# 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.

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

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

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

2. Even if estimating doesn’t give you the 100% accurate answer. Stay tuned for some more strategies for quantitative comparisons that will save you time and increase accuracy. where I would test a few simple numbers (preferably something like -2. which is clearly indeterminate. I could use the tried and true plug-in method. First. our goal is to make the relationship simpler. that you can manipulate both expressions to make the comparison simpler. Don’t forget. 0.5–you want to use a positive. Quantitative. I should just eliminate five zeros from the top and 5 zeros from the bottom. when choosing numbers to add or subtract.000. your first instinct should be to cross out matching zeros. and a fraction). always think of ways to simplify before you calculate. Quantitative Comparison. you should get comfortable with estimating. As long as I add or subtract the same number or variable from these expressions. June 9th. 2010
To save time on the GRE. If I have 2. 0. series. In the meantime. I’ll have the same relationship between the two expressions. Let’s check out this example: 1. Our answer is D.000. 2. and . 000 OR 1.000 / 200. strategy | 2 Comments »
GRE Strategy – Estimation
Wednesday.000 in the denominator. 4x +5 OR 3x +6
I could approach this problem a few ways. so: Subtracting 5 from both sides gives us: 4x OR 3x+1 Subtracting 3x from both sides gives us: x OR 1 Now. Same idea for column b: 1. though. try some of these strategies in Grockit! Posted in GRE. now. my expression is simply 20/2 = 10. a negative. Remember.000/100 = 10/1 = 10. it generally narrows it down to
. Simplify by Adding/Subtracting Same Value 1.000 / 100
When you see many zeros in fractions like this.Simplify When presented with two baffling expressions.000 in the numerator and 200. look how simple it is? The comparison is any number (x) OR 1.

In this case. hydro and wind column (keeping my finger on it so I don’t read the wrong thing) and add up those percentages. $127. I would figure out what 1% represents – approximately $0.one obvious choice (if you’re good at estimating and round up and down appropriately). 4.
. Numerical Estimations Practice estimating with percentages.0 billion $. 5. 5% or 10% represents and working from there depending on the question. This will save you a lot of time. and then multiply that by 7 to get $0. So I’m looking for what value 7% of $10. and the nuclear. For example. 2.9 billion $7. Estimation also comes in handy for quantitative comparisons because you don’t need the precise answer. particular on the questions with charts and graphs. you just need to know if they are equal or if one is bigger.7 million. 3.
The question asks: approximately what average amount per month did the Canadian government spend on nuclear. Given the following five answer choices 1.1 million.6 billion $8. Some questions even tell you to approximate. so there really is no point calculating the precise answer there.6 million represents.2 billion $10. Wind (2%) + Hydro (2%) + Nuclear (3%) = 7%. hydro and wind power combined? I would look at the Canada row. I tend to like figuring out 1%. let’s take a look at the following chart.74 billion
I would then pick E easily based on my estimate.

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

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

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

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

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

Watch out for them in your conversations. 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. making your body paragraph organization pretty simple. Becoming familiar with these flaws and how to spot them is the first step to writing a quality Argument Task. Let’s look at these flaws in a little more depth: 1. You can remember this fallacy by thinking about stereotypes. etc. Weak Analogies: The speaker may come to a conclusion about one thing on the basis of another thing. Maybe that particular city’s downtown district was already on the rise. may find that a big competitor in a different city has increased sales by moving from a downtown location to a suburban one. For example. the argument should clearly state that a member is a representative of the group as a whole. The Member vs. if the manager of a business. think about these flaws in depth and try to find them in everyday reasoning. the demographics in their respective cities may respond to different incentives. To practice. 3. but we can’t completely analogize these different trading-card shops. The “necessary” line of reasoning is particularly weak if the speaker does not provide evidence that no other means of achieving the same result is possible. If you can spot them in everyday situations. 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. a superintendent of a school argues that adopting a certain marketed reading program is necessary–i. the superintendent may not have shown that the reading program by itself is enough to raise reading levels. The argument may seem sound. For example. In order to avoid the member-group fallacy. First of all. we can’t make this analogy. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1
. however. say a trading card shop. it won’t. it will be easy on the test. on commercials. the only means–to increase reading skills of students. There are other factors involved in this proposed outcome: preparedness of teachers and attentiveness of students. in television shows. we’ll look at the next three flaws and discuss how to begin forming our Argument Task essay. and the relocation merely reaped the benefits? Without this thorough background info. Group Fallacy: It is pretty unrealistic to describe a group and then expect that every single member fulfills that characteristic.e. Next time. 2. 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.•
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. most of the time. In the above example.

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

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

165 C. Yes. 1. 70. but we were still successful with some effort. Verbal.speculation will lead you to the correct answer. 35. July 26th. common sense thinker will probably be able to answer this question without doing a calculation. Part 2
Monday. and anticipate the clever gambits so often deployed by the ETS.195 Any relaxed. Beating the GRE quantitative requires a balanced combination of math skills and test-taking skills– these strategies will help improve the latter. it can be no other answer. but nonetheless common sense manner.125 B. Avoid TrapsNearly every multiple choice math problem has trap answers. strategy | No Comments »
Simple Quantitative Strategies. and look at the simplicity of the question.33 percent is awfully close to one third. In terms of GRE quantitative strategy. This is where ballparking plays a significant role. when you’re in the middle of a timed test. The only thing close to that is B. if you happen to stumble upon an antonym question like this. and you go into human calculator mode. often making the problem appear a little bit easier than it actually is.33 % of 50?A. During practice. vacabulary Posted in GRE. though. imprecise. Use the test format to your advantage. 32. ballparking essentially means thinking about mathematical figures in a vague. But. These types of answers catch your eye for one reason or another.350 E. don’t overwork. learning the processes is more than half the battle. Anxiety sets in. but outsmarting the test-writers is very important too.50. 1. but remember that such a choice is probably a trap. 2010
This is the second installment in the simple quantitative strategies series.685 D.Looks look at an
. These strategies are here to remind you that there is just a bit more to studying than simply cramming math material. A third of 50 is a little more than 15 (15*3= 45). Moving a decimal one unit could transform a correct answer into a wrong answer. BallparkingTo ‘ballpark’ is to roughly approximate. Step back. don’t give up–use your brain! Tags: antonyms. You see a question like this and immediately start calculating the product. 5. no matter how many correct steps you painstakingly went through. or attractors. it’s easy to make mistakes.Let’s look at a crude example:What’s 32.16. You may notice the anticipated answer in the choices and think that you won’t have to finish the problem. When we are overwhelmed by figures and calculations. things change.

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

If her average score after the first three five tests was 89. her average score was 83. There are 3 numbers you want to know. we have to find two totals before we can calculate the average of the final three tests. of all the fish? Answer: Simply multiply 14 and 4. The most important rule to remember is that Average = Sum Total / Number of Figures Here are some possibilities for average questions and the strategies to solve them: 1.7 lbs. 95. After weighing all of them together. they are related by the formula A= T / n. A = 550 / 7 = 78. then T= 550. What is the total weight.57.7. If I want to find the average of seven different test scores. If the aforementioned scores are 80. 219 (total) / 3 (number of figures) = 73
. The number of figures in a set (n). 80. 8*83= 664. the total number of percentage points on the first five tests. With this information. Example 1: John caught 14 fish after a long day of fishing. 1. where A is average.Finding the total: IF you know the average and the number of figures/items (n) in a set. 2. In our example. The average of the figures in a set: (A)= T / N. 70. 14*4.8 Example 2: Throughout the year. and n is the number of figures in a set. The sum total of all the figures in a set (T). 75. the total number of percentage points on all the tests 5*89= 445. 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. we have the info we need to find the average in question. let’s go over some basic rules for finding averages. in pounds. 3.Before we begin. and 90. Janet took 8 math tests. what was the average of her last three tests? Here. 60. then simply multiply the average and the number of figures to find the sum total (T). then n=7. he calculated the average weight of the fish to be 4.7= 65. T is the total sum of values.

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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

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

20 E. fractions are always easier. $30 Without a calculator. cancel and simplify. what was the face value of each ticket price without the sales tax? A. Jerome sold 75% of the first 1. 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. setting x = ticket price before tax. $22 B.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 are typically neater. $25.94 C. $23. Now we set up the equation. how many items did Jerome offer for sale? A. and 30% of his remaining items. If this price included a 5% sales tax. If he sold 40% of the total number of items he offered for sale. 750
. and all the tickets cost the same amount.05 (with tax) = $630 Note we can convert to fractions.000 items he offered for sale. $24 D. 5% = 1/20 since 5*20 = 100. 25 people * x dollars/person * 1. They cancel well.

4. Quantitative. The best option. we want to set up the equation – this will make things a lot easier. is to study these principles enough that they seem intuitive. T = R + 1.B.500 E.000 = 3.500 + 1. but it’s just an intimidating name for some pretty elementary mathematical principles. Not R.500 We always look back to the original question to see exactly what we are looking for. 3. switching to fractions is always best. strategy | No Comments »
Number Theory
Wednesday. And again. The GRE
.500 Choice E Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. 1.500 Again. We can solve! 750 + 3R/10 = 400 + 4R/10 350 = R/10 R = 3. In this case. 2010
Number theory may sound scary.800 D. August 25th. This is a good hint that there may be a hidden 2nd equation. if not. 1. 3/4*1000 + 3/10*R = 4/10*T We have 2 equations. Tags: percent Posted in GRE. and 1 unknown. we have 2 equations and 2 unknowns. T.000 = 4. You probably know most of these principles by memory. you could easily execute a calculation to ascertain them. though. 1000 + R = T Now.050 C.

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

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

Dad. so 167/(even #) must have an ODD remainder. 2. The remainder stays equal to 2. In this scenario. 3^4n = 3^4 = 81 = one’s digit of 1. we are left with a remainder of 2. We detect the pattern that regardless the value of n. Sister. Become familiar with common trends or patterns. you can see that 15 would go into 150 evenly. so your remainder is (15 -4) = 11. Brother. The remainder should NOT be reduced. we only care about the one’s digit. since a remainder of 9 leaves you a new whole number (with a remainder of 0). which I think is a good introduction: What is the remainder of 3^(4n+3) divided by 5. when dividing by 9. We can break 3^(4n+3) into 3^4n * 3^3 by the rules of exponents. your remainder options are 0-8. You then count down four from 150 to 146. This is easier than recognizing 135/15 is a whole number and counting up. who takes out the trash on March 26th? (There are 31 days in January and 28 days in February. The order goes as follows: Mom. If n = 2. If n = 1. 3. For example. If Dad takes out the trash on January 18th. Your remainder can only range from zero to the denominator of the fraction. 4.) It’s clear that we don’t want to whip out our calendars and start counting. (A general rule of thumb is that if you think it’s taking too long. we see how many days pass between January 18 and March 26: January 19-31: 13 +
. when trying to find the remainder of 146/15. Pattern questions with division are many times Remainder questions at their core The 4 members of the Jones Family rotate who takes out the trash on a daily basis. For example. When and number with a one’s digit of 7 dividing by 5. 18/4 = 4 2/4. we are looking for the remainder above a one’s digit of either 0 or 5. 3^4n = 3^8 = 81*81 = one’s digit of 1.1. For example. we will be multiplying a term with a one’s digit of 1 with a term with a one’s digit of 7 (3³).) Instead. multiples of even numbers are even. it probably is…. when dividing by 5. so we only need to look at the one’s digit while multiplying. I recently came across this question. Look for the closest whole number and count up or down from there. even though you can reduce 4 2/4 to 4 1/2. assuming n is a positive integer? Firstly. so the result will have a one’s digit of 7.

Fractions and Decimals are the same thing You should be familiar with common decimals. so we count 3 from Dad.20 1/6 = .166 repeating E.5 1/3 = .166 repeating 1/8 = .268 B.555 repeating C.125 = 0. mainly: 1/2 = . -2. 8. 1.4 D. which of the following is a possible value of (x² +2x – 7)/9? A.125
.25 1/5 = .375 The more familiar with these you become.125 1/9 = . For example: If x is an integer. 4.33 repeating 1/4 = . leaving us with Mom on March 26th. the quicker you can eliminate answer choices are clearly wrong. such as: 3/8 = 3*1/8 = 3*0.11 repeating Note that multiplying these by constants will leave similarly instructive results. 67/4 leaves you will a remainder of 3. 0.February 1-28: 28 + March 1 – 26: 26 = 67 days.

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

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

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

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

GRE Prep. fractions will be easier to perform arithmetic. Proportions and Ratios. and your Experts and fellow students could probably use a light moment as much as you could. and your Expert. you should take some time out to play. Finally. And. strategy | 1 Comment »
Fractions. For example:
• • •
840/5 = ? 840/5 = 840*(2/10) = 84*2 = 168 Multiplying or dividing by 10’s and 2’s is generally easier than using 5’s. finally. which occur in a large portion of the questions. Some common ones to memorize:
• • • • • • • •
1/9 = 0.166 repeating 1/5 = 0. Dividing by 5 is the same as multiplying by 2/10. the GRE is a challenging test. Decimals are sometimes more useful when comparing numbers relative to one another. but these questions are the exception.25 1/3 = 0. too. But questions are sometimes funny. To summarize. and take advantage of the many ways that you can study for the exam. preparing for it is often a rigorous experience. and remember to take time to relax a little! What are some of your favorite ways to relieve GRE preparation pressure? Posted in GRE. The writers recognize time is short.111 repeating 1/8 = 0. 2010
GRE questions are notorious for seeming harder than they actually are. try to have some fun with the studying process!
Yes.14 1/6 = 0.333 repeating 1/2 = 0.
90% of the time. your fellow students. mistakes should be learned from and sometimes laughed off.5 repeating
. Be proactive about your practice and about asking questions. remember that your GRE prep is a collaboration between you. and will give you ostensibly time-consuming calculations. Oh My!
Friday.5. quickly convert to a fraction.125 1/7 = ~0. August 13th. try to enjoy the process as much as you can. and your future is a serious thing. One way to mitigate this is by retaining a rockstar aptitude in manipulating fractions. such as in a number line.20 1/4 = 0. Even if given a decimal (or percent) looks easy. So remember that even as you’re working hard.

such as 3/8 (0.375)
Denominators are super important. A denominator of a reduced fraction with a multiple of 7 will not have a finite decimal.125 * 3 = 0. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters changes to 3 to 16. Forget the “:” with ratios. 12 E. Adding the 12 waiters. 6 C. If you have some. the ratio will hold true. the new ratio becomes: C/W = 3x/(13x + 12)
. we don’t actually know the number of girls and boys. 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. Ratios A ratio is both a comparison and division. Keep in mind what you can logically combine. Note that when you have a ratio like B/G = 7/2.375) are also important to remember. C/W = 3x/13x. This list is by no means extensive. 4 B. There are many many more shortcuts. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters is 3 to 13. leave them in the comment field.•
Note: Multiples of these. and what you cannot. we can express this scale by “x”. since you can’t have a portion of a cook. GRE writers love to provide ratios (which are multiplicative relationships) and then add an absolute component (addition/subtraction). For example: At a certain restaurant. How many cooks does the restaurant have? A. for example. (x must be an integer. unless of course he chops his finger off by accident!) “When 12 more waiters are hired” is the insertion of an absolute. When 12 more waiters are hired. 9 D. 15 The key here is setting up the equation. or 70 boys and 20 girls. but can easily be derived by multiplying the original fraction (1/8 * 3 = 3/8 = 0. Since we don’t know the initial scale of the number of cooks and waiters. Notice that whatever x is. Questions that insert absolute numbers should be taken with caution. There can be 14 boys and 4 girls. whatever. “The ratio of boys to girls is seven to two” can be expressed as the proportion: B/G = 7/2. and can simply be treated as such.

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

No need to go for the biggest common factor. which are both divisible by 400 to get: 24/1200 = 9/x. you’ve heard of mnemonic devices. or anecdote. Chances are. 2010
Studying reams of vocabulary words can be a mind-numbing process. we can actually use creativity to improve the efficiency of learning vocabulary words. that aids recall. Also. that is. acronym. For this question we could have started by canceling 9600 and 3600 in the numerators. 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). Luckily. we’ll either cower in fear or reject the whole endeavor completely. Quantitative | No Comments »
Mnemonic Vocabulary
Tuesday. Phylum. ratios Posted in GRE. Class. our brains are a built for more complicated and efficient processes than rote memorization.Then we can divide 96/12: 8 = 3600/x Here. August 10th. Order. so long as you are reducing by the same factor. You’ll eventually work your way down as the numbers progressively get easier. a mnemonic is a linguistic device. proportions. we can still reduce left-to-right. Genus. the ETS has a reason for this. Believe it or not. To refresh your memory (I wonder if there’s a mnemonic to remember the definition of mnemonic?). This is one of my favorites from AP Biology that helped me remember the order of taxonomic classifications: Kingdom. most of us will either behave like a lost child or a disaffected teenager. often a rhyme. Check out Grockit for more quantitative practice! Good luck! Tags: fractions. start with small numbers. When faced with the task of memorizing 1000+ unfamiliar (and sometimes useless) words.
. If you’ve made it through college. Family. a career in public administration will not require you to know the proper definition of peregrinate. You can take it from here. by canceling 4 in both: 2 = 900/x Oh wait! There’s more! Both 2 and 900 are divisible by 2! 1 = 450/x x = 450 It DOES NOT matter whether you start top-bottom or left-right.

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

9 %. They may be a bit intimidating if you are unfamiliar with how to approach them. I add 3 and 4 (=7). or 42. or 57. visit mnemonicdictionary. and then form a fraction in which this sum is the denominator. then 4/10 or 2/5 of the party is male and 3/5 of the party is female. It’s a brilliant site that exploits the power of online collaboration (not unlike Grockit) to enhance education. For example. So. August 5th.
. Stated algebraically. Let’s see what an example using this rule might look like: Example 1: At a party.For an impressively comprehensive list of vocabulary mnemonics. of the party goers are boys. but reverses the process. if we have a ratio x:y. there are 4 girls. We now have to find the ratio. nor does it mean that 4/3 of the party goers are girls. A ratio is a kind of fraction that measures two or more quantities in a group. you add the numerator and the denominator. This does not mean that 3/4 of the party goers are boys. 3/7. 4/7.1%. Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
Ratios and Proportions
Thursday. That means that for every 3 boys at the party.com. respectively. then x / x+y and y /x+y express the proportions of x to the group and y to the group. 2010
Ratios and proportions are favorites of most standardized tests. and then I take the ratio quantity of boys. and the GRE is no exception. If you do want to find out what proportion or percentage of the party goers are boys or girls. 40% of the party goers are male. What is the ratio of male to female party goers? This question uses the aforementioned rule. if I want to find out what proportion of the party goers are boys. You can also write this ratio as 3/4. and form the fraction 3/7. of the party goers are girls. 3. you’ll learn that ratio and proportions problems require only simple algebra. If 40% of the party is male. respectively. a ratio of boys to girls (Boys: Girls) at a party is 3:4. but once you learn the basics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

23 E. we find the reciprocal of 13/42. When together. If both workers load one truck simultaneously while maintaining their constant rates. trains and automobiles. will it take them to fill 1 truck? A. Remember the question is asking for the number of hours to fill 1 truck. If moving toward or away from each other.47 D. However. we may be looking at a geometry question. A second worker can load the same truck in 7 hours. we may not be able to decide between (D) or (E). so 3/13 will be slightly lower. be careful of units. Train C leaves Dallas for New York at 9 P. The rate of worker #2 is 1/7.15 B. At this point. the decimal is important. 0. Again. are you averaging or adding the given times taken. Objects moving at given speeds on the <a href=”http://grockit.be less than BOTH of the individual rates. Sometimes walking.
Relative Velocity
Planes. we can add their speeds to see their relative velocities. in hours.25. Because the denominator is 13. To find this. what is the speed of Train C if the distance between Dallas and New York is 1260 miles? A. If all three trains meet at the same time between New York and Dallas. Train B traveling at 90 m/hr also leaves New York for Dallas at 9 P.M. You must add rates. NOT the number of trucks completed in 1 hour. A worker can load 1 full truck in 6 hours. we know the decimal cannot equal . they will complete 1/6 + 1/7 trucks/ 1 hour. Choice (E). This can also be 1/6 trucks/1 hour. Nor. If moving in the same direction. 42/13 hours/truck = 3 3/13 hours/truck. but not necessarily in proportion. 1/6 + 1/7 = 6/42 + 7/42 = 13/42 trucks/1 hour. We can also see that 3/12 will yield . 3.M.31 C.M. When moving at an angle. 3. we instead subtract their speeds to find the relative velocity.com/groups/gre/dashboard”>GRE</a>usually travel toward or away from each other. approximately how long. 0. Train A traveling at 60 m/hr leaves New York for Dallas at 6 P.25. 2. 60 m/hr
.25 The rate of worker #1 is 1 truck/6 hours.

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

For compound interest. 2010
There are two types of interest problems on the GRE. relative volocity. we can simply insert these into the existing rate. though this one involves compound interest. some are much more difficult. for a given time (t) at a given interest rate (i). the principle amount of money invested. and if we were compounding quarterly. September 16th. since we are multiplying top and bottom by 40. because we are compounding semiannually. work and rates Posted in GRE. Simple interest is the most basic and is a function of P. the interest rate earned on the principle.000 (P = your principle) for one year (t = one year) at 6% simple interest (i = given interest rate). and they include simple interest and compound interest. the above equation tells us the amount of interest that would be earned on a principle amount invested (P). Mr. This is by no means exhaustive. Tags: man hours. Example: If you invested $1. Quantitative | 1 Comment »
Interest and Compound Interest Problems
Thursday. compounded semiannually. so the value is constant. There are LOADS more rate questions. So for in the above question. Let’s look at similar type problem. you would get $60 in interest at the end of the year and would have a total of $1. How much money will be in Mr. and the amount of time the money is invested. Riley deposits $500 into an account that pays 10% interest. Note the absolute rate does not change. The resulting equation is: Interest = iPt In basic terms. Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. i. you would earn slightly more.060. if we want to increase minutes to 5 and plows to 8.123 ft/minute/3 plows = 41 ft/plow-minute At this rate. t (this is usually stated in periods. 41*40 feet / 40 plow-minutes = 1640 feet / 40 plow-minutes.
. Choice (C). we need to divide 10% by 2 (because of 2 compounding periods). first you need to divide the interest rate by how many compound periods there are. Riley’s account at the end of one year? For compound interest. we would need to divide 10% by 4. such as years or months).

500*3). Thus. Therefore. the three types of interest problems you will most likely encounter come test day will be simple interest. They will pay 5% interest (10%/2) at the end of six months.25 paid at the end of the year.500 will triple again. it might be a bit easier to think about this without the use of compound interest. So at the end of the six months.500 At first glance. which might unnecessarily confuse you. to get $7. you are paid interest on the interest that was paid in prior periods. we know that the money triples in value every 14 years. The correct answer choice is E. Mr. Mr. $15. meaning that after one period. Mr. If $2500 is invested at a rate of 8%.100 D. $8. and word problems involving the mention of
. The lesson? Compound interest always pays more! Let’s look at another similar type of problem that involves interest. so all we need to do is take 112/8 = 14. Now.25. hence the phrase “compounding”. $22. $5. compounded annually. once in 14 years and one more time at the 28th year. 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. $3. we know that the money will triple exactly twice in 28 years. Money invested at x%. we know that this balance of $7. Riley is then paid 5% on the $525 balance that was in his account at the end of the first six months. Further. For this one.500*3).500 (or $7.In the above question. Mr. what will be its approximate worth in 28 years? A. Riley has $525 because the bank paid $25 in interest ($500*5%) into his account. Riley deposited $500 into his account at a rate of 10% compounded semiannually and the bank will divide his interest into two equal parts. plus $26. which is equal to his balance of $500. Riley has $551. Riley earns $1. compound interest.750 B. For the second half of the year.25. Mr. at the end of the year. Overall. and then will pay another 5% at the end of the year. This interest is equal to $525*5% = $26. we are given x% as 8%.600 C. Compound interest can essentially be translated into “interest paid on interest”. triples in value in approximately every 112/x years. 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). so the final balance at the end of the next 14 year period will be $22.500 (or $2.000 E.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). Here. plus the $25 interest paid at the end of 6 months. compounded annually.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 3: So. 3.
.356.52 and . Count the number of digits after the decimal in each number. 4. add zeros to fill up the empty space.4 = 4/10. my product is . Multiply the decimals as if the decimals are not present.232 and 1.84 = 84/100 . I add 2 + 3=5).515 Multiplication 1.. and add these up (ex. if it makes things easier. we have a total of 5 numbers after the decimals. not 40 or 400. Add zeros as necessary. I need 5 digits after the decimal.45 and . . If multiplying 6. line up the decimal points.17 Set it up like this: 382.01356. Counting from right to left. If I am multiplying 4.5689 = 5689 / 10000 You’ll want one zero in the denominator for every digit in the decimal. always use common sense to avoid calculation errors. Addition and Subtraction When adding and subtracting decimals. in 1356. and. Example: Add 382.170 ————384. HINT: When multiplying simpler decimal numbers. Manipulate the placement of the decimal in the product to fulfill step 3. My sum of digits equals the number of digits that should be to the right of the decimal in my product.003.6.345 and 2.345 + 2.003 Step 1: 452 x 3 ———1356 Step 2: In 4.52 and . 2. Example: Multiply 4. I know that my answer will have one digit before the decimal because 4 * 1 = 4.

yielding 1783. 6. Bring up the decimal and place 7 after it. Move the decimal point in the divisor to the right so that the divisor is a whole number (If my computation is 502. so I’ll convert 502.7
Working with decimals without a calculator is all about practice. The first step is to stop using the calculator every time you make an arithmetic calculation. 205 goes into 1435 seven times. 205 can go into 1783 about 8 times. Move decimal point in 2.05 1.835 by 2.Division 1. is to practice on Grockit. 7. Example: Divide 17. Since there is no remainder left over.5 to 50250) 3.7_____ 205 ) 1783. Divide normally and bring the decimal straight up into the quotient. exactly. 3. 1783 minus 1640 is 143. 2. I change .5 / .25 to 25.5 _ 8.05 two times to the right to make 205. 8 times 205 is 1640. 4.
. we are left with 8.5 1640 ——– 1435 1435 —— 0 For a little refresher in long division. here is the process verbalized: 1. Now we have 1435.25. Bring down the 5 from the dividend. 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 .25 to 25) 2. the second step. 5. as always. Do the same for the dividend.