# Archive for June, 2010

**Issue Writing Task: Part 2
**

Monday, June 28th, 2010

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

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

**Issue Writing Task: Part 1
**

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

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

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

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

**Quantitative Comparison Strategies: Part 2
**

Friday, June 18th, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

which is clearly indeterminate.5–you want to use a positive. our goal is to make the relationship simpler. If I have 2. so: Subtracting 5 from both sides gives us: 4x OR 3x+1 Subtracting 3x from both sides gives us: x OR 1 Now. 0.000 / 200. series. that you can manipulate both expressions to make the comparison simpler. As long as I add or subtract the same number or variable from these expressions. Let’s check out this example: 1.000.000 / 100
When you see many zeros in fractions like this. it generally narrows it down to
. Quantitative Comparison. where I would test a few simple numbers (preferably something like -2. 000 OR 1. always think of ways to simplify before you calculate. I should just eliminate five zeros from the top and 5 zeros from the bottom.000 in the numerator and 200. I’ll have the same relationship between the two expressions. now. 2010
To save time on the GRE. Same idea for column b: 1. In the meantime. First. Don’t forget. your first instinct should be to cross out matching zeros. strategy | 2 Comments »
GRE Strategy – Estimation
Wednesday. and . you should get comfortable with estimating.Simplify When presented with two baffling expressions.000. when choosing numbers to add or subtract. June 9th. 2. my expression is simply 20/2 = 10. 4x +5 OR 3x +6
I could approach this problem a few ways. look how simple it is? The comparison is any number (x) OR 1. Simplify by Adding/Subtracting Same Value 1. 0. Remember. Stay tuned for some more strategies for quantitative comparisons that will save you time and increase accuracy.000 in the denominator. Our answer is D.000/100 = 10/1 = 10. try some of these strategies in Grockit! Posted in GRE. Even if estimating doesn’t give you the 100% accurate answer. Quantitative. I could use the tried and true plug-in method. though. and a fraction). 2. a negative.

4. Wind (2%) + Hydro (2%) + Nuclear (3%) = 7%.9 billion $7. For example. you just need to know if they are equal or if one is bigger.2 billion $10.one obvious choice (if you’re good at estimating and round up and down appropriately). Given the following five answer choices 1. so there really is no point calculating the precise answer there. 2. I tend to like figuring out 1%. Estimation also comes in handy for quantitative comparisons because you don’t need the precise answer. particular on the questions with charts and graphs. Some questions even tell you to approximate. hydro and wind column (keeping my finger on it so I don’t read the wrong thing) and add up those percentages.
. 5.
The question asks: approximately what average amount per month did the Canadian government spend on nuclear.6 billion $8. So I’m looking for what value 7% of $10. 3.6 million represents. 5% or 10% represents and working from there depending on the question. and then multiply that by 7 to get $0. and the nuclear.7 million.0 billion $. This will save you a lot of time. hydro and wind power combined? I would look at the Canada row. In this case. $127.1 million. Numerical Estimations Practice estimating with percentages. I would figure out what 1% represents – approximately $0. let’s take a look at the following chart.74 billion
I would then pick E easily based on my estimate.

You should always assume that triangles are never drawn to scale and when looking at diagrams of
. so you can choose B without even calculating what root 37 might be.
The same goes with this question. The length of one edge of the cube is 6. Which is also square root of 36.In the example above. Clearly AE is the longer line since it spans four rectangles instead of three. So A is bigger. Visual Estimations Visual estimations usually work for things like graphs or simple diagrams like the problem below. the price/lb of coffee A is approximately $10/5 pounds = $2/lb. The price/lb of coffee B is approximately $8/7 pounds = $1.
The important lesson in visual estimations is not to do it for triangles.1 / lb. Clearly square root of 37 will be a teensy bit bigger.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

speculation will lead you to the correct answer. but remember that such a choice is probably a trap. When we are overwhelmed by figures and calculations. strategy | No Comments »
Simple Quantitative Strategies.Looks look at an
. often making the problem appear a little bit easier than it actually is. things change. Step back. vacabulary Posted in GRE. it’s easy to make mistakes. and anticipate the clever gambits so often deployed by the ETS. when you’re in the middle of a timed test. don’t give up–use your brain! Tags: antonyms. 32. This is where ballparking plays a significant role. But. and you go into human calculator mode.195 Any relaxed. learning the processes is more than half the battle. These types of answers catch your eye for one reason or another. BallparkingTo ‘ballpark’ is to roughly approximate. You see a question like this and immediately start calculating the product.685 D. Avoid TrapsNearly every multiple choice math problem has trap answers. it can be no other answer. 1.50. or attractors. The only thing close to that is B. 5. imprecise. 2010
This is the second installment in the simple quantitative strategies series. These strategies are here to remind you that there is just a bit more to studying than simply cramming math material. Beating the GRE quantitative requires a balanced combination of math skills and test-taking skills– these strategies will help improve the latter. 35. Part 2
Monday. ballparking essentially means thinking about mathematical figures in a vague. no matter how many correct steps you painstakingly went through.Let’s look at a crude example:What’s 32. A third of 50 is a little more than 15 (15*3= 45). but nonetheless common sense manner. July 26th.165 C. Use the test format to your advantage. if you happen to stumble upon an antonym question like this. Verbal. Moving a decimal one unit could transform a correct answer into a wrong answer. don’t overwork. common sense thinker will probably be able to answer this question without doing a calculation. 70.350 E.33 percent is awfully close to one third.125 B. and look at the simplicity of the question. Yes. During practice. Anxiety sets in. In terms of GRE quantitative strategy. 1. You may notice the anticipated answer in the choices and think that you won’t have to finish the problem. but outsmarting the test-writers is very important too. but we were still successful with some effort. though.16.33 % of 50?A.

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

we have the info we need to find the average in question. After weighing all of them together. There are 3 numbers you want to know. Example 1: John caught 14 fish after a long day of fishing. 70. 3. they are related by the formula A= T / n. 75. If her average score after the first three five tests was 89. If the aforementioned scores are 80.Finding the total: IF you know the average and the number of figures/items (n) in a set. the total number of percentage points on all the tests 5*89= 445. and n is the number of figures in a set.7 lbs. the total number of percentage points on the first five tests. in pounds. 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. T is the total sum of values. of all the fish? Answer: Simply multiply 14 and 4. If I want to find the average of seven different test scores. and 90.57. what was the average of her last three tests? Here.8 Example 2: Throughout the year. then simply multiply the average and the number of figures to find the sum total (T). 14*4. The sum total of all the figures in a set (T). With this information. In our example. A = 550 / 7 = 78. 8*83= 664. her average score was 83.7.Before we begin. he calculated the average weight of the fish to be 4. 2. 219 (total) / 3 (number of figures) = 73
.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. let’s go over some basic rules for finding averages. then T= 550. where A is average. we have to find two totals before we can calculate the average of the final three tests. The number of figures in a set (n). 60. The average of the figures in a set: (A)= T / N. then n=7. What is the total weight. 80. 95. 1. Janet took 8 math tests.

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

However. and convert to fractions whenever possible. or 30% off the sales price
Percents are basically fractions with a denominator of 100
Learn your common percents. Posted in Essay. the argument also exhibits several serious flaws which could limit its persuasiveness. by failing to explicitly state how the updates would affect auto accidents. we will discuss some common problems students encounter with percent problems. which can come in a variety of formats. and outlining the points that the essay will be addressing.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 = 1. GRE.Response Paragraph 1: The argument. Example: 16% of men. which states that WPTK’s broadcast of traffic updates would reduce the incidence of auto accidents on Metropolis-area roads. 2010
In this article. informative opening paragraph set the tone for your essay! Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to post questions on essay structures. Let your concise.25
. Example: 20% = 1/5. Verbal.” As you can see. referring back to the issue briefly. the opening paragraph responds to the prompt by taking a clear position. 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. August 27th. has merit. and by predicting a “significant” reduction in Metropolis auto accidents without specifying what kind of a reduction would be deemed “significant. 62. Here are some quick pointers:
Percents MUST be APPLIED to something
A percent means nothing on it’s own.

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

05 (with tax) = $630 Note we can convert to fractions.94 C. 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. $24 D. 25 people * x dollars/person * 1. 5% = 1/20 since 5*20 = 100. They cancel well. setting x = ticket price before tax. Now we set up the equation.Let’s take a look at two examples!
Example 1: A tour group of 25 people paid a total of $630 for entrance to a museum. and 30% of his remaining items. how many items did Jerome offer for sale? A. cancel and simplify. If this price included a 5% sales tax. Jerome sold 75% of the first 1.20 E.000 items he offered for sale. If he sold 40% of the total number of items he offered for sale. $25. what was the face value of each ticket price without the sales tax? A. 750
. and all the tickets cost the same amount. $22 B. $30 Without a calculator. $23. and are typically neater. fractions are always easier.

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

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

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

) It’s clear that we don’t want to whip out our calendars and start counting. we only care about the one’s digit. Pattern questions with division are many times Remainder questions at their core The 4 members of the Jones Family rotate who takes out the trash on a daily basis. If Dad takes out the trash on January 18th. you can see that 15 would go into 150 evenly. 3^4n = 3^4 = 81 = one’s digit of 1. The remainder stays equal to 2. In this scenario. For example. Your remainder can only range from zero to the denominator of the fraction. we will be multiplying a term with a one’s digit of 1 with a term with a one’s digit of 7 (3³). The remainder should NOT be reduced. even though you can reduce 4 2/4 to 4 1/2. since a remainder of 9 leaves you a new whole number (with a remainder of 0). so 167/(even #) must have an ODD remainder. 18/4 = 4 2/4. 3. multiples of even numbers are even. For example. which I think is a good introduction: What is the remainder of 3^(4n+3) divided by 5. I recently came across this question. The order goes as follows: Mom. (A general rule of thumb is that if you think it’s taking too long.) Instead. who takes out the trash on March 26th? (There are 31 days in January and 28 days in February. so the result will have a one’s digit of 7. so we only need to look at the one’s digit while multiplying. we are left with a remainder of 2. we see how many days pass between January 18 and March 26: January 19-31: 13 +
. When and number with a one’s digit of 7 dividing by 5. 2. so your remainder is (15 -4) = 11. We detect the pattern that regardless the value of n. For example. your remainder options are 0-8. 4.1. You then count down four from 150 to 146. we are looking for the remainder above a one’s digit of either 0 or 5. Look for the closest whole number and count up or down from there. Brother. it probably is…. This is easier than recognizing 135/15 is a whole number and counting up. Become familiar with common trends or patterns. assuming n is a positive integer? Firstly. We can break 3^(4n+3) into 3^4n * 3^3 by the rules of exponents. Sister. when trying to find the remainder of 146/15. Dad. when dividing by 9. If n = 1. when dividing by 5. 3^4n = 3^8 = 81*81 = one’s digit of 1. If n = 2.

which of the following is a possible value of (x² +2x – 7)/9? A.5 1/3 = .33 repeating 1/4 = .February 1-28: 28 + March 1 – 26: 26 = 67 days. leaving us with Mom on March 26th. mainly: 1/2 = .4 D.11 repeating Note that multiplying these by constants will leave similarly instructive results.125 1/9 = . For example: If x is an integer.166 repeating 1/8 = . -2. so we count 3 from Dad.268 B.20 1/6 = .166 repeating E.375 The more familiar with these you become. 8. 0. 67/4 leaves you will a remainder of 3. Fractions and Decimals are the same thing You should be familiar with common decimals.25 1/5 = .125
.125 = 0.555 repeating C. 4. the quicker you can eliminate answer choices are clearly wrong. such as: 3/8 = 3*1/8 = 3*0. 1.

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

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

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

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

but these questions are the exception.14 1/6 = 0. Dividing by 5 is the same as multiplying by 2/10. which occur in a large portion of the questions. Even if given a decimal (or percent) looks easy.333 repeating 1/2 = 0.166 repeating 1/5 = 0. 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. your fellow students. such as in a number line. 2010
GRE questions are notorious for seeming harder than they actually are. Finally.
90% of the time. preparing for it is often a rigorous experience. strategy | 1 Comment »
Fractions.111 repeating 1/8 = 0. Decimals are sometimes more useful when comparing numbers relative to one another. try to enjoy the process as much as you can. Some common ones to memorize:
• • • • • • • •
1/9 = 0. August 13th. mistakes should be learned from and sometimes laughed off. Proportions and Ratios. Oh My!
Friday.5. quickly convert to a fraction. One way to mitigate this is by retaining a rockstar aptitude in manipulating fractions. you should take some time out to play.5 repeating
. Be proactive about your practice and about asking questions. and will give you ostensibly time-consuming calculations. finally. GRE Prep. To summarize. and your Experts and fellow students could probably use a light moment as much as you could.20 1/4 = 0. But questions are sometimes funny. try to have some fun with the studying process!
Yes. and your Expert. remember that your GRE prep is a collaboration between you. And. and your future is a serious thing. The writers recognize time is short. too. and take advantage of the many ways that you can study for the exam.125 1/7 = ~0.25 1/3 = 0. the GRE is a challenging test. So remember that even as you’re working hard. and remember to take time to relax a little! What are some of your favorite ways to relieve GRE preparation pressure? Posted in GRE. fractions will be easier to perform arithmetic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

so we divide by how many items in the list there are). A. What’s the average of: (5x²+10x-7) + (3x²-4x+4) + 4x² First. but just use the distributive property. what is the value of x²-y² Because we know that x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y). here are some quick ways to multiply familiar binomials. add the expressions: 12x² + 6x -3 Divide the sum by 3 (we are finding the average. Dividing Polynomials: dividing polynomials may look daunting. Miscellaneous Polynomial Question Types
. Example 3:. (12x² + 6x – 3 ) / 3 = 4x² +2x – 1 3. then our calculation is limited to (7)(13)=91 4. add the expressions and divide by the number of different self-contained expressions. Example 2. Example 4: (32(a²)b + 12a(b³)c) / 8ab = 32(a²)b / 8ab + 12a(b³)c / 8ab = 4a + (3/2) (b² )c 5. (x-y)(x+y) = x²-y² B. Binomial Products: Rather than use the distributive method (FOIL) every time. (x+y)² = x²+2xy +y² Note: These three products should be memorized to save valuable time on the GRE. If x-y=7 and x+y=13.4x² + 7x +11 – x² – 14x – 15 Combine like terms: 3x² – 7x – 4 2. (x-y)² = x² -2xy + y² C. Average of polynomials: When finding the average of polynomials.

If we consider each number a variable. we want to add 1/x² + 1/y². 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. If you find yourself doing tons of calculations. and we can. x (4x²-1) = x (2x+1) (2x-1) So: x (2x+1)(2x-1) / 3(2x+1)(2x-1) = x / 3 NOW we can plug in. 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. 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. I bet we can manipulate the numerator a little further to yield this expression. y² / x²*y² + x² / x²*y² =( x² + y²) / (x²*y²)
.Example 5 : What is the value of (10001)² – (9999)² When you see a problem like this. you can be confident that you overlooked a simpler solution to the problem. When you see a very complicated expression like this. 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. 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. your first instinct should be to manipulate the numerator and denominator until you can comfortably cancel out expressions. Remember. no calculator is allowed. say 10001=x and 9999=y. the denominator has the expression (2x+1). do not think you can just square each of these numbers. Example 7: What is the sum of the reciprocals of x² and y²? So. we will yield the same denominator in both expressions. we can make this a lot easier with the rule x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y) With that logic.

“in addition” etc. the children spent the day playing in the yard. mellifluous
. A. when multiplied. therefore. Let’s try a one blank sentence first. September 22nd. This is particularly important in two-blank sentence completions. (A second post on Structural Contrast will follow soon). equal 36. Tags: polynomials Posted in GRE. then…”. torrid C. “therefore”. Words such as because. equal 12. 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…. Quantitative | No Comments »
Structural Agreement
Wednesday. We can easily factor this polynomial. balmy B. attenuating E. scan it quickly to see if it has any structural key words.. certain problems that seem to require extreme calculations really just require some crafty algebraic manipulation. Because of the ——– weather. (x+6)(x+6)…or (x+6)² Plug it in: 1000² = 1.000. If you see certain words such as “because”.000 As you can see. you know that the two blanks should correspond. then and as a result should give you a clue that the blank agrees with the rest of the sentence. As always. don’t immediately plug in 994. our goal here is to think of two numbers that. the other blank should also be a positive word and vice versa. If you need a little refresher with factoring. This is known as Structural Agreement.Example 8: What’s the value of x²+ 12x + 36 when x = 994 Like our earlier examples. and when added. If one blank should be a positive word. consequently. symbiotic D. Having a thorough knowledge of polynomials will help you approach such problems the right way. 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. How about 6 and 6? So. Problem Solving. hence. Give these strategies a try during practice on Grockit.

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

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

At this point.25.15 B.M. Train C leaves Dallas for New York at 9 P. we know the decimal cannot equal . Remember the question is asking for the number of hours to fill 1 truck. we can add their speeds to see their relative velocities. 0. If both workers load one truck simultaneously while maintaining their constant rates. we may not be able to decide between (D) or (E). Because the denominator is 13. Sometimes walking. NOT the number of trucks completed in 1 hour. we instead subtract their speeds to find the relative velocity. are you averaging or adding the given times taken.23 E.25. However. in hours. The rate of worker #2 is 1/7. If all three trains meet at the same time between New York and Dallas. When moving at an angle. 3. You must add rates. 1/6 + 1/7 = 6/42 + 7/42 = 13/42 trucks/1 hour.be less than BOTH of the individual rates.
Relative Velocity
Planes. Choice (E).com/groups/gre/dashboard”>GRE</a>usually travel toward or away from each other. approximately how long. If moving in the same direction. they will complete 1/6 + 1/7 trucks/ 1 hour.M. 3. will it take them to fill 1 truck? A. so 3/13 will be slightly lower. Objects moving at given speeds on the <a href=”http://grockit. what is the speed of Train C if the distance between Dallas and New York is 1260 miles? A. Train B traveling at 90 m/hr also leaves New York for Dallas at 9 P. the decimal is important.25 The rate of worker #1 is 1 truck/6 hours. 60 m/hr
. 2. A second worker can load the same truck in 7 hours. we find the reciprocal of 13/42. Train A traveling at 60 m/hr leaves New York for Dallas at 6 P.M. 0.31 C. When together. We can also see that 3/12 will yield . If moving toward or away from each other. trains and automobiles. be careful of units. This can also be 1/6 trucks/1 hour. 42/13 hours/truck = 3 3/13 hours/truck. A worker can load 1 full truck in 6 hours. To find this.47 D. but not necessarily in proportion. we may be looking at a geometry question. Nor. Again.

90 m/hr C. 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.
Man Hours
Many times you may be asked to calculate the number of workers would be need to complete a certain task. we get:
.400 E. it will take Train B 6 hours. so all we have to is add “plows” to the expression. here we want to interact plow-minutes. Train B’s velocity is 30 m/hr. 16. 131.200 Instead of man-hours. 1. 180 m/hr Relative to Train A. 120 m/hr D. If we divide 123 ft/min by 3 plows. the time will be 3am. how much snow could 8 plows remove in 5 minutes? A.640 D. 135 m/hr E. Feet and minutes are already compared.B. At this rate. which is then compared to the work completed. 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. For example: Three plows working at identical constant rates can clear 123 ft of snow per minute. To catch up the 180 miles. Choice (C). This means that B will gain on A at a rate of 30 miles every hour. A gets to mile marker 180. and they will be at mile marker 540. In the three hours from 6pm to 9pm. which has traveled the same time as B (6 hours). It may help consider the unit man-hours as the multiplication between workers and time. 328 B. So when they all meet up. 984 C. and traveled (1260 – 540) miles. Rate of Train C = 720 miles/ 6 hours = 120 miles/hour.

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

Thus. you are paid interest on the interest that was paid in prior periods. 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. They will pay 5% interest (10%/2) at the end of six months. Mr. to get $7. triples in value in approximately every 112/x years. Money invested at x%. plus the $25 interest paid at the end of 6 months. compounded annually. For the second half of the year. Overall.750 B.100 D. Riley has $551. plus $26. If $2500 is invested at a rate of 8%. compound interest. Mr.500 (or $7. Therefore. $22. Here. Further. hence the phrase “compounding”.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). The lesson? Compound interest always pays more! Let’s look at another similar type of problem that involves interest. and then will pay another 5% at the end of the year. the three types of interest problems you will most likely encounter come test day will be simple interest. Mr. compounded annually. $3. $5. Riley is then paid 5% on the $525 balance that was in his account at the end of the first six months. $8.25 paid at the end of the year.500 will triple again.25. meaning that after one period. Mr. we know that this balance of $7. Now. so all we need to do is take 112/8 = 14. Compound interest can essentially be translated into “interest paid on interest”.600 C. which might unnecessarily confuse you.500 At first glance. we know that the money triples in value every 14 years. Riley deposited $500 into his account at a rate of 10% compounded semiannually and the bank will divide his interest into two equal parts. 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). we are given x% as 8%. Riley earns $1. This interest is equal to $525*5% = $26. Mr.25. The correct answer choice is E. so the final balance at the end of the next 14 year period will be $22. we know that the money will triple exactly twice in 28 years. $15.500 (or $2. Riley has $525 because the bank paid $25 in interest ($500*5%) into his account. once in 14 years and one more time at the 28th year. and word problems involving the mention of
.500*3). For this one. at the end of the year.500*3).000 E.In the above question. what will be its approximate worth in 28 years? A. it might be a bit easier to think about this without the use of compound interest. which is equal to his balance of $500. So at the end of the six months.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

not 40 or 400. 3.52 and . 2.01356. I need 5 digits after the decimal. if it makes things easier.515 Multiplication 1.84 = 84/100 . I know that my answer will have one digit before the decimal because 4 * 1 = 4.356.345 + 2.003. Add zeros as necessary. I add 2 + 3=5). My sum of digits equals the number of digits that should be to the right of the decimal in my product.17 Set it up like this: 382.232 and 1. my product is . Example: Add 382. line up the decimal points.170 ————384. always use common sense to avoid calculation errors. If multiplying 6.52 and .5689 = 5689 / 10000 You’ll want one zero in the denominator for every digit in the decimal. . Multiply the decimals as if the decimals are not present.
. If I am multiplying 4.45 and . add zeros to fill up the empty space. 4. Addition and Subtraction When adding and subtracting decimals. in 1356.003 Step 1: 452 x 3 ———1356 Step 2: In 4.6. Count the number of digits after the decimal in each number..4 = 4/10.345 and 2. and add these up (ex. Example: Multiply 4. and. Counting from right to left. Step 3: So. we have a total of 5 numbers after the decimals. HINT: When multiplying simpler decimal numbers. Manipulate the placement of the decimal in the product to fulfill step 3.

Divide normally and bring the decimal straight up into the quotient.5 1640 ——– 1435 1435 —— 0 For a little refresher in long division. 8 times 205 is 1640.25. Now we have 1435.05 1. 5.
. exactly. the second step. 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 .7_____ 205 ) 1783. so I’ll convert 502. 3. here is the process verbalized: 1. 1783 minus 1640 is 143.25 to 25) 2. 205 can go into 1783 about 8 times. Since there is no remainder left over. yielding 1783.5 to 50250) 3. The first step is to stop using the calculator every time you make an arithmetic calculation. as always.Division 1.5 _ 8. is to practice on Grockit. Example: Divide 17. Bring down the 5 from the dividend. we are left with 8. Move decimal point in 2. I change .5 / . 7. 205 goes into 1435 seven times. 2.835 by 2. Do the same for the dividend. Bring up the decimal and place 7 after it. 6.05 two times to the right to make 205.7
Working with decimals without a calculator is all about practice.25 to 25. 4. Move the decimal point in the divisor to the right so that the divisor is a whole number (If my computation is 502.