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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.
It’s easy to see that. Though there is usually one “fastest” method. we’d think that we arrived at this: 3 OR 4 We might choose B as a result. a . a positive. 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. there are some rare cases when there are multiple quick methods to solving a problem. but we’d be wrong. 5x + 5y / x + y OR 5 Here’s a chance for some good ol’ fashioned factoring. and a negative number as testers. 1. the most reliable method to test them is to be thorough with the types of numbers you use.Example 2. The Fallback Strategy: Use 1. giving you: 5 OR 5 Easy choice. When in doubt. We can actually use another method to figure out the answer. the answer must be D because when x= 0. when comparing 3x and 4x. This just goes to show you that there is usually more than one way to solve a math problem. They’re equal. 0. or when we use a negative number. 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. 3x is larger. 5( x +y ) / x +y OR 5 (X+Y) on top and bottom cancel. the values are equal. 9^99 – 9^98 OR 9 ^98 Why don’t we divide both sides by 9^98? 1. a fraction. You must use a negative. 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. When you are testing variable expressions.
Our first value is larger. Example 4: If x > 0 and x does NOT equal 1… x² OR x So x must be positive and cannot be one. as in our A value. e. our answer is D. When you practice on Grockit. So in that case. positives. Example 3: If 3x= 4y x OR y We know that if x and y are positive. we can be confident that our second value is larger. What we have is a negative multiplied by a positive. There you have it.fraction. zeroes. So in that case. our special numbers to test are negatives. but we’re not in the clear quite yet. Example 2: If x<0.g. it happens to become smaller. z=0 3z (2x +5y) OR 3x (2z+5y) We still have zero for our first value. And. speed and accuracy are crucial! See other articles in this series: . Fractions have some very special properties. So in that case. so both values are equal. It turns out that the answer must be D. remember. if x is 4 then y is 3. But what if they are negative? If x is -4. z= 0… 3z (2x +5y) OR 3x (2z+5y) When a zero is on the outside. Let’s check out some examples that show us why it’s necessary to be thorough. y> 0. we suggest that you use simple numbers in order to save yourself time and avoid any calculation errors. If we multiply a fraction by itself. Example 1: If x>0. fractions. Testing our second value gives us 3(-1) (2*0 + 5*2). not bigger (. what if x is zero? Well in that case. and a zero. so we know the answer is negative. the whole value is zero. When negative numbers are involved.5 * . and of course.5 = . try using different strategies to figure out which work best for you. then y is -3. y is zero also. y >0. y is greater. Since all the other values are positive. always test them.25). Remember. it must be A right? Common Not so fast. then x is greater than y.
Many quantitative comparisons are designed to look time consuming. June 14th. You merely have to find out if one of the two expressions is larger. and how to quickly compare variable expressions. you are doing unnecessary work. The GRE will not make you do endless calculations on paper. which is a good indicator that there is a much faster way to solve the problem. and I know that both expressions are equal. or if such information is impossible to calculate. There is a simple trick here. 3569 OR 3(10) + 5 (10²) + 6 (10¹) + 9 (10^0) If I saw this problem without thinking. . 32. 33. series | No Comments » Quantitative Comparison Strategies: Part 1 Monday. Such an approach is self-defeating.e. smaller. and 35. 34. Calculation is not necessary. that is. 2010 Quantitative Comparison problems are not like standard math problems you’ll find on the SAT or a common standardized test. Avoid Unnecessary Calculation If. I might multiply out the second column (3 times 10³ is 3000. Since we are just comparing the two expressions.Quantitative Comparison Strategies Pt 1 Posted in GRE. Notice that 3569 is the same thing as saying 3000 + 500 + 60 + 9. Before we examine certain question types. which would take you quite a while (not to mention leave you vulnerable to errors). etc). which is what the expression on the right is really saying. in your practice. multiple choice) or to find the correct answer and write it in. or equal to the other. if you don’t quickly examine the two expressions intelligently. This may sound like a pain. we can cross out the numbers that appear in both expressions. let’s look at a couple simple examples to show how immediate calculation can be an inefficient strategy: 1. now it’s quite clear that B is greater. 31 x 32 x 33 x 34 x 35 OR 32 x 33 x 34 x 35 x 36 Again. Your job is not to find the correct answer amongst a group of answers (i. when not to calculate. we are left with a simple comparison: 31 OR 36. even if such a strategy appears to be the most obvious way to reach an answer. 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. you might jump into calculation. Thus. but notice that you can get away with much less. Quantitative. 2. you notice yourself doing endless calculations. Quantitative Comparison.
try some of these strategies in Grockit! Posted in GRE. Our answer is D.000.000 / 200. As long as I add or subtract the same number or variable from these expressions.000 in the denominator. your first instinct should be to cross out matching zeros. Quantitative Comparison. which is clearly indeterminate. If I have 2. now. a negative. and . I’ll have the same relationship between the two expressions. Don’t forget. 2. Remember. strategy | 2 Comments » GRE Strategy – Estimation Wednesday. 000 OR 1.000 / 100 When you see many zeros in fractions like this. Stay tuned for some more strategies for quantitative comparisons that will save you time and increase accuracy. I should just eliminate five zeros from the top and 5 zeros from the bottom.000.000 in the numerator and 200. so: Subtracting 5 from both sides gives us: 4x OR 3x+1 Subtracting 3x from both sides gives us: x OR 1 Now. that you can manipulate both expressions to make the comparison simpler. and a fraction). Simplify by Adding/Subtracting Same Value 1. though. 2. 2010 To save time on the GRE.000/100 = 10/1 = 10. my expression is simply 20/2 = 10. June 9th. look how simple it is? The comparison is any number (x) OR 1. you should get comfortable with estimating. Let’s check out this example: 1. always think of ways to simplify before you calculate. series. Quantitative. Same idea for column b: 1. our goal is to make the relationship simpler.Simplify When presented with two baffling expressions. Even if estimating doesn’t give you the 100% accurate answer. it generally narrows it down to . 4x +5 OR 3x +6 I could approach this problem a few ways. where I would test a few simple numbers (preferably something like -2. 0. when choosing numbers to add or subtract. First. 0.5–you want to use a positive. I could use the tried and true plug-in method. In the meantime.
particular on the questions with charts and graphs. The question asks: approximately what average amount per month did the Canadian government spend on nuclear.2 billion $10. you just need to know if they are equal or if one is bigger. This will save you a lot of time. Given the following five answer choices 1. 3. $127. hydro and wind column (keeping my finger on it so I don’t read the wrong thing) and add up those percentages. Wind (2%) + Hydro (2%) + Nuclear (3%) = 7%.1 million. and the nuclear. Numerical Estimations Practice estimating with percentages.9 billion $7. I tend to like figuring out 1%.one obvious choice (if you’re good at estimating and round up and down appropriately).6 million represents. Some questions even tell you to approximate. 4. let’s take a look at the following chart.74 billion I would then pick E easily based on my estimate. For example. and then multiply that by 7 to get $0. 5. 2. So I’m looking for what value 7% of $10. 5% or 10% represents and working from there depending on the question. so there really is no point calculating the precise answer there. hydro and wind power combined? I would look at the Canada row. . I would figure out what 1% represents – approximately $0. Estimation also comes in handy for quantitative comparisons because you don’t need the precise answer.0 billion $.7 million.6 billion $8. In this case.
The important lesson in visual estimations is not to do it for triangles.In the example above. The price/lb of coffee B is approximately $8/7 pounds = $1.1 / lb. Which is also square root of 36. Clearly square root of 37 will be a teensy bit bigger. Clearly AE is the longer line since it spans four rectangles instead of three. Visual Estimations Visual estimations usually work for things like graphs or simple diagrams like the problem below. So A is bigger. The same goes with this question. the price/lb of coffee A is approximately $10/5 pounds = $2/lb. The length of one edge of the cube is 6. so you can choose B without even calculating what root 37 might be. You should always assume that triangles are never drawn to scale and when looking at diagrams of .
They may be. so only apply mathematical rules. you should only apply rules of triangles e. you need to add up the angles to get 10a. sum of interior angles is 180. but they may not be. Do not estimate based on what you see! This question is a little trickier.triangles. in the question below. You might be tempted to think that QRT or QRS is an isosceles triangle.g. . and equate 10a to 180 degrees to figure out that a=18 degrees. You don’t know. For example. isosceles triangles have two equal angles and two equal sides etc.
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. T and S: 27 + 27 + y + y + x + x = 180.g. Since the lines bisect angles Q. may be one of the most common you’ll encounter when examining the pool of arguments. the rate of drowning deaths increases. just because one event happens after another. Here. 2010 In our last installment. There are two basic ways a fallacious cause-and-effect claim can be made. 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. But you wouldn’t know this just by looking at it. we learned a little about the first three types of logical flaws you might find in the argument task. when water activities are also more popular. just because two phenomena often occur together. strategy | No Comments » Argument Writing Task: Part 3 Monday.e. GRE Prep. and you can be confident that you’ll find more than one of them in any given argument. you are not expected to cite these flaws by name or cite the names of their fancy Latin correlatives (e. i. Quantitative. by the same logic. you need to use the sum of angles = 180 rule. more lovingly known as the post hoc fallacy. join a Grockit game today! Posted in GRE.As it turns out. the speaker may claim that a correlation suggests causation. it doesn’t mean that event caused the other to occur. so ice cream causes drowning. the speaker may claim that a temporal relationship suggests causation. A speaker may often use correlation to simply causation when a lurking variable is present. 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. so it’s essential that you master it. First. This makes column A and B equal. again. post hoc ergo propter hoc). June 7th. Take this argument for example: As ice cream sales increase. For more practice estimating. Again. Second. Correlation Does Not Imply Causation: This fallacy. it doesn’t mean that one event causes the other. This means that 2 y + 2 x = 126 thus y + x = 63.
For data to be considered legitimate it has to be collected in an unbiased. while only 50 percent of the graduate students of the same university were employed after one year. As you may find out.g. if the survey is designed. Biased or Tainted Data: Tainted data is the second problem that could arise with data samples. if there is reason to believe that survey responses are dishonest. e. This is where problems can arise. and show the distribution of majors among grads and undergrads. e. watch out for surveys that try to manipulate responses by providing narrow options. Inappropriate Statistics: You will often find that these arguments cite statistical evidence to bolster their claims.” from those findings. or inapplicable. For example. Further. 6. simply citing evidence does not prove a claim since the statistics may be faulty. examine the economy of the surrounding area. the results may be unreliable. series | No Comments » What’s the big idea? Thursday. compare the types of jobs sought by undergrads and grads. check out the pool of prompts at ets. otherwise the quality of the data is compromised.org and practice identifying these flaws. 2010 . a speaker may try to make a broad claim about graduate school’s impracticality by citing statistics from one particular university. For example. and scientific manner. we’ll look at an actual Argument Writing Task prompt and see how we can apply these logical flaws. a survey asking the question “What is your favorite ice cream flavor?” should have more options than simply “coconut” and “mint. consciously or unconsciously. to yield certain responses. In the meantime. the results may be unreliable if the method for collecting the data is biased. The statistics of one university simply cannot account for a sweeping claim about graduate education. Next time.5. make sure that if a survey should be conducted anonymously–like in the workplace–then it is indicated. June 3rd. 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. we’d have to compare the admission standards for undergrads and grad students. For example. Verbal. it must be of significant size and characteristically representative of the population.g. 80 percent of University X undergrads were employed within one year of graduating. To really identify the source of the employment disparity. To spot tainted data. For a sample to adequately represent a larger population. unrepresentative. fair. we might fallaciously conclude that 78% of people identify “mint” as their favorite ice cream flavor. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1 Argument Writing Task: Pt 2 Posted in GRE. Also.
shifts in tone and argument (where necessary). Standardized test passages almost never criticize women. You don’t even have to come up with a detailed summary. June 1st. Keep an eye out for keywords such as “in contrast”. Then. 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. They are carefully edited by experienced test writers to make sure that they are packed full of information. But ETS is nice enough that the initial questions are very general or word specific. The passage will never support extreme. 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. Verbal | No Comments » Argument Writing Task: Part 2 Tuesday. It could be as simple as the author is against stem cell research for this and this reason. Posted in GRE. great leaders etc. Don’t try to remember every single detail. Be careful of answers to look too much like the first or last sentences though! Often times. we briefly looked at the kinds of flaws and fallacies you should expect to find in the given argument. Just focus on the first and last sentence of each paragraph and skim through the examples in between. correlation does not imply causation) Relying on inappropriate or potentially unrepresentative statistics . try to skim through and summarize each paragraph. they are thrown in there to lead you away from a more accurate answer. we were introduced to the Argument Writing task and found out how it differs from the Issue Task. “for example”. all of them will exhibit at least some of these flaws. Although there hundreds of possible arguments the ETS may choose. “however” which signal shifts in the argument. Even if it is politically correct. so learning them is essential. but also considers the benefits. before getting asking more in depth questions about the arguments. Always remember that the main idea is not generally a straightforward one-sided matter. 2010 In the last installment. You can also assume that politically incorrect answers are wrong and you can eliminate them.e. Reading Comprehension. controversial views. To answer the initial general questions. you won’t be able to skim through the passage to answer all the questions. i. context clues. minorities.GRE reading comprehension passages are not simply lifted out of a book. or that the selling or organs should be endorsed. common sense will also tell you that the passage will never argue that studying Shakespeare in school is without value. In other words.
we’ll look at the next three flaws and discuss how to begin forming our Argument Task essay. 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. we can’t make this analogy. in television shows. may find that a big competitor in a different city has increased sales by moving from a downtown location to a suburban one. but we can’t completely analogize these different trading-card shops. You can remember this fallacy by thinking about stereotypes. Group Fallacy: It is pretty unrealistic to describe a group and then expect that every single member fulfills that characteristic. on commercials. the superintendent may not have shown that the reading program by itself is enough to raise reading levels. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1 . To practice. The Member vs. most of the time. In the above example. however. think about these flaws in depth and try to find them in everyday reasoning. a superintendent of a school argues that adopting a certain marketed reading program is necessary–i. Weak Analogies: The speaker may come to a conclusion about one thing on the basis of another thing. the only means–to increase reading skills of students. and the relocation merely reaped the benefits? Without this thorough background info. For example. Let’s look at these flaws in a little more depth: 1.• 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.e. 2. the argument should clearly state that a member is a representative of the group as a whole. If you can spot them in everyday situations. In order to avoid the member-group fallacy. For example. it won’t. The argument may seem sound. Watch out for them in your conversations. Maybe that particular city’s downtown district was already on the rise. 3. say a trading card shop. First of all. if the manager of a business. 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. Becoming familiar with these flaws and how to spot them is the first step to writing a quality Argument Task. The “sufficient” line of reasoning is weak if the speaker fails to provide evidence that the proposed course of action would be sufficient to bring about the desired result by itself. etc. it will be easy on the test. making your body paragraph organization pretty simple. 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. There are other factors involved in this proposed outcome: preparedness of teachers and attentiveness of students. the demographics in their respective cities may respond to different incentives. Next time.
but we know it’s a negative word. there are words that make us think of something totally incongruous. So. and technique. like “strident. July 29th. if we know that turpitude is negative. When you know the stem word but only some of the words in the answer choices. Saintly behavior 2. Clever conversation . With a little knowledge. 4.Archive for July. Saintly behavior Clever conversation Lively imagination Agitation Lucidity Let’s pretend we aren’t sure what “turpitude” means. so we’ve only gotten rid of one. Make sure that you have at least heard the word or read the word. 3. you can locate the answer in a fraction of a second. Provided you have enough time. 2. When you know every single word. 5. unfortunately. Let’s move on to other strategies to eliminate some choices. If you don’t know the stem word. Define Antonyms of the Answer Choices (aka Working Backward) TURPITUDE 1. and you know that it has a negative or positive charge. For every word like “resplendent” that appropriately sounds positive (the “splend” makes us think of “splendid). though. 1. 2010 Working Backward: Antonyms Thursday. you can eliminate answer choices and significantly increase your chances of a correct answer. Beware of words that simply “sound” negative or positive to you. 1. 2010 Paradoxically. we simply get rid of the negative antonym choices. 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.” which makes me think of chewing gum. Working backward is an effective technique that allows us to use what we know to get closer to our answer. never surrender like this on an antonym question. you can still quickly narrow the answer down to a couple options. logic. you will likely panic and blindly guess. The Positive/Negative Approach Let’s look at an example from an actual GRE test: TURPITUDE 1. only D is negative.
Let’s create antonyms for each of our choices. unintelligent conversation 1. since the words “turpitude. Granted. Because “depraved behavior” is certainly more negative than “lack of clarity. “turbid” means cloudy. In the test writer’s mind. which happens to be the right answer.” makes me skeptical because it lacks the kind of negative charge I would expect from a word like “turpitude. or condition of something. Thus it would make much more sense that “turpitude. Lively imagination 4. the suffix “-tude” means a state.” Though these eliminations were based on speculation. Each antonym I created is sufficiently abstract (as opposed to concrete) and can be a state or condition. lack of clarity Now. unclear. I’d think of the word “turpitude” and recognize that it ends in “-tude” like the other familiar words “gratitude.” and “fortitude. would not be “unintelligent conversation. I can guess that E was a trap answer. Lucidity Using the negative/positive strategy.” Unintelligent conversation is not really the state or quality of something. quality.” In these examples and in general. First. “Lack of imagination. we were able to eliminate D. and hence. Agitation 5. there was some reasoning behind my choice.” and “turbid” are often mixed up. Clever conservation à banal. Lively imaginationàLack of imagination 2.” “solitude. Saintly behavior à morally depraved behavior 2. it is a particular action. I am now down to A or E. knowing the stem word’s definition would have gotten us the correct answer much faster.” I’ll go with A.” “turgid.” a state or quality of something. Lucidityà obscurity. but we have more work to do. D.3. we should use a little critical thinking and reasonable speculation. while “turpitude” means corrupt or depraved. A little thinking does go a long way.” though not as concrete as “unintelligent conversation. and see how they match our mysterious stem word: 1. 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. and there is no guarantee that such .
165 C. strategy | No Comments » Simple Quantitative Strategies. BallparkingTo ‘ballpark’ is to roughly approximate. but we were still successful with some effort. it can be no other answer. 70. common sense thinker will probably be able to answer this question without doing a calculation.350 E.50. These types of answers catch your eye for one reason or another.Looks look at an . Part 2 Monday. Step back. A third of 50 is a little more than 15 (15*3= 45). but outsmarting the test-writers is very important too. and you go into human calculator mode. 1.685 D. 2010 This is the second installment in the simple quantitative strategies series. Anxiety sets in. ballparking essentially means thinking about mathematical figures in a vague. But. and anticipate the clever gambits so often deployed by the ETS. if you happen to stumble upon an antonym question like this. things change.speculation will lead you to the correct answer.33 % of 50?A. Verbal. Beating the GRE quantitative requires a balanced combination of math skills and test-taking skills– these strategies will help improve the latter. When we are overwhelmed by figures and calculations. when you’re in the middle of a timed test. You may notice the anticipated answer in the choices and think that you won’t have to finish the problem. 1. You see a question like this and immediately start calculating the product.195 Any relaxed. it’s easy to make mistakes. This is where ballparking plays a significant role. 32. imprecise. 5. but remember that such a choice is probably a trap. learning the processes is more than half the battle. These strategies are here to remind you that there is just a bit more to studying than simply cramming math material. In terms of GRE quantitative strategy.33 percent is awfully close to one third. During practice. vacabulary Posted in GRE. don’t overwork. Yes. but nonetheless common sense manner. July 26th.125 B.16. Avoid TrapsNearly every multiple choice math problem has trap answers. no matter how many correct steps you painstakingly went through. often making the problem appear a little bit easier than it actually is. Use the test format to your advantage. Moving a decimal one unit could transform a correct answer into a wrong answer. or attractors.Let’s look at a crude example:What’s 32. don’t give up–use your brain! Tags: antonyms. The only thing close to that is B. though. 35. and look at the simplicity of the question.
are likely to show up on the GRE Quantitative section. isn’t it? But. the total discount is $36. why not imagine the shirt is 100 bucks to start. We went from a 100 dollar shirt to a 64 dollar shirt. let’s get real. 2010 Averages. B. 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. or arithmetic means. 50% You may read this question and think that a 20 percent discount plus another 20% discount equals a 40% discount. 42% e. So. First. Rather than present you with all the numbers in a set and ask you to find the average of those numbers. 25% b. Thus. but the test will probably present average questions in a more complicated way. Just perform the calculations as necessary. Then. Quantitative. and you get 80. That’s a difference of 10064=36. but they can mean big points in a pressured testing environment. What was the total percentage discount from the original price?a. Most of us know how to find the average. you may be inclined to choose it and move on. Take 20% off of 80 (80 / 5 = 16) and you get 64. 36% c. series | No Comments » Averages Tuesday. . you’ve just missed a pretty easy question. think about these techniques! They will keep you from making careless mistakes on easy to intermediate problems. 40% d. which can end up making a huge difference on a computer adaptive test.example of what this might look like:1. Unfortunately. the GRE average problems will present you with various combinations of known and unknown information. Posted in GRE. Take 20% off of 100. the price was reduced another 20%. These two strategies may appear simple. during a special sale. Seeing 40% as an answer choice. July 20th. when you practice. The price of a T-shirt was reduced by 20%.
of all the fish? Answer: Simply multiply 14 and 4. T is the total sum of values. If the aforementioned scores are 80. and n is the number of figures in a set. 80. then T= 550. the total number of percentage points on all the tests 5*89= 445. 60.8 Example 2: Throughout the year. The average of the figures in a set: (A)= T / N. 14*4. The most important rule to remember is that Average = Sum Total / Number of Figures Here are some possibilities for average questions and the strategies to solve them: 1. In our example. 95. The number of figures in a set (n). If I want to find the average of seven different test scores. then n=7. If her average score after the first three five tests was 89. we have to find two totals before we can calculate the average of the final three tests. 75. they are related by the formula A= T / n. where A is average. 219 (total) / 3 (number of figures) = 73 . then simply multiply the average and the number of figures to find the sum total (T). 8*83= 664. her average score was 83. The sum total of all the figures in a set (T). we have the info we need to find the average in question. what was the average of her last three tests? Here. Janet took 8 math tests. let’s go over some basic rules for finding averages. What is the total weight. the total number of percentage points on the first five tests. Example 1: John caught 14 fish after a long day of fishing. 1.57. There are 3 numbers you want to know. 3.7= 65. 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. 2.7.7 lbs. After weighing all of them together.Before we begin. A = 550 / 7 = 78. With this information.Finding the total: IF you know the average and the number of figures/items (n) in a set. he calculated the average weight of the fish to be 4. 70. and 90. in pounds.
and 3 hours at 60 mph would be 180 miles. If John traveled a greater distance at 60 mph. let’s figure out the total distance. While some programs. particularly the science programs. Always remember: when in doubt. 28. what is the value of x? Remember that Average = Total / Number of figures. go back to the formula A=T / n. the average speed should be closer to 60. Average Speed = total distance / total time The formula for average speed is quite simple and intuitive. will pay for your airfare and arrange lodging with a current grad student. Even the most complicated average problems stem from the formula. July 15th. Remember. Rather. 44. 1 hour at 50 mph would be 50 miles.Example 3: If the average of 34. John drove for 1 hour at 50 mph and for 3 hours at 60 mph. Don’t forget that ‘x’ counts as a number in the list. Quantitative | No Comments » Nailing that Grad School Interview Thursday.5 Note: the average speed is not merely the average of 50 and 60–that is a mistake that many students make. Example 4: In traveling from city A to city B. The total time is 3+1 = 4 hours. Tags: Averages Posted in GRE. Our total distance is 180 + 50 = 230 miles. so our total number of figures is 4. it wouldn’t make sense for the average speed to lie right in the middle of 50 and 60. but many overlook the formula when approaching average speed problems. What was his average speed for the whole trip? First. Average Speed = total distance / total time = 230 / 4 = 57. 2010 So you’ve applied to several schools and you get a letter inviting you to an in-person interview. All you have to do is set up an equation with the information you know. most schools probably won’t do . we need both the total distance and the total time to calculate average speed. 35= ( 34+44+28+x) / 4 35= 106 + x / 4 4 (35) = 106 + x x = 4(35) – 106 x = 34 2. and x is 35.
Some people have a tendency of raising their eyebrows or rolling their eyes that they may not even be aware of it. be prepared to explain and defend your work. but even a friendly grad student who is buying you a drink at the bar may have something to contribute to the decision process. Find out what their research interests are because you will be working under one of them. you should try to attend because it indicates your interest in the program. So be sure to watch how you act and what you say. ask about teaching opportunities during the program. such as saying “like” or “um” frequently. If you can weave their area of interest into your conversation. frequency of publication. the interview is also your chance to interview them. if there is a rotation program between professors and how that works. without it being a CATastrophe Monday. You should also try to speak more slowly that you think is normal. Always be conscious of your manner. Posted in Grad School | No Comments » Reading on a GRE CAT. It really helps too if you can demonstrate how your research experience ties in with their program. July 12th. please be aware that every moment could possibly be part of the “interview”. (Don’t drink too much!) If you know ahead of time that there is going to be a formal dinner. If you have some research experience yourself. always acknowledge the person (preferably by name) and their opinion. mentoring programs and job prospects. 2010 . Let other people speak their turn. Finally. 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.this. Making a list of your academic and research interests and your graduate school goals and matching that list up with the program is often a good way of organizing your thoughts to the big question – “so why are you interested in our program?” If your school has planned an entire weekend of activities for you. don’t take your neighbor’s water glass etc. spend a few days researching the department and the faculty. Regardless. You may not be taking to a professor. Try not to ask questions that indicate that you haven’t done your research. Instead. practical work opportunities. remember not to monopolize the discussion even if you might have a lot to say. brush up on your table etiquette too – know your bread knife from your regular knife. Others might have verbal tics. particularly during the main interview. Practicing taking a pause every time you catch yourself about to say that and it might help you say it less. and if you must disagree with them. before discussing yours. If you are asked to discuss an issue with some of your fellow applicants or grad students. Before you leave. because there is a tendency for people to rush what they are saying when they are nervous.
or a Computer-Adaptive Test. is very different on a paper-based test than it is on a CAT. Years of paper-based reading trains the test-taker to take notes on the passage itself.. you don’t have that luxury. places. Here are a few ways to do that. and other key words and phrases Often. and new interp. The older you are. and hunting for that detail in the passage can cost you precious time. and even adulthood learning how to read in a paper-based world. Examples of this would be references to individuals or groups of people. and Perspective—issues are commonly addressed in questions. Expedite the process by keeping track of the kinds of details that are common subjects of questions.. underlining significant sections of the passage and putting notes in the margins near the relevant text. 4—conclusion Taking notes like this as you read forces you to synthesize the text and read more efficiently. Go to CAMP CAMP—or Central Point. instead write a couple of words with a line reference to tell you where to find what you’re looking for. a . especially reading comprehension. and key ideas that are addressed in detail only in one part of the passage. But learning to read actively even without the benefit of marking up the text is key to improving your reading comp score. On a CAT. dates or time periods. Since you can’t indicate those things by underlining them or putting a star or other mark in the margin nearby. interp. Keep track of proper nouns. Outline the passage paragraph by paragraph as you read You will have scratch paper. the computer is less an assistance than a hindrance. theories. historical background Para. often this will be summarized in one sentence. Standardized testing. ect. Get into the habit now. the more likely it is that you spent your childhood. particularly if chronology is important to the passage’s meaning. use a notebook to annotate practice passages. and you can indicate that sentence in your notes with a line reference. Jotting even just a few words to summarize each paragraph can help you get a handle on the passage and sharpen your focus. dates. 3—problems with trad. a question will refer back to a specific detail without giving you a line reference. teen years. An example might look like this: Para.The GRE is a CAT. Approach. 1—intro. and you should take advantage of it. Approach is how the author is writing the passage: is it a recommendation. even if you’re practicing on paper. But on some sections. 2—traditional interpretation Para. Central Point is the main idea of the passage. Para. Map.
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,
After you organize your ideas. 2 Issue Writing Task pt. In our previous example statement. your first step is to identify each idea as “agreeing with” or “disagreeing with” the prompt statement.” for example.” you might have jotted down “advances in medicine. Verbal. disagreement.” however. you can’t write a solid essay without solid ideas. but do give an informative outline of your main arguments. 2. “Advances in medicine. “pro” indicates that the idea supports the statement. 3 Tags: roadmap Posted in GRE. Adopt a position / Articulate your thesis: When you look down at the overflowing mass of ideas you have written. finely tuned arguments are better than a bulk of crude ones. Introduction: Your introduction should first clearly articulate the argument in the given statement. That’s where organization comes in. Fewer. you should start to see a coherent argument forming. great ideas alone will not get you the grade. Once you have your brilliant ideas down on paper. Try to see where ideas cohere. your argument can be one-sided. we looked at the single most important step in writing your essay: brainstorming. Unfortunately. Remember.” “machines relieve factory worker of monotonous work. series | No Comments » Issue Writing Task: Part 3 Thursday. Show the reader that you understand the implications of the issue at hand. if some ideas are weak. or it can qualify the conditions of the prompt statement. write down “pro” or “con” next to each. don’t use them. or qualification of the statement’s argument.” “automotive safety. “Machines relieve factory worker of monotonous work.” After you have labeled your pieces of evidence. indicating your agreement.” To quickly identify the stance of these ideas. the most significant contribution of technology has been to make people’s lives more comfortable. organize these ideas into body paragraphs.so you have no excuses—start writing! Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt. July 1st. After all. is an example in favor of the statement. and “con” indicates that it opposes the statement. follow these steps: 1.” and “internet allows for ease of communication. so it deserves a “pro. 1 Issue Writing Task pt. deserves a “con” since it argues that there are more prodigious technological achievements than those that make us comfortable. articulate your stance on the issue. . “Over the past century. 2010 Last time. Don’t get too specific with your evidence here. Then.
if your entire application package is borderline and you write one or two truly awful essays. but you really want to devote the bulk of your time to the body paragraphs. In fact. Ideally. writing the body paragraphs leads to a more fine-tuned thesis. Stay tuned. If you’re taking a computer-based exam. but the process of writing them will help you refine your own ideas. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time. Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt. These two stages of the writing process should take about 6 minutes. August 31st.” I personally have not heard of a student getting into grad school because of his or her GRE essays. you may choose to write the thesis after you’ve written your body because your argument may slightly change during the writing process. 2010 Your GRE essays are unlikely to be the linchpin of your application. The purpose of your introduction is to build up to your argument. it should take about 9 minutes tops. practice with Grockit or write some sample outlines and introductions. though. it’s important that you keep the AWA in perspective: it shouldn’t take up much of your prep time. should go at the end of the introduction. No need to leave a chunk of blank space—the magic of word processing takes care of this. but it’s certainly to your advantage to spend some time familiarizing yourself with what makes for a good essay. 2 Archive for August. when combined with the initial brainstorming stage. Next time. 2010 Structuring Your Analysis of An Argument Essay Tuesday. 1 Issue Writing Task pt. so we don’t want the thesis seem forced or out of place. Very often. which is essentially a sentence or two that outlines your argument. so do not strictly limit your argument before you begin writing. that your essays could keep you out. It certainly seems possible. Although I don’t like to say “never. . this is no big deal. and in the meantime. we’ll look at how to construct the body paragraphs. For that reason.Your thesis. Don’t worry too much about refining your thesis statement at this stage. your thesis statement should be organically integrated into your introduction. Not only are the body paragraphs the most important and most heavily weighted part of the essay.
A good rule of thumb is that your reader should be able to get the gist of your entire argument just by skimming the first sentence of each paragraph. and wants to do her job as efficiently as possible. At some point in high school or college. and a happy reader is probably more apt to make those tricky 4/5 line calls in your favor. Similarly. and map out your three points) without any attempts at rhetorical bells and whistles. Take a few minutes at the beginning of your AWA to outline the five sentences that will begin your paragraphs. 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 most popular television station in Metropolis. but your GRE AWA reader doesn’t need to be “drawn in.” she is getting paid to read your essay. WPTK would significantly reduce the incidence of auto accidents on Metropolis-area roads by providing traffic updates. does not currently provide traffic updates to viewers. state your position. Also include a “roadmap” of the points that you will make. your reader is probably going to devote no more than three to five minutes to your essay. Of the two essays you’ll be expected to write. the ereader is programmed to assess organization. Now. The easiest format to use in writing this essay is the classic 5-paragraph style. Paragraph 4: The third flaw is explained here in the manner established in the previous two paragraphs. and a simple. . this strategy can make your reader’s job far easier. a professor.and getting some feedback from a qualified source. Since Metropolis is located in a Midwestern state with serious winter weather road delays 4 months out of the year. Paragraph 5: Briefly recap the flaws you’ve presented and diplomatically explain how those flaws could be remedied to present a stronger argument. let’s look at a sample prompt and opening paragraph: Prompt: WPTK. if only because the task is not a familiar one to most grad school candidates. She’s likely to regard literary flourishes as a waste of your energy and her time. Remember. Paragraph 2: Explanation of first flaw– this paragraph should have a strong topic sentence and then several sentences explaining the flaw in detail. or a test-prep specialist. in the order that you will make them. 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. the Analysis of an Argument is likely to be the more challenging. To start your essay on the right note. Paragraph 3: The second flaw gets the same treatment here as the first one did in the previous paragraph. make sure that your first paragraph does what it needs to do (recap the argument. a composition instructor may have told you to use an “attention-getting” opening to really draw your audience in. whether that is a professional mentor.
and by predicting a “significant” reduction in Metropolis auto accidents without specifying what kind of a reduction would be deemed “significant. we will discuss some common problems students encounter with percent problems.25 = 1. GRE. Let your concise. referring back to the issue briefly. or 30% off the sales price Percents are basically fractions with a denominator of 100 Learn your common percents.Response Paragraph 1: The argument. August 27th. 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. 62. the opening paragraph responds to the prompt by taking a clear position. Verbal. and outlining the points that the essay will be addressing. and convert to fractions whenever possible. has merit.” As you can see. by failing to explicitly state how the updates would affect auto accidents. Here are some quick pointers: Percents MUST be APPLIED to something A percent means nothing on it’s own. which states that WPTK’s broadcast of traffic updates would reduce the incidence of auto accidents on Metropolis-area roads.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 + 0.25 . 2010 In this article. However. which can come in a variety of formats. Posted in Essay. Example: 20% = 1/5. the argument also exhibits several serious flaws which could limit its persuasiveness. The author weakens his claim by assuming that televised traffic updates would be timely enough to impact drivers’ actions. analysis of an argument | No Comments » Tips For Percent Math Problems on the GRE Friday. Example: 16% of men.
versus two tougher ones. you are probably missing what to apply the percent to. Percent change = Total Change/Original Value Example: Before trading began. the higher the resulting percent Applying the same percent to a higher number will yield a higher number. so 8 – 2 = 6 Example: What is 25% of 8? ¼*8 = 2 Use shortcuts 20% less than means 80% of. or 20% Don’t add constants and percents You should never find yourself trying to figure out what 5 + 6% equals.000 = 0. Which is bigger.2. See the previous example: What is 25% less than 8? ¾*8 = 6. x or the resulting number? The 10% increase of x in the first round increases x by a certain amount. Conversely. The higher the number. it will save lots of time. At the end of market close.000. So instead of taking 20%. it might not seem necessary. but as numbers get larger.000. and we’re done! On easy numbers like this.5)] in one neat step. Example: A certain positive integer x is increased by 10%. then subtracting from the original.000/$10. The 10% decrease in the 2nd round is applied to a higher number. just take 80% and be done. What was the percent change in James’ portfolio? Percent change = $2. and then decreased by 10%. so will yield a larger change. In this case. James’ investment portfolio was worth $10. 50% more than 10 should be calculated by multiplying 10*3/2 [10*(1 + 0. . James’ investment portfolio grew by $2.Recognize the difference between percent MORE/LESS THAN and percent OF Example: What is 25% less than 8? ¼* 8 = 2. The original x will be bigger.
05 (with tax) = $630 Note we can convert to fractions. 25 people * x dollars/person * 1. 5% = 1/20 since 5*20 = 100. Now we set up the equation. 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. $25.000 items he offered for sale. fractions are always easier. Jerome sold 75% of the first 1. what was the face value of each ticket price without the sales tax? A. They cancel well. If this price included a 5% sales tax. and are typically neater.94 C. cancel and simplify. If he sold 40% of the total number of items he offered for sale. setting x = ticket price before tax. $23. $22 B. and 30% of his remaining items. and all the tickets cost the same amount. 750 .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.20 E. $30 Without a calculator. $24 D. how many items did Jerome offer for sale? A.
And again.800 D. you could easily execute a calculation to ascertain them.000 = 3. if not.500 Again. 1. we want to set up the equation – this will make things a lot easier. The GRE . In this case.500 + 1. 2010 Number theory may sound scary.050 C.500 E. and 1 unknown. Quantitative. 1000 + R = T Now. Tags: percent Posted in GRE. August 25th. 1.500 We always look back to the original question to see exactly what we are looking for. The best option.000 = 4. 4. we have 2 equations and 2 unknowns.500 Choice E Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. 3/4*1000 + 3/10*R = 4/10*T We have 2 equations. 3. Not R. but it’s just an intimidating name for some pretty elementary mathematical principles. strategy | No Comments » Number Theory Wednesday. though.B. T = R + 1. You probably know most of these principles by memory. switching to fractions is always best. This is a good hint that there may be a hidden 2nd equation. is to study these principles enough that they seem intuitive. T. We can solve! 750 + 3R/10 = 400 + 4R/10 350 = R/10 R = 3.
5r + 6t E. D adds an even (odd times even) to an even (even times odd) . an odd times an even. 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. just think that a sum is only odd if you add an even and an odd. 5rt means we multiply an odd times that even product. which is even.Quantitative section is all about saving time. We instantly know that rt. just think that a product is only odd if you multiply two odds. which of the following is odd? A. times another even (6). is even. so . C translates to an even (even ²) times an odd (t). 5rt C. 1. or we could use our knowledge of number theory to figure out the answer. rt B. so that’s even. which is even. Multiplication Even x even = even (6 x 4 = 24) Odd x odd = odd (5 x 3 = 15) Even x odd = even (6 x 5= 30) To more easily remember these. we could either plug in numbers for r and t. making number theory second nature will definitely save you some valuable seconds. 6(r²)t D. 6r + 5t In this example. Example Question If r is even and t is odd.
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. for example. 53. Remember. in the beginning. Tags: even. write down the numbers. and 59. cross out your multiples of 3. 19/3 leaves a remainder of 1. Take one last look at your group. The more you practice finding primes. is a prime because it can only be evenly divided by itself and 1. Some quick tips: . 43. Primes: Prime numbers are numbers whose only factors are themselves and one. For example. alternatively. you should quickly narrow down the primes with a sequence of steps. odd. it’s more important to be thorough than it is to be fast. so be sure to watch out for those pesky composite numbers like 51 and 57. E is our answer. you will have to identify less recognizable primes. since 19/3 = 6 1/3. and cross out all the even numbers (all even numbers greater than 2 can be divided by 2. But. So we are now left with 41. the less often you’ll have to do this. and thus are not primes). 47. 47. E adds an even (even times even) to an odd (odd times odd). 2. 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 Then. 43. Note that 1 is not a prime. 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. 2010 Remainders are the NUMERATOR of a fraction from a mixed number that results from division. and Grockit makes great practice. practice makes perfect. which is finally odd. August 23rd. Quantitative | No Comments » All About Remainders Monday. number theory. First. and you should notice that 49 is 7 squared. for example. 49. primes Posted in GRE. 53. If you were asked to identify the primes between 40 and 60.that’s even. In some questions. you can just write down the odd numbers in the set. 11. and 59. Missing just one prime means missing the question.
For example. If Dad takes out the trash on January 18th. When and number with a one’s digit of 7 dividing by 5. assuming n is a positive integer? Firstly. (A general rule of thumb is that if you think it’s taking too long. This is easier than recognizing 135/15 is a whole number and counting up. Brother. we only care about the one’s digit. We can break 3^(4n+3) into 3^4n * 3^3 by the rules of exponents. 2. I recently came across this question. For example. even though you can reduce 4 2/4 to 4 1/2. 3.1. your remainder options are 0-8. you can see that 15 would go into 150 evenly. Dad. so the result will have a one’s digit of 7. so 167/(even #) must have an ODD remainder. so we only need to look at the one’s digit while multiplying. Sister. we are left with a remainder of 2. Your remainder can only range from zero to the denominator of the fraction. The remainder should NOT be reduced. we see how many days pass between January 18 and March 26: January 19-31: 13 + . 3^4n = 3^4 = 81 = one’s digit of 1. we will be multiplying a term with a one’s digit of 1 with a term with a one’s digit of 7 (3³).) It’s clear that we don’t want to whip out our calendars and start counting. If n = 2. 18/4 = 4 2/4. 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. The order goes as follows: Mom. We detect the pattern that regardless the value of n. it probably is…. In this scenario. when dividing by 9. The remainder stays equal to 2. when trying to find the remainder of 146/15. so your remainder is (15 -4) = 11. Look for the closest whole number and count up or down from there. For example.) Instead. multiples of even numbers are even. which I think is a good introduction: What is the remainder of 3^(4n+3) divided by 5. You then count down four from 150 to 146. 3^4n = 3^8 = 81*81 = one’s digit of 1. If n = 1. Become familiar with common trends or patterns. since a remainder of 9 leaves you a new whole number (with a remainder of 0). when dividing by 5. who takes out the trash on March 26th? (There are 31 days in January and 28 days in February. 4. we are looking for the remainder above a one’s digit of either 0 or 5.
268 B.11 repeating Note that multiplying these by constants will leave similarly instructive results. 4.166 repeating 1/8 = .25 1/5 = .125 1/9 = . 0. such as: 3/8 = 3*1/8 = 3*0. which of the following is a possible value of (x² +2x – 7)/9? A.166 repeating E.February 1-28: 28 + March 1 – 26: 26 = 67 days.375 The more familiar with these you become. 1.33 repeating 1/4 = .555 repeating C.125 .125 = 0. 8.20 1/6 = . -2. mainly: 1/2 = .4 D.5 1/3 = . 67/4 leaves you will a remainder of 3. For example: If x is an integer. the quicker you can eliminate answer choices are clearly wrong. Fractions and Decimals are the same thing You should be familiar with common decimals. leaving us with Mom on March 26th. so we count 3 from Dad.
-4.) Join a Grockit game for more GMAT math practice with Jake! Tags: remainders Posted in GRE. 2² x 3³. A factor is a divisor. 8. 16. and -8. -2.We don’t have to start plugging in. 92 can be written as 2 x 2 x 23. 2010 Finding factors of integers should become second nature on the GRE. The multiples of 8 include …-32. or 2² x 23. Factor trees help us simply radicals (answer choices with radicals are almost always in simplified form). The multiples of an integer x are the infinite products of x and another integer. even if they do not ask you explicitly. more simply. Prime Factorization: Prime factorization. -8. This practice may seem purposeless. ((C) is divided by a factor of 5. 8. or. We know that when divided by 9. . Quantitative | No Comments » Prime Factorization Thursday. 2. a. for example.k.a. 0. Only choice (B) fits that description. the factor tree. 64… and so on. Notice that all the ends of the tree (those numbers that cannot be divided) are primes. The easiest way to do is to make a factor tree. a number that an integer can be evenly divided by. many questions will require you to find the factors of an integer. is a process by which we present an integer as a product of all its primes. -16. (D) by a factor of 6. 32. A factor tree is a diagram that breaks down a number into its corresponding factors. but it has many practical applications. -24. -1. Let’s see an example: Above are the factor trees for 108 and 92. 4. and (E) by a factor of 8. 108 can be written as 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 3. The factors of 8. are 1. the remainder will be a number repeating to the right of the decimal place. August 19th. So.
however. is not always so easy. Simplifying this. so I’ll use factor trees to directly arrive at the answer. Thus. you will be able to arrive at the answer mentally. I need to figure out the biggest square in those primes. . chances are you won’t see √96 in your answer choices. Sometimes. I’m not quite sure what it is off the top of my head. you’ll probably see the simplified version. the GCF of 60 and 15 is 15. or 16. I know that the biggest perfect square is 2 x 2 x 2 x 2. I know that √96 = 4√6. however. you can use the factor tree to directly arrive at your answer. Suppose I want to find the GCF of 256 and 72. To simply a radical. if your answer to a multiple choice question was √96. I know that 96 is the same thing as 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3. When the calculations are more difficult. Since I am trying to simplify the square root. which is 4². the GCF of 24 and 16 is 8. I know that sqrt96 = √16 x√3 x √2. Because I have five 2s in my primes. first diagram the factor tree: So. For example. Greatest Common Factor: The greatest common factor (GCF) of two or more integers is the greatest integer that is a factor of those integers. Similarly. since 8 is the greatest number that is a factor of both. Taking the GCF of bigger numbers.For example.
2010 . first find how many primes are common to each prime factorization. Note: this one would be pretty difficult to figure out without the factor tree. you can practice without looking for sample problems–just make some up on your own. The best way to get faster at prime factorizations and GCFs is to practice. To find the GCF. or 8. Using factor trees would yield: 68 = 2² x 17 102 = 2 x 3 x 17 204= 2² x 3 x 17 Here. The GCF is the product of all the primes that appear in each factorization. The good news is. so 2³. Let’s see another example: GCF of 68 and 102 and 204. it helps to write each as a product of powers: 256 = 2^8 and 72= 2³ x 3². 2³ is smaller than 2^8. prime factorization Posted in GRE. in this case. Tags: factor tree. only 2 is common to both. 102 has the lowest power of 2. is the GCF. August 16th. Quantitative | No Comments » How to Get the Most Out of Your GRE Lessons Monday. so our GCF is just 2 x 17 = 34. In this case. we have the common factors 17 and 2. using each prime the smallest number of times in any of the factorizations.Once you perform the prime factorization.
“I’ve noticed that I have trouble with Reading Comp detail questions. there’s no guarantee that I’ll be giving you the kind of information that will help you as an individual test-taker. some take a class or have a private tutor. Post questions on Grockit forums and reach out for help. Preview reading or practice problems ensure that you’re coming to your lesson with the basic foundation of knowledge that you will build upon to master the skills being taught. you need to be doing. Can you explain to me why choice C is the correct answer. and not choice E? And how can I apply that to other RC detail questions?” I will be able to offer much more productive feedback to that than to someone saying. he or she should be happy to clarify any issues regarding the type or amount of work you should do. Experts often have time before or after class specifically set aside for questions. so don’t be afraid to approach yours to ask him or her to try to reframe the issue for you. A great question is something like. Don’t be afraid to look for clarification if something doesn’t make sense. Come prepared! If there’s any kind of background information that you should know before class. know it. like the one in this sample. 3. to help them get the most out of one-on-one time with their teachers or tutors (herein referred to as your Expert). but I know that I find it much easier and more productive to address specific queries than extremely general ones. waiting for someone just like you to come in for help. others spend time on Grockit. Some use books to do practice questions on their own. ask your Expert. if anything. Ask the right questions. People learn differently. In live classes. “I have trouble with Reading Comp. And of course. if you arrive 20 minutes early. Just because one of your classmates understands the question doesn’t mean that you are expected to understand it the same way. there are huge communities of online students and Experts who can give you feedback or guide you in the right direction. but without specific knowledge of your trouble areas. (The Expert may be reading the newspaper or Facebooking on his or her Blackbery while waiting. but will be more than happy to put that aside to answer your questions or discuss your concerns.) Online learning tools also have potential applications that many people never fully explore. . 4. I’m here to offer a few tips to the people in that last group.People prepare for the GRE in many different ways. you’ll find your Expert sitting. Take advantage of all the resources available to you. And homework regarding a lesson you’ve already learned will help cement the methods that have been demonstrated. If you’re not sure what. That’s what the Experts are here for. 2. I can’t speak for other Experts here. Can you give me some tips?” I may have tips to offer. and sometimes all a student needs is for something to be explained in a different way. 1. Often.
20 1/4 = 0. Dividing by 5 is the same as multiplying by 2/10. 90% of the time.111 repeating 1/8 = 0. mistakes should be learned from and sometimes laughed off. preparing for it is often a rigorous experience. One way to mitigate this is by retaining a rockstar aptitude in manipulating fractions. For example: • • • 840/5 = ? 840/5 = 840*(2/10) = 84*2 = 168 Multiplying or dividing by 10’s and 2’s is generally easier than using 5’s. But questions are sometimes funny. remember that your GRE prep is a collaboration between you. your fellow students. and take advantage of the many ways that you can study for the exam. 2010 GRE questions are notorious for seeming harder than they actually are. Be proactive about your practice and about asking questions. fractions will be easier to perform arithmetic. Finally. try to have some fun with the studying process! Yes. and your future is a serious thing. And. and will give you ostensibly time-consuming calculations.14 1/6 = 0. Some common ones to memorize: • • • • • • • • 1/9 = 0. August 13th. you should take some time out to play. finally. the GRE is a challenging test.5. and remember to take time to relax a little! What are some of your favorite ways to relieve GRE preparation pressure? Posted in GRE.166 repeating 1/5 = 0. try to enjoy the process as much as you can. Even if given a decimal (or percent) looks easy. such as in a number line. but these questions are the exception. quickly convert to a fraction. strategy | 1 Comment » Fractions. and your Experts and fellow students could probably use a light moment as much as you could. too. So remember that even as you’re working hard. Oh My! Friday. The writers recognize time is short. which occur in a large portion of the questions.5 repeating .333 repeating 1/2 = 0. Proportions and Ratios.125 1/7 = ~0.25 1/3 = 0. and your Expert. GRE Prep. Decimals are sometimes more useful when comparing numbers relative to one another. To summarize.
such as 3/8 (0. but can easily be derived by multiplying the original fraction (1/8 * 3 = 3/8 = 0. leave them in the comment field. 12 E. A denominator of a reduced fraction with a multiple of 7 will not have a finite decimal. Keep in mind what you can logically combine. For example: At a certain restaurant. Adding the 12 waiters. If you have some. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters is 3 to 13.125 * 3 = 0. but generally practice and familiarity with the numbers helps a lot in doing quick arithmetic. There can be 14 boys and 4 girls. C/W = 3x/13x. How many cooks does the restaurant have? A. or 70 boys and 20 girls. This list is by no means extensive. and what you cannot. the ratio will hold true. “The ratio of boys to girls is seven to two” can be expressed as the proportion: B/G = 7/2. 15 The key here is setting up the equation. Since we don’t know the initial scale of the number of cooks and waiters.375) Denominators are super important. When 12 more waiters are hired. GRE writers love to provide ratios (which are multiplicative relationships) and then add an absolute component (addition/subtraction). 4 B. Ratios A ratio is both a comparison and division. (x must be an integer. we can express this scale by “x”. Notice that whatever x is. There are many many more shortcuts. we don’t actually know the number of girls and boys. Forget the “:” with ratios. for example. the new ratio becomes: C/W = 3x/(13x + 12) . and can simply be treated as such. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters changes to 3 to 16.375) are also important to remember. Questions that insert absolute numbers should be taken with caution. Do with this what you like: 7G = 2B or B = 7G/2.• Note: Multiples of these. 9 D. whatever. unless of course he chops his finger off by accident!) “When 12 more waiters are hired” is the insertion of an absolute. Note that when you have a ratio like B/G = 7/2. 6 C. since you can’t have a portion of a cook.
600 C. 2400 E. how many pounds of fertilizer were spread over an area of the field totaling 3600 square yards? A. That’s 120 fingers. it’s best to reduce top-bottom AND left-right before cross multiplying. however. If 1200 pounds of fertilizer are spread evenly across the entire field. Choice D. which we originally represented by 3x. right? Well. 750 D.“The ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters changes to 3 to 16” defines this new ratio: C/W = 3x/(13x + 12) = 3/16 STOP! Before we cross multiply and solve for x. Answer A. Generally. 3*4 = 12 cooks. This implies that the relationship of fertilizer per square foot is uniform. we can eliminate the zeros on the left side: 9600/1200 = 3600/x 96/12 = 3600/x . The stimulus asks for the number of cooks. we get: 16x = 13x + 12 3x = 12 x=4 Sweet. 3200 The key word here is “spread evenly”. This will ensure you work with the smallest (and easiest) (and fastest) numbers possible. and you can set equal the relationship of the wholes to the relationship of the parts. there is a variable in one of the four slots. Before you do that. For example: A football field is 9600 square yards. So. and we are taught to cross-multiply and solve for that variable. we want to cancel out the 3’s in both the numerator. Proportions A proportion is two ratios set equal to each other like the question above.) After cross-multiplying. (More on this below. recall that x represents the scaling factor. A/F = 9600/1200 = 3600/x Clearly. 450 B.
proportions. the ETS has a reason for this. Believe it or not. Family. ratios Posted in GRE. we’ll either cower in fear or reject the whole endeavor completely. our brains are a built for more complicated and efficient processes than rote memorization. For this question we could have started by canceling 9600 and 3600 in the numerators. Luckily. Also. a mnemonic is a linguistic device. acronym. Order. August 10th. Check out Grockit for more quantitative practice! Good luck! Tags: fractions. If you’ve made it through college. 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).Then we can divide 96/12: 8 = 3600/x Here. often a rhyme. most of us will either behave like a lost child or a disaffected teenager. that aids recall. you’ve heard of mnemonic devices. so long as you are reducing by the same factor. . a career in public administration will not require you to know the proper definition of peregrinate. 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. Class. Chances are. we can still reduce left-to-right. we can actually use creativity to improve the efficiency of learning vocabulary words. which are both divisible by 400 to get: 24/1200 = 9/x. To refresh your memory (I wonder if there’s a mnemonic to remember the definition of mnemonic?). Phylum. or anecdote. This is one of my favorites from AP Biology that helped me remember the order of taxonomic classifications: Kingdom. When faced with the task of memorizing 1000+ unfamiliar (and sometimes useless) words. Quantitative | No Comments » Mnemonic Vocabulary Tuesday. 2010 Studying reams of vocabulary words can be a mind-numbing process. start with small numbers. No need to go for the biggest common factor. You can take it from here. You’ll eventually work your way down as the numbers progressively get easier. that is. Genus.
” Because I find this definition more interesting and useful. 1. then use it. but I find it pretty effective. this mnemonic as not as catchy as some others you’ve heard. . Abrogate: 1. I would know that it had a simple definition. they all will help you memorize this specific information. Revoke formally Abrogate is not a notoriously complicated word. Hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases. the English word for “snake oil” is “nostrum. Let’s look at a few examples. just an easy way to remember a close synonym. but it has special relevance for me. Then. and. drop it. Nostrum: 1. Indeed. I remember having a difficult time remembering the word when I was studying for my GRE. rhyme. but the best part is. but obscure words may not. though. that’s all you need. The Mnemonic: Put rum in your nostrils (or nose) to cure a cold. 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). I will think of a mnemonic for that definition. Sometimes. but I could never recall it. I would recognize the word. The first definition is basically the same definition as the more familiar word panacea–a cure-all. 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. If it doesn’t. it dawned on me. of course. Indeed. The second definition. both those words begin with “ab.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. There’s no use in struggling to remember the mnemonic device on top of remembering these words. There is no fancy anecdote.” In essence. you may be thinking that such information lends itself well to a mnemonic. come on for God sakes! You likely may have heard a different version of this. Abrogate means almost the same thing as Abolish.” which is defined as “a worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills. Remember. Now. if the mnemonic works for you. or acronym here. 1.” The Mnemonic: Abrogate= Abolish This is an example of the simplest kind of mnemonic you can imagine. a hypothetical remedy for all ills.Species = King Philip. that is partly true. once sought by the alchemists 2. But. is best encapsulated by the idiomatic expression “snake oil.
A ratio is a kind of fraction that measures two or more quantities in a group. You can also write this ratio as 3/4. of the party goers are girls. there are 4 girls. respectively. or 42. That means that for every 3 boys at the party. If 40% of the party is male. nor does it mean that 4/3 of the party goers are girls. 2010 Ratios and proportions are favorites of most standardized tests.For an impressively comprehensive list of vocabulary mnemonics. Let’s see what an example using this rule might look like: Example 1: At a party. August 5th. I add 3 and 4 (=7). For example. Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments » Ratios and Proportions Thursday. if we have a ratio x:y. 40% of the party goers are male. . 3/7.9 %. then x / x+y and y /x+y express the proportions of x to the group and y to the group. and then form a fraction in which this sum is the denominator. respectively. and then I take the ratio quantity of boys. or 57. They may be a bit intimidating if you are unfamiliar with how to approach them. and form the fraction 3/7. What is the ratio of male to female party goers? This question uses the aforementioned rule. We now have to find the ratio. 4/7. you add the numerator and the denominator. but reverses the process. you’ll learn that ratio and proportions problems require only simple algebra.com. So. and the GRE is no exception.1%. then 4/10 or 2/5 of the party is male and 3/5 of the party is female. if I want to find out what proportion of the party goers are boys. If you do want to find out what proportion or percentage of the party goers are boys or girls. but once you learn the basics. Stated algebraically. It’s a brilliant site that exploits the power of online collaboration (not unlike Grockit) to enhance education. a ratio of boys to girls (Boys: Girls) at a party is 3:4. of the party goers are boys. 3. visit mnemonicdictionary. This does not mean that 3/4 of the party goers are boys.
but how about a tougher one that uses the same concept: Example 3: In a right triangle. 78 At first. 70 E. A GRE question testing this rule may look like this: Example 2: If the ratio of men to women at a party is 4:7. Though we cannot find the total number of items in a group (e. To answer a problem like this. we can simply express the ratio of males to females as 2/3 or 2:3. 11. so our answer MUST be a multiple of 11. let’s write down some important info. just add the coefficient x to each quantity and add: 4x+7x=11x. Since the sum of the angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees. then the two acute angles must equal 90 degrees. 50 B. If this is a right triangle. which of the following could be the number of people at the party? A. 64 C. What’s the measure of the larger acute angle? Before we apply the same method. We know that the sum of the quantities. the two acute angles have a ratio of 1:5. 66. so 5*15 = 75 . then the largest angle is 90 degrees. 4x= 4*6= 24 men 7x=7*6=42 women That last example was pretty simple.g. represents a fraction of the total number of party goers. the answer would be 3:2. but you do. The only multiple of 11 in our choices is C. 66 D. Note: If the question had asked for the proportion of females to males. Extra Credit: If there were 66 people at the party. then x = 6. how many males and females would be there? If 11x=66. so: 1x+5x =90 6x=90 x=15 The larger angle is 5x. you may think that you do not have enough information to answer this question. we can deduce some important information about the number of items. number of people at the party) if we are given a ratio.Since we have two proportions expressed with the same denominator (2/5 and 3/5).
(Squares can be turned into triangles.Hopefully.) Lengths cannot be negative. ratios and proportions aren’t so scary anymore.) is essential. 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. but not too much. August 3rd. Tags: ratios and proportions Posted in GRE. perimeter. Inferences must be drawn from fact. for example.) Shared angles will normally not be explicitly stated. . Today. but there are numerous shortcuts to geometry questions that will save you time. we’ll explore circles inscribed in squares. For circles: • • • • • d=2r and all lines from the center to the exterior equal r. draw in lines that create simple shapes. Be careful in DS questions that pose equations in the context of quadratic equations with two solutions. we will cover many types of geometric scenarios encountered on the GRE. unless necessary. A basic knowledge of simple formulas (area. If one solution is negative and the other is positive. Quantitative | No Comments » Geometry Series Part 1: Circles Inscribed in Squares Tuesday. only the positive solution remains and the information is sufficient. 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. Trust the pictures. See if you can spot some ratio problems when you’re practicing on Grockit. 2010 In this series. Just because it looks like 90-degrees doesn’t mean it is! (Many of these common inferences will be detailed in this series. etc.
Next Lesson: Inscribed Triangles. September 30th. your answer will look like x + yπ. Archive for September. 2010 For many. you know everything about the circle! Use π = 22/7 with caution. 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. 2. doing many practice problems. Follow the trail. If given the length of the side of the square in the above image. Get a Study Rountine Down! Thursday. Shaded Areas Find the large area and subtract the small area from it.• • If you know r. Typically. you will be provided with one bit of information that tells you a whole lot. When dealing with circles along with other figures. Get Started Early . since it creates 45-degree angles. Remember 22/7 > π. For squares: • • • The diagonal equals s√2. the GRE study experience will take several months. we can actually find the length of the hypotenuse of the internal triangle (s = d = 2r. the side equals the diameter. When a circle is inscribed inside a square. eliminate answer choices that ONLY have π’s in them or don’t have any at all. taking practice tests and then mentally preparing for the tests in the final few weeks. Never assume without proof. perhaps taking a review class. Usually. These months take the form of figuring out what is on the test. Two important takeaways: 1. Post below with other helpful tips for your fellow GREers. 2010 « Older Entries Don’t Get Lazy for your GRE Studies. if not everything. The intersection of the diagonals creates a right angle. so the hypotenuse = (s√2)/2).
Practice tests opportunities abound. guides. create a study schedule and stick to it. Don’t like quantitative comparisons? Then spend a few weeks to tackle these types of problems. don’t watch tv. Don’t listen to music. Also. don’t study in environments that don’t simulate a real test. You should know where you stand and what areas you might want to focus on in your last few weeks. don’t drink wine. Study as if you were taking the test. and go somewhere quiet where you can concentrate. In this final run. Regardless. Some people might want to consider taking a class because they don’t have the time to self-study or need the direction. get plenty of sleep. Relax and Be Confident About a month before your test date you should be feeling confident and relaxed. and perhaps get on a workout regimen to burn off some of that extra stress that preparation can cause. and what the different sections include (there are millions of resources out there. sleep and exercise will work wonders on your body in these last few months. you should think about creating a schedule (Perhaps Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 3 hours each. etc). This should include diligence of what the GRE is all about. 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. If you are missing triangle and circle problems. You will be feeling good about yourself in the weeks leading up to the test. It will provide you with increased brainpower and will be a great mental stimulus to give you a boost on test day. Regardless. This will be after you have covered again areas that you struggle with. but you will eventually figure out when you are ready to start taking practice exams. this might take a few weekends to get up to speed. Essentially you should know what you are getting into. you will come across a lot. Others might want to buy preparation materials (such as the Official Guide for GRE Review books) and get started that way. and confidence is key!! . how many questions.Overall. Eat healthy. etc. A class will probably meet once or twice a week for several hours and if you don’t take a class. you will probably want at least 2 months for this practice phase and you will want a schedule. You should know that you have taken the necessary steps to prepare for the GRE and should have practiced literally 1000s of problems. discipline yourself! Some people might take longer than others for this practice stage. and then 6 hours on the weekend. Create a Study Schedule and Stick With It Now that you know exactly what the GRE is. what kinds of questions. ETS gives you access to a few tests. Look online and ask your friends. books. something like that). you should focus on them and master them. The right combination of diet. the next step is to figure out how you are going to study and for how long. online resources. it is smart to begin initial preparation a few months before your test. what it tests exactly. When you sign up for the GRE. Assuming you are working or still in college during this process. relax and be confident.
GRE Prep. sentence completions do not only test you on vocabulary. furthermore. then have five cups of coffee. like five cups. In the end. Do not cram. Go to bed with the peace of mind that you will do fantastic the next day. Get plenty of sleep. Continuation Tuesday. . If you don’t normally. Bottom line. also. indeed.” “because. on the day before your test. 1. logical reasoning is just as important. 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. relax and don’t do much of anything. Also. Continuation / Support: Certain trigger words or phrases indicate that a blank supports or continues an idea in the sentence. likewise. You must be able to recognize the logical direction of a sentence. Good luck!! Posted in GRE. If you routinely drink coffee in the morning. too. Here are some words that will often signal continuation or support: additionally.” and “surprisingly” become as important as words like “despotic.” and “surreptitiously. words like “despite. then.” “benumbed. as it may throw you off. don’t do anything that your body or mind is not used to. just do something relaxing and know that your months of preparation will serve you well. September 28th. and cause and effect are three common types of logic that sentence completions can exhibit. Will one clause support another? Will it contrast another? Will it provide the effect of a cause? Contrast. continuation. 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. do not think about the test. Get excited for the test and for your preparation and it will no doubt pay great dividends on your day.Don’t Cram Finally.” Trigger words. the semicolon and the colon can function in the same way. are those words that tell us what logical direction a sentence is going. as you know. don’t do anything out of the ordinary. as food is proven to give you a mental boost. Follow Your Regular Routine The day of your test. strategy | 1 Comment » Sentence Completions: Contrast vs. I like to have a big breakfast. 2010 As you may have figured out. A pre-test routine and a schedule are imperative for a successful result on test day. then don’t have one. as you could freak out or have a case of the jitters (literally). While knowledge of vocabulary is necessary for these questions.
he felt ______. Essentially. unexpectedly. paradoxically. he would probably feel very disappointed. A cause and its effect are rarely synonymous in meaning. thus. In this example. and. on the contrary.” which satisfies our contrast. but. Note Here’s an example: Even though the teacher continued to ——– her underachieving student. consequently.” Consequently. hence. rather than. 3. surprisingly. the answer is “benevolence. every action is “motivated by a degree of self-interest. but there is an important distinction.” then our prediction must be the opposite of self-interest. the colon functions as a trigger word signaling continuation or support. We cannot readily identify a word in the sentence that is either synonymous or antonymous with our blank. the clause following the colon defines the blank. we know that the teacher’s initial anger that characterizes the first blank must be diminished by his sincere promise to apply himself. Indeed. Make sure you keep this in mind when you encounter these cause and effect trigger words: because. if…then. in contrast. Some implicit examples. her initial anger had been —— by his sincere promise to apply himself in the future. If there is “no such thing” as ______. In this example. still. . nor are they directly opposite in meaning. in order to. illogically. therefore. In this example. they say. yet. Some explicit examples include although. We have to use cause and effect reasoning to figure out a prediction. Trigger words signaling contrast can be explicit or implicit. we can distinguish a cause and effect question from a contrast or continuation question. the clause following the colon defines the blank negatively. notwithstanding. Because John failed the test that he had been rigorously studying for. Even with this oversimplified example.Here’s an example: Some people believe that there is no such thing as true ——-: every action. “even though. despite. even though.” 2. which are often harder to detect. include “ironically. angry criticism and then a mollified attitude. Contrast: Certain trigger words also can indicate a contrast with an idea in the sentence. while. given. Here’s a simple example. The answer to this sentence is “berate…abated. we have an explicit contrast phrase. on the other hand. as a result. nevertheless. We have two contrasting ideas: harsh. If John failed a test he had been studying for. is motivated by some degree of self-interest. Cause and Effect: Cause and effect signal words are a bit like continuation/support words.
rather than when you’re working a 9-5 job and haven’t studied for anything in three years. why don’t we change “because” to a contrast word. Sentence Completion. . as they tend to fill up very quickly. Verbal | No Comments » Taking the GRE While Still in College Monday.” “happy. Whenever you practice on Grockit. he felt ______. Avoid scheduling your GRE for the middle or end of the semester/quarter when you will be stressed with midterms and finals. Posted in GRE. Lastly.” “undeterred. September 27th. Although John failed the test that he had been rigorously studying for.” “undiscouraged. GRE scores are good for five years so it’s easier to take it now. 2010 While some graduate school applicants have been out of school for a while. we cannot simply gloss over the trigger words in sentence completions. study during the year but schedule the exam a few weeks after finals so that you will have some time to unwind. some test centers offer testing times at both 8 am and noon. Here are some FAQs about taking the GRE as an undergraduate. and see how that might change our prediction. It will help you avoid simple mistakes that may cost you big points on the exam. Also.” Remember. consider which time slot you would prefer to take your exam. If you take it at the end of junior year.For practice. The most common time to take the GRE is at the end of your junior year or beginning of senior year. With just a change from ‘because’ to ‘although. the best time to take the GRE is definitely while you are still in college.’ we must radically change our approach to the problem. be sure to check your extracurricular activities to make sure that your group doesn’t have a performance. make sure you schedule it early in the term before your other campus responsibilities start becoming serious. while you’re still in the habit of studying and taking exams. Use this flexibility to your benefit and plan around your academic calendar when scheduling your exam. Sign up early if you want to get one of the noon times. unlike many other graduate school exams. it is offered virtually every day of the year. Since college students tend to be night owls. Now. mentally take note of the trigger words in a sentence. event or gathering scheduled the week of your exam. Happy studying! When should I take the exam? Since the GRE is a computer adaptive test. an appropriate prediction might be “fine. If you have the option of taking it during the beginning of senior year.
How do I balance GRE preparation with my regular course load? Plan ahead. help your sanity by planning ahead and minimizing other stresses as much as possible.What are my options for GRE prep? Whether it’s an online course. Keep your study habits in mind. September 24th. Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments » Polynomials Friday.ets. It’s normal to be nervous and stressed out as your test date approaches. 2010 A polynomial is any expression that combines two or more monomials using addition. in-person class or simply buying books and practicing on your own. or multiplication. Example 1: (4x²+7x+11) – (x²+14x+15) What this means is: . just as you would for any other class. Let’s look at few different types of polynomial problems on the GRE. Compare this with your target GRE score to help you decide what type of help you need. “2x+3y.” “3x² – y. try to finish that assignment early so that you can keep your focus on the GRE.” and “a+b” are simple examples of polynomials. Go to the www. college students are always busy. examine your schedule for the last few weeks leading up to your GRE. But preparing for the GRE. an online or in-person class might be best for you. you’ll be expected to know how to manipulate polynomials. You need to set aside time regularly. you might be better served by buying some of the many prep books on the market. whether on your own or with professional help. With extracurricular activities. subtraction. Visit Grockit to join an interactive game and check out the Grockit forums and connect with other GRE test-takers. make sure you distribute the minus sign. and part-time campus jobs on top of academic classes. to practice problems and take practice exams so you can work on your pacing. If you’re the type that studies better by yourself. is like taking an extra class.org/gre and download their free Powerprep® Software to access practice tests so you can get a gauge of your raw performance. If you’re an active learner. 1. intramural sports. If you have a lengthy paper due three days before your exam. there are myriad options for GRE prep. If you’re taking the exam during the academic year. For the GRE Quantitative section.Subtraction: If you are subtracting two polynomials. preferring to discuss methods and terms with others.
(12x² + 6x – 3 ) / 3 = 4x² +2x – 1 3. but just use the distributive property. Example 3:. here are some quick ways to multiply familiar binomials. Binomial Products: Rather than use the distributive method (FOIL) every time. Average of polynomials: When finding the average of polynomials. Example 2. (x+y)² = x²+2xy +y² Note: These three products should be memorized to save valuable time on the GRE. then our calculation is limited to (7)(13)=91 4.4x² + 7x +11 – x² – 14x – 15 Combine like terms: 3x² – 7x – 4 2. so we divide by how many items in the list there are). (x-y)² = x² -2xy + y² C. add the expressions and divide by the number of different self-contained expressions. A. If x-y=7 and x+y=13. what is the value of x²-y² Because we know that x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y). What’s the average of: (5x²+10x-7) + (3x²-4x+4) + 4x² First. Example 4: (32(a²)b + 12a(b³)c) / 8ab = 32(a²)b / 8ab + 12a(b³)c / 8ab = 4a + (3/2) (b² )c 5. Miscellaneous Polynomial Question Types . (x-y)(x+y) = x²-y² B. add the expressions: 12x² + 6x -3 Divide the sum by 3 (we are finding the average. Dividing Polynomials: dividing polynomials may look daunting.
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. Remember. say 10001=x and 9999=y. I bet we can manipulate the numerator a little further to yield this expression. you can be confident that you overlooked a simpler solution to the problem.Example 5 : What is the value of (10001)² – (9999)² When you see a problem like this. we can make this a lot easier with the rule x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y) With that logic. we want to add 1/x² + 1/y². If we consider each number a variable. y² / x²*y² + x² / x²*y² =( x² + y²) / (x²*y²) . Let’s try some factoring: numerator: 4x³ – x = x ( 4x² – 1) [That's the only way we could factor it ] denominator: (2x+1) (6x-3) = (2x+1)* 3(2x-1) Hmm. do not think you can just square each of these numbers. Another trap here is that you may want to FOIL out the denominator. What’s the problem? We can’t add numerators unless we have the same denominator. 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. 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. the denominator has the expression (2x+1). If you find yourself doing tons of calculations. no calculator is allowed. Example 7: What is the sum of the reciprocals of x² and y²? So. we will yield the same denominator in both expressions. and we can. Don’t plug in the 9999 immediately just because you think it’s an easy way out of doing algebra. It will make you miserable. When you see a very complicated expression like this. your first instinct should be to manipulate the numerator and denominator until you can comfortably cancel out expressions.
.Example 8: What’s the value of x²+ 12x + 36 when x = 994 Like our earlier examples. This is particularly important in two-blank sentence completions. A. Tags: polynomials Posted in GRE. 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. Give these strategies a try during practice on Grockit. If one blank should be a positive word. equal 36. As always. equal 12. and when added. attenuating E. scan it quickly to see if it has any structural key words. consequently. Quantitative | No Comments » Structural Agreement Wednesday. then and as a result should give you a clue that the blank agrees with the rest of the sentence. Let’s try a one blank sentence first.000. our goal here is to think of two numbers that. balmy B.000 As you can see. therefore. torrid C. (A second post on Structural Contrast will follow soon). (x+6)(x+6)…or (x+6)² Plug it in: 1000² = 1. We can easily factor this polynomial. “therefore”. “in addition” etc. Words such as because. How about 6 and 6? So. mellifluous . Problem Solving. If you need a little refresher with factoring. the children spent the day playing in the yard. when multiplied. September 22nd. don’t immediately plug in 994. the other blank should also be a positive word and vice versa. Having a thorough knowledge of polynomials will help you approach such problems the right way. Because of the ——– weather. 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…. If you see certain words such as “because”. then…”. symbiotic D. you know that the two blanks should correspond. This is known as Structural Agreement. certain problems that seem to require extreme calculations really just require some crafty algebraic manipulation. hence.
Imperfections B. the agreement might not be indicated so obviously as shown by the next two examples. This is where part of the sentence elaborates and sometimes strengths what’s said in the other half. “Anachronism” means out of its proper time period and I can guess what this word means from the roots “ana” and “chrono”. so I would pick choice C. industrial B. Cummings is someone who rejects tradition for experimental forms. anachronisms D. Case 2: Strengthening words A little different from cause and effect are strengthening or amplifying sentence.The “because” should tell you that the weather was good. such as placing a plasma-screen television in an early twentieth-century living room. in other words. the children could play in the yard outdoors.E. injustices C. it defines the blank for you. A. What follows such as defines or is an example of the first half of the sentence. aberration C. The word accompanying in the following examples suggests that the blank echoes or strengthens “unemployment”. apply what other vocabulary guessing skills such as using roots if you don’t know what the words mean. such as. iconoclast D. E. This means that you are looking for a positive word to fill in the blank and can get rid of torrid and attenuating. In the following sentence. entrepreneur Because tells you that its an agreement and further. E. “infirmity” and “benevolence”. That family’s many financial woes include unemployment and the accompanying ——–. aboriginal E. This eliminates “affluence”. in addition. Because the weather was good. . 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. tempos Sometimes. “Placing a plasma-screen television in an early twentieth-century living room” suggests that the TV is out of place. Here’s another example.E. The film was harshly criticized for its ——–. which they are struggling to overcome. such as is used to indicate that the sentence contains a structural agreement. exigencies E. rather than stay indoors. A. for example. From there. Strengthening words are also. Cummings has been labeled an ——– because he rejected traditional poetic forms for his unique experimental ones.
you should be able to find the third. the total time to complete the same task will . More often than not. September 20th. A semicolon is usually to join to clauses that can otherwise stand on its own. the agreement might be shown by the semicolon. Try this example: Critics of the self-help book deem it ——– folly. a laudable… comportments The word “folly” suggests that the critics do not like the book. Sentence Completion. or one explains the other. the clauses agree with one another. A. where a worker’s “efficiency” is calculated by amount completed in a given period of time. Posted in GRE.” If given any two of the three. an excellent… protocols D. “rate equals distance over time. benevolence Other times. Always remember to check if the sentence contains a structural agreement or contrast. infirmity E. affliction B. You can thus eliminate choice C and E because “excellent” and “laudable” do not indicate the critics’ dislike. affluence C. the second clause tells you that they do not like it because it “sets back women’s social issues by decades”. penury D. 2010 There is one very important equation that guides all rate and work questions: r = d/t. if the units remain constant. we typically need to add their separate rates together. Note that when working together. Working Together In questions where individuals work at different speeds.A. Problems involving “work” are essentially rate problems. but rather simply recognizing their existence. Make sure you keep your units straight. a disturbing… intuitions E. Specifically. Verbal | No Comments » Work and Rates Monday. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to pick the immediate answer that fits without checking that it makes sense in context. a misogynist… behaviors B. they claim that it advocates ——– that set back women’s social issues by decades. This doesn’t mean wasting time and writing each and every one out. a sexist… pestilences C.
However. Train B traveling at 90 m/hr also leaves New York for Dallas at 9 P. Relative Velocity Planes.25. in hours. we instead subtract their speeds to find the relative velocity. 1/6 + 1/7 = 6/42 + 7/42 = 13/42 trucks/1 hour. we find the reciprocal of 13/42.23 E. The rate of worker #2 is 1/7. When together. 3. A second worker can load the same truck in 7 hours. A worker can load 1 full truck in 6 hours. Remember the question is asking for the number of hours to fill 1 truck.M. trains and automobiles. 60 m/hr . Objects moving at given speeds on the <a href=”http://grockit. Train A traveling at 60 m/hr leaves New York for Dallas at 6 P. are you averaging or adding the given times taken. If both workers load one truck simultaneously while maintaining their constant rates.25 The rate of worker #1 is 1 truck/6 hours. Because the denominator is 13. be careful of units.be less than BOTH of the individual rates. If moving in the same direction. so 3/13 will be slightly lower. but not necessarily in proportion. Train C leaves Dallas for New York at 9 P. will it take them to fill 1 truck? A. 0. we know the decimal cannot equal . Sometimes walking. 42/13 hours/truck = 3 3/13 hours/truck. If all three trains meet at the same time between New York and Dallas. To find this. they will complete 1/6 + 1/7 trucks/ 1 hour. 0.com/groups/gre/dashboard”>GRE</a>usually travel toward or away from each other. we may not be able to decide between (D) or (E). This can also be 1/6 trucks/1 hour. 2.M. NOT the number of trucks completed in 1 hour.31 C. we can add their speeds to see their relative velocities. what is the speed of Train C if the distance between Dallas and New York is 1260 miles? A. approximately how long. Nor.M.15 B. We can also see that 3/12 will yield . the decimal is important. When moving at an angle. If moving toward or away from each other. 3. Again. Choice (E). we may be looking at a geometry question. At this point. You must add rates.25.47 D.
we get: . how much snow could 8 plows remove in 5 minutes? A. the time will be 3am.200 Instead of man-hours. 120 m/hr D. Choice (C). To catch up the 180 miles. 984 C. 328 B. 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. In the three hours from 6pm to 9pm. So when they all meet up. 131. 180 m/hr Relative to Train A. so all we have to is add “plows” to the expression. It may help consider the unit man-hours as the multiplication between workers and time. At this rate. and they will be at mile marker 540. and traveled (1260 – 540) miles.640 D. Man Hours Many times you may be asked to calculate the number of workers would be need to complete a certain task. 135 m/hr E. 16. which has traveled the same time as B (6 hours). here we want to interact plow-minutes.400 E. 1. A gets to mile marker 180. Train B’s velocity is 30 m/hr. 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. it will take Train B 6 hours. For example: Three plows working at identical constant rates can clear 123 ft of snow per minute. If we divide 123 ft/min by 3 plows. This means that B will gain on A at a rate of 30 miles every hour. 90 m/hr C. Rate of Train C = 720 miles/ 6 hours = 120 miles/hour. Feet and minutes are already compared. which is then compared to the work completed.B.
Choice (C). For compound interest. we need to divide 10% by 2 (because of 2 compounding periods). though this one involves compound interest. t (this is usually stated in periods. the above equation tells us the amount of interest that would be earned on a principle amount invested (P). Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further.000 (P = your principle) for one year (t = one year) at 6% simple interest (i = given interest rate). 2010 There are two types of interest problems on the GRE. since we are multiplying top and bottom by 40. Note the absolute rate does not change. you would earn slightly more. . Let’s look at similar type problem. 41*40 feet / 40 plow-minutes = 1640 feet / 40 plow-minutes. we would need to divide 10% by 4. some are much more difficult. and the amount of time the money is invested. we can simply insert these into the existing rate. So for in the above question. if we want to increase minutes to 5 and plows to 8. Mr. Example: If you invested $1. This is by no means exhaustive. and they include simple interest and compound interest. Quantitative | 1 Comment » Interest and Compound Interest Problems Thursday. because we are compounding semiannually.060. first you need to divide the interest rate by how many compound periods there are. The resulting equation is: Interest = iPt In basic terms. Riley’s account at the end of one year? For compound interest. Tags: man hours. relative volocity. work and rates Posted in GRE. There are LOADS more rate questions. and if we were compounding quarterly. How much money will be in Mr. Riley deposits $500 into an account that pays 10% interest. for a given time (t) at a given interest rate (i). i. such as years or months). so the value is constant. you would get $60 in interest at the end of the year and would have a total of $1. the interest rate earned on the principle. compounded semiannually.123 ft/minute/3 plows = 41 ft/plow-minute At this rate. the principle amount of money invested. September 16th. Simple interest is the most basic and is a function of P.
Riley has $551.In the above question.500*3). it might be a bit easier to think about this without the use of compound interest. Riley earns $1. Mr. meaning that after one period. If $2500 is invested at a rate of 8%. The correct answer choice is E. Mr.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).500*3). $3. For the second half of the year. which is equal to his balance of $500. $15. you are paid interest on the interest that was paid in prior periods. so all we need to do is take 112/8 = 14. compounded annually. Now. what will be its approximate worth in 28 years? A. $5. So at the end of the six months. They will pay 5% interest (10%/2) at the end of six months. Riley has $525 because the bank paid $25 in interest ($500*5%) into his account. we know that this balance of $7. we are given x% as 8%.000 E. The lesson? Compound interest always pays more! Let’s look at another similar type of problem that involves interest. This interest is equal to $525*5% = $26. compounded annually. the three types of interest problems you will most likely encounter come test day will be simple interest. Further. Mr.25 paid at the end of the year. we know that the money will triple exactly twice in 28 years. we know that the money triples in value every 14 years. and then will pay another 5% at the end of the year. 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).25. once in 14 years and one more time at the 28th year. For this one. and word problems involving the mention of .500 (or $2. plus the $25 interest paid at the end of 6 months. Compound interest can essentially be translated into “interest paid on interest”. which might unnecessarily confuse you. Riley deposited $500 into his account at a rate of 10% compounded semiannually and the bank will divide his interest into two equal parts. Overall. at the end of the year.600 C. $8. Mr. Here. hence the phrase “compounding”.500 At first glance.100 D. 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. plus $26.500 (or $7. Therefore. triples in value in approximately every 112/x years.500 will triple again. Mr. to get $7. compound interest. $22.750 B.25. Riley is then paid 5% on the $525 balance that was in his account at the end of the first six months. so the final balance at the end of the next 14 year period will be $22. Money invested at x%. Thus.
A. This tells you that her —– demeanor is opposite to her flamboyant acting. the two blanks are likely opposite in meaning. in spite of If you see any of these words upon scanning the sentence. In a two-blank SC. September 14th. Her flamboyant acting during the school play was a distinct contrast to her usual ——– demeanor. It turns out that there is only one choice. scan the sentence for any structural clues and then guess what word could fit in the blank before looking at your options. choice D.interest paid in one period is simple interest and interest “paid on interest” in multiple periods is compound interest. Have a compound interest problem or question you can’t figure out? Go to Grockit forums and ask Grockit’s expert tutors for help. structural contrasts indicate that there’s a shift in the sentence.interest. Finally. Winthrop has always been a leading advocate for educational reform. interest Posted in GRE. remember that some questions can be solved intuitively. on the other hand. he did not ——– this recent campaign to raise teachers’ salaries. communicative D. Although Mr. As always. in contrast. Let’s try a one-blank SC example first. A. Tags: compound interest. however. rather. taciturn E. despite. This means you’re looking for a word that’s the opposite of flamboyant. These are usually indicated by contrast words such as although. Let’s try another one-blank SC. theatrical C. uninhibited B. breed . 2010 Unlike Structural Agreement. polite The structural clue here is a distinct contrast to. but that can be solved without the application of interest or compound interest methods. but. I would guess “reserved” and see which option is most like that word. instead. Quantitative | No Comments » Structural contrast Tuesday. yet. 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. nor. nevertheless. The key to deciphering between compound interest and simple interest is to see how many periods the interest is paid….
jocularly…timidly D. I would narrow my choices down to choice D and E. he was NOT involved in this campaign. September 12th. irritated… encouragement C. rather than ——–. Fred was pleased to find that his usually churlish brother-in-law behaved ——–. Sentence Completion. humble… derogation Did you find the structural keyword in the above example? I found “even though”. even though she had already faced —— from several talent agencies. the blanks are opposite. A. lewdly…respectfully E. The songwriter was —— about the prospects for success in Nashville. His usually churlish brotherin-law behaved — (opposite of churlish) —. legislate The keyword here is although: this tells you that even though he is a leading advocate. at the party. My guess for the blank would be “he did not lead the campaign”. Ultimately. courteously…impolitely B. I would settle for pessimistic … rejection because one does not usually “face encouragement” or “face support”. A. Recognizing this narrows it down to the options that are a positive word…negative word: choices A and B. hopeful… support D. repent C. spearhead E. Moving on to two-blank SC.B. optimistic… rejection E. The contrast in the following example is even easier to spot. Verbal | No Comments » How to Study for GRE Vocabulary Sunday. 2010 . rather than —(same as churlish)—. Looking at the options. gracefully…awkwardly C. 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. repentently…arrogantly Posted in GRE. diminish D. miserable… insults B. Notice that in both instances.
when I hear the word “vociferous. propitiate = pruh-PIH-shee-eyt). you can figure out that soliloquy means a speech you make alone or to yourself. and build to it and study from it every day. easily understandable definition. i.e. On the lined side of the card. spread out your vocabulary studying over a long time. write it down. copy the unfamiliar words you encounter–found in both the questions and answer choices–in a separate document. here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your time.” which means offensively loud. write a short. Or. If you have trouble with the word. If you have a hard time pronouncing it. . If your buddy is up for a challenge. competitive games may help you forget that you are studying in the first place. First. Whenever you come across an unfamiliar word that might be included in a GRE vocabulary list. 4. when I hear the word “tyro. write down the roots and their meanings on the flash cards.g. write it down somewhere–scrawl it on a napkin. For example. you can switch it up: say the definition and ask for the word. read it in a magazine or in a textbook. or in test prep books. If you’re serious about studying vocabulary. especially when it comes to learning new words. but they are still one of the most effective ways to learn new words. 3. type it on the computer. Whether or not you heard it on the street or in a conversation. Use flash cards: Flash cards may sound a little old fashioned. Learn your word roots: Many GRE vocabulary words contain easily identifiable word roots that help you with the answer. write the word phonetically under the word (e. Go for Long Term: If you have the opportunity.” I think of my friend “Tyler. write the word you need to learn on the blank side of the card. 3. Make this document your official personal word list.g. and “loquy.Learning vocabulary words the GRE is a pretty daunting task. Just looking at the immense vocabulary lists offered in prep books can discourage you from starting a study plan. 1. I think “vociferous=voice ferocious”). Once you learn these roots. which can be learned online. creative.” meaning “an inexperienced person / beginner / newbie. Find a Study Buddy: Studying vocabulary in a group or with a friend makes the often tedious task a bit more fun. Write down Unfamiliar Words: I consider this step one of the most important and most overlooked.” who just started learning to skateboard. Without looking in the dictionary. encourage some friendly competition. through Grockit forum posts. This may sound unnecessary for a written test. the word “soliloquy” contains the roots “sol / solo. but knowing the correct pronunciation will allow you to use the word with confidence and correctly identify the word if it is spoken. add a little phrase or sentence to help you remember the word’s proper use. cramming is not very effective. 2. or add a note that helps you remember that particular word (e. All you have to do is take turns saying the word aloud and having the other person define the word.” meaning speech.” meaning alone. In general. for example. When you practice on Grockit. a monologue. or. or even text it on your cell phone.
try to implement them into casual speech. For any integer n. add them to an existing list. Use the words: This may be the most challenging task in the list. though. So in this case. 6. If you really want to know these words. if I am trying to create a custom striped tie and I need to pick two colors for it out of 7. 2010 Let’s go over a few definitions before we go over the different types of combination and permutation questions. For example. 6! = 6*5*4*3*2*1 Combinations Combinations are used when the order of the objects doesn’t matter. In general. n! = n*(n–1 )*(n–2)*…*3*2*1. Studying vocabulary should always be a cumulative process. 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. Around the right crowd. When you are ready for a new list. Posted in GRE. then how many color combinations can I have. Repeat: Once you’ve “finished” learning a group of new words. When you choose something. r = 2 and the answer is 7! / (5! * 2!) = 21 Combinations of combinations . n = 7. at the very least. don’t just set it aside. The answer is to choose 2 colors out of 7. Don’t neglect the words you’ve learned.5. it doesn’t matter what order you choose them in. It may be easier to implement them into an essay or a volunteered comment in class. The keyword that lets you know to use the combination formula is the word choose. You may think they are locked in your brain. The first thing to know is what ! means. it’ll get a laugh. 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”. you need to remember the formula for combination and permutation which involves the ! sign. Verbal | No Comments » GRE Combinations and Permutations Friday. September 10th. trying out some of these big words will be welcomed. but chances are you may forget their meanings if you don’t keep reviewing.
So the answer is 5! If I have 7 people and five seats. Permutations with repeated terms This type of question usually asks. you have 24 arrangements. how many 7-letter words can you form from the word APPEASE. Choosing 2 out of 5 and applying the formula. there are (n-1)! Number of ways. I have 5 people to choose from to fill the seat. But P is repeated twice. There are 7 letters so there are 7! ways of arranging these letters in order. there are 120 ways of seating these 5 people. I have 4 people to choose from (because one person has already sat down). 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. So in total. and since one P looks the same as the other P. we thus have 40 accessory combinations to match with it. For example. Permutations With permutations. A and E are also repeated twice so you have to divide by 2! twice more. how many different words can you form from the letters of word. the first person you seat is just a point of reference. any buyer of a new sports car has to pick between 2 of 5 options for seat colors and 3 of 4 options for dashboard accessories. you have to divide 7! by 2!. we get 4 combinations. If all the seats are empty and I want to fill the first seat. And for the third seat. I have 3 people and so on. how many combinations can you have of the two things? For example. there are 4 accessory combinations that we could match with it. instead of having 120 seating arrangements like before. because for every seat color combination. Then choosing 3 accessories out of 4. and another number of choices for another. In general. And more often than not. For example. when arranging n people in a circle. With 10 seat-color combinations. How many different combinations of colors and dashboard options are available to this buyer? We look at seat colors first. .What if the question tells you that you have a number of choices for one thing. order matters. the same concept applies – 7 * 6 * 5 * 4 * 3 where each number represents the number of people I can choose from to put in each seat starting from the left. we have 10*4 seat color-accessories combinations. we get 10. if we have 5 people and five seats on a plane. Then for the second seat. the word will have repeated letters in it. So if you are seating 5 people in 5 seats around a circular table.
30-60-90 triangle are ALWAYS in the ratio 1:√3:2 5. Therefore. . square or triangle. 5-12-13. which is inscribed in a square. but are NOT proportional. if given ANY piece of information about the circle. We draw a perpendicular line from the center to the side of the triangle. square) are all the same. let’s quickly review the essentials. Pythagorean theorem does not apply! 2. Angles and opposite sides are in the same relative size order. If you don’t know it’s a right triangle. a² + b² = c². 2010 To start off. Common special right triangles include 3-4-5. but this is ONLY true if the triangle is equilateral. we can derive the rest. These are formulas/concepts you must know: 1. The center point of all three figures (triangle.The final answer is Archive for October. but only when a right triangle. 2010 Geometry Series Part 2: Inscribed Triangles Wednesday.) 3. 45-45-90 triangles are ALWAYS in the ratio 1:1:√2 4. circle. October 27th. 7-24-25 (and their multiples. 8-15-17. Let’s continue with a standard diagram in which we have an equilateral triangle inscribed in a circle.
imagine how long it takes to do! If the area of the square = 64 and we needed to find the area of the triangle. where s is the side of the square. 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. solving for the base.Note that the hypotenuses of the smaller triangles are equal to the radius of the circle. multiplying and dividing by 2. The sides of the 30-60-90 triangles become ½r : (r√3)/2 : r respectively The side of the equilateral triangle becomes 2*(r√3)/2 = r√3 If given the area of the square. Memorize this. 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 . Area of an Equilateral Triangle The area of an equilateral triangle equals (s²√3)/4. That was long to write. we should be able to derive essentially any other information. Here are your basic conversions: r = ½d = ½s. It will save you the time of drawing a 30-60-90 triangle. finding the height.
you probably have never taken a standardized test on a computer before. they do have an important purpose. Though test format may not seem like a big deal at first. but right before you take the test. but will come up on quant questions over and over. Be flexible in your reasoning. In the image above. 2010 In the United States. you’ll have to work through four computer tutorials created by the GRE test software. October 26th. There are infinite variations of these concepts. Circles inscribed in squares Tags: triangles Posted in GRE. You may be computer savvy. series | No Comments » Preparing for a Computer Based Test Tuesday.” “How to Select an Answer. we must realize that a computer test necessitates its own set of preparations. Here are some facts and tips to help demystify the GRE Computer Based Test: 1. The Tutorials: This might sound silly. the GRE can be taken as a computer-based or paper-based test.” “How to Use the Testing Tools. If you’re like most test-takers. and practice makes perfect! Good luck! Read other articles in this series: Geometry Series pt 1.” and “How to Scroll. Quantitative. the computer-based test is by the far the more popular choice because you can sign up to take it almost every day of the year. This information is never explicitly stated on tests. . The four tutorials are “How to Use a Mouse. 2b = a.” While these lessons seem better suited for octogenarians at the Learning Annex.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.
2. Luckily. after all. you cannot see the next question until you answer the current question. On a computer-based test. and then the questions will become harder if you are answering correctly or easier if you are answering incorrectly. you will only see one question at a time. Sentence completions. antonyms. no stalling. What’s the Adaptive Mean?: The word “adaptive” in Computer Adaptive Test means that the test adapts to your skill level. Process of Elimination: You’ve probably already figured this one out. you may find a “difficult” question easy. though. a burden is lifted. The good news is. It just takes some getting used to. 3. 5. simply create two multiple choice columns. That’s right. there is a way to circumvent this obstacle–use scratch paper. On the computer test. you cannot return to any one question after you’ve answered it. No Skipping: On a computer-based test. and analogies. and vice versa. Grockit makes great practice since it’s computer-based also. So. Do not try to predict your performance based on the difficulty of questions. so this is a great time to make your answer sheet.but the GRE software is not exactly Windows or Apple–familiarize yourself with its quirks. The test begins with average difficulty questions. Remember the “tutorials” you have to go through? You can take as long as you like during them. Question Type Order: Unfortunately. That means no underlining words in passages and no crossing out answer choices. and number each from 1 to 30. If you want to make your answer sheet as precise as possible. You cannot mentally prepare yourself for one question type. The Computer Based Test isn’t something to be feared. can come up in any order. for an added bonus. This may make things a bit more difficult. you won’t be comforted by the predictability of sections. It’s also not worth your energy to worry about that. what’s the solution? Just learn to deal with the handicap? No! You simply cannot afford to lose the luxury of crossing out answers on a standardized multiple choice test. No second chances. And. You do not have sections of question types like you would on the SAT. Go practice! Tags: computer based test Posted in GRE. for example. that you won’t get fatigued by one question typed either (and by one question type. This may be the greatest disadvantage presented by the computer test. GRE Prep. There you have it. strategy | No Comments » Issue Writing Task: Use What You Know . you will not be able to mark up your test. it’s customized to your individual performance. it helps to think of this limitation as a liberation: intimidating questions can no longer loom over your head as you take the test–ah. no saving the hardest for last.. 4. use the scratch paper they give you to create a makeshift answer sheet. I mean reading comprehension of course). Before the test begins. After all. While this may initially cause some anxiety. Test Day.
Why not take a step back and think about the kinds of art you could talk about. In fact. Students from all kinds of backgrounds take the GRE. keep in mind that your readers may not be conversant with your academic discipline. a chemistry student isn’t expected to know Shakespeare. Each point will be labeled “agree” or “disagree” to indicate whether the example is for or against the speaker. Let’s look at a relatively esoteric issue prompt and explore varying avenues of analysis. don’t reproduce your senior thesis in 45 minutes. be searching your brain for any example of art you know something about. such is not the case. you’ll have to read an encyclopedia. In other words. If you come across a topic that allows you to exploit your studies. with the 200+ topics available.” What we have here is a veritable breath of fresh air for any humanities or arts major. . October 21st. 3.) reveal the otherwise hidden ideas and impulses of a society. Agree: Skyscrapers built in urban metropolises in the 20th century reflect the zeitgeist of technological progress. i. thereby reflecting the pervasive religious fervor in their respective societies. is the aim of art to reflect and comment on society? Let’s look at some ideas from different perspectives: 1. The Layman’s Approach: If you’re not an art lover or humanities major. and. you may. so let’s simplify it: do the arts always reflect social ideas? That is. Agree: Medieval and Renaissance painting was heavily religious. 2010 Admittedly. more importantly. Though it seems certain issue prompts necessitate a thorough knowledge in some particular area. by all means go for it. and an English student isn’t expected to understand hydrogen bonding. so try to temper your genius. in fact. You might think that. The above prompt is a somewhat confusing question. etc. Still. the great European cathedrals 2. music. 1. I want to offer an often unheeded caveat for those art lovers: don’t get too excited. but it’s a kiss of death for anybody without a predilection for the arts. the pyramids.Thursday. if you come across a prompt that could benefit from your expertise. The Parthenon. This is probably a fruitless strategy. the ETS doesn’t expect this from you. the toughest part of the Issue Task is coming up with ideas that you’re confident in. as hard as that may be. The examples do not have to be in-depth analyses of the Renaissance masters–just use what you know. literature. so as to reflect the core societal values of the age. 1. I’m sure none of you wants to do that (though I bet it’s been done before). Agree: Ancient and Renaissance architectures were often constructed to honor gods and provide an appropriate place of worship. you may be worried by such a prompt. and exhume those halfread classics from high school English. some appropriate for the expert and others for the layman: “The arts (painting. dust off an old history book. scour the newspaper.
follows a similar ambition. for example. in some instances. James Joyce’s Ulysses. e. The Expert’s Approach: If you have some knowledge of art history or literature. you can certainly use that here. one particular chapter changes its style paragraph by paragraph. all the while corresponding to a specific episode from Homer’s great epic poem The Odyssey. Modernists aspire to more than social commentary.S. 2. but its method in doing so recapitulates a history of the medium to draw attention to its status as an artwork. i. however. i. authors like Jane Austen and George Eliot strive to replicate realistic social scenarios. that is. While the “expert” essay has more complex and esoteric examples. the mess of paint evokes the image of the action of painting. to draw attention to the process and materials of artistic composition. visceral. illustrating a detailed history of the development of English. 2. 3. The Issue topic is always about using what you know and making sense of it. 1. 1. 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. iii. is a complex and ostensibly chaotic mishmash of historical literary styles and references. often considered the quintessential modernist novel. Art becomes less mimetic and more cerebral. Disagree: In twentieth century painting. in order to comment on and often critique social mores. In Victorian fiction. Disagree: Modernism 1. T. we see a retreat from societal representation to more idiosyncratic aesthetics. Austen’s Pride and Prejudice often elucidates the societal emphasis on marrying for status and financial security rather than marrying for love. Dystopian novels like 1984 make explicit the fears of totalitarian governments that were in power at the time. for example. i. Each chapter of the novel exhibits a markedly different style and theme. Certain artistic movements are known for social commentary while others are famous for eschewing it. ii. Agree: Dystopian Fiction: 1.4. or. In fact. . thereby reflecting the psychosocial consciousness of the time. 3.g. the poem comments on the current zeitgeist. 2. or at least aspiring to something greater than it. Agree: Victorian Literature 1. courtship and the social practices of marriage. Pollock’s technique–violently splattering paint on the canvas– can be viewed as a purely visceral impulse. i. Eliot’s The Wasteland. Indeed. both essays include logical arguments with sufficient evidence. thereby referring to itself as art rather than commenting on or exhibiting any societal impulse.
Get comfortable with the procedures so that. Here are some tips about what to expect from the testing environment from arrival to departure. Instead of sitting in a classroom with 25 other students all going through exactly the same experience. For the palm system. However. the administrator will ask you to provide a digital fingerprint or palmvein pattern. the basic sequence of events will be the same. The administrator will demonstrate the procedure of ensuring that certain knobs on the machine fit your fingers to get a proper pattern. you can avoid distractions and concentrate solely on your performance. you’ll need to show proper photo identification and tell the administrator which exam you’re there to take. Posted in Essay. First. Wear layers in case the room is cold. Arrival: Try to arrive at the test center 15-30 minutes early because of the sign-in process. ACT or any other standardized exam you took in high school. the last thing you should worry about on the day of your GRE is the testing environment. Don’t be surprised that others in the center may be taking different graduate exams. on test day. All you are allowed are your locker key and photo identification because the administrator will check it before you enter the testing room. Issue Writing | No Comments » It’s Test Day! Monday. try to use the knowledge that you already have rather than cram for new material. 2010 The GRE is unlike the SAT.In your essay practice. you will need to provide your photo identification as well as your fingerprint or palm-vein pattern. Once this is completed. brush up on some new info. While there may be slight differences from test center to test center. October 18th. After weeks and months of preparation. He or she will then take your photograph. and then try some prompts where you can use what you learned. The palm sensor will soon replace the fingerprints as the only digital identification system. you will place each of your hands over a sensor. You will then be asked to sign the GRE Examination Testing Rules & Agreement. if there is a specific area in which you are particularly lacking. you will be on your own. you will choose a locker in which to place all of your belongings. Then the administrator will escort you into the . The Testing Room: Before you enter the test room. Once all of these administrative procedures are completed.
you will have to provide your fingerprint or palm-vein pattern yet again before being escorted back to your station. the ten minute break is a great opportunitie to leave the room and reorient yourself if you are a bit rattled. in case mouse clicks or keyboard keys bother you. you will need to raise your hand once again so that the administrator will know to escort you from the room. you will need to provide either your fingerprint or palm pattern to sign out of the room. Don’t forget that exceeding the 10 minutes allotted for the break takes time out of your next test section. meaning you will have to verify either your digital fingerprint or palm-vein pattern.testing room. You will be given the option of viewing your scores or canceling them. Breaks: There is an optional 10-minute breaks after the Analytical Writing section. the time you have for yourself is probably more like 8 ½ to 9 minutes. in the middle of their respective exams. Again. The test administrator will provide you with scratch paper to use during the test. an administrator will print out your unofficial score report. If you chose to view your score. and when all of your pages are filled. Again. Even though the break is technically 10 minutes long. you can raise your hand to receive more scratch paper. you will not be able to cancel it. There probably will be people already in the room. you’ve completed the test. You cannot leave without signaling the test administrator. and one minute breaks between the remaining sections of the test. Don’t feel obligated to take them if you’re in the zone and want to stay focused. Score and Departure: You’re done. you will have to digitally sign-out. once the procedures of signing out and signing back in are included. You can then access your locker and drink some water or snack on something small. However. return the key and leave with your report. Once you view your score. Be sure to keep this because there will be an authorization number that you will need to view your official score. Once you signal. Almost four hours after entering the center. the administrator will enter the room and escort you out. so be careful. don’t forget that the breaks are optional. When you leave the room. or if you want a restroom or snack break. When you re-enter the room. Then all you need to do is take your belongings out of your locker. You will be seated at a station with a computer and likely some soundproof headphones. Whatever you decide. Test Day | No Comments » . Posted in GRE. Good luck! Post your test day experience below and check out Grockit forums for test day advice from other test-takers.
they repeat many of the same fallacies. and the weight training and aerobics classes are always full. which emphasizes the benefits of regular exercise at an early age.” How did we gather this profile of Plainsville’s inhabitants? According to our speaker. which has many such residents. False correlation between exercise and health food: The speaker fallaciously correlates exercise with healthy eating habits. The similarities will pleasantly surprise you. While. a chain of stores selling health food and other health-related products. Nature’s Way is neither a health club nor a sporting goods store. in no particular order.Argument Writing Task: Part 4 Thursday. When I say “real. Increase in sales of exercise shoes and clothing. a health food store. 2010 After learning all the possible fallacies and how to spot them. Plainsville’s schools are now mandating a fitness program. or whatever you realistically have time for) and think about how your arguments against the prompts might overlap. but a health food store. We can even anticipate a new generation of customers: Plainsville’s schoolchildren are required to participate in a ‘fitness for life’ program. just check out a hearty sample of prompts (perhaps twenty or thirty. 2. The local health club. Plainsville merchants report that sales of running shoes and exercise clothing are at all-time highs. the two are not mutually inclusive. For one thing. Secondly. should open in Plainsville. That statistic should not deter you.” 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. What’s the Argument?: The speaker claims that Nature’s Way. The Problems with the Argument: I will enumerate potential problems I see with the speaker’s argument and reasoning. 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. has more members than ever. To confirm this. which nearly closed five years ago due to lack of business.” 1. 1. With the convenience of fast . ideally. such a task would take a long time (don’t you have more important things to do?). and 3. though the chances are very slim–approximately 1 out of 245. “Previous experience has shown that our stores are most profitable in areas where residents are highly concerned with leading healthy lives. it’s time to look at a real possible argument task. and you probably shouldn’t take it upon yourself to write practice essays for each and every prompt. 2. where “residents are highly concerned with leading healthy lives. We should therefore build our next new store in Plainsville. The local health club is experiencing its highest rates of attendance. 2. October 14th. though these argument prompts are all ostensibly different. three facts account for this description: 1. a healthy lifestyle entails both exercise and healthy eating habits.
To write the essay. The speaker refers to the club as “the local health club. but because of sheer childhood obstinacy. Don’t be afraid to integrate smaller fallacies into paragraphs: an abundance of information is not a . exercise clothes may be an inexpensive alternative to other clothing styles. 1. the speaker should investigate the popularity of Plainsville’s health club and explain how Nature’s Way will plan to beat the competition. Future interest in exercise?: Even if Plainsville residents are interested in health foods. In fact. Also. not quite an essay.” may cause unintended opposition to exercise. choose the best examples and develop them into coherent paragraphs. 1.” suggesting it’s the only one of its kind in Plainsville. Though we may applaud the efforts of schools to introduce such a program. 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. more simply. 1. we cannot assume that the program will have any lasting effect on the children’s lifestyles. these changes in lifestyle habits are relatively recent. how do we know the interest will continue in the future? After all. our national eating habits. 1.food. 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.” but there are other possible sources of these increases. Competition?: The speaker fails to mention the possibility or lack of competing health food stores. If this is true. What we have here is an abundance of information. on average. not out of any sound reasoning. but not necessarily change their eating habits. much like making beloved classics of literature “required texts. Many children often willfully oppose orders given by parents and school teachers. the speaker must show a correlation between exercise habits and healthy eating habits. 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. 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. or. this guilt about eating habits encourages fast-food patrons to exercise. why shouldn’t we assume that they can easily revert back to unhealthy lifestyles? 1. mandating exercise in school. are at their worst in history. then high rates of attendance do not suggest an overwhelming increase in the citizens’ exercise. How can we be sure that Nature’s Way will thrive despite its potential new competition? 2. Often. perhaps through a survey or study. Suggestions for Improvement: To improve the argument.
you will have essentially transferred the problem from the computer screen to your paper. This should be a habit as you study for the GRE. but as you practice. you can immediately eliminate answers that you know are incorrect. your test scores will be drastically improved if you can eliminate even one or two incorrect answers. in fact. The worst thing you can do is to write down wrong numbers or facts. using your own words and. Some of the following might sound like common sense. USE YOUR PENCIL AND BLUE BOOK (but do not waste valuable time writing needless things down). for many reasons. series | No Comments » Helpful GRE CAT Tips Monday. and time consuming. I am certain that you will find this extremely annoying in a CAT environment. but with your ABCDE and key pieces of information. Without the luxury of being able to write notes. Posted in GRE. One of the worst things you can do is to waste time staring at the screen. Don’t worry about writing everything down at first. if you have them. Don’t waste your valuable brainpower trying to remember answers that might be right or wrong. If you can eliminate three incorrect answers. First. as you will be able to make equations. October 11th. you will find that you are spending a lot of time looking between the screen in front of you and your blue book. 2010 One of the biggest frustrations of taking a CAT test is that you don’t have the questions and answers right there in front of you. do whatever you need to do to eliminate answers. With easy questions. Even if you don’t know the exact answer. 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. longer essays tend to receive higher scores. you won’t have to write down much. but not everyone employs these useful strategies that will save you valuable time come test day The CAT test format can be frustrating. 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.bad thing. Instead. read the entire question carefully and write down the useful information (this is more geared for the Quantitative part). they don’t give you material to write things down for nothing. a key here is to make sure you transfer information correctly. BUT. your own arguments. Next. make equations or draw pictures. you may want to give yourself 30 minutes and write this essay. but there are some tricks that I found useful when taking the test that seemed to help me out. you will become more proficient at identifying the key pieces of information. USE IT! This way. I can’t tell you how to . which will make your life much easier. you should get in the habit of immediately writing down ABCDE on your scratch paper for every question. and. Do not make this mistake. eliminate answers. For practice. etc. draw pictures.
October 7th. Eliminate answers as you go. Test Day | No Comments » GRE: Sentence Completions Overview Thursday. Once you are certain you have it down in front of you. USE YOUR SCRATCH PAPER. but in general. please post below. As you read the sentence. WRITE DOWN ABCDE. Become comfortable with using the computer to answer questions. work slow to work fast. Write down the keywords. Posted in GRE. 2010 Currently the GRE Verbal section tests approximately 6 sentence completions. Don’t become too comfortable with studying out of books. but make sure to practice them just as diligently as Antonyms or Analogies.become a pro at accuracy. What do the words tell you about the blank? Here are some common transition keywords you’ll see on Test Day: . but the act of writing them down will slow down your impulses and force your brain to think critically. Employing the above methods will help you become a master of the CAT environment and will definitely pay dividends come test day. Many GRE students find SC’s the easiest Verbal question-type. or check out Grockit’s GRE forums for more advice. it will be invaluable come test day. it is essential that you are able to transfer your mastery of the material to a CAT environment. 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. They will contain tough vocabulary and will require a solid strategy to answer them correctly. go to town on cracking the problem. Supplement your computer testing with your paper (book) testing and vice-versa. Write them down! It may seem redundant. or about 1/5th of the total Verbal section. But as you become comfortable with the material itself. but use that practice to become a master at translating the key pieces of information to your scrap paper. GRE Prep. 1. Another issue with CAT test prep is that it is difficult to simulate the test day environment. and good luck! If you have any other strategies that you have found helpful. That is where prep services like Grockit come in. words that describe the blank or relate to the overall flow of the sentence (transition words). you will be on the lookout for keywords.
even a simple prediction like. Write down a prediction. you will probably forget it as you read the answer choices. It doesn’t have to be brilliant. October 5th. Don’t let yourself read the answer choices without a written-down prediction. Don’t be too narrow-minded in your elimination. “a positive word” or “something like angry” is perfectly acceptable. Verbal | No Comments » Guess and Eliminate – GRE Problem Solving Tuesday. Sentence Completion.” we want to keep it since it is at least a partial match. and knowing what to do ahead of time . 2010 While studying for the GRE. we hope to be familiar with every type of question before walking into the test. Surprise slows you down. If you have more than one answer choice left after eliminating. but your speed will increase as you practice and your brain becomes more disciplined. It may seem like this method of writing down keywords and predictions will slow you down. If you are at a loss for words. carefully move through the choices from A to E. eliminating the answer choices that could not possible match your prediction. isn’t that what the GRE is really testing? Get started with some sentence completions now on Grockit! Posted in GRE Prep. 3.2. if our prediction was “messy” and one of the answer choices was “distraught. but you DO have to write something down. Once you’ve analyzed the keywords and punctuation of a sentence. Instead of scanning the answers quickly looking for the correct one. you can come up with a prediction for the blank. This method will increase your accuracy by forcing your brain to do the necessary critical thinking – after all. If you don’t write it down. For example. Eliminate answer choices. then plug them into the sentence to see which one is correct.
we will quickly address guessing tactics and. Look for pairs of answers: wrong answers are chosen for a reason. you can reasonably eliminate that option. if the question involves fractions or inverses. Know the question: If the question involves a 45-45-90 triangle. you might look for √2. then look for a pair where one option is the square root of another. and answer choices that are “way far off” from the others are typically wrong. In this post. you may look for √3s. C. This is particularly helpful for geometry questions. D. for 30-60-90 triangles. However. The last step: Take a peek at the last step of the question (if applicable). For example.) Guessing on the Quantitative Section 1. correct answers tend to be “close” to incorrect ones. there will inevitably be questions for which you will not know how to find the exact answer. (Note: This post does not address quantitative comparison questions. which of the following CANNOT be an even integer? A. (You’d pick the square root option.) Eliminating Definitively Wrong Answers On the quantitative section. 3. 1/4 and 4 are one simple mistake away from each other. B. Plugging in numbers may . y/x 4(y/x) 4x + y 2(x + y) 5(x – y) Before we even start attacking the specifics of this question. 2. it helps to know which questions are absolutely incorrect without much thought. which will addressed in a future post. If you see a √3 in the answer choices. we know any answer that satisfies the description “even integer” is NOT the correct. E. of course.will save you time and help you earn more points. strategies to efficiently and accurately eliminate incorrect answer choices to reduce your options and point you in the right direction. If it asks you for the √x. Take a look at this example: If x is an odd integer and y is an even integer. Conversely. Because these mistakes are common. more importantly. if we have some hesitation on a question.
We know that sometimes we might want to convert hours to minutes. but to save time. 1/4 are over the age of 60. Keep track of units. we can quickly recognize that any product including a factor of 2 must be even. If you have no clue how to answer this question. B. we should think quickly about in which direction the percentage should be moving. D. (D) and . This will move the percent UP.6% 30% 33. x/m m/x xm 60m/x x/60m The two units provided in the question are miles and miles/hour. 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.help. 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. Answer choices (D) and (E) include “60”. Then you can pick between (A). We start at ¼ (25%) 60+ citizens and add more 60+ citizens to the population without any other additions.400 citizens. Size Matters. You can then worry only about (A). and the answer is to be in miles/hour. (B). E. 23. approximately what percent of Sandwich’s total population would be over the age of 60? A. C. E. The town of Sandwich has a total of 5.8% 25% 28. C. which is an indication that you are incorrectly converting hours to minutes. Answer choices (B) and (D) are multiplied by 4 and 2 respectively. (C). Do a very quick estimate of what the answer should look like. you are still guessing between (C).4% After reading this question. so those are out. but because there is no mention of units. and (C). D. chances are we will not have to do that this time. and (E) through a variety of strategies. Of these. B.
On hard problems. Answer choices are gifts that we test-takers must take advantage of.e. On a hard problem. Archive for November. and it follows the test-maker’s logic. Test makers catch on to this. and test makers will rarely let you get away with no calculation for a difficult problem. 1. and more importantly. and as a result.(E) since (A) and (B) are clearly too low. if asked for the greatest. there is more to strategy than simply trying to answer the question. In fact. When test-takers guess on these problems. As always. Keep an eye out for a similar article focusing on Quantitative Comparison questions. they’ll pick the greatest). 2010 As with all multiple choice tests. we can eliminate 9. it certainly works most of the time. when you are asked to find the least (or greatest) number. they rarely allow that expected choice to be the answer. 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. (Note: Answer choices are ALWAYS in ascending order. eliminate the least (or greatest) number from the answer choices. often eliminate the answer choice ‘not enough information. . 8 e. c is the answer (this question is pretty simple if we draw it out). 2010 Quantitative Elimination Strategies: Part 1 Monday. These will help you save time. GRE practice makes perfect. 5 c.’ While this is certainly not the case on quantitative comparisons. they tend to guess the extreme answer choice (i. While we could never say that this rule works 100 percent of the time. Every effective test-taker must understand the strategies used to effectively eliminate wrong answer choices. 9 According to the strategy. 6 d. November 8th. Most students tend to go for the ‘not enough information’ choice when they are out of time. they may lead you to the correct answer even when you’re not too confident about the material.) This was a quick overview of general concepts for math questions. that should come out soon. 4 b. it is often the case on difficult multiple choice problems. 2.
you’ll see more challenging examples for which you should use these elimination strategies. On hard problems. not enough info If this type of problem is giving you trouble. there is no substitute for knowing the math. Remember. eliminate answer choices that merely repeat numbers from the problem. strategy | No Comments » GRE Quantitative: Decimals Thursday. 8 c. GRE Prep. This is basically a problem that needs to be converted into mathematical notation: x+20 = 8 + (10. Quantitative. 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. is a ‘not enough information. but you will increase your chances by avoiding these answers if you must guess.’ and b gets the number ‘8′ from the question. these are not hard and fast rules. Example 2: If the sum of x and 20 is 8 more than the difference of 10 and y. If you remember nothing else. 2010 If you haven’t done decimal arithmetic since grade school. -2 b. Again. E.y) x + 12= 10-y x+y= 10 – 12 x+y= -2 A is our answer. Posted in GRE. working with decimals can be a daunting experience when somebody takes away your calculator. 9 d. Let’s see if we can answer it. you should be skeptical of answer choices b and e. as we saw earlier. November 4th. but you also want to increase your chances on the toughest problems. In the next installment.3. 28 e. what is the value of x + y? A. and you have no choice but to guess. For example: .
add zeros to fill up the empty space.4 = 4/10.232 and 1. If I am multiplying 4.52 and .. Counting from right to left.01356. If multiplying 6.170 ————384. I know that my answer will have one digit before the decimal because 4 * 1 = 4. Add zeros as necessary. Addition and Subtraction When adding and subtracting decimals.003. Count the number of digits after the decimal in each number. we have a total of 5 numbers after the decimals. Example: Multiply 4.45 and .84 = 84/100 . not 40 or 400. 3. Step 3: So. .515 Multiplication 1. Manipulate the placement of the decimal in the product to fulfill step 3.17 Set it up like this: 382. I add 2 + 3=5). I need 5 digits after the decimal.345 + 2.6. Example: Add 382. and.5689 = 5689 / 10000 You’ll want one zero in the denominator for every digit in the decimal. 4. my product is . HINT: When multiplying simpler decimal numbers.345 and 2. line up the decimal points. Multiply the decimals as if the decimals are not present. if it makes things easier. 2.52 and . .356.003 Step 1: 452 x 3 ———1356 Step 2: In 4. always use common sense to avoid calculation errors. and add these up (ex. My sum of digits equals the number of digits that should be to the right of the decimal in my product. in 1356.
205 can go into 1783 about 8 times.05 two times to the right to make 205. . Now we have 1435. 6. we are left with 8. here is the process verbalized: 1. The first step is to stop using the calculator every time you make an arithmetic calculation.05 1. Since there is no remainder left over. 205 goes into 1435 seven times. 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 . 4. as always.5 _ 8. I change . Divide normally and bring the decimal straight up into the quotient.25 to 25) 2. 8 times 205 is 1640.5 / . so I’ll convert 502. is to practice on Grockit.7 Working with decimals without a calculator is all about practice. Move the decimal point in the divisor to the right so that the divisor is a whole number (If my computation is 502.7_____ 205 ) 1783.835 by 2. the second step. Bring down the 5 from the dividend. 7.25 to 25. Do the same for the dividend.25. 3. 5.5 1640 ——– 1435 1435 —— 0 For a little refresher in long division. 2. exactly. Bring up the decimal and place 7 after it. Move decimal point in 2. Example: Divide 17.5 to 50250) 3.Division 1. 1783 minus 1640 is 143. yielding 1783.
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