys. Stated algebraically. 3/7. 40% of the party goers are male. and form the fraction 3/7. then 4/10 or 2/5 of the party is male and 3/5 of the party is female. 4/7. respectively. It’s a brilliant site that exploits the power of online collaboration (not unlike Grockit) to enhance education. They may be a bit intimidating if you are unfamiliar with how to approach them. respectively.com. nor does it mean that 4/3 of the party goers are girls. visit mnemonicdictionary. For example. and the GRE is no exception. I add 3 and 4 (=7). and then form a fraction in which this sum is the denominator. or 57. a ratio of boys to girls (Boys: Girls) at a party is 3:4. That means that for every 3 boys at the party. If 40% of the party is male. there are 4 girls.1%. if we have a ratio x:y. You can also write this ratio as 3/4. Let’s see what an example using this rule might look like: Example 1: At a party. If you do want to find out what proportion or percentage of the party goers are boys or girls. if I want to find out what proportion of the party goers are boys. you add the numerator and the denominator. or 42. We now have to find the ratio. you’ll learn that ratio and proportions problems require only simple algebra.For an impressively comprehensive list of vocabulary mnemonics. but once you learn the basics. A ratio is a kind of fraction that measures two or more quantities in a group. 3. . of the party goers are boys. August 5th. Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments » Ratios and Proportions Thursday. What is the ratio of male to female party goers? This question uses the aforementioned rule. of the party goers are girls. 2010 Ratios and proportions are favorites of most standardized tests. then x / x+y and y /x+y express the proportions of x to the group and y to the group.
78 At first. Extra Credit: If there were 66 people at the party. which of the following could be the number of people at the party? A. we can simply express the ratio of males to females as 2/3 or 2:3. but you do. so our answer MUST be a multiple of 11. If this is a right triangle. 50 B. Note: If the question had asked for the proportion of females to males. 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. We know that the sum of the quantities. 4x= 4*6= 24 men 7x=7*6=42 women That last example was pretty simple. The only multiple of 11 in our choices is C. 11. then the two acute angles must equal 90 degrees. how many males and females would be there? If 11x=66. but how about a tougher one that uses the same concept: Example 3: In a right triangle. just add the coefficient x to each quantity and add: 4x+7x=11x. let’s write down some important info. Though we cannot find the total number of items in a group (e. 64 C. the two acute angles have a ratio of 1:5. the answer would be 3:2. number of people at the party) if we are given a ratio. represents a fraction of the total number of party goers. What’s the measure of the larger acute angle? Before we apply the same method.Since we have two proportions expressed with the same denominator (2/5 and 3/5). so: 1x+5x =90 6x=90 x=15 The larger angle is 5x. we can deduce some important information about the number of items. Since the sum of the angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees.g. 66. you may think that you do not have enough information to answer this question. 66 D. so 5*15 = 75 . To answer a problem like this. then the largest angle is 90 degrees. 70 E. then x = 6.
Inferences must be drawn from fact. August 3rd. 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. only the positive solution remains and the information is sufficient. but not too much. unless necessary. we will cover many types of geometric scenarios encountered on the GRE. Quantitative | No Comments » Geometry Series Part 1: Circles Inscribed in Squares Tuesday. . Today. we’ll explore circles inscribed in squares. If one solution is negative and the other is positive. Be careful in DS questions that pose equations in the context of quadratic equations with two solutions. (Squares can be turned into triangles.Hopefully.) Lengths cannot be negative. but there are numerous shortcuts to geometry questions that will save you time. Just because it looks like 90-degrees doesn’t mean it is! (Many of these common inferences will be detailed in this series. perimeter. 2010 In this series. See if you can spot some ratio problems when you’re practicing on Grockit. A basic knowledge of simple formulas (area. For circles: • • • • • d=2r and all lines from the center to the exterior equal r. Trust the pictures. draw in lines that create simple shapes.) Shared angles will normally not be explicitly stated. for example. ratios and proportions aren’t so scary anymore.) is essential. etc. 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. Tags: ratios and proportions Posted in GRE.
2010 « Older Entries Don’t Get Lazy for your GRE Studies. doing many practice problems. you know everything about the circle! Use π = 22/7 with caution. 2. Two important takeaways: 1. eliminate answer choices that ONLY have π’s in them or don’t have any at all. we can actually find the length of the hypotenuse of the internal triangle (s = d = 2r. Get a Study Rountine Down! Thursday. For squares: • • • The diagonal equals s√2. the GRE study experience will take several months. Typically. When dealing with circles along with other figures. Follow the trail. the side equals the diameter. Post below with other helpful tips for your fellow GREers. The intersection of the diagonals creates a right angle. Get Started Early . 2010 For many. taking practice tests and then mentally preparing for the tests in the final few weeks. Remember 22/7 > π. If given the length of the side of the square in the above image. you will be provided with one bit of information that tells you a whole lot. Next Lesson: Inscribed Triangles. perhaps taking a review class. Usually. Archive for September. Shaded Areas Find the large area and subtract the small area from it. your answer will look like x + yπ. 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. When a circle is inscribed inside a square. September 30th. so the hypotenuse = (s√2)/2). since it creates 45-degree angles. Never assume without proof. These months take the form of figuring out what is on the test.• • If you know r. if not everything.
Create a Study Schedule and Stick With It Now that you know exactly what the GRE is. Regardless. etc. and go somewhere quiet where you can concentrate. you should think about creating a schedule (Perhaps Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 3 hours each. sleep and exercise will work wonders on your body in these last few months. don’t study in environments that don’t simulate a real test. You should know that you have taken the necessary steps to prepare for the GRE and should have practiced literally 1000s of problems. A class will probably meet once or twice a week for several hours and if you don’t take a class. and what the different sections include (there are millions of resources out there. ETS gives you access to a few tests. discipline yourself! Some people might take longer than others for this practice stage. You should know where you stand and what areas you might want to focus on in your last few weeks. Regardless. books. you should focus on them and master them. etc). and perhaps get on a workout regimen to burn off some of that extra stress that preparation can cause. Assuming you are working or still in college during this process. This will be after you have covered again areas that you struggle with. what kinds of questions. When you sign up for the GRE. online resources. get plenty of sleep. and then 6 hours on the weekend. something like that). This should include diligence of what the GRE is all about. Eat healthy. In this final run. 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. Also. Essentially you should know what you are getting into. The right combination of diet. You will be feeling good about yourself in the weeks leading up to the test.Overall. you will probably want at least 2 months for this practice phase and you will want a schedule. how many questions. and confidence is key!! . create a study schedule and stick to it. Practice tests opportunities abound. guides. this might take a few weekends to get up to speed. It will provide you with increased brainpower and will be a great mental stimulus to give you a boost on test day. but you will eventually figure out when you are ready to start taking practice exams. the next step is to figure out how you are going to study and for how long. you will come across a lot. Don’t like quantitative comparisons? Then spend a few weeks to tackle these types of problems. what it tests exactly. don’t drink wine. it is smart to begin initial preparation a few months before your test. Some people might want to consider taking a class because they don’t have the time to self-study or need the direction. If you are missing triangle and circle problems. Others might want to buy preparation materials (such as the Official Guide for GRE Review books) and get started that way. Look online and ask your friends. Study as if you were taking the test. Relax and Be Confident About a month before your test date you should be feeling confident and relaxed. relax and be confident. don’t watch tv. Don’t listen to music.
” “because.” Trigger words. A pre-test routine and a schedule are imperative for a successful result on test day. words like “despite. Here are some words that will often signal continuation or support: additionally. Follow Your Regular Routine The day of your test. sentence completions do not only test you on vocabulary. You must be able to recognize the logical direction of a sentence. and cause and effect are three common types of logic that sentence completions can exhibit. the semicolon and the colon can function in the same way. just do something relaxing and know that your months of preparation will serve you well. September 28th. Bottom line. . don’t do anything that your body or mind is not used to. GRE Prep. If you don’t normally. as it may throw you off. logical reasoning is just as important. as you know. likewise. are those words that tell us what logical direction a sentence is going. then have five cups of coffee. strategy | 1 Comment » Sentence Completions: Contrast vs. indeed. relax and don’t do much of anything. Also. While knowledge of vocabulary is necessary for these questions. 2010 As you may have figured out. don’t do anything out of the ordinary. Get excited for the test and for your preparation and it will no doubt pay great dividends on your day. 1. Continuation / Support: Certain trigger words or phrases indicate that a blank supports or continues an idea in the sentence. on the day before your test. If you routinely drink coffee in the morning. In the end. Good luck!! Posted in GRE. like five cups. then don’t have one. as you could freak out or have a case of the jitters (literally).Don’t Cram Finally. do not think about the test.” and “surreptitiously. Get plenty of sleep.” “benumbed. then. at least 8 hours – your mind will not function well if you are tired and/or if you have your mind on something else.” and “surprisingly” become as important as words like “despotic. too. Go to bed with the peace of mind that you will do fantastic the next day. Do not cram. 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. Will one clause support another? Will it contrast another? Will it provide the effect of a cause? Contrast. furthermore. continuation. I like to have a big breakfast. also. as food is proven to give you a mental boost. Continuation Tuesday. and.
while. A cause and its effect are rarely synonymous in meaning. In this example. we know that the teacher’s initial anger that characterizes the first blank must be diminished by his sincere promise to apply himself. Essentially. hence. Indeed. despite. Trigger words signaling contrast can be explicit or implicit.Here’s an example: Some people believe that there is no such thing as true ——-: every action. surprisingly. If there is “no such thing” as ______. but. We cannot readily identify a word in the sentence that is either synonymous or antonymous with our blank. they say. If John failed a test he had been studying for. Some implicit examples. the answer is “benevolence. The answer to this sentence is “berate…abated. we have an explicit contrast phrase. Make sure you keep this in mind when you encounter these cause and effect trigger words: because. on the contrary. Note Here’s an example: Even though the teacher continued to ——– her underachieving student. notwithstanding. We have to use cause and effect reasoning to figure out a prediction. is motivated by some degree of self-interest. include “ironically. Here’s a simple example. but there is an important distinction. therefore. her initial anger had been —— by his sincere promise to apply himself in the future. the clause following the colon defines the blank. unexpectedly.” 2. 3. yet. In this example. which are often harder to detect.” Consequently. Cause and Effect: Cause and effect signal words are a bit like continuation/support words. Contrast: Certain trigger words also can indicate a contrast with an idea in the sentence. angry criticism and then a mollified attitude. rather than. “even though. every action is “motivated by a degree of self-interest. as a result. on the other hand. Even with this oversimplified example. paradoxically. the clause following the colon defines the blank negatively. given. still. thus. even though.” then our prediction must be the opposite of self-interest. We have two contrasting ideas: harsh. illogically. in contrast.” which satisfies our contrast. he would probably feel very disappointed. he felt ______. nevertheless. . In this example. the colon functions as a trigger word signaling continuation or support. Some explicit examples include although. we can distinguish a cause and effect question from a contrast or continuation question. in order to. consequently. nor are they directly opposite in meaning. Because John failed the test that he had been rigorously studying for. and. if…then.
Use this flexibility to your benefit and plan around your academic calendar when scheduling your exam. Although John failed the test that he had been rigorously studying for. Verbal | No Comments » Taking the GRE While Still in College Monday. why don’t we change “because” to a contrast word. It will help you avoid simple mistakes that may cost you big points on the exam. an appropriate prediction might be “fine.For practice.’ we must radically change our approach to the problem. Happy studying! When should I take the exam? Since the GRE is a computer adaptive test. make sure you schedule it early in the term before your other campus responsibilities start becoming serious. Now. Lastly. the best time to take the GRE is definitely while you are still in college. 2010 While some graduate school applicants have been out of school for a while. GRE scores are good for five years so it’s easier to take it now. . September 27th. With just a change from ‘because’ to ‘although. Posted in GRE. rather than when you’re working a 9-5 job and haven’t studied for anything in three years. Avoid scheduling your GRE for the middle or end of the semester/quarter when you will be stressed with midterms and finals. Sign up early if you want to get one of the noon times. he felt ______. Since college students tend to be night owls. Also.” Remember. mentally take note of the trigger words in a sentence. Whenever you practice on Grockit. be sure to check your extracurricular activities to make sure that your group doesn’t have a performance.” “undiscouraged. study during the year but schedule the exam a few weeks after finals so that you will have some time to unwind. The most common time to take the GRE is at the end of your junior year or beginning of senior year. while you’re still in the habit of studying and taking exams.” “undeterred. and see how that might change our prediction. unlike many other graduate school exams. If you take it at the end of junior year. as they tend to fill up very quickly. we cannot simply gloss over the trigger words in sentence completions. consider which time slot you would prefer to take your exam. Here are some FAQs about taking the GRE as an undergraduate. it is offered virtually every day of the year. Sentence Completion. some test centers offer testing times at both 8 am and noon. If you have the option of taking it during the beginning of senior year.” “happy. event or gathering scheduled the week of your exam.
Let’s look at few different types of polynomial problems on the GRE. You need to set aside time regularly. help your sanity by planning ahead and minimizing other stresses as much as possible. With extracurricular activities.Subtraction: If you are subtracting two polynomials. If you’re the type that studies better by yourself. an online or in-person class might be best for you. whether on your own or with professional help. If you’re an active learner. If you have a lengthy paper due three days before your exam. examine your schedule for the last few weeks leading up to your GRE. make sure you distribute the minus sign.” “3x² – y. there are myriad options for GRE prep. It’s normal to be nervous and stressed out as your test date approaches. For the GRE Quantitative section. or multiplication. How do I balance GRE preparation with my regular course load? Plan ahead. Go to the www. and part-time campus jobs on top of academic classes. you’ll be expected to know how to manipulate polynomials. subtraction. Keep your study habits in mind. intramural sports.What are my options for GRE prep? Whether it’s an online course. 1. is like taking an extra class. college students are always busy.ets. in-person class or simply buying books and practicing on your own. Visit Grockit to join an interactive game and check out the Grockit forums and connect with other GRE test-takers. preferring to discuss methods and terms with others. just as you would for any other class. you might be better served by buying some of the many prep books on the market. Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments » Polynomials Friday.org/gre and download their free Powerprep® Software to access practice tests so you can get a gauge of your raw performance.” and “a+b” are simple examples of polynomials. “2x+3y. try to finish that assignment early so that you can keep your focus on the GRE. If you’re taking the exam during the academic year. September 24th. Example 1: (4x²+7x+11) – (x²+14x+15) What this means is: . to practice problems and take practice exams so you can work on your pacing. But preparing for the GRE. Compare this with your target GRE score to help you decide what type of help you need. 2010 A polynomial is any expression that combines two or more monomials using addition.
(x-y)² = x² -2xy + y² C. (12x² + 6x – 3 ) / 3 = 4x² +2x – 1 3. A. Dividing Polynomials: dividing polynomials may look daunting. Example 3:. Binomial Products: Rather than use the distributive method (FOIL) every time. (x+y)² = x²+2xy +y² Note: These three products should be memorized to save valuable time on the GRE. what is the value of x²-y² Because we know that x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y). here are some quick ways to multiply familiar binomials. Average of polynomials: When finding the average of polynomials. but just use the distributive property. add the expressions: 12x² + 6x -3 Divide the sum by 3 (we are finding the average. Example 4: (32(a²)b + 12a(b³)c) / 8ab = 32(a²)b / 8ab + 12a(b³)c / 8ab = 4a + (3/2) (b² )c 5.4x² + 7x +11 – x² – 14x – 15 Combine like terms: 3x² – 7x – 4 2. If x-y=7 and x+y=13. add the expressions and divide by the number of different self-contained expressions. so we divide by how many items in the list there are). Miscellaneous Polynomial Question Types . What’s the average of: (5x²+10x-7) + (3x²-4x+4) + 4x² First. then our calculation is limited to (7)(13)=91 4. Example 2. (x-y)(x+y) = x²-y² B.
If you find yourself doing tons of calculations. Example 7: What is the sum of the reciprocals of x² and y²? So. When you see a very complicated expression like this. and we can. Let’s try some factoring: numerator: 4x³ – x = x ( 4x² – 1) [That's the only way we could factor it ] denominator: (2x+1) (6x-3) = (2x+1)* 3(2x-1) Hmm. x (4x²-1) = x (2x+1) (2x-1) So: x (2x+1)(2x-1) / 3(2x+1)(2x-1) = x / 3 NOW we can plug in. we will yield the same denominator in both expressions.Example 5 : What is the value of (10001)² – (9999)² When you see a problem like this. Remember. you can be confident that you overlooked a simpler solution to the problem. the denominator has the expression (2x+1). we want to add 1/x² + 1/y². say 10001=x and 9999=y. 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. do not think you can just square each of these numbers. I bet we can manipulate the numerator a little further to yield this expression. Don’t plug in the 9999 immediately just because you think it’s an easy way out of doing algebra. y² / x²*y² + x² / x²*y² =( x² + y²) / (x²*y²) . It will make you miserable. Another trap here is that you may want to FOIL out the denominator. no calculator is allowed. we can make this a lot easier with the rule x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y) With that logic. What’s the problem? We can’t add numerators unless we have the same denominator. If we consider each number a variable. your first instinct should be to manipulate the numerator and denominator until you can comfortably cancel out expressions. 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.
“therefore”.000. September 22nd. don’t immediately plug in 994. This is known as Structural Agreement. and when added. As always. Because of the ——– weather. If you need a little refresher with factoring. equal 36. “in addition” etc. our goal here is to think of two numbers that. certain problems that seem to require extreme calculations really just require some crafty algebraic manipulation. mellifluous . you know that the two blanks should correspond. If one blank should be a positive word. A. then and as a result should give you a clue that the blank agrees with the rest of the sentence. scan it quickly to see if it has any structural key words. How about 6 and 6? So. Here are two situations which indicate that the sentence contains a structural agreement Case 1: Cause and Effect A cause and effect sentence usually runs like this: “Because…. the other blank should also be a positive word and vice versa. hence. Let’s try a one blank sentence first. symbiotic D. Words such as because.. therefore. Quantitative | No Comments » Structural Agreement Wednesday. (A second post on Structural Contrast will follow soon). attenuating E. Problem Solving. (x+6)(x+6)…or (x+6)² Plug it in: 1000² = 1. balmy B. when multiplied. then…”. If you see certain words such as “because”. consequently. Having a thorough knowledge of polynomials will help you approach such problems the right way.000 As you can see. Give these strategies a try during practice on Grockit. We can easily factor this polynomial. the children spent the day playing in the yard. equal 12. This is particularly important in two-blank sentence completions. 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. torrid C.Example 8: What’s the value of x²+ 12x + 36 when x = 994 Like our earlier examples. Tags: polynomials Posted in GRE.
The film was harshly criticized for its ——–. such as. rather than stay indoors. the agreement might not be indicated so obviously as shown by the next two examples. such as is used to indicate that the sentence contains a structural agreement. Imperfections B. From there. E. This is where part of the sentence elaborates and sometimes strengths what’s said in the other half. aboriginal E. such as placing a plasma-screen television in an early twentieth-century living room. apply what other vocabulary guessing skills such as using roots if you don’t know what the words mean. Cummings has been labeled an ——– because he rejected traditional poetic forms for his unique experimental ones. so I would pick choice C. it defines the blank for you.The “because” should tell you that the weather was good. which they are struggling to overcome.E. aberration C. iconoclast D. for example. Because the weather was good. “Anachronism” means out of its proper time period and I can guess what this word means from the roots “ana” and “chrono”. Is “aberration” the definition of such a person? Is “aboriginal”? You can eliminate choices when you realize that the blank is defined by certain phrases in the sentence. Case 2: Strengthening words A little different from cause and effect are strengthening or amplifying sentence. tempos Sometimes. in other words. The word accompanying in the following examples suggests that the blank echoes or strengthens “unemployment”. . Strengthening words are also. What follows such as defines or is an example of the first half of the sentence. exigencies E. Here’s another example. A. “Placing a plasma-screen television in an early twentieth-century living room” suggests that the TV is out of place. A. injustices C. This means that you are looking for a positive word to fill in the blank and can get rid of torrid and attenuating. E. anachronisms D. In the following sentence. Cummings is someone who rejects tradition for experimental forms. This eliminates “affluence”. That family’s many financial woes include unemployment and the accompanying ——–.E. in addition. entrepreneur Because tells you that its an agreement and further. the children could play in the yard outdoors. “infirmity” and “benevolence”. industrial B.
A semicolon is usually to join to clauses that can otherwise stand on its own.” If given any two of the three. You can thus eliminate choice C and E because “excellent” and “laudable” do not indicate the critics’ dislike. Sentence Completion. affluence C. Try this example: Critics of the self-help book deem it ——– folly. Verbal | No Comments » Work and Rates Monday. Specifically. they claim that it advocates ——– that set back women’s social issues by decades. a disturbing… intuitions E. Posted in GRE. More often than not. you should be able to find the third. the clauses agree with one another. a sexist… pestilences C. where a worker’s “efficiency” is calculated by amount completed in a given period of time. but rather simply recognizing their existence. a misogynist… behaviors B. infirmity E. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to pick the immediate answer that fits without checking that it makes sense in context. the agreement might be shown by the semicolon. A. or one explains the other. September 20th. Make sure you keep your units straight. Note that when working together.A. the second clause tells you that they do not like it because it “sets back women’s social issues by decades”. benevolence Other times. Always remember to check if the sentence contains a structural agreement or contrast. penury D. Problems involving “work” are essentially rate problems. “rate equals distance over time. an excellent… protocols D. 2010 There is one very important equation that guides all rate and work questions: r = d/t. the total time to complete the same task will . we typically need to add their separate rates together. a laudable… comportments The word “folly” suggests that the critics do not like the book. Working Together In questions where individuals work at different speeds. This doesn’t mean wasting time and writing each and every one out. affliction B. if the units remain constant.
Train B traveling at 90 m/hr also leaves New York for Dallas at 9 P. Choice (E).25. the decimal is important.be less than BOTH of the individual rates.M. NOT the number of trucks completed in 1 hour. If moving toward or away from each other. Relative Velocity Planes. Nor. we may be looking at a geometry question. Again. The rate of worker #2 is 1/7.com/groups/gre/dashboard”>GRE</a>usually travel toward or away from each other. This can also be 1/6 trucks/1 hour. but not necessarily in proportion. Train C leaves Dallas for New York at 9 P. we instead subtract their speeds to find the relative velocity. We can also see that 3/12 will yield . will it take them to fill 1 truck? A. 42/13 hours/truck = 3 3/13 hours/truck.23 E. If moving in the same direction. be careful of units. When moving at an angle. are you averaging or adding the given times taken.M. approximately how long.31 C.25 The rate of worker #1 is 1 truck/6 hours. in hours. When together. A worker can load 1 full truck in 6 hours. so 3/13 will be slightly lower. Remember the question is asking for the number of hours to fill 1 truck.25. To find this. Objects moving at given speeds on the <a href=”http://grockit. Because the denominator is 13. 60 m/hr . However. 1/6 + 1/7 = 6/42 + 7/42 = 13/42 trucks/1 hour. we find the reciprocal of 13/42. Train A traveling at 60 m/hr leaves New York for Dallas at 6 P. If both workers load one truck simultaneously while maintaining their constant rates. At this point.15 B.M. we may not be able to decide between (D) or (E). 0. If all three trains meet at the same time between New York and Dallas. 3. what is the speed of Train C if the distance between Dallas and New York is 1260 miles? A. 0.47 D. 3. Sometimes walking. we can add their speeds to see their relative velocities. trains and automobiles. A second worker can load the same truck in 7 hours. 2. You must add rates. they will complete 1/6 + 1/7 trucks/ 1 hour. we know the decimal cannot equal .
it will take Train B 6 hours. Train B’s velocity is 30 m/hr. the time will be 3am. Choice (C). This means that B will gain on A at a rate of 30 miles every hour. Man Hours Many times you may be asked to calculate the number of workers would be need to complete a certain task. 1. Feet and minutes are already compared.B. 120 m/hr D. how much snow could 8 plows remove in 5 minutes? A. To catch up the 180 miles. 16. and traveled (1260 – 540) miles. A gets to mile marker 180. we get: .640 D.200 Instead of man-hours. In the three hours from 6pm to 9pm. Rate of Train C = 720 miles/ 6 hours = 120 miles/hour. and they will be at mile marker 540. 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. 180 m/hr Relative to Train A. which has traveled the same time as B (6 hours). 135 m/hr E. It may help consider the unit man-hours as the multiplication between workers and time. 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. here we want to interact plow-minutes. 90 m/hr C. If we divide 123 ft/min by 3 plows. 328 B. For example: Three plows working at identical constant rates can clear 123 ft of snow per minute. which is then compared to the work completed. 984 C. so all we have to is add “plows” to the expression.400 E. So when they all meet up. 131. At this rate.
you would earn slightly more. Tags: man hours. and they include simple interest and compound interest. September 16th. How much money will be in Mr. work and rates Posted in GRE. This is by no means exhaustive. the above equation tells us the amount of interest that would be earned on a principle amount invested (P). since we are multiplying top and bottom by 40. Quantitative | 1 Comment » Interest and Compound Interest Problems Thursday. if we want to increase minutes to 5 and plows to 8. the principle amount of money invested. Riley deposits $500 into an account that pays 10% interest. we can simply insert these into the existing rate.123 ft/minute/3 plows = 41 ft/plow-minute At this rate.060. because we are compounding semiannually. For compound interest. There are LOADS more rate questions. . Example: If you invested $1. the interest rate earned on the principle. compounded semiannually. and if we were compounding quarterly. Let’s look at similar type problem. The resulting equation is: Interest = iPt In basic terms. we would need to divide 10% by 4.000 (P = your principle) for one year (t = one year) at 6% simple interest (i = given interest rate). such as years or months). Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. for a given time (t) at a given interest rate (i). relative volocity. Mr. Note the absolute rate does not change. some are much more difficult. i. t (this is usually stated in periods. 41*40 feet / 40 plow-minutes = 1640 feet / 40 plow-minutes. though this one involves compound interest. Riley’s account at the end of one year? For compound interest. you would get $60 in interest at the end of the year and would have a total of $1. Choice (C). Simple interest is the most basic and is a function of P. first you need to divide the interest rate by how many compound periods there are. So for in the above question. we need to divide 10% by 2 (because of 2 compounding periods). and the amount of time the money is invested. 2010 There are two types of interest problems on the GRE. so the value is constant.
the three types of interest problems you will most likely encounter come test day will be simple interest. The lesson? Compound interest always pays more! Let’s look at another similar type of problem that involves interest.500*3). plus $26.500 (or $2. $22.000 E.25. Mr. Thus. so all we need to do is take 112/8 = 14. we know that this balance of $7. Now. it might be a bit easier to think about this without the use of compound interest.600 C. For the second half of the year. Money invested at x%. Here. Mr. $8. So at the end of the six months. triples in value in approximately every 112/x years.100 D. Riley has $525 because the bank paid $25 in interest ($500*5%) into his account.500*3). at the end of the year. hence the phrase “compounding”. so the final balance at the end of the next 14 year period will be $22. 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. we know that the money triples in value every 14 years. Therefore. which might unnecessarily confuse you.25 more with this compound interest than he would have been paid if he were paid only 10% simple interest (would have been only $550). So first we need to multiply the original $2500 invested by 3 to get the balance at the end of year 14 (because it triples). For this one. Mr.500 will triple again. They will pay 5% interest (10%/2) at the end of six months.25. The correct answer choice is E. Riley has $551. Mr.500 At first glance. compound interest. and word problems involving the mention of . once in 14 years and one more time at the 28th year.500 (or $7. $15. we know that the money will triple exactly twice in 28 years. which is equal to his balance of $500. Further. This interest is equal to $525*5% = $26. compounded annually. you are paid interest on the interest that was paid in prior periods. Compound interest can essentially be translated into “interest paid on interest”. $3. compounded annually. If $2500 is invested at a rate of 8%.750 B.25 paid at the end of the year. Riley earns $1. to get $7. $5. Riley deposited $500 into his account at a rate of 10% compounded semiannually and the bank will divide his interest into two equal parts. Riley is then paid 5% on the $525 balance that was in his account at the end of the first six months.In the above question. plus the $25 interest paid at the end of 6 months. we are given x% as 8%. and then will pay another 5% at the end of the year. Overall. what will be its approximate worth in 28 years? A. meaning that after one period. Mr.
Tags: compound interest.interest. This tells you that her —– demeanor is opposite to her flamboyant acting. As always. scan the sentence for any structural clues and then guess what word could fit in the blank before looking at your options. in contrast. remember that some questions can be solved intuitively. September 14th. Finally. A. 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. structural contrasts indicate that there’s a shift in the sentence. in spite of If you see any of these words upon scanning the sentence. These are usually indicated by contrast words such as although. communicative D. he did not ——– this recent campaign to raise teachers’ salaries. Let’s try a one-blank SC example first. on the other hand. but that can be solved without the application of interest or compound interest methods. Her flamboyant acting during the school play was a distinct contrast to her usual ——– demeanor. Winthrop has always been a leading advocate for educational reform. 2010 Unlike Structural Agreement. however. nevertheless. nor. In a two-blank SC. I would guess “reserved” and see which option is most like that word. This means you’re looking for a word that’s the opposite of flamboyant. despite. interest Posted in GRE. yet. uninhibited B. but. A. rather. The key to deciphering between compound interest and simple interest is to see how many periods the interest is paid…. Although Mr. Let’s try another one-blank SC. taciturn E. the two blanks are likely opposite in meaning. choice D. instead.interest paid in one period is simple interest and interest “paid on interest” in multiple periods is compound interest. It turns out that there is only one choice. breed . theatrical C. Have a compound interest problem or question you can’t figure out? Go to Grockit forums and ask Grockit’s expert tutors for help. polite The structural clue here is a distinct contrast to. Quantitative | No Comments » Structural contrast Tuesday.
Verbal | No Comments » How to Study for GRE Vocabulary Sunday. I would settle for pessimistic … rejection because one does not usually “face encouragement” or “face support”. at the party. miserable… insults B. Recognizing this narrows it down to the options that are a positive word…negative word: choices A and B. jocularly…timidly D. even though she had already faced —— from several talent agencies. gracefully…awkwardly C. 2010 . courteously…impolitely B. hopeful… support D. The contrast in the following example is even easier to spot. My guess for the blank would be “he did not lead the campaign”. the blanks are opposite. humble… derogation Did you find the structural keyword in the above example? I found “even though”. Notice that in both instances. diminish D. A. repent C. Looking at the options. spearhead E. September 12th. 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. His usually churlish brotherin-law behaved — (opposite of churlish) —. lewdly…respectfully E. I would narrow my choices down to choice D and E. Sentence Completion. The songwriter was —— about the prospects for success in Nashville.B. Ultimately. repentently…arrogantly Posted in GRE. Fred was pleased to find that his usually churlish brother-in-law behaved ——–. rather than ——–. rather than —(same as churlish)—. optimistic… rejection E. Moving on to two-blank SC. he was NOT involved in this campaign. irritated… encouragement C. legislate The keyword here is although: this tells you that even though he is a leading advocate. A.
Use flash cards: Flash cards may sound a little old fashioned. Find a Study Buddy: Studying vocabulary in a group or with a friend makes the often tedious task a bit more fun. Without looking in the dictionary. 3. especially when it comes to learning new words. If you have a hard time pronouncing it. read it in a magazine or in a textbook. type it on the computer. through Grockit forum posts. but knowing the correct pronunciation will allow you to use the word with confidence and correctly identify the word if it is spoken. when I hear the word “vociferous.e. the word “soliloquy” contains the roots “sol / solo. easily understandable definition. which can be learned online. Once you learn these roots. i. On the lined side of the card. encourage some friendly competition. If you’re serious about studying vocabulary. write it down. cramming is not very effective. here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your time. 2. and build to it and study from it every day.g. First. copy the unfamiliar words you encounter–found in both the questions and answer choices–in a separate document. write down the roots and their meanings on the flash cards. If you have trouble with the word. 4. write a short. for example. Go for Long Term: If you have the opportunity. competitive games may help you forget that you are studying in the first place. write the word you need to learn on the blank side of the card. write it down somewhere–scrawl it on a napkin.Learning vocabulary words the GRE is a pretty daunting task. For example. If your buddy is up for a challenge. Whenever you come across an unfamiliar word that might be included in a GRE vocabulary list. All you have to do is take turns saying the word aloud and having the other person define the word. 1.” which means offensively loud. add a little phrase or sentence to help you remember the word’s proper use. This may sound unnecessary for a written test. spread out your vocabulary studying over a long time. . you can switch it up: say the definition and ask for the word. but they are still one of the most effective ways to learn new words. 3. Make this document your official personal word list. or in test prep books. a monologue. Or. you can figure out that soliloquy means a speech you make alone or to yourself. I think “vociferous=voice ferocious”). Write down Unfamiliar Words: I consider this step one of the most important and most overlooked.” meaning speech. write the word phonetically under the word (e.” who just started learning to skateboard. creative.g. or. propitiate = pruh-PIH-shee-eyt). or even text it on your cell phone. or add a note that helps you remember that particular word (e. Learn your word roots: Many GRE vocabulary words contain easily identifiable word roots that help you with the answer.” I think of my friend “Tyler. when I hear the word “tyro. Just looking at the immense vocabulary lists offered in prep books can discourage you from starting a study plan. Whether or not you heard it on the street or in a conversation. When you practice on Grockit. In general.” meaning “an inexperienced person / beginner / newbie. and “loquy.” meaning alone.
You may think they are locked in your brain. at the very least. try to implement them into casual speech. 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”. though. n = 7. trying out some of these big words will be welcomed. When you choose something. you need to remember the formula for combination and permutation which involves the ! sign. if I am trying to create a custom striped tie and I need to pick two colors for it out of 7. The keyword that lets you know to use the combination formula is the word choose. 6. When you are ready for a new list. Around the right crowd. 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. Don’t neglect the words you’ve learned. Studying vocabulary should always be a cumulative process. For example. 6! = 6*5*4*3*2*1 Combinations Combinations are used when the order of the objects doesn’t matter. then how many color combinations can I have. Posted in GRE. It may be easier to implement them into an essay or a volunteered comment in class. So in this case. it’ll get a laugh. For any integer n. In general. add them to an existing list. The first thing to know is what ! means. but chances are you may forget their meanings if you don’t keep reviewing. 2010 Let’s go over a few definitions before we go over the different types of combination and permutation questions. The answer is to choose 2 colors out of 7. Repeat: Once you’ve “finished” learning a group of new words. Use the words: This may be the most challenging task in the list. September 10th. Verbal | No Comments » GRE Combinations and Permutations Friday. If you really want to know these words. n! = n*(n–1 )*(n–2)*…*3*2*1. r = 2 and the answer is 7! / (5! * 2!) = 21 Combinations of combinations . it doesn’t matter what order you choose them in. don’t just set it aside.5.
Then for the second seat. the first person you seat is just a point of reference. For example. So in total. 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. And for the third seat. and since one P looks the same as the other P. when arranging n people in a circle. I have 5 people to choose from to fill the seat. there are 120 ways of seating these 5 people. How many different combinations of colors and dashboard options are available to this buyer? We look at seat colors first. For example. There are 7 letters so there are 7! ways of arranging these letters in order. 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. Permutations with repeated terms This type of question usually asks. we get 4 combinations. So the answer is 5! If I have 7 people and five seats. A and E are also repeated twice so you have to divide by 2! twice more. So if you are seating 5 people in 5 seats around a circular table. you have 24 arrangements. order matters. and another number of choices for another. Permutations With permutations. instead of having 120 seating arrangements like before. the word will have repeated letters in it. Choosing 2 out of 5 and applying the formula.What if the question tells you that you have a number of choices for one thing. how many different words can you form from the letters of word. we get 10. But P is repeated twice. Then choosing 3 accessories out of 4. In general. And more often than not. you have to divide 7! by 2!. we have 10*4 seat color-accessories combinations. we thus have 40 accessory combinations to match with it. Permutations in a circle What if you need to sit people around a circular table? Since there is no longer a left end and a right end. With 10 seat-color combinations. there are (n-1)! Number of ways. because for every seat color combination. if we have 5 people and five seats on a plane. there are 4 accessory combinations that we could match with it. I have 3 people and so on. . how many combinations can you have of the two things? For example. I have 4 people to choose from (because one person has already sat down). how many 7-letter words can you form from the word APPEASE. If all the seats are empty and I want to fill the first seat.
we can derive the rest. Common special right triangles include 3-4-5. Therefore. 7-24-25 (and their multiples. if given ANY piece of information about the circle. 30-60-90 triangle are ALWAYS in the ratio 1:√3:2 5. 2010 Geometry Series Part 2: Inscribed Triangles Wednesday. let’s quickly review the essentials. Let’s continue with a standard diagram in which we have an equilateral triangle inscribed in a circle. . 8-15-17. We draw a perpendicular line from the center to the side of the triangle. Pythagorean theorem does not apply! 2. but are NOT proportional.The final answer is Archive for October. Angles and opposite sides are in the same relative size order.) 3. square) are all the same. but this is ONLY true if the triangle is equilateral. but only when a right triangle. circle. which is inscribed in a square. The center point of all three figures (triangle. 45-45-90 triangles are ALWAYS in the ratio 1:1:√2 4. 5-12-13. a² + b² = c². These are formulas/concepts you must know: 1. 2010 To start off. October 27th. square or triangle. If you don’t know it’s a right triangle.
Here are your basic conversions: r = ½d = ½s. That was long to write.Note that the hypotenuses of the smaller triangles are equal to the radius of the circle. finding the height. Memorize this. 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. 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. 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 . multiplying and dividing by 2. 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 should be able to derive essentially any other information. Area of an Equilateral Triangle The area of an equilateral triangle equals (s²√3)/4. where s is the side of the square. solving for the base.
Though test format may not seem like a big deal at first.” While these lessons seem better suited for octogenarians at the Learning Annex. but will come up on quant questions over and over. we must realize that a computer test necessitates its own set of preparations. October 26th. . series | No Comments » Preparing for a Computer Based Test Tuesday. you’ll have to work through four computer tutorials created by the GRE test software. the GRE can be taken as a computer-based or paper-based test.” “How to Select an Answer. Here are some facts and tips to help demystify the GRE Computer Based Test: 1. The four tutorials are “How to Use a Mouse.” and “How to Scroll. you probably have never taken a standardized test on a computer before. and practice makes perfect! Good luck! Read other articles in this series: Geometry Series pt 1. but right before you take the test.” “How to Use the Testing Tools. If you’re like most test-takers. The Tutorials: This might sound silly. In the image above. You may be computer savvy. Be flexible in your reasoning.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. There are infinite variations of these concepts. 2010 In the United States. 2b = a. they do have an important purpose. Quantitative. Circles inscribed in squares Tags: triangles Posted in GRE. This information is never explicitly stated on tests. 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.
That’s right. no saving the hardest for last. there is a way to circumvent this obstacle–use scratch paper. and analogies.. Question Type Order: Unfortunately. 3. you may find a “difficult” question easy. for example. Test Day. It’s also not worth your energy to worry about that. you cannot return to any one question after you’ve answered it. Process of Elimination: You’ve probably already figured this one out. you won’t be comforted by the predictability of sections. And. for an added bonus. No second chances. What’s the Adaptive Mean?: The word “adaptive” in Computer Adaptive Test means that the test adapts to your skill level. That means no underlining words in passages and no crossing out answer choices. after all. The Computer Based Test isn’t something to be feared. GRE Prep. that you won’t get fatigued by one question typed either (and by one question type. On the computer test. you will not be able to mark up your test. No Skipping: On a computer-based test. If you want to make your answer sheet as precise as possible. There you have it. This may make things a bit more difficult. You cannot mentally prepare yourself for one question type. I mean reading comprehension of course). 4. Do not try to predict your performance based on the difficulty of questions. strategy | No Comments » Issue Writing Task: Use What You Know . antonyms. Luckily. Go practice! Tags: computer based test Posted in GRE. simply create two multiple choice columns. use the scratch paper they give you to create a makeshift answer sheet. no stalling. You do not have sections of question types like you would on the SAT. you cannot see the next question until you answer the current question. This may be the greatest disadvantage presented by the computer test. Grockit makes great practice since it’s computer-based also. though. Remember the “tutorials” you have to go through? You can take as long as you like during them. 5. On a computer-based test. a burden is lifted. and number each from 1 to 30. and vice versa. Before the test begins. It just takes some getting used to. you will only see one question at a time. 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. and then the questions will become harder if you are answering correctly or easier if you are answering incorrectly. While this may initially cause some anxiety. 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. The good news is. So. Sentence completions. it’s customized to your individual performance. 2. so this is a great time to make your answer sheet. The test begins with average difficulty questions. can come up in any order.but the GRE software is not exactly Windows or Apple–familiarize yourself with its quirks. After all.
This is probably a fruitless strategy. literature. you may be worried by such a prompt. The examples do not have to be in-depth analyses of the Renaissance masters–just use what you know. Though it seems certain issue prompts necessitate a thorough knowledge in some particular area. Let’s look at a relatively esoteric issue prompt and explore varying avenues of analysis. a chemistry student isn’t expected to know Shakespeare. Why not take a step back and think about the kinds of art you could talk about. some appropriate for the expert and others for the layman: “The arts (painting. . keep in mind that your readers may not be conversant with your academic discipline. In other words. 3.” What we have here is a veritable breath of fresh air for any humanities or arts major. and. by all means go for it. the toughest part of the Issue Task is coming up with ideas that you’re confident in. is the aim of art to reflect and comment on society? Let’s look at some ideas from different perspectives: 1. such is not the case. and an English student isn’t expected to understand hydrogen bonding. Still. 1. you may. so as to reflect the core societal values of the age. the ETS doesn’t expect this from you. so try to temper your genius. The Layman’s Approach: If you’re not an art lover or humanities major. don’t reproduce your senior thesis in 45 minutes. thereby reflecting the pervasive religious fervor in their respective societies. i. The Parthenon. Agree: Medieval and Renaissance painting was heavily religious. with the 200+ topics available. October 21st. so let’s simplify it: do the arts always reflect social ideas? That is. The above prompt is a somewhat confusing question. if you come across a prompt that could benefit from your expertise. dust off an old history book. scour the newspaper. Each point will be labeled “agree” or “disagree” to indicate whether the example is for or against the speaker. I want to offer an often unheeded caveat for those art lovers: don’t get too excited. you’ll have to read an encyclopedia. 2010 Admittedly. the great European cathedrals 2. in fact. the pyramids. Agree: Skyscrapers built in urban metropolises in the 20th century reflect the zeitgeist of technological progress.) reveal the otherwise hidden ideas and impulses of a society. etc. and exhume those halfread classics from high school English. as hard as that may be. In fact. I’m sure none of you wants to do that (though I bet it’s been done before). Students from all kinds of backgrounds take the GRE.Thursday. but it’s a kiss of death for anybody without a predilection for the arts. If you come across a topic that allows you to exploit your studies. 1. more importantly. Agree: Ancient and Renaissance architectures were often constructed to honor gods and provide an appropriate place of worship. music. You might think that. be searching your brain for any example of art you know something about.
however. 2. in some instances. illustrating a detailed history of the development of English. that is. Certain artistic movements are known for social commentary while others are famous for eschewing it. . all the while corresponding to a specific episode from Homer’s great epic poem The Odyssey. in order to comment on and often critique social mores. Eliot’s The Wasteland.S. the poem comments on the current zeitgeist. we see a retreat from societal representation to more idiosyncratic aesthetics. one particular chapter changes its style paragraph by paragraph. 1. Disagree: In twentieth century painting. T. James Joyce’s Ulysses. 3. 3. Each chapter of the novel exhibits a markedly different style and theme. Agree: Dystopian Fiction: 1. iii. for example. 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. for example.g. courtship and the social practices of marriage. While the “expert” essay has more complex and esoteric examples. Pollock’s technique–violently splattering paint on the canvas– can be viewed as a purely visceral impulse. authors like Jane Austen and George Eliot strive to replicate realistic social scenarios. Disagree: Modernism 1. follows a similar ambition. often considered the quintessential modernist novel. 2. e. thereby referring to itself as art rather than commenting on or exhibiting any societal impulse. or. both essays include logical arguments with sufficient evidence. Agree: Victorian Literature 1. Indeed. the mess of paint evokes the image of the action of painting. i. Austen’s Pride and Prejudice often elucidates the societal emphasis on marrying for status and financial security rather than marrying for love. ii. Modernists aspire to more than social commentary. you can certainly use that here.4. or at least aspiring to something greater than it. visceral. i. Dystopian novels like 1984 make explicit the fears of totalitarian governments that were in power at the time. to draw attention to the process and materials of artistic composition. i. is a complex and ostensibly chaotic mishmash of historical literary styles and references. In Victorian fiction. but its method in doing so recapitulates a history of the medium to draw attention to its status as an artwork. thereby reflecting the psychosocial consciousness of the time. Art becomes less mimetic and more cerebral. The Issue topic is always about using what you know and making sense of it. In fact. 1. The Expert’s Approach: If you have some knowledge of art history or literature. i. 2.
Wear layers in case the room is cold. Once this is completed. the basic sequence of events will be the same. The Testing Room: Before you enter the test room. you can avoid distractions and concentrate solely on your performance. you will be on your own. brush up on some new info. All you are allowed are your locker key and photo identification because the administrator will check it before you enter the testing room. Instead of sitting in a classroom with 25 other students all going through exactly the same experience. ACT or any other standardized exam you took in high school. He or she will then take your photograph.In your essay practice. 2010 The GRE is unlike the SAT. on test day. you’ll need to show proper photo identification and tell the administrator which exam you’re there to take. Once all of these administrative procedures are completed. Then the administrator will escort you into the . First. However. For the palm system. try to use the knowledge that you already have rather than cram for new material. the last thing you should worry about on the day of your GRE is the testing environment. Arrival: Try to arrive at the test center 15-30 minutes early because of the sign-in process. After weeks and months of preparation. Posted in Essay. you will place each of your hands over a sensor. you will need to provide your photo identification as well as your fingerprint or palm-vein pattern. The administrator will demonstrate the procedure of ensuring that certain knobs on the machine fit your fingers to get a proper pattern. Don’t be surprised that others in the center may be taking different graduate exams. While there may be slight differences from test center to test center. 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. The palm sensor will soon replace the fingerprints as the only digital identification system. October 18th. You will then be asked to sign the GRE Examination Testing Rules & Agreement. the administrator will ask you to provide a digital fingerprint or palmvein pattern. Here are some tips about what to expect from the testing environment from arrival to departure. Get comfortable with the procedures so that. Issue Writing | No Comments » It’s Test Day! Monday. and then try some prompts where you can use what you learned.
the administrator will enter the room and escort you out. so be careful. and when all of your pages are filled. The test administrator will provide you with scratch paper to use during the test. the time you have for yourself is probably more like 8 ½ to 9 minutes. You will be given the option of viewing your scores or canceling them. in case mouse clicks or keyboard keys bother you. You will be seated at a station with a computer and likely some soundproof headphones. Score and Departure: You’re done. When you leave the room. you’ve completed the test. or if you want a restroom or snack break. Once you view your score. you will need to provide either your fingerprint or palm pattern to sign out of the room. Once you signal. in the middle of their respective exams. don’t forget that the breaks are optional. You cannot leave without signaling the test administrator.testing room. Test Day | No Comments » . you can raise your hand to receive more scratch paper. return the key and leave with your report. you will have to digitally sign-out. There probably will be people already in the room. Be sure to keep this because there will be an authorization number that you will need to view your official score. Breaks: There is an optional 10-minute breaks after the Analytical Writing section. and one minute breaks between the remaining sections of the test. Then all you need to do is take your belongings out of your locker. If you chose to view your score. Even though the break is technically 10 minutes long. Again. Posted in GRE. Whatever you decide. you will not be able to cancel it. meaning you will have to verify either your digital fingerprint or palm-vein pattern. Good luck! Post your test day experience below and check out Grockit forums for test day advice from other test-takers. an administrator will print out your unofficial score report. Again. You can then access your locker and drink some water or snack on something small. the ten minute break is a great opportunitie to leave the room and reorient yourself if you are a bit rattled. When you re-enter the room. Don’t forget that exceeding the 10 minutes allotted for the break takes time out of your next test section. Almost four hours after entering the center. once the procedures of signing out and signing back in are included. Don’t feel obligated to take them if you’re in the zone and want to stay focused. you will need to raise your hand once again so that the administrator will know to escort you from the room. you will have to provide your fingerprint or palm-vein pattern yet again before being escorted back to your station. However.
which nearly closed five years ago due to lack of business.” 1. The Problems with the Argument: I will enumerate potential problems I see with the speaker’s argument and reasoning. 2. where “residents are highly concerned with leading healthy lives. The local health club. should open in Plainsville.Argument Writing Task: Part 4 Thursday.” I mean this could possibly be on your actual GRE. so to mimic your thought process and note-taking when you first come across an argument prompt: 1. October 14th. The similarities will pleasantly surprise you. though the chances are very slim–approximately 1 out of 245. What’s the Argument?: The speaker claims that Nature’s Way. a healthy lifestyle entails both exercise and healthy eating habits. Increase in sales of exercise shoes and clothing. which emphasizes the benefits of regular exercise at an early age. ideally. We should therefore build our next new store in Plainsville. a chain of stores selling health food and other health-related products. To confirm this. and 3. and the weight training and aerobics classes are always full. has more members than ever. it’s time to look at a real possible argument task. but a health food store. a health food store. The local health club is experiencing its highest rates of attendance. in no particular order. 2010 After learning all the possible fallacies and how to spot them. 2. Here is one such prompt to get us started: The Prompt The following appeared in a memorandum written by the vice president of Nature’s Way. Secondly. though these argument prompts are all ostensibly different. 1. When I say “real. “Previous experience has shown that our stores are most profitable in areas where residents are highly concerned with leading healthy lives. False correlation between exercise and health food: The speaker fallaciously correlates exercise with healthy eating habits. they repeat many of the same fallacies. and you probably shouldn’t take it upon yourself to write practice essays for each and every prompt. the two are not mutually inclusive. three facts account for this description: 1. which has many such residents. While. or whatever you realistically have time for) and think about how your arguments against the prompts might overlap. Nature’s Way is neither a health club nor a sporting goods store. For one thing. Plainsville merchants report that sales of running shoes and exercise clothing are at all-time highs. We can even anticipate a new generation of customers: Plainsville’s schoolchildren are required to participate in a ‘fitness for life’ program. With the convenience of fast . such a task would take a long time (don’t you have more important things to do?). just check out a hearty sample of prompts (perhaps twenty or thirty. 2.” How did we gather this profile of Plainsville’s inhabitants? According to our speaker. That statistic should not deter you. Plainsville’s schools are now mandating a fitness program.
Competition?: The speaker fails to mention the possibility or lack of competing health food stores. on average. we cannot assume that the program will have any lasting effect on the children’s lifestyles. choose the best examples and develop them into coherent paragraphs. 1. the speaker should investigate the popularity of Plainsville’s health club and explain how Nature’s Way will plan to beat the competition. Often. 1. or. the speaker must show a correlation between exercise habits and healthy eating habits. To write the essay. 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. these changes in lifestyle habits are relatively recent. more simply. 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. 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. not out of any sound reasoning. How can we be sure that Nature’s Way will thrive despite its potential new competition? 2. our national eating habits. What we have here is an abundance of information.” may cause unintended opposition to exercise. If this is true. Don’t be afraid to integrate smaller fallacies into paragraphs: an abundance of information is not a . Though we may applaud the efforts of schools to introduce such a program. Also. Many children often willfully oppose orders given by parents and school teachers. are at their worst in history. mandating exercise in school. 1. In fact. but because of sheer childhood obstinacy. 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. this guilt about eating habits encourages fast-food patrons to exercise. but not necessarily change their eating habits. perhaps through a survey or study. then high rates of attendance do not suggest an overwhelming increase in the citizens’ exercise. 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. much like making beloved classics of literature “required texts. The speaker refers to the club as “the local health club. 1. Suggestions for Improvement: To improve the argument. not quite an essay. exercise clothes may be an inexpensive alternative to other clothing styles.” suggesting it’s the only one of its kind in Plainsville.” but there are other possible sources of these increases. Future interest in exercise?: Even if Plainsville residents are interested in health foods.food.
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. First. your own arguments. you will find that you are spending a lot of time looking between the screen in front of you and your blue book. but with your ABCDE and key pieces of information. you will become more proficient at identifying the key pieces of information. you may want to give yourself 30 minutes and write this essay. for many reasons. a key here is to make sure you transfer information correctly. you can immediately eliminate answers that you know are incorrect. Don’t waste your valuable brainpower trying to remember answers that might be right or wrong. Posted in GRE. but not everyone employs these useful strategies that will save you valuable time come test day The CAT test format can be frustrating. they don’t give you material to write things down for nothing. Without the luxury of being able to write notes. One of the worst things you can do is to waste time staring at the screen. Some of the following might sound like common sense. Next. Do not make this mistake. read the entire question carefully and write down the useful information (this is more geared for the Quantitative part). Instead. you will have essentially transferred the problem from the computer screen to your paper. WRITE THEM DOWN! You have no idea how many times you will be very appreciative of doing this when you look down and see that you have two answers to choose from instead of trying to look up at your screen and trying to remember what answers you told yourself to eliminate. your test scores will be drastically improved if you can eliminate even one or two incorrect answers. and time consuming. For practice. The worst thing you can do is to write down wrong numbers or facts. Don’t worry about writing everything down at first. Even if you don’t know the exact answer. eliminate answers. do whatever you need to do to eliminate answers. USE IT! This way. in fact. This should be a habit as you study for the GRE. you won’t have to write down much. but there are some tricks that I found useful when taking the test that seemed to help me out. 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. etc. If you can eliminate three incorrect answers. USE YOUR PENCIL AND BLUE BOOK (but do not waste valuable time writing needless things down).bad thing. draw pictures. and. if you have them. using your own words and. I am certain that you will find this extremely annoying in a CAT environment. I can’t tell you how to . BUT. With easy questions. series | No Comments » Helpful GRE CAT Tips Monday. you should get in the habit of immediately writing down ABCDE on your scratch paper for every question. longer essays tend to receive higher scores. but as you practice. as you will be able to make equations. October 11th. which will make your life much easier. make equations or draw pictures.
or check out Grockit’s GRE forums for more advice. Employing the above methods will help you become a master of the CAT environment and will definitely pay dividends come test day. Supplement your computer testing with your paper (book) testing and vice-versa. Become comfortable with using the computer to answer questions. Eliminate answers as you go. or about 1/5th of the total Verbal section. As you read the sentence. Write them down! It may seem redundant. Once you are certain you have it down in front of you. WRITE DOWN ABCDE. go to town on cracking the problem. you will be on the lookout for keywords. 2010 Currently the GRE Verbal section tests approximately 6 sentence completions. 1. but use that practice to become a master at translating the key pieces of information to your scrap paper. Posted in GRE. Another issue with CAT test prep is that it is difficult to simulate the test day environment. Many GRE students find SC’s the easiest Verbal question-type. That is where prep services like Grockit come in. but make sure to practice them just as diligently as Antonyms or Analogies. it is essential that you are able to transfer your mastery of the material to a CAT environment. USE YOUR SCRATCH PAPER. Write down the keywords. But as you become comfortable with the material itself. but in general.become a pro at accuracy. and good luck! If you have any other strategies that you have found helpful. please post below. words that describe the blank or relate to the overall flow of the sentence (transition words). Test Day | No Comments » GRE: Sentence Completions Overview Thursday. 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. work slow to work fast. but the act of writing them down will slow down your impulses and force your brain to think critically. it will be invaluable come test day. GRE Prep. Don’t become too comfortable with studying out of books. 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: . October 7th.
3. Instead of scanning the answers quickly looking for the correct one. Once you’ve analyzed the keywords and punctuation of a sentence. isn’t that what the GRE is really testing? Get started with some sentence completions now on Grockit! Posted in GRE Prep. “a positive word” or “something like angry” is perfectly acceptable. then plug them into the sentence to see which one is correct.” we want to keep it since it is at least a partial match. we hope to be familiar with every type of question before walking into the test. Write down a prediction. carefully move through the choices from A to E. you can come up with a prediction for the blank. It may seem like this method of writing down keywords and predictions will slow you down. Sentence Completion. and knowing what to do ahead of time . October 5th. If you are at a loss for words. but your speed will increase as you practice and your brain becomes more disciplined. Don’t let yourself read the answer choices without a written-down prediction. It doesn’t have to be brilliant. even a simple prediction like. This method will increase your accuracy by forcing your brain to do the necessary critical thinking – after all. Don’t be too narrow-minded in your elimination. Surprise slows you down. If you have more than one answer choice left after eliminating. Verbal | No Comments » Guess and Eliminate – GRE Problem Solving Tuesday. 2010 While studying for the GRE. if our prediction was “messy” and one of the answer choices was “distraught. Eliminate answer choices. but you DO have to write something down. eliminating the answer choices that could not possible match your prediction. you will probably forget it as you read the answer choices. For example.2. If you don’t write it down.
Know the question: If the question involves a 45-45-90 triangle. 2. For example. Look for pairs of answers: wrong answers are chosen for a reason. Conversely. if we have some hesitation on a question. 3. If it asks you for the √x. 1/4 and 4 are one simple mistake away from each other. it helps to know which questions are absolutely incorrect without much thought. which will addressed in a future post. C. (Note: This post does not address quantitative comparison questions. (You’d pick the square root option.) Eliminating Definitively Wrong Answers On the quantitative section. Plugging in numbers may . if the question involves fractions or inverses. for 30-60-90 triangles. there will inevitably be questions for which you will not know how to find the exact answer. we will quickly address guessing tactics and. then look for a pair where one option is the square root of another. However. you might look for √2. correct answers tend to be “close” to incorrect ones. which of the following CANNOT be an even integer? A. and answer choices that are “way far off” from the others are typically wrong. In this post. This is particularly helpful for geometry questions. strategies to efficiently and accurately eliminate incorrect answer choices to reduce your options and point you in the right direction. you can reasonably eliminate that option.) Guessing on the Quantitative Section 1. Take a look at this example: If x is an odd integer and y is an even integer. more importantly. we know any answer that satisfies the description “even integer” is NOT the correct. The last step: Take a peek at the last step of the question (if applicable). Because these mistakes are common. y/x 4(y/x) 4x + y 2(x + y) 5(x – y) Before we even start attacking the specifics of this question. If you see a √3 in the answer choices.will save you time and help you earn more points. B. of course. you may look for √3s. E. D.
C. B. C. The town of Sandwich has a total of 5.4% After reading this question. but because there is no mention of units. which is an indication that you are incorrectly converting hours to minutes.help. E. Answer choices (D) and (E) include “60”. You can then worry only about (A). B. D. and (C). Size Matters. Keep track of units. Do a very quick estimate of what the answer should look like. Then you can pick between (A). 23. Answer choices (B) and (D) are multiplied by 4 and 2 respectively. 1/4 are over the age of 60. but to save time. and the answer is to be in miles/hour. We know that sometimes we might want to convert hours to minutes.400 citizens.6% 30% 33. (C). x/m m/x xm 60m/x x/60m The two units provided in the question are miles and miles/hour. Of these. If you have no clue how to answer this question. E. (D) and . 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. This will move the percent UP. We start at ¼ (25%) 60+ citizens and add more 60+ citizens to the population without any other additions.8% 25% 28. D. 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. and (E) through a variety of strategies. you are still guessing between (C). (B). chances are we will not have to do that this time. we can quickly recognize that any product including a factor of 2 must be even. so those are out. approximately what percent of Sandwich’s total population would be over the age of 60? A. we should think quickly about in which direction the percentage should be moving.
Keep an eye out for a similar article focusing on Quantitative Comparison questions. Every effective test-taker must understand the strategies used to effectively eliminate wrong answer choices. (Note: Answer choices are ALWAYS in ascending order. GRE practice makes perfect.(E) since (A) and (B) are clearly too low. Test makers catch on to this. they may lead you to the correct answer even when you’re not too confident about the material. it certainly works most of the time. it is often the case on difficult multiple choice problems. Most students tend to go for the ‘not enough information’ choice when they are out of time. While we could never say that this rule works 100 percent of the time. 1. and as a result. 5 c. These will help you save time. 6 d. When test-takers guess on these problems. 4 b. On hard problems. On a hard problem. if asked for the greatest. 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. In fact.’ While this is certainly not the case on quantitative comparisons. when you are asked to find the least (or greatest) number. 9 According to the strategy. As always. and more importantly. often eliminate the answer choice ‘not enough information. eliminate the least (or greatest) number from the answer choices. that should come out soon. 2010 Quantitative Elimination Strategies: Part 1 Monday. there is more to strategy than simply trying to answer the question. and test makers will rarely let you get away with no calculation for a difficult problem. we can eliminate 9.) This was a quick overview of general concepts for math questions.e. and it follows the test-maker’s logic. they rarely allow that expected choice to be the answer. November 8th. Archive for November. 8 e. they tend to guess the extreme answer choice (i. 2010 As with all multiple choice tests. c is the answer (this question is pretty simple if we draw it out). Answer choices are gifts that we test-takers must take advantage of. they’ll pick the greatest). 2. .
E. This is basically a problem that needs to be converted into mathematical notation: x+20 = 8 + (10. you’ll see more challenging examples for which you should use these elimination strategies. On hard problems. but you will increase your chances by avoiding these answers if you must guess.3. -2 b. November 4th. 28 e. 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. strategy | No Comments » GRE Quantitative: Decimals Thursday. If you remember nothing else. Example 2: If the sum of x and 20 is 8 more than the difference of 10 and y. Let’s see if we can answer it. you should be skeptical of answer choices b and e. but you also want to increase your chances on the toughest problems. 2010 If you haven’t done decimal arithmetic since grade school. 9 d. Again. GRE Prep. as we saw earlier.’ and b gets the number ‘8′ from the question. Remember. is a ‘not enough information. and you have no choice but to guess. there is no substitute for knowing the math. For example: .y) x + 12= 10-y x+y= 10 – 12 x+y= -2 A is our answer. what is the value of x + y? A. Posted in GRE. eliminate answer choices that merely repeat numbers from the problem. 8 c. Quantitative. not enough info If this type of problem is giving you trouble. working with decimals can be a daunting experience when somebody takes away your calculator. In the next installment. these are not hard and fast rules.
and add these up (ex. always use common sense to avoid calculation errors.01356. 4. My sum of digits equals the number of digits that should be to the right of the decimal in my product.232 and 1. 3.515 Multiplication 1. 2. in 1356. Add zeros as necessary. HINT: When multiplying simpler decimal numbers. and.17 Set it up like this: 382.003 Step 1: 452 x 3 ———1356 Step 2: In 4.52 and . we have a total of 5 numbers after the decimals. Manipulate the placement of the decimal in the product to fulfill step 3. Counting from right to left.345 and 2.345 + 2. I add 2 + 3=5). my product is . Example: Add 382. Multiply the decimals as if the decimals are not present.84 = 84/100 . not 40 or 400..6. Example: Multiply 4. If I am multiplying 4. Count the number of digits after the decimal in each number.003. I know that my answer will have one digit before the decimal because 4 * 1 = 4.356.170 ————384. . if it makes things easier.52 and . I need 5 digits after the decimal. line up the decimal points. Step 3: So.4 = 4/10.45 and .5689 = 5689 / 10000 You’ll want one zero in the denominator for every digit in the decimal. Addition and Subtraction When adding and subtracting decimals. . add zeros to fill up the empty space. If multiplying 6.
3.Division 1. yielding 1783.25. the second step. Do the same for the dividend. I change . 2.05 1.5 to 50250) 3.05 two times to the right to make 205. The first step is to stop using the calculator every time you make an arithmetic calculation. 8 times 205 is 1640. here is the process verbalized: 1.5 / . we are left with 8. Since there is no remainder left over. 4.5 1640 ——– 1435 1435 —— 0 For a little refresher in long division.25 to 25) 2.5 _ 8. as always. 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 . 205 can go into 1783 about 8 times. is to practice on Grockit. 205 goes into 1435 seven times. exactly.25 to 25.7 Working with decimals without a calculator is all about practice. so I’ll convert 502.7_____ 205 ) 1783. Bring down the 5 from the dividend. Move the decimal point in the divisor to the right so that the divisor is a whole number (If my computation is 502. Divide normally and bring the decimal straight up into the quotient. Example: Divide 17.835 by 2. 7. Now we have 1435. 5. Move decimal point in 2. . 1783 minus 1640 is 143. Bring up the decimal and place 7 after it. 6.