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.
and a negative number as testers. We can actually use another method to figure out the answer. Let’s look at an example where you would not want to use this method: 3x OR 4x OR OR 9 ^98 / 9^98 9^0
If we tried to simplify by dividing by x. When in doubt. we’d think that we arrived at this: 3 OR 4
We might choose B as a result. They’re equal. the most reliable method to test them is to be thorough with the types of numbers you use. When you are testing variable expressions. 3x is larger. Though there is usually one “fastest” method. a
. 9^99 – 9^98 OR 9 ^98
Why don’t we divide both sides by 9^98? 1. there are some rare cases when there are multiple quick methods to solving a problem. 5x + 5y / x + y
Here’s a chance for some good ol’ fashioned factoring. a positive. use your common sense. 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.Example 2. 0. Simplify by multiplying or dividing both sides by the same value: Let’s look at the problem we did above for the factoring method. a fraction. This just goes to show you that there is usually more than one way to solve a math problem. It’s easy to see that. the values are equal. or when we use a negative number. giving you: 5 OR 5 Easy choice. the answer must be D because when x= 0. 5( x +y ) / x +y OR 5
(X+Y) on top and bottom cancel. 1. but we’d be wrong. when comparing 3x and 4x. You must use a negative. The Fallback Strategy: Use 1.
g. what if x is zero? Well in that case. so we know the answer is negative. it must be A right? Common Not so fast. our special numbers to test are negatives. speed and accuracy are crucial! See other articles in this series:
. and a zero. And. So in that case. If we multiply a fraction by itself.fraction. y >0. y is zero also. So in that case. When negative numbers are involved. e. as in our A value. There you have it. positives. Example 2: If x<0. But what if they are negative? If x is -4. Fractions have some very special properties. the whole value is zero. fractions. It turns out that the answer must be D.25). Remember.5 = .5 * . our answer is D. Our first value is larger. but we’re not in the clear quite yet. so both values are equal. Example 3: If 3x= 4y x OR y
We know that if x and y are positive. not bigger (. So in that case. if x is 4 then y is 3. zeroes. z=0 3z (2x +5y) OR 3x (2z+5y)
We still have zero for our first value. When you practice on Grockit. try using different strategies to figure out which work best for you. Since all the other values are positive. z= 0… 3z (2x +5y) OR 3x (2z+5y)
When a zero is on the outside. Let’s check out some examples that show us why it’s necessary to be thorough. and of course. Example 4: If x > 0 and x does NOT equal 1… x² OR x
So x must be positive and cannot be one. it happens to become smaller. then y is -3. y is greater. y> 0. Example 1: If x>0. we suggest that you use simple numbers in order to save yourself time and avoid any calculation errors. we can be confident that our second value is larger. then x is greater than y. remember. What we have is a negative multiplied by a positive. always test them. Testing our second value gives us 3(-1) (2*0 + 5*2).
34. 33. You merely have to find out if one of the two expressions is larger. Your job is not to find the correct answer amongst a group of answers (i. you might jump into calculation.e. you are doing unnecessary work. and how to quickly compare variable expressions. if you don’t quickly examine the two expressions intelligently. and 35. Many quantitative comparisons are designed to look time consuming. Such an approach is self-defeating. which would take you quite a while (not to mention leave you vulnerable to errors). The GRE will not make you do endless calculations on paper. Let’s look at some strategies that pinpoint those faster ways to solve quant comps: when to calculate. etc). There is a simple trick here. Before we examine certain question types. June 14th. smaller. 2. 31 x 32 x 33 x 34 x 35 OR 32 x 33 x 34 x 35 x 36
Again. Notice that 3569 is the same thing as saying 3000 + 500 + 60 + 9. or equal to the other. The art of quantitative comparison problems is getting away with the bare minimum to save time. which is what the expression on the right is really saying. Quantitative Comparison. I might multiply out the second column (3 times 10³ is 3000. we are left with a simple comparison: 31 OR 36. Thus. series | No Comments »
Quantitative Comparison Strategies: Part 1
Monday.Quantitative Comparison Strategies Pt 1 Posted in GRE. Avoid Unnecessary Calculation If. which is a good indicator that there is a much faster way to solve the problem. This may sound like a pain. that is. 32. and I know that both expressions are equal. we can cross out the numbers that appear in both expressions. multiple choice) or to find the correct answer and write it in. but notice that you can get away with much less. Since we are just comparing the two expressions. in your practice.
Quantitative Comparison problems are not like standard math problems you’ll find on the SAT or a common standardized test. you notice yourself doing endless calculations. now it’s quite clear that B is greater. when not to calculate. even if such a strategy appears to be the most obvious way to reach an answer. or if such information is impossible to calculate. Quantitative. let’s look at a couple simple examples to show how immediate calculation can be an inefficient strategy: 1. Calculation is not necessary. 3569 OR 3(10) + 5 (10²) + 6 (10¹) + 9 (10^0)
If I saw this problem without thinking.
try some of these strategies in Grockit! Posted in GRE. now.000 in the denominator. Simplify by Adding/Subtracting Same Value 1. Quantitative. and . where I would test a few simple numbers (preferably something like -2. Same idea for column b: 1. Let’s check out this example: 1. and a fraction).000/100 = 10/1 = 10.Simplify When presented with two baffling expressions. In the meantime. 0. it generally narrows it down to
. 000 OR 1. I could use the tried and true plug-in method. Our answer is D.000. Don’t forget.5–you want to use a positive. your first instinct should be to cross out matching zeros. a negative. my expression is simply 20/2 = 10. when choosing numbers to add or subtract. look how simple it is? The comparison is any number (x) OR 1. I’ll have the same relationship between the two expressions. I should just eliminate five zeros from the top and 5 zeros from the bottom. June 9th. which is clearly indeterminate. 0.000 / 100
When you see many zeros in fractions like this. Stay tuned for some more strategies for quantitative comparisons that will save you time and increase accuracy. 2. our goal is to make the relationship simpler. 2010
To save time on the GRE. strategy | 2 Comments »
GRE Strategy – Estimation
Wednesday. First. series. Remember. 4x +5 OR 3x +6
I could approach this problem a few ways. though. you should get comfortable with estimating. Even if estimating doesn’t give you the 100% accurate answer. 2. As long as I add or subtract the same number or variable from these expressions. always think of ways to simplify before you calculate. Quantitative Comparison. that you can manipulate both expressions to make the comparison simpler. so: Subtracting 5 from both sides gives us: 4x OR 3x+1 Subtracting 3x from both sides gives us: x OR 1 Now. If I have 2.000 in the numerator and 200.000.000 / 200.
$127. Estimation also comes in handy for quantitative comparisons because you don’t need the precise answer. 5. 3. Wind (2%) + Hydro (2%) + Nuclear (3%) = 7%. I tend to like figuring out 1%. I would figure out what 1% represents – approximately $0. Numerical Estimations Practice estimating with percentages. hydro and wind power combined? I would look at the Canada row.
The question asks: approximately what average amount per month did the Canadian government spend on nuclear. so there really is no point calculating the precise answer there. particular on the questions with charts and graphs.
.6 million represents.1 million. This will save you a lot of time. and the nuclear.74 billion
I would then pick E easily based on my estimate. Some questions even tell you to approximate.2 billion $10.7 million.6 billion $8. So I’m looking for what value 7% of $10. Given the following five answer choices 1. you just need to know if they are equal or if one is bigger. and then multiply that by 7 to get $0. 4. For example. hydro and wind column (keeping my finger on it so I don’t read the wrong thing) and add up those percentages.one obvious choice (if you’re good at estimating and round up and down appropriately). In this case.9 billion $7. let’s take a look at the following chart. 5% or 10% represents and working from there depending on the question. 2.0 billion $.
Which is also square root of 36. 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.
The important lesson in visual estimations is not to do it for triangles.1 / lb. You should always assume that triangles are never drawn to scale and when looking at diagrams of
The same goes with this question. So A is bigger. The price/lb of coffee B is approximately $8/7 pounds = $1. Clearly square root of 37 will be a teensy bit bigger. Clearly AE is the longer line since it spans four rectangles instead of three. Visual Estimations Visual estimations usually work for things like graphs or simple diagrams like the problem below. so you can choose B without even calculating what root 37 might be.
triangles. sum of interior angles is 180.g. You might be tempted to think that QRT or QRS is an isosceles triangle. isosceles triangles have two equal angles and two equal sides etc.
. so only apply mathematical rules. You don’t know. For example. in the question below. They may be. Do not estimate based on what you see!
This question is a little trickier. but they may not be. you need to add up the angles to get 10a. and equate 10a to 180 degrees to figure out that a=18 degrees. you should only apply rules of triangles e.
the speaker may claim that a temporal relationship suggests causation. Take this argument for example: As ice cream sales increase. Second. strategy | No Comments »
Argument Writing Task: Part 3
Monday. June 7th. the speaker may claim that a correlation suggests causation.g. just because one event happens after another. you are not expected to cite these flaws by name or cite the names of their fancy Latin correlatives (e. more lovingly known as the post hoc fallacy. it doesn’t mean that one event causes the other. This one may take some headscratching to realize that ice cream is more popular in the summer months. when water activities are also more popular. For more practice estimating. GRE Prep. Again. T and S: 27 + 27 + y + y + x + x = 180. join a Grockit game today!
Posted in GRE. may be one of the most common you’ll encounter when examining the pool of arguments. the rate of drowning deaths increases.
. Studying these flaws will simply help you identify them on test day. First. and you can be confident that you’ll find more than one of them in any given argument. 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. 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.e. so it’s essential that you master it. Here. This means that 2 y + 2 x = 126 thus y + x = 63. we learned a little about the first three types of logical flaws you might find in the argument task. post hoc ergo propter hoc). A speaker may often use correlation to simply causation when a lurking variable is present. There are two basic ways a fallacious cause-and-effect claim can be made. you need to use the sum of angles = 180 rule. by the same logic. just because two phenomena often occur together. it doesn’t mean that event caused the other to occur. Quantitative. so ice cream causes drowning.As it turns out. This makes column A and B equal. i. again. But you wouldn’t know this just by looking at it. Since the lines bisect angles Q. 2010
In our last installment. Correlation Does Not Imply Causation: This fallacy.
Next time. consciously or unconsciously. 80 percent of University X undergrads were employed within one year of graduating. and show the distribution of majors among grads and undergrads. and scientific manner. examine the economy of the surrounding area. To really identify the source of the employment disparity. For example. 6. a speaker may try to make a broad claim about graduate school’s impracticality by citing statistics from one particular university. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1 Argument Writing Task: Pt 2 Posted in GRE. the results may be unreliable. e. we might fallaciously conclude that 78% of people identify “mint” as their favorite ice cream flavor. unrepresentative. Verbal. This is where problems can arise. Further. it must be of significant size and characteristically representative of the population. As you may find out. For a sample to adequately represent a larger population. The statistics of one university simply cannot account for a sweeping claim about graduate education. 2010
. or inapplicable. we’ll look at an actual Argument Writing Task prompt and see how we can apply these logical flaws. watch out for surveys that try to manipulate responses by providing narrow options. the results may be unreliable if the method for collecting the data is biased. check out the pool of prompts at ets. For example.” from those findings. otherwise the quality of the data is compromised. series | No Comments »
What’s the big idea?
Thursday.5. if the survey is designed. To spot tainted data. make sure that if a survey should be conducted anonymously–like in the workplace–then it is indicated. we’d have to compare the admission standards for undergrads and grad students. to yield certain responses. June 3rd. Also. Inappropriate Statistics: You will often find that these arguments cite statistical evidence to bolster their claims. fair. In the meantime.org and practice identifying these flaws. 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. compare the types of jobs sought by undergrads and grads. For example. while only 50 percent of the graduate students of the same university were employed after one year.g. a survey asking the question “What is your favorite ice cream flavor?” should have more options than simply “coconut” and “mint.g. For data to be considered legitimate it has to be collected in an unbiased. simply citing evidence does not prove a claim since the statistics may be faulty. e. if there is reason to believe that survey responses are dishonest. Biased or Tainted Data: Tainted data is the second problem that could arise with data samples.
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. or that the selling or organs should be endorsed. Don’t try to remember every single detail. Verbal | No Comments »
Argument Writing Task: Part 2
Tuesday. June 1st. It could be as simple as the author is against stem cell research for this and this reason. Although there hundreds of possible arguments the ETS may choose. controversial views. Keep an eye out for keywords such as “in contrast”. you won’t be able to skim through the passage to answer all the questions. try to skim through and summarize each paragraph. “for example”. Always remember that the main idea is not generally a straightforward one-sided matter. minorities. we briefly looked at the kinds of flaws and fallacies you should expect to find in the given argument. so learning them is essential. but also considers the benefits. They are carefully edited by experienced test writers to make sure that they are packed full of information. great leaders etc. Just focus on the first and last sentence of each paragraph and skim through the examples in between. common sense will also tell you that the passage will never argue that studying Shakespeare in school is without value. context clues. Even if it is politically correct. Reading Comprehension.e. 2010
In the last installment. shifts in tone and argument (where necessary). they are thrown in there to lead you away from a more accurate answer. You can also assume that politically incorrect answers are wrong and you can eliminate them. before getting asking more in depth questions about the arguments. we were introduced to the Argument Writing task and found out how it differs from the Issue Task. all of them will exhibit at least some of these flaws. 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.GRE reading comprehension passages are not simply lifted out of a book. correlation does not imply causation) Relying on inappropriate or potentially unrepresentative statistics
. To answer the initial general questions. i. Be careful of answers to look too much like the first or last sentences though! Often times. “however” which signal shifts in the argument. In other words. But ETS is nice enough that the initial questions are very general or word specific. Standardized test passages almost never criticize women. Then. Posted in GRE. You don’t even have to come up with a detailed summary. The passage will never support extreme.
it won’t. 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. Next time. say a trading card shop. For example. the demographics in their respective cities may respond to different incentives. You can remember this fallacy by thinking about stereotypes. the argument should clearly state that a member is a representative of the group as a whole. if the manager of a business. Watch out for them in your conversations. 3. If you can spot them in everyday situations. There are other factors involved in this proposed outcome: preparedness of teachers and attentiveness of students. think about these flaws in depth and try to find them in everyday reasoning. on commercials. however. 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. 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. For example. in television shows. a superintendent of a school argues that adopting a certain marketed reading program is necessary–i. The argument may seem sound. In order to avoid the member-group fallacy. To practice. Maybe that particular city’s downtown district was already on the rise. we can’t make this analogy. but we can’t completely analogize these different trading-card shops. may find that a big competitor in a different city has increased sales by moving from a downtown location to a suburban one. The Member vs. and the relocation merely reaped the benefits? Without this thorough background info. In the above example. it will be easy on the test. See other articles in this series: Argument Writing Task: Pt 1
. Group Fallacy: It is pretty unrealistic to describe a group and then expect that every single member fulfills that characteristic. Let’s look at these flaws in a little more depth: 1. we’ll look at the next three flaws and discuss how to begin forming our Argument Task essay. etc. making your body paragraph organization pretty simple. Weak Analogies: The speaker may come to a conclusion about one thing on the basis of another thing. First of all.e. Becoming familiar with these flaws and how to spot them is the first step to writing a quality Argument Task. The “sufficient” line of reasoning is weak if the speaker fails to provide evidence that the proposed course of action would be sufficient to bring about the desired result by itself. 2. the superintendent may not have shown that the reading program by itself is enough to raise reading levels.•
Relying on biased or tainted data (methods for collecting data must be unbiased and the poll responses must be credible)
Most of the arguments contain three or four of these flaws. the only means–to increase reading skills of students. most of the time.
we simply get rid of the negative antonym choices. Define Antonyms of the Answer Choices (aka Working Backward) TURPITUDE 1. When you know the stem word but only some of the words in the answer choices. you will likely panic and blindly guess. Let’s move on to other strategies to eliminate some choices. so we’ve only gotten rid of one. 2. 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. The Positive/Negative Approach Let’s look at an example from an actual GRE test: TURPITUDE 1. July 29th. like “strident. unfortunately. Make sure that you have at least heard the word or read the word. if we know that turpitude is negative. When you know every single word. only D is negative. Clever conversation
. Beware of words that simply “sound” negative or positive to you. you can eliminate answer choices and significantly increase your chances of a correct answer. So. Working backward is an effective technique that allows us to use what we know to get closer to our answer.Archive for July. 1. 4. 5. With a little knowledge. you can locate the answer in a fraction of a second. Saintly behavior 2. and technique. there are words that make us think of something totally incongruous. and you know that it has a negative or positive charge. 2010
Working Backward: Antonyms
Thursday. you can still quickly narrow the answer down to a couple options. 3. never surrender like this on an antonym question. If you don’t know the stem word. but we know it’s a negative word. 2010
Paradoxically.” which makes me think of chewing gum. Provided you have enough time. logic. For every word like “resplendent” that appropriately sounds positive (the “splend” makes us think of “splendid). 1. though. Saintly behavior Clever conversation Lively imagination Agitation Lucidity
Let’s pretend we aren’t sure what “turpitude” means.
and hence. Lively imagination 4. I am now down to A or E.” Unintelligent conversation is not really the state or quality of something. lack of clarity Now. Clever conservation à banal. Agitation 5.” and “turbid” are often mixed up. unintelligent conversation 1. we ask ourselves these four questions: Does turpitude likely mean morally depraved behavior? Does turpitude likely mean unintelligent conversation? Does turpitude likely mean a lack of imagination? Does turpitude likely mean a lack of clarity? At this point.” “turgid.” makes me skeptical because it lacks the kind of negative charge I would expect from a word like “turpitude. “turbid” means cloudy. Because “depraved behavior” is certainly more negative than “lack of clarity. Granted. D. Let’s create antonyms for each of our choices.” Though these eliminations were based on speculation.” and “fortitude. since the words “turpitude.” “solitude.” In these examples and in general. A little thinking does go a long way. Saintly behavior à morally depraved behavior 2. “Lack of imagination. Thus it would make much more sense that “turpitude. knowing the stem word’s definition would have gotten us the correct answer much faster. but we have more work to do. I’d think of the word “turpitude” and recognize that it ends in “-tude” like the other familiar words “gratitude. quality. First. and there is no guarantee that such
. In the test writer’s mind. unclear. which happens to be the right answer.” I’ll go with A. would not be “unintelligent conversation. or condition of something. Lucidityà obscurity. Lucidity Using the negative/positive strategy. I can guess that E was a trap answer. there was some reasoning behind my choice. Each antonym I created is sufficiently abstract (as opposed to concrete) and can be a state or condition.” a state or quality of something.3. we should use a little critical thinking and reasonable speculation. and see how they match our mysterious stem word: 1. the suffix “-tude” means a state. it is a particular action.” though not as concrete as “unintelligent conversation. Lively imaginationàLack of imagination 2. we were able to eliminate D. while “turpitude” means corrupt or depraved.
165 C. it can be no other answer. learning the processes is more than half the battle. 1. 35. often making the problem appear a little bit easier than it actually is. 5. Part 2
Monday. These types of answers catch your eye for one reason or another. July 26th. Verbal. You may notice the anticipated answer in the choices and think that you won’t have to finish the problem.Looks look at an
. In terms of GRE quantitative strategy. When we are overwhelmed by figures and calculations. Avoid TrapsNearly every multiple choice math problem has trap answers. but outsmarting the test-writers is very important too. common sense thinker will probably be able to answer this question without doing a calculation.125 B. BallparkingTo ‘ballpark’ is to roughly approximate.16. These strategies are here to remind you that there is just a bit more to studying than simply cramming math material. don’t give up–use your brain! Tags: antonyms.195 Any relaxed. though. You see a question like this and immediately start calculating the product. Moving a decimal one unit could transform a correct answer into a wrong answer. and anticipate the clever gambits so often deployed by the ETS.33 percent is awfully close to one third. Yes. Anxiety sets in.350 E. or attractors. This is where ballparking plays a significant role. no matter how many correct steps you painstakingly went through.50. don’t overwork. But. things change. A third of 50 is a little more than 15 (15*3= 45). Use the test format to your advantage. ballparking essentially means thinking about mathematical figures in a vague. but remember that such a choice is probably a trap. 2010
This is the second installment in the simple quantitative strategies series. Step back.Let’s look at a crude example:What’s 32. when you’re in the middle of a timed test. During practice. 32. and look at the simplicity of the question. it’s easy to make mistakes. The only thing close to that is B. vacabulary Posted in GRE.33 % of 50?A. 1. but nonetheless common sense manner.685 D. 70. Beating the GRE quantitative requires a balanced combination of math skills and test-taking skills– these strategies will help improve the latter. imprecise. and you go into human calculator mode.speculation will lead you to the correct answer. if you happen to stumble upon an antonym question like this. but we were still successful with some effort. strategy | No Comments »
Simple Quantitative Strategies.
What was the total percentage discount from the original price?a. Then. So. isn’t it? But. let’s get real. you’ve just missed a pretty easy question. Unfortunately. but the test will probably present average questions in a more complicated way.
. when you practice. you may be inclined to choose it and move on. First. Take 20% off of 80 (80 / 5 = 16) and you get 64. the GRE average problems will present you with various combinations of known and unknown information. think about these techniques! They will keep you from making careless mistakes on easy to intermediate problems. July 20th. are likely to show up on the GRE Quantitative section. the price was reduced another 20%. and you get 80. Quantitative. 25% b. Seeing 40% as an answer choice. Most of us know how to find the average. during a special sale.example of what this might look like:1. That’s a difference of 10064=36. 2010
Averages. 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. We went from a 100 dollar shirt to a 64 dollar shirt. but they can mean big points in a pressured testing environment. Thus. These two strategies may appear simple. the total discount is $36. 36% c. series | No Comments »
Tuesday. Take 20% off of 100. 50% You may read this question and think that a 20 percent discount plus another 20% discount equals a 40% discount. or arithmetic means. The price of a T-shirt was reduced by 20%. Posted in GRE. 42% e. B. 40% d. why not imagine the shirt is 100 bucks to start. Just perform the calculations as necessary. Rather than present you with all the numbers in a set and ask you to find the average of those numbers. which can end up making a huge difference on a computer adaptive test.
then simply multiply the average and the number of figures to find the sum total (T). What is the total weight. and n is the number of figures in a set.57. they are related by the formula A= T / n.7 lbs. 1. T is the total sum of values. 75. If her average score after the first three five tests was 89. then n=7.Finding the total: IF you know the average and the number of figures/items (n) in a set. of all the fish? Answer: Simply multiply 14 and 4. If the aforementioned scores are 80. The sum total of all the figures in a set (T). the total number of percentage points on all the tests 5*89= 445. 80. 95. There are 3 numbers you want to know. 8*83= 664. he calculated the average weight of the fish to be 4.7= 65.8 Example 2: Throughout the year. A = 550 / 7 = 78. With this information. let’s go over some basic rules for finding averages. and 90. The number of figures in a set (n). 219 (total) / 3 (number of figures) = 73
. 2. where A is average. If I want to find the average of seven different test scores. 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 to find two totals before we can calculate the average of the final three tests. 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. 60. the total number of percentage points on the first five tests. 3. then T= 550. 70. After weighing all of them together.Before we begin. Janet took 8 math tests.7. we have the info we need to find the average in question. Example 1: John caught 14 fish after a long day of fishing. what was the average of her last three tests? Here. her average score was 83. In our example. The average of the figures in a set: (A)= T / N. 14*4. in pounds.
The total time is 3+1 = 4 hours. let’s figure out the total distance. Our total distance is 180 + 50 = 230 miles. and 3 hours at 60 mph would be 180 miles. will pay for your airfare and arrange lodging with a current grad student. Average Speed = total distance / total time The formula for average speed is quite simple and intuitive. Example 4: In traveling from city A to city B. particularly the science programs. All you have to do is set up an equation with the information you know. 35= ( 34+44+28+x) / 4 35= 106 + x / 4 4 (35) = 106 + x x = 4(35) – 106 x = 34 2. we need both the total distance and the total time to calculate average speed. John drove for 1 hour at 50 mph and for 3 hours at 60 mph. 44. Tags: Averages Posted in GRE. Remember. most schools probably won’t do
. Always remember: when in doubt. it wouldn’t make sense for the average speed to lie right in the middle of 50 and 60. July 15th. Average Speed = total distance / total time = 230 / 4 = 57. so our total number of figures is 4. but many overlook the formula when approaching average speed problems. 28. What was his average speed for the whole trip? First. While some programs. the average speed should be closer to 60. 2010
So you’ve applied to several schools and you get a letter inviting you to an in-person interview. what is the value of x? Remember that Average = Total / Number of figures. Even the most complicated average problems stem from the formula. and x is 35. Don’t forget that ‘x’ counts as a number in the list. If John traveled a greater distance at 60 mph.Example 3: If the average of 34. 1 hour at 50 mph would be 50 miles. Quantitative | No Comments »
Nailing that Grad School Interview
Thursday. go back to the formula A=T / n. Rather.5 Note: the average speed is not merely the average of 50 and 60–that is a mistake that many students make.
ask about teaching opportunities during the program. If you have some research experience yourself. without it being a CATastrophe
Monday. 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. Instead. but even a friendly grad student who is buying you a drink at the bar may have something to contribute to the decision process. It really helps too if you can demonstrate how your research experience ties in with their program. brush up on your table etiquette too – know your bread knife from your regular knife. Before you leave. Some people have a tendency of raising their eyebrows or rolling their eyes that they may not even be aware of it. Always be conscious of your manner. because there is a tendency for people to rush what they are saying when they are nervous. if there is a rotation program between professors and how that works. always acknowledge the person (preferably by name) and their opinion. spend a few days researching the department and the faculty. before discussing yours. Regardless. Posted in Grad School | No Comments »
Reading on a GRE CAT. July 12th. remember not to monopolize the discussion even if you might have a lot to say. So be sure to watch how you act and what you say. don’t take your neighbor’s water glass etc. the interview is also your chance to interview them. You may not be taking to a professor. such as saying “like” or “um” frequently. (Don’t drink too much!) If you know ahead of time that there is going to be a formal dinner. If you are asked to discuss an issue with some of your fellow applicants or grad students. 2010
. 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. please be aware that every moment could possibly be part of the “interview”.this. You should also try to speak more slowly that you think is normal. Let other people speak their turn. Others might have verbal tics. and if you must disagree with them. If you can weave their area of interest into your conversation. you should try to attend because it indicates your interest in the program. Try not to ask questions that indicate that you haven’t done your research. mentoring programs and job prospects. frequency of publication. Practicing taking a pause every time you catch yourself about to say that and it might help you say it less. Find out what their research interests are because you will be working under one of them. particularly during the main interview. practical work opportunities. Finally. be prepared to explain and defend your work.
Keep track of proper nouns. On a CAT. ect. Map. a
. is very different on a paper-based test than it is on a CAT. places. Approach is how the author is writing the passage: is it a recommendation.
Go to CAMP
CAMP—or Central Point. instead write a couple of words with a line reference to tell you where to find what you’re looking for. especially reading comprehension. But learning to read actively even without the benefit of marking up the text is key to improving your reading comp score. Examples of this would be references to individuals or groups of people.The GRE is a CAT. you don’t have that luxury. or a Computer-Adaptive Test. and new interp. and you can indicate that sentence in your notes with a line reference. use a notebook to annotate practice passages. 1—intro. Years of paper-based reading trains the test-taker to take notes on the passage itself. An example might look like this: Para. theories. and you should take advantage of it. Central Point is the main idea of the passage. underlining significant sections of the passage and putting notes in the margins near the relevant text. even if you’re practicing on paper. particularly if chronology is important to the passage’s meaning. and other key words and phrases
Often.. 2—traditional interpretation Para. Para. and hunting for that detail in the passage can cost you precious time. dates or time periods. and even adulthood learning how to read in a paper-based world. Get into the habit now. a question will refer back to a specific detail without giving you a line reference. the more likely it is that you spent your childhood. But on some sections. 4—conclusion Taking notes like this as you read forces you to synthesize the text and read more efficiently. and Perspective—issues are commonly addressed in questions. Jotting even just a few words to summarize each paragraph can help you get a handle on the passage and sharpen your focus. historical background Para.. Expedite the process by keeping track of the kinds of details that are common subjects of questions. Here are a few ways to do that. teen years. and key ideas that are addressed in detail only in one part of the passage. Standardized testing. the computer is less an assistance than a hindrance. Approach.
Outline the passage paragraph by paragraph as you read
You will have scratch paper. Since you can’t indicate those things by underlining them or putting a star or other mark in the margin nearby. dates. interp. 3—problems with trad. often this will be summarized in one sentence. The older you are.
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,
so it deserves a “pro. is an example in favor of the statement. Adopt a position / Articulate your thesis: When you look down at the overflowing mass of ideas you have written. but do give an informative outline of your main arguments. your first step is to identify each idea as “agreeing with” or “disagreeing with” the prompt statement.” however.so you have no excuses—start writing! Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt. disagreement. you can’t write a solid essay without solid ideas. Then.” To quickly identify the stance of these ideas. if some ideas are weak. deserves a “con” since it argues that there are more prodigious technological achievements than those that make us comfortable. Introduction: Your introduction should first clearly articulate the argument in the given statement. Don’t get too specific with your evidence here. After you organize your ideas.” and “internet allows for ease of communication. the most significant contribution of technology has been to make people’s lives more comfortable. your argument can be one-sided. “pro” indicates that the idea supports the statement. Unfortunately.” for example. indicating your agreement.
. finely tuned arguments are better than a bulk of crude ones.” “automotive safety. articulate your stance on the issue. Verbal. 2010
Last time. you should start to see a coherent argument forming. follow these steps: 1.” you might have jotted down “advances in medicine. 2. Once you have your brilliant ideas down on paper. 2 Issue Writing Task pt. we looked at the single most important step in writing your essay: brainstorming.” “machines relieve factory worker of monotonous work. write down “pro” or “con” next to each.” After you have labeled your pieces of evidence. Fewer. 3 Tags: roadmap Posted in GRE. After all. In our previous example statement. 1 Issue Writing Task pt. “Advances in medicine. great ideas alone will not get you the grade. don’t use them. Try to see where ideas cohere. Show the reader that you understand the implications of the issue at hand. “Over the past century. July 1st. Remember. series | No Comments »
Issue Writing Task: Part 3
Thursday. organize these ideas into body paragraphs. and “con” indicates that it opposes the statement. “Machines relieve factory worker of monotonous work. or it can qualify the conditions of the prompt statement. or qualification of the statement’s argument. That’s where organization comes in.
though. Next time. so do not strictly limit your argument before you begin writing. Don’t worry too much about refining your thesis statement at this stage. but the process of writing them will help you refine your own ideas. writing the body paragraphs leads to a more fine-tuned thesis. practice with Grockit or write some sample outlines and introductions. 2
Archive for August. 1 Issue Writing Task pt. this is no big deal. we’ll look at how to construct the body paragraphs. Stay tuned. which is essentially a sentence or two that outlines your argument. If you’re taking a computer-based exam. 2010
Your GRE essays are unlikely to be the linchpin of your application.Your thesis. Not only are the body paragraphs the most important and most heavily weighted part of the essay. Read other articles in this series: Issue Writing Task pt. It certainly seems possible. Very often. For that reason. The purpose of your introduction is to build up to your argument.” I personally have not heard of a student getting into grad school because of his or her GRE essays. so we don’t want the thesis seem forced or out of place. Ideally. These two stages of the writing process should take about 6 minutes. you may choose to write the thesis after you’ve written your body because your argument may slightly change during the writing process. your thesis statement should be organically integrated into your introduction. 2010
Structuring Your Analysis of An Argument Essay
Tuesday. it should take about 9 minutes tops.
. it’s important that you keep the AWA in perspective: it shouldn’t take up much of your prep time. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time. but it’s certainly to your advantage to spend some time familiarizing yourself with what makes for a good essay. should go at the end of the introduction. No need to leave a chunk of blank space—the magic of word processing takes care of this. when combined with the initial brainstorming stage. In fact. but you really want to devote the bulk of your time to the body paragraphs. that your essays could keep you out. Although I don’t like to say “never. August 31st. if your entire application package is borderline and you write one or two truly awful essays. and in the meantime.
WPTK would significantly reduce the incidence of auto accidents on Metropolis-area roads by providing traffic updates. make sure that your first paragraph does what it needs to do (recap the argument. state your position. 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. and map out your three points) without any attempts at rhetorical bells and whistles. the ereader is programmed to assess organization. Take a few minutes at the beginning of your AWA to outline the five sentences that will begin your paragraphs. and a simple. but your GRE AWA reader doesn’t need to be “drawn in. and well-written topic sentences that use transition words and clearly state the point of each paragraph are a big help in creating the kind of organizational structure that earns you points on test day. Remember. let’s look at a sample prompt and opening paragraph: Prompt: WPTK.
A good rule of thumb is that your reader should be able to get the gist of your entire argument just by skimming the first sentence of each paragraph. The easiest format to use in writing this essay is the classic 5-paragraph style. At some point in high school or college.and getting some feedback from a qualified source. a professor. and wants to do her job as efficiently as possible. this strategy can make your reader’s job far easier. To start your essay on the right note. if only because the task is not a familiar one to most grad school candidates. in the order that you will make them. She’s likely to regard literary flourishes as a waste of your energy and her time. a composition instructor may have told you to use an “attention-getting” opening to really draw your audience in. or a test-prep specialist.
. Paragraph 2: Explanation of first flaw– this paragraph should have a strong topic sentence and then several sentences explaining the flaw in detail. Paragraph 3: The second flaw gets the same treatment here as the first one did in the previous paragraph. your reader is probably going to devote no more than three to five minutes to your essay. the most popular television station in Metropolis. Of the two essays you’ll be expected to write. Now. Paragraph 5: Briefly recap the flaws you’ve presented and diplomatically explain how those flaws could be remedied to present a stronger argument. Paragraph 4: The third flaw is explained here in the manner established in the previous two paragraphs. does not currently provide traffic updates to viewers. Since Metropolis is located in a Midwestern state with serious winter weather road delays 4 months out of the year. Also include a “roadmap” of the points that you will make. and a happy reader is probably more apt to make those tricky 4/5 line calls in your favor.” she is getting paid to read your essay. whether that is a professional mentor. Similarly. the Analysis of an Argument is likely to be the more challenging.
by failing to explicitly state how the updates would affect auto accidents. has merit. Example: 16% of men. The author weakens his claim by assuming that televised traffic updates would be timely enough to impact drivers’ actions. Posted in Essay. we will discuss some common problems students encounter with percent problems. or 30% off the sales price
Percents are basically fractions with a denominator of 100
Learn your common percents. 62. the opening paragraph responds to the prompt by taking a clear position. 2010
In this article. analysis of an argument | No Comments »
Tips For Percent Math Problems on the GRE
Friday. informative opening paragraph set the tone for your essay! Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to post questions on essay structures. which can come in a variety of formats. and by predicting a “significant” reduction in Metropolis auto accidents without specifying what kind of a reduction would be deemed “significant. which states that WPTK’s broadcast of traffic updates would reduce the incidence of auto accidents on Metropolis-area roads.5% = 5/8
The word “of” means multiply
Example: 80% of men = 4/5 * (total # of men)
Percents higher than 100 are numbers higher than 1
Example: 125% = 100% + 25% = 1 + 0. August 27th. GRE.Response Paragraph 1: The argument. and convert to fractions whenever possible. the argument also exhibits several serious flaws which could limit its persuasiveness. Verbal.” As you can see. However. Let your concise. and outlining the points that the essay will be addressing.25
. referring back to the issue briefly. Here are some quick pointers:
Percents MUST be APPLIED to something
A percent means nothing on it’s own. Example: 20% = 1/5.25 = 1.
x or the resulting number? The 10% increase of x in the first round increases x by a certain amount. In this case. so 8 – 2 = 6 Example: What is 25% of 8? ¼*8 = 2
20% less than means 80% of.5)] in one neat step.2.000. So instead of taking 20%. Example: A certain positive integer x is increased by 10%. The original x will be bigger.Recognize the difference between percent MORE/LESS THAN and percent OF
Example: What is 25% less than 8? ¼* 8 = 2.000 = 0. The 10% decrease in the 2nd round is applied to a higher number. James’ investment portfolio was worth $10. or 20%
Don’t add constants and percents
You should never find yourself trying to figure out what 5 + 6% equals.
. and we’re done! On easy numbers like this. it might not seem necessary. versus two tougher ones. James’ investment portfolio grew by $2. you are probably missing what to apply the percent to. so will yield a larger change. Which is bigger. Conversely. just take 80% and be done. then subtracting from the original.000.000/$10. and then decreased by 10%. See the previous example: What is 25% less than 8? ¾*8 = 6. 50% more than 10 should be calculated by multiplying 10*3/2 [10*(1 + 0. it will save lots of time. but as numbers get larger.
Percent change = Total Change/Original Value
Example: Before trading began. the higher the resulting percent
Applying the same percent to a higher number will yield a higher number. At the end of market close. What was the percent change in James’ portfolio? Percent change = $2.
The higher the number.
$25. $23. $30 Without a calculator. and 30% of his remaining items.94 C.20 E.05 (with tax) = $630 Note we can convert to fractions. setting x = ticket price before tax. If this price included a 5% sales tax. $24 D. fractions are always easier. 5% = 1/20 since 5*20 = 100. cancel and simplify. They cancel well. what was the face value of each ticket price without the sales tax? A. and all the tickets cost the same amount. Now we set up the equation.Let’s take a look at two examples!
Example 1: A tour group of 25 people paid a total of $630 for entrance to a museum. $22 B. 750
. Jerome sold 75% of the first 1. and are typically neater. If he sold 40% of the total number of items he offered for sale.000 items he offered for sale. 25 people * x dollars/person * 1. how many items did Jerome offer for sale? A. 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.
500 We always look back to the original question to see exactly what we are looking for. 2010
Number theory may sound scary.000 = 3. August 25th. This is a good hint that there may be a hidden 2nd equation. You probably know most of these principles by memory.050 C. Not R.500 E. though. if not. but it’s just an intimidating name for some pretty elementary mathematical principles. 3/4*1000 + 3/10*R = 4/10*T We have 2 equations. 1. 1.500 Again. we have 2 equations and 2 unknowns. and 1 unknown.000 = 4. T = R + 1.500 Choice E Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. The GRE
. is to study these principles enough that they seem intuitive. you could easily execute a calculation to ascertain them. Tags: percent Posted in GRE. In this case. We can solve! 750 + 3R/10 = 400 + 4R/10 350 = R/10 R = 3. 3. we want to set up the equation – this will make things a lot easier. The best option. Quantitative.500 + 1. 4. T.B.800 D. switching to fractions is always best. And again. strategy | No Comments »
Wednesday. 1000 + R = T Now.
We instantly know that rt. 5r + 6t E. so
. C translates to an even (even ²) times an odd (t). an odd times an even. 5rt C. Example Question If r is even and t is odd. 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.Quantitative section is all about saving time. Odds and Evens Addition Even + even = even (12+14=36) Odd+ Odd = even (13+19=32) Even + Odd = odd (8 + 11 = 19) To more easily remember these. just think that a product is only odd if you multiply two odds. which of the following is odd? A. we could either plug in numbers for r and t. 5rt means we multiply an odd times that even product. so that’s even. times another even (6). is even. or we could use our knowledge of number theory to figure out the answer. which is even. rt B. 6(r²)t D. which is even. making number theory second nature will definitely save you some valuable seconds. just think that a sum is only odd if you add an even and an odd. 6r + 5t In this example. 1. D adds an even (odd times even) to an even (even times odd) .
cross out your multiples of 3. 43. E is our answer. number theory. you will have to identify less recognizable primes. odd. The more you practice finding primes. is a prime because it can only be evenly divided by itself and 1. practice makes perfect. 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. so be sure to watch out for those pesky composite numbers like 51 and 57. 2. 19/3 leaves a remainder of 1. 47. E adds an even (even times even) to an odd (odd times odd). 49.that’s even. it’s more important to be thorough than it is to be fast. First. Remember. 47. you can just write down the odd numbers in the set. since 19/3 = 6 1/3. 53. primes Posted in GRE. and 59. 43. Take one last look at your group. 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 Then. But. write down the numbers. Note that 1 is not a prime. for example. August 23rd. For example. for example. and Grockit makes great practice. 2010
Remainders are the NUMERATOR of a fraction from a mixed number that results from division. Quantitative | No Comments »
All About Remainders
Monday. Missing just one prime means missing the question. So we are now left with 41. Tags: even. the less often you’ll have to do this. In some questions. 11. 53. and you should notice that 49 is 7 squared. in the beginning. and 59. alternatively. and thus are not primes). Some quick tips:
. and cross out all the even numbers (all even numbers greater than 2 can be divided by 2. Primes: Prime numbers are numbers whose only factors are themselves and one. 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. If you were asked to identify the primes between 40 and 60. you should quickly narrow down the primes with a sequence of steps. which is finally odd.
Dad. We detect the pattern that regardless the value of n. so we only need to look at the one’s digit while multiplying. when dividing by 9. we only care about the one’s digit. For example. For example. we are left with a remainder of 2. Your remainder can only range from zero to the denominator of the fraction. 18/4 = 4 2/4. your remainder options are 0-8. who takes out the trash on March 26th? (There are 31 days in January and 28 days in February. 3. 3^4n = 3^8 = 81*81 = one’s digit of 1. Become familiar with common trends or patterns. so the result will have a one’s digit of 7. so your remainder is (15 -4) = 11. The remainder stays equal to 2. we are looking for the remainder above a one’s digit of either 0 or 5. when trying to find the remainder of 146/15. Look for the closest whole number and count up or down from there. so 167/(even #) must have an ODD remainder.) It’s clear that we don’t want to whip out our calendars and start counting. If n = 1. In this scenario. 4. 3^4n = 3^4 = 81 = one’s digit of 1. 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. We can break 3^(4n+3) into 3^4n * 3^3 by the rules of exponents. it probably is…. If Dad takes out the trash on January 18th. multiples of even numbers are even. we see how many days pass between January 18 and March 26: January 19-31: 13 +
.1. since a remainder of 9 leaves you a new whole number (with a remainder of 0). we will be multiplying a term with a one’s digit of 1 with a term with a one’s digit of 7 (3³). If n = 2. (A general rule of thumb is that if you think it’s taking too long. you can see that 15 would go into 150 evenly. 2. when dividing by 5. For example. When and number with a one’s digit of 7 dividing by 5. I recently came across this question. which I think is a good introduction: What is the remainder of 3^(4n+3) divided by 5. This is easier than recognizing 135/15 is a whole number and counting up. assuming n is a positive integer? Firstly. Brother. The remainder should NOT be reduced. You then count down four from 150 to 146. even though you can reduce 4 2/4 to 4 1/2. The order goes as follows: Mom. Sister.) Instead.
4 D. 4.11 repeating Note that multiplying these by constants will leave similarly instructive results.268 B. Fractions and Decimals are the same thing You should be familiar with common decimals.125 = 0.166 repeating 1/8 = . 8. the quicker you can eliminate answer choices are clearly wrong.February 1-28: 28 + March 1 – 26: 26 = 67 days. 67/4 leaves you will a remainder of 3. which of the following is a possible value of (x² +2x – 7)/9? A.555 repeating C. -2. For example: If x is an integer.375 The more familiar with these you become.166 repeating E.33 repeating 1/4 = .20 1/6 = . so we count 3 from Dad.25 1/5 = . mainly: 1/2 = .125 1/9 = . 0. leaving us with Mom on March 26th. 1. such as: 3/8 = 3*1/8 = 3*0.125
.5 1/3 = .
-4. -24. even if they do not ask you explicitly. for example. Notice that all the ends of the tree (those numbers that cannot be divided) are primes. Factor trees help us simply radicals (answer choices with radicals are almost always in simplified form). A factor is a divisor. -2. and (E) by a factor of 8. but it has many practical applications. So.) Join a Grockit game for more GMAT math practice with Jake! Tags: remainders Posted in GRE. The multiples of an integer x are the infinite products of x and another integer. A factor tree is a diagram that breaks down a number into its corresponding factors.
. 92 can be written as 2 x 2 x 23. or. August 19th. a number that an integer can be evenly divided by. the remainder will be a number repeating to the right of the decimal place. Quantitative | No Comments »
Thursday. 32. -1. Let’s see an example:
Above are the factor trees for 108 and 92. The factors of 8. Prime Factorization: Prime factorization. the factor tree. 64… and so on. 0. 8. ((C) is divided by a factor of 5. 8. 2010
Finding factors of integers should become second nature on the GRE. 2.We don’t have to start plugging in. We know that when divided by 9. many questions will require you to find the factors of an integer. or 2² x 23. Only choice (B) fits that description.a. 2² x 3³. The easiest way to do is to make a factor tree.k. This practice may seem purposeless. (D) by a factor of 6. more simply. -16. is a process by which we present an integer as a product of all its primes. 108 can be written as 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 3. a. The multiples of 8 include …-32. 16. 4. are 1. -8. and -8.
For example. the GCF of 60 and 15 is 15. I know that the biggest perfect square is 2 x 2 x 2 x 2. the GCF of 24 and 16 is 8. you can use the factor tree to directly arrive at your answer. Suppose I want to find the GCF of 256 and 72.For example. is not always so easy. which is 4². you’ll probably see the simplified version. first diagram the factor tree:
So. I know that 96 is the same thing as 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3.
. I know that sqrt96 = √16 x√3 x √2. however. To simply a radical. however. I know that √96 = 4√6. I’m not quite sure what it is off the top of my head. Taking the GCF of bigger numbers. Greatest Common Factor: The greatest common factor (GCF) of two or more integers is the greatest integer that is a factor of those integers. chances are you won’t see √96 in your answer choices. or 16. Thus. Sometimes. Because I have five 2s in my primes. I need to figure out the biggest square in those primes. Similarly. Simplifying this. When the calculations are more difficult. so I’ll use factor trees to directly arrive at the answer. you will be able to arrive at the answer mentally. since 8 is the greatest number that is a factor of both. if your answer to a multiple choice question was √96. Since I am trying to simplify the square root.
To find the GCF. only 2 is common to both. so 2³. Tags: factor tree. August 16th. In this case. The good news is. you can practice without looking for sample problems–just make some up on your own. 2³ is smaller than 2^8. Note: this one would be pretty difficult to figure out without the factor tree. 2010
.Once you perform the prime factorization. so our GCF is just 2 x 17 = 34. Quantitative | No Comments »
How to Get the Most Out of Your GRE Lessons
Monday. The best way to get faster at prime factorizations and GCFs is to practice. first find how many primes are common to each prime factorization. in this case. 102 has the lowest power of 2. is the GCF. using each prime the smallest number of times in any of the factorizations. or 8. Let’s see another example: GCF of 68 and 102 and 204. we have the common factors 17 and 2. it helps to write each as a product of powers: 256 = 2^8 and 72= 2³ x 3². The GCF is the product of all the primes that appear in each factorization. prime factorization Posted in GRE. Using factor trees would yield: 68 = 2² x 17 102 = 2 x 3 x 17 204= 2² x 3 x 17
3.People prepare for the GRE in many different ways. 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. Often.
. Come prepared!
If there’s any kind of background information that you should know before class. Post questions on Grockit forums and reach out for help. People learn differently.
2. others spend time on Grockit. That’s what the Experts are here for. Don’t be afraid to look for clarification if something doesn’t make sense. Ask the right questions. and sometimes all a student needs is for something to be explained in a different way. “I’ve noticed that I have trouble with Reading Comp detail questions.
4. ask your Expert. Experts often have time before or after class specifically set aside for questions. And of course. A great question is something like. Take advantage of all the resources available to you. some take a class or have a private tutor. (The Expert may be reading the newspaper or Facebooking on his or her Blackbery while waiting. “I have trouble with Reading Comp. but I know that I find it much easier and more productive to address specific queries than extremely general ones. but without specific knowledge of your trouble areas. there’s no guarantee that I’ll be giving you the kind of information that will help you as an individual test-taker.) Online learning tools also have potential applications that many people never fully explore.
In live classes.
I can’t speak for other Experts here. I’m here to offer a few tips to the people in that last group. but will be more than happy to put that aside to answer your questions or discuss your concerns. Can you give me some tips?” I may have tips to offer. he or she should be happy to clarify any issues regarding the type or amount of work you should do. you need to be doing. If you’re not sure what. you’ll find your Expert sitting. 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. waiting for someone just like you to come in for help. Some use books to do practice questions on their own. so don’t be afraid to approach yours to ask him or her to try to reframe the issue for you. Can you explain to me why choice C is the correct answer. to help them get the most out of one-on-one time with their teachers or tutors (herein referred to as your Expert). know it. And homework regarding a lesson you’ve already learned will help cement the methods that have been demonstrated. if you arrive 20 minutes early. like the one in this sample. there are huge communities of online students and Experts who can give you feedback or guide you in the right direction.
Just because one of your classmates understands the question doesn’t mean that you are expected to understand it the same way.
try to enjoy the process as much as you can. Even if given a decimal (or percent) looks easy. 2010
GRE questions are notorious for seeming harder than they actually are. Proportions and Ratios. To summarize. try to have some fun with the studying process!
Yes. The writers recognize time is short. and your Expert.25 1/3 = 0. quickly convert to a fraction. and take advantage of the many ways that you can study for the exam. such as in a number line. Some common ones to memorize:
• • • • • • • •
1/9 = 0. which occur in a large portion of the questions. Be proactive about your practice and about asking questions.5 repeating
.125 1/7 = ~0. One way to mitigate this is by retaining a rockstar aptitude in manipulating fractions. you should take some time out to play.111 repeating 1/8 = 0. preparing for it is often a rigorous experience.
90% of the time. remember that your GRE prep is a collaboration between you.333 repeating 1/2 = 0.166 repeating 1/5 = 0. too.14 1/6 = 0. your fellow students. fractions will be easier to perform arithmetic. And. and your Experts and fellow students could probably use a light moment as much as you could. 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. and will give you ostensibly time-consuming calculations. Oh My!
Friday. the GRE is a challenging test. GRE Prep.20 1/4 = 0. and your future is a serious thing. Dividing by 5 is the same as multiplying by 2/10. August 13th. but these questions are the exception. mistakes should be learned from and sometimes laughed off.5. Decimals are sometimes more useful when comparing numbers relative to one another. strategy | 1 Comment »
Fractions. Finally. So remember that even as you’re working hard. and remember to take time to relax a little! What are some of your favorite ways to relieve GRE preparation pressure? Posted in GRE. But questions are sometimes funny.
whatever. for example. Ratios A ratio is both a comparison and division. Note that when you have a ratio like B/G = 7/2. 9 D. 4 B. Questions that insert absolute numbers should be taken with caution. 6 C. A denominator of a reduced fraction with a multiple of 7 will not have a finite decimal. since you can’t have a portion of a cook. the ratio will hold true. There are many many more shortcuts.•
Note: Multiples of these. This list is by no means extensive. C/W = 3x/13x. we don’t actually know the number of girls and boys. Since we don’t know the initial scale of the number of cooks and waiters. or 70 boys and 20 girls. GRE writers love to provide ratios (which are multiplicative relationships) and then add an absolute component (addition/subtraction). we can express this scale by “x”. unless of course he chops his finger off by accident!) “When 12 more waiters are hired” is the insertion of an absolute.375)
Denominators are super important. but can easily be derived by multiplying the original fraction (1/8 * 3 = 3/8 = 0. 15 The key here is setting up the equation. There can be 14 boys and 4 girls. If you have some. leave them in the comment field. such as 3/8 (0. “The ratio of boys to girls is seven to two” can be expressed as the proportion: B/G = 7/2. 12 E. and what you cannot. Do with this what you like: 7G = 2B or B = 7G/2. the new ratio becomes: C/W = 3x/(13x + 12)
.375) are also important to remember. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters is 3 to 13. but generally practice and familiarity with the numbers helps a lot in doing quick arithmetic. Notice that whatever x is. When 12 more waiters are hired. and can simply be treated as such. (x must be an integer. How many cooks does the restaurant have? A.125 * 3 = 0. For example: At a certain restaurant. Adding the 12 waiters. the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters changes to 3 to 16. Keep in mind what you can logically combine. Forget the “:” with ratios.
The stimulus asks for the number of cooks. A/F = 9600/1200 = 3600/x Clearly. which we originally represented by 3x. right? Well. however. 600 C. This will ensure you work with the smallest (and easiest) (and fastest) numbers possible. So. (More on this below. 2400 E. Before you do that. 3200 The key word here is “spread evenly”. how many pounds of fertilizer were spread over an area of the field totaling 3600 square yards? A. Proportions A proportion is two ratios set equal to each other like the question above. there is a variable in one of the four slots. If 1200 pounds of fertilizer are spread evenly across the entire field. and you can set equal the relationship of the wholes to the relationship of the parts. 750 D. recall that x represents the scaling factor. and we are taught to cross-multiply and solve for that variable.“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. 3*4 = 12 cooks. Answer A. it’s best to reduce top-bottom AND left-right before cross multiplying. This implies that the relationship of fertilizer per square foot is uniform. Generally.) After cross-multiplying. For example: A football field is 9600 square yards. we can eliminate the zeros on the left side: 9600/1200 = 3600/x 96/12 = 3600/x
. Choice D. That’s 120 fingers. we get: 16x = 13x + 12 3x = 12 x=4 Sweet. we want to cancel out the 3’s in both the numerator. 450 B.
which are both divisible by 400 to get: 24/1200 = 9/x. 2010
Studying reams of vocabulary words can be a mind-numbing process. 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). often a rhyme. Order. start with small numbers.Then we can divide 96/12: 8 = 3600/x Here. most of us will either behave like a lost child or a disaffected teenager. Genus. This is one of my favorites from AP Biology that helped me remember the order of taxonomic classifications: Kingdom. To refresh your memory (I wonder if there’s a mnemonic to remember the definition of mnemonic?). When faced with the task of memorizing 1000+ unfamiliar (and sometimes useless) words.
. No need to go for the biggest common factor. Phylum. we can actually use creativity to improve the efficiency of learning vocabulary words. proportions. Class. our brains are a built for more complicated and efficient processes than rote memorization. acronym. Quantitative | No Comments »
Tuesday. If you’ve made it through college. You’ll eventually work your way down as the numbers progressively get easier. Check out Grockit for more quantitative practice! Good luck! Tags: fractions. that is. August 10th. Family. You can take it from here. Luckily. 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. so long as you are reducing by the same factor. you’ve heard of mnemonic devices. ratios Posted in GRE. Believe it or not. Chances are. a mnemonic is a linguistic device. Also. or anecdote. the ETS has a reason for this. we can still reduce left-to-right. we’ll either cower in fear or reject the whole endeavor completely. that aids recall. a career in public administration will not require you to know the proper definition of peregrinate. For this question we could have started by canceling 9600 and 3600 in the numerators.
Species = King Philip. Indeed. or acronym here. both those words begin with “ab. Now. 1. but it has special relevance for me. Nostrum: 1. There is no fancy anecdote. this mnemonic as not as catchy as some others you’ve heard.” Because I find this definition more interesting and useful.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. The Mnemonic: Put rum in your nostrils (or nose) to cure a cold. but the best part is.
. though. The first definition is basically the same definition as the more familiar word panacea–a cure-all. and. There’s no use in struggling to remember the mnemonic device on top of remembering these words.” The Mnemonic: Abrogate= Abolish This is an example of the simplest kind of mnemonic you can imagine. the English word for “snake oil” is “nostrum. Sometimes. I remember having a difficult time remembering the word when I was studying for my GRE. Let’s look at a few examples. rhyme. Putting rum in your nostrils sounds like those many specious home remedies for preventing colds that you may have heard about (most of which have been debunked by scientists). you may be thinking that such information lends itself well to a mnemonic. Hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases. but I find it pretty effective. but obscure words may not. If it doesn’t. of course. Revoke formally Abrogate is not a notoriously complicated word. Abrogate: 1. once sought by the alchemists 2. then use it. The second definition. it dawned on me. that’s all you need.” which is defined as “a worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills. that is partly true. I would know that it had a simple definition. if the mnemonic works for you. I would recognize the word. Indeed. Abrogate means almost the same thing as Abolish. 1. I will think of a mnemonic for that definition. just an easy way to remember a close synonym. come on for God sakes! You likely may have heard a different version of this. Then. 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. a hypothetical remedy for all ills. drop it. but I could never recall it. they all will help you memorize this specific information.” In essence. Remember. is best encapsulated by the idiomatic expression “snake oil.
It’s a brilliant site that exploits the power of online collaboration (not unlike Grockit) to enhance education. a ratio of boys to girls (Boys: Girls) at a party is 3:4. They may be a bit intimidating if you are unfamiliar with how to approach them. You can also write this ratio as 3/4. you add the numerator and the denominator. 40% of the party goers are male. 3. For example. If 40% of the party is male. and form the fraction 3/7. but once you learn the basics. I add 3 and 4 (=7). and then I take the ratio quantity of boys.For an impressively comprehensive list of vocabulary mnemonics. and the GRE is no exception. and then form a fraction in which this sum is the denominator. of the party goers are girls. visit mnemonicdictionary. or 42. nor does it mean that 4/3 of the party goers are girls. there are 4 girls. This does not mean that 3/4 of the party goers are boys. then 4/10 or 2/5 of the party is male and 3/5 of the party is female. of the party goers are boys. but reverses the process. A ratio is a kind of fraction that measures two or more quantities in a group. 3/7. That means that for every 3 boys at the party. What is the ratio of male to female party goers? This question uses the aforementioned rule.1%.
. respectively. Let’s see what an example using this rule might look like: Example 1: At a party. Stated algebraically. respectively. if we have a ratio x:y. 4/7.com. then x / x+y and y /x+y express the proportions of x to the group and y to the group. or 57. If you do want to find out what proportion or percentage of the party goers are boys or girls. if I want to find out what proportion of the party goers are boys. 2010
Ratios and proportions are favorites of most standardized tests.9 %. Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
Ratios and Proportions
Thursday. August 5th. We now have to find the ratio. you’ll learn that ratio and proportions problems require only simple algebra. So.
but how about a tougher one that uses the same concept: Example 3: In a right triangle. the answer would be 3:2. If this is a right triangle. 66. 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. then x = 6. so: 1x+5x =90 6x=90 x=15 The larger angle is 5x. let’s write down some important info. 4x= 4*6= 24 men 7x=7*6=42 women That last example was pretty simple. so our answer MUST be a multiple of 11. you may think that you do not have enough information to answer this question. Extra Credit: If there were 66 people at the party. 64 C. 70 E. how many males and females would be there? If 11x=66. the two acute angles have a ratio of 1:5. so 5*15 = 75
. Since the sum of the angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees. What’s the measure of the larger acute angle? Before we apply the same method. we can simply express the ratio of males to females as 2/3 or 2:3. number of people at the party) if we are given a ratio. which of the following could be the number of people at the party? A. we can deduce some important information about the number of items.g. The only multiple of 11 in our choices is C. just add the coefficient x to each quantity and add: 4x+7x=11x. then the two acute angles must equal 90 degrees. To answer a problem like this. 78 At first. 50 B. 11. We know that the sum of the quantities. Though we cannot find the total number of items in a group (e. represents a fraction of the total number of party goers. but you do.Since we have two proportions expressed with the same denominator (2/5 and 3/5). Note: If the question had asked for the proportion of females to males. then the largest angle is 90 degrees.
Tags: ratios and proportions Posted in GRE. Just because it looks like 90-degrees doesn’t mean it is! (Many of these common inferences will be detailed in this series. etc. but not too much. Today. Be careful in DS questions that pose equations in the context of quadratic equations with two solutions.) Shared angles will normally not be explicitly stated. Quantitative | No Comments »
Geometry Series Part 1: Circles Inscribed in Squares
In this series. Inferences must be drawn from fact. 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. (Squares can be turned into triangles. we’ll explore circles inscribed in squares. 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.) is essential.
. only the positive solution remains and the information is sufficient. See if you can spot some ratio problems when you’re practicing on Grockit.) Lengths cannot be negative. but there are numerous shortcuts to geometry questions that will save you time. we will cover many types of geometric scenarios encountered on the GRE. ratios and proportions aren’t so scary anymore. for example. A basic knowledge of simple formulas (area.Hopefully. perimeter. draw in lines that create simple shapes. unless necessary.
• • • • •
d=2r and all lines from the center to the exterior equal r. If one solution is negative and the other is positive. Trust the pictures. August 3rd.
since it creates 45-degree angles. 2. Get a Study Rountine Down!
Thursday. These months take the form of figuring out what is on the test. 2010
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Don’t Get Lazy for your GRE Studies. we can actually find the length of the hypotenuse of the internal triangle (s = d = 2r.
Get Started Early
. Follow the trail. you will be provided with one bit of information that tells you a whole lot. Remember 22/7 > π. 2010
For many. Next Lesson: Inscribed Triangles.
Find the large area and subtract the small area from it. you know everything about the circle! Use π = 22/7 with caution. if not everything. Typically. the GRE study experience will take several months. so the hypotenuse = (s√2)/2). perhaps taking a review class.
Usually. doing many practice problems. When dealing with circles along with other figures. When a circle is inscribed inside a square. eliminate answer choices that ONLY have π’s in them or don’t have any at all. The intersection of the diagonals creates a right angle. Post below with other helpful tips for your fellow GREers.• •
If you know r. Never assume without proof. your answer will look like x + yπ.
Two important takeaways:
• • •
The diagonal equals s√2. taking practice tests and then mentally preparing for the tests in the final few weeks. the side equals the diameter. September 30th. 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.
Archive for September. If given the length of the side of the square in the above image.
The right combination of diet. etc). and what the different sections include (there are millions of resources out there. how many questions. Don’t listen to music. online resources. you should focus on them and master them. Practice tests opportunities abound. Essentially you should know what you are getting into. If you are missing triangle and circle problems. Regardless. create a study schedule and stick to it. don’t watch tv. you will probably want at least 2 months for this practice phase and you will want a schedule. Study as if you were taking the test. and then 6 hours on the weekend. Others might want to buy preparation materials (such as the Official Guide for GRE Review books) and get started that way. it is smart to begin initial preparation a few months before your test. etc. Regardless. this might take a few weekends to get up to speed. guides. and go somewhere quiet where you can concentrate. don’t drink wine. what kinds of questions. Also. A class will probably meet once or twice a week for several hours and if you don’t take a class. When you sign up for the GRE. sleep and exercise will work wonders on your body in these last few months. the next step is to figure out how you are going to study and for how long. You should know where you stand and what areas you might want to focus on in your last few weeks. you should think about creating a schedule (Perhaps Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 3 hours each. discipline yourself! Some people might take longer than others for this practice stage. In this final run.Overall. This will be after you have covered again areas that you struggle with. get plenty of sleep. you will come across a lot.
Relax and Be Confident
About a month before your test date you should be feeling confident and relaxed. It will provide you with increased brainpower and will be a great mental stimulus to give you a boost on test day. and perhaps get on a workout regimen to burn off some of that extra stress that preparation can cause. You will be feeling good about yourself in the weeks leading up to the test. something like that). Eat healthy. You should know that you have taken the necessary steps to prepare for the GRE and should have practiced literally 1000s of problems. This should include diligence of what the GRE is all about. relax and be confident. 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. Look online and ask your friends. ETS gives you access to a few tests. what it tests exactly. but you will eventually figure out when you are ready to start taking practice exams. and confidence is key!!
. Assuming you are working or still in college during this process. don’t study in environments that don’t simulate a real test.
Create a Study Schedule and Stick With It
Now that you know exactly what the GRE is. books.
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.
Bottom line. In the end.” and “surreptitiously. are those words that tell us what logical direction a sentence is going. relax and don’t do much of anything. 1. indeed. If you don’t normally. furthermore. Continuation / Support: Certain trigger words or phrases indicate that a blank supports or continues an idea in the sentence.
. continuation. A pre-test routine and a schedule are imperative for a successful result on test day.” “because. sentence completions do not only test you on vocabulary. If you routinely drink coffee in the morning. just do something relaxing and know that your months of preparation will serve you well. and cause and effect are three common types of logic that sentence completions can exhibit.” “benumbed. 2010
As you may have figured out. 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. also. logical reasoning is just as important. on the day before your test. as you could freak out or have a case of the jitters (literally). Get plenty of sleep. as it may throw you off. then have five cups of coffee. words like “despite. at least 8 hours – your mind will not function well if you are tired and/or if you have your mind on something else.Don’t Cram
Finally. While knowledge of vocabulary is necessary for these questions. don’t do anything out of the ordinary.
Follow Your Regular Routine
The day of your test. Will one clause support another? Will it contrast another? Will it provide the effect of a cause? Contrast. too. Here are some words that will often signal continuation or support: additionally. You must be able to recognize the logical direction of a sentence. do not think about the test. like five cups. Go to bed with the peace of mind that you will do fantastic the next day.” Trigger words. don’t do anything that your body or mind is not used to. likewise. Also. I like to have a big breakfast. September 28th. Get excited for the test and for your preparation and it will no doubt pay great dividends on your day. GRE Prep. strategy | 1 Comment »
Sentence Completions: Contrast vs. Good luck!! Posted in GRE.” and “surprisingly” become as important as words like “despotic. then don’t have one. then. the semicolon and the colon can function in the same way. Do not cram. Continuation
Tuesday. as food is proven to give you a mental boost. and. as you know.
A cause and its effect are rarely synonymous in meaning. paradoxically. In this example. even though. unexpectedly. We cannot readily identify a word in the sentence that is either synonymous or antonymous with our blank. Here’s a simple example. the clause following the colon defines the blank. Some explicit examples include although. Some implicit examples. thus. Even with this oversimplified example. but there is an important distinction. In this example.
. her initial anger had been —— by his sincere promise to apply himself in the future. Indeed. while. they say. every action is “motivated by a degree of self-interest. surprisingly. Make sure you keep this in mind when you encounter these cause and effect trigger words: because. he would probably feel very disappointed.” 2. nevertheless.” which satisfies our contrast. is motivated by some degree of self-interest.Here’s an example: Some people believe that there is no such thing as true ——-: every action. 3. nor are they directly opposite in meaning. and. include “ironically. Essentially. despite. yet. therefore. The answer to this sentence is “berate…abated. on the other hand.” then our prediction must be the opposite of self-interest. we can distinguish a cause and effect question from a contrast or continuation question. which are often harder to detect. We have two contrasting ideas: harsh. still. we know that the teacher’s initial anger that characterizes the first blank must be diminished by his sincere promise to apply himself. In this example. hence. given. in order to.” Consequently. the answer is “benevolence. If there is “no such thing” as ______. the clause following the colon defines the blank negatively. if…then. We have to use cause and effect reasoning to figure out a prediction. the colon functions as a trigger word signaling continuation or support. angry criticism and then a mollified attitude. he felt ______. If John failed a test he had been studying for. illogically. rather than. Trigger words signaling contrast can be explicit or implicit. on the contrary. but. Note Here’s an example: Even though the teacher continued to ——– her underachieving student. in contrast. notwithstanding. we have an explicit contrast phrase. as a result. Because John failed the test that he had been rigorously studying for. Cause and Effect: Cause and effect signal words are a bit like continuation/support words. Contrast: Certain trigger words also can indicate a contrast with an idea in the sentence. consequently. “even though.
Sentence Completion. the best time to take the GRE is definitely while you are still in college. while you’re still in the habit of studying and taking exams. rather than when you’re working a 9-5 job and haven’t studied for anything in three years. Although John failed the test that he had been rigorously studying for. If you have the option of taking it during the beginning of senior year. it is offered virtually every day of the year. The most common time to take the GRE is at the end of your junior year or beginning of senior year. we cannot simply gloss over the trigger words in sentence completions. and see how that might change our prediction. September 27th. some test centers offer testing times at both 8 am and noon. make sure you schedule it early in the term before your other campus responsibilities start becoming serious. as they tend to fill up very quickly. Sign up early if you want to get one of the noon times. consider which time slot you would prefer to take your exam. why don’t we change “because” to a contrast word. With just a change from ‘because’ to ‘although.” “undeterred.For practice.
. Lastly. If you take it at the end of junior year. event or gathering scheduled the week of your exam. Use this flexibility to your benefit and plan around your academic calendar when scheduling your exam. Happy studying!
When should I take the exam?
Since the GRE is a computer adaptive test. be sure to check your extracurricular activities to make sure that your group doesn’t have a performance. GRE scores are good for five years so it’s easier to take it now. Verbal | No Comments »
Taking the GRE While Still in College
Monday. Now. Posted in GRE. It will help you avoid simple mistakes that may cost you big points on the exam. Avoid scheduling your GRE for the middle or end of the semester/quarter when you will be stressed with midterms and finals. unlike many other graduate school exams. Here are some FAQs about taking the GRE as an undergraduate.” “undiscouraged. Since college students tend to be night owls. Whenever you practice on Grockit. study during the year but schedule the exam a few weeks after finals so that you will have some time to unwind. he felt ______. Also.’ we must radically change our approach to the problem. an appropriate prediction might be “fine. 2010
While some graduate school applicants have been out of school for a while.” Remember. mentally take note of the trigger words in a sentence.” “happy.
Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Friday. you’ll be expected to know how to manipulate polynomials. Let’s look at few different types of polynomial problems on the GRE. For the GRE Quantitative section. preferring to discuss methods and terms with others. subtraction. just as you would for any other class. September 24th. make sure you distribute the minus sign. Visit Grockit to join an interactive game and check out the Grockit forums and connect with other GRE test-takers. If you’re the type that studies better by yourself. Go to the www. there are myriad options for GRE prep. examine your schedule for the last few weeks leading up to your GRE.ets. 2010
A polynomial is any expression that combines two or more monomials using addition.What are my options for GRE prep?
Whether it’s an online course.org/gre and download their free Powerprep® Software to access practice tests so you can get a gauge of your raw performance. and part-time campus jobs on top of academic classes. With extracurricular activities. But preparing for the GRE.Subtraction: If you are subtracting two polynomials.
How do I balance GRE preparation with my regular course load?
Plan ahead. If you’re taking the exam during the academic year. 1. Compare this with your target GRE score to help you decide what type of help you need. It’s normal to be nervous and stressed out as your test date approaches.” and “a+b” are simple examples of polynomials. If you’re an active learner. an online or in-person class might be best for you. Keep your study habits in mind. intramural sports. Example 1: (4x²+7x+11) – (x²+14x+15) What this means is:
. is like taking an extra class. to practice problems and take practice exams so you can work on your pacing. or multiplication. “2x+3y. in-person class or simply buying books and practicing on your own. If you have a lengthy paper due three days before your exam. try to finish that assignment early so that you can keep your focus on the GRE.” “3x² – y. help your sanity by planning ahead and minimizing other stresses as much as possible. whether on your own or with professional help. college students are always busy. you might be better served by buying some of the many prep books on the market. You need to set aside time regularly.
(x-y)² = x² -2xy + y² C. add the expressions and divide by the number of different self-contained expressions. A. what is the value of x²-y² Because we know that x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y). Example 3:. Dividing Polynomials: dividing polynomials may look daunting. What’s the average of: (5x²+10x-7) + (3x²-4x+4) + 4x² First. then our calculation is limited to (7)(13)=91 4. If x-y=7 and x+y=13. add the expressions: 12x² + 6x -3 Divide the sum by 3 (we are finding the average. (x+y)² = x²+2xy +y² Note: These three products should be memorized to save valuable time on the GRE. here are some quick ways to multiply familiar binomials. (12x² + 6x – 3 ) / 3 = 4x² +2x – 1 3. Example 4: (32(a²)b + 12a(b³)c) / 8ab = 32(a²)b / 8ab + 12a(b³)c / 8ab = 4a + (3/2) (b² )c 5. Binomial Products: Rather than use the distributive method (FOIL) every time.4x² + 7x +11 – x² – 14x – 15 Combine like terms: 3x² – 7x – 4 2. Average of polynomials: When finding the average of polynomials. Miscellaneous Polynomial Question Types
. so we divide by how many items in the list there are). Example 2. (x-y)(x+y) = x²-y² B. but just use the distributive property.
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. say 10001=x and 9999=y. If you find yourself doing tons of calculations. 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. I bet we can manipulate the numerator a little further to yield this expression. we can make this a lot easier with the rule x²-y²= (x-y)(x+y) With that logic. y² / x²*y² + x² / x²*y² =( x² + y²) / (x²*y²)
. no calculator is allowed. do not think you can just square each of these numbers. Example 7: What is the sum of the reciprocals of x² and y²? So. What’s the problem? We can’t add numerators unless we have the same denominator. we want to add 1/x² + 1/y². and we can. the denominator has the expression (2x+1). If we consider each number a variable. When you see a very complicated expression like this.Example 5 : What is the value of (10001)² – (9999)² When you see a problem like this. Another trap here is that you may want to FOIL out the denominator. Remember. we will yield the same denominator in both expressions. 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. you can be confident that you overlooked a simpler solution to the problem. 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. your first instinct should be to manipulate the numerator and denominator until you can comfortably cancel out expressions. Don’t plug in the 9999 immediately just because you think it’s an easy way out of doing algebra. It will make you miserable.
therefore. consequently. certain problems that seem to require extreme calculations really just require some crafty algebraic manipulation. and when added. (A second post on Structural Contrast will follow soon). If you see certain words such as “because”. mellifluous
.000. Quantitative | No Comments »
Wednesday. you know that the two blanks should correspond. September 22nd. Because of the ——– weather. symbiotic D.000 As you can see. If one blank should be a positive word. This is particularly important in two-blank sentence completions. hence. Let’s try a one blank sentence first. the other blank should also be a positive word and vice versa. when multiplied. Give these strategies a try during practice on Grockit. “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. We can easily factor this polynomial. (x+6)(x+6)…or (x+6)² Plug it in: 1000² = 1. Words such as because. scan it quickly to see if it has any structural key words. attenuating E. If you need a little refresher with factoring. don’t immediately plug in 994. balmy B. As always. 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….Example 8: What’s the value of x²+ 12x + 36 when x = 994 Like our earlier examples. How about 6 and 6? So. then…”. “in addition” etc. equal 12. torrid C.. A. Problem Solving. This is known as Structural Agreement. equal 36. our goal here is to think of two numbers that. then and as a result should give you a clue that the blank agrees with the rest of the sentence. Having a thorough knowledge of polynomials will help you approach such problems the right way. the children spent the day playing in the yard. Tags: polynomials Posted in GRE.
for example. anachronisms D. such as is used to indicate that the sentence contains a structural agreement. A. Here’s another example. In the following sentence. What follows such as defines or is an example of the first half of the sentence. “infirmity” and “benevolence”.
. Cummings is someone who rejects tradition for experimental forms. entrepreneur Because tells you that its an agreement and further. 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. so I would pick choice C. tempos Sometimes. the children could play in the yard outdoors. That family’s many financial woes include unemployment and the accompanying ——–. Because the weather was good. Strengthening words are also. From there. E. This eliminates “affluence”. aberration C. the agreement might not be indicated so obviously as shown by the next two examples. industrial B.The “because” should tell you that 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. Cummings has been labeled an ——– because he rejected traditional poetic forms for his unique experimental ones. apply what other vocabulary guessing skills such as using roots if you don’t know what the words mean. The word accompanying in the following examples suggests that the blank echoes or strengthens “unemployment”. The film was harshly criticized for its ——–. “Placing a plasma-screen television in an early twentieth-century living room” suggests that the TV is out of place. exigencies E. Case 2: Strengthening words A little different from cause and effect are strengthening or amplifying sentence.E. such as placing a plasma-screen television in an early twentieth-century living room. which they are struggling to overcome. A. it defines the blank for you. iconoclast D. in other words. rather than stay indoors. injustices C. E. such as. in addition. aboriginal E. Imperfections B. “Anachronism” means out of its proper time period and I can guess what this word means from the roots “ana” and “chrono”.E. This is where part of the sentence elaborates and sometimes strengths what’s said in the other half.
we typically need to add their separate rates together. 2010
There is one very important equation that guides all rate and work questions: r = d/t. Note that when working together. “rate equals distance over time. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to pick the immediate answer that fits without checking that it makes sense in context. This doesn’t mean wasting time and writing each and every one out. September 20th. benevolence Other times. the clauses agree with one another. affliction B. a misogynist… behaviors B. a sexist… pestilences C. Always remember to check if the sentence contains a structural agreement or contrast. where a worker’s “efficiency” is calculated by amount completed in a given period of time. Problems involving “work” are essentially rate problems. if the units remain constant. you should be able to find the third. A semicolon is usually to join to clauses that can otherwise stand on its own. a laudable… comportments The word “folly” suggests that the critics do not like the book. the total time to complete the same task will
. A. affluence C. an excellent… protocols D.
In questions where individuals work at different speeds. Make sure you keep your units straight. penury D. 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”. Try this example: Critics of the self-help book deem it ——– folly. Posted in GRE. Sentence Completion. Verbal | No Comments »
Work and Rates
Monday. they claim that it advocates ——– that set back women’s social issues by decades. a disturbing… intuitions E. or one explains the other.A. You can thus eliminate choice C and E because “excellent” and “laudable” do not indicate the critics’ dislike. infirmity E.” If given any two of the three. More often than not. but rather simply recognizing their existence. Specifically.
25 The rate of worker #1 is 1 truck/6 hours. If all three trains meet at the same time between New York and Dallas. be careful of units. Train A traveling at 60 m/hr leaves New York for Dallas at 6 P.M. 2. the decimal is important. but not necessarily in proportion. 0. If moving in the same direction. NOT the number of trucks completed in 1 hour. in hours. When together. When moving at an angle. we find the reciprocal of 13/42. Again.25. 3. If both workers load one truck simultaneously while maintaining their constant rates.23 E. Train C leaves Dallas for New York at 9 P. Remember the question is asking for the number of hours to fill 1 truck. This can also be 1/6 trucks/1 hour.
Planes. we know the decimal cannot equal . so 3/13 will be slightly lower. 1/6 + 1/7 = 6/42 + 7/42 = 13/42 trucks/1 hour. The rate of worker #2 is 1/7. trains and automobiles. A second worker can load the same truck in 7 hours. 60 m/hr
. what is the speed of Train C if the distance between Dallas and New York is 1260 miles? A. Because the denominator is 13. we may not be able to decide between (D) or (E). Nor. we may be looking at a geometry question. Sometimes walking. Train B traveling at 90 m/hr also leaves New York for Dallas at 9 P. You must add rates.M. we instead subtract their speeds to find the relative velocity. At this point. they will complete 1/6 + 1/7 trucks/ 1 hour. are you averaging or adding the given times taken. we can add their speeds to see their relative velocities.25. However.com/groups/gre/dashboard”>GRE</a>usually travel toward or away from each other. Choice (E).be less than BOTH of the individual rates. 0. approximately how long. 42/13 hours/truck = 3 3/13 hours/truck. To find this. will it take them to fill 1 truck? A.47 D.M. 3. If moving toward or away from each other.31 C.15 B. We can also see that 3/12 will yield . Objects moving at given speeds on the <a href=”http://grockit. A worker can load 1 full truck in 6 hours.
here we want to interact plow-minutes. A gets to mile marker 180. For example: Three plows working at identical constant rates can clear 123 ft of snow per minute. Train B’s velocity is 30 m/hr. 180 m/hr Relative to Train A. and they will be at mile marker 540. So when they all meet up. 135 m/hr E.640 D.B. Feet and minutes are already compared. This means that B will gain on A at a rate of 30 miles every hour. and traveled (1260 – 540) miles. To catch up the 180 miles. If we divide 123 ft/min by 3 plows. Choice (C). At this rate. 131. it will take Train B 6 hours. the time will be 3am. we get:
. 120 m/hr D.200 Instead of man-hours. It may help consider the unit man-hours as the multiplication between workers and time. 1.400 E. so all we have to is add “plows” to the expression.
Many times you may be asked to calculate the number of workers would be need to complete a certain task. 90 m/hr C. which is then compared to the work completed. 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. In the three hours from 6pm to 9pm. 16. 984 C. 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. which has traveled the same time as B (6 hours). 328 B. Rate of Train C = 720 miles/ 6 hours = 120 miles/hour.
000 (P = your principle) for one year (t = one year) at 6% simple interest (i = given interest rate). if we want to increase minutes to 5 and plows to 8. we can simply insert these into the existing rate. you would get $60 in interest at the end of the year and would have a total of $1. and if we were compounding quarterly. because we are compounding semiannually. How much money will be in Mr. Simple interest is the most basic and is a function of P. This is by no means exhaustive.060. September 16th. some are much more difficult. So for in the above question. Note the absolute rate does not change. first you need to divide the interest rate by how many compound periods there are. work and rates Posted in GRE. 2010
There are two types of interest problems on the GRE. There are LOADS more rate questions. compounded semiannually. and the amount of time the money is invested. relative volocity. so the value is constant. since we are multiplying top and bottom by 40. the interest rate earned on the principle. Choice (C). Please visit the Grockit forum or leave a comment here to discuss further. we need to divide 10% by 2 (because of 2 compounding periods). you would earn slightly more. the above equation tells us the amount of interest that would be earned on a principle amount invested (P). Mr. such as years or months). i. and they include simple interest and compound interest. Riley’s account at the end of one year? For compound interest.123 ft/minute/3 plows = 41 ft/plow-minute At this rate. t (this is usually stated in periods.
. The resulting equation is: Interest = iPt In basic terms. for a given time (t) at a given interest rate (i). Tags: man hours. Riley deposits $500 into an account that pays 10% interest. 41*40 feet / 40 plow-minutes = 1640 feet / 40 plow-minutes. the principle amount of money invested. Let’s look at similar type problem. though this one involves compound interest. we would need to divide 10% by 4. Quantitative | 1 Comment »
Interest and Compound Interest Problems
Thursday. Example: If you invested $1. For compound interest.
$22. we are given x% as 8%. and then will pay another 5% at the end of the year.25. we know that this balance of $7. Riley has $551. compounded annually.500*3). Thus. The correct answer choice is E. So at the end of the six months. you are paid interest on the interest that was paid in prior periods. $5. $3. For this one.000 E. Here. Further.750 B. we know that the money triples in value every 14 years. and word problems involving the mention of
. $15. Compound interest can essentially be translated into “interest paid on interest”. the three types of interest problems you will most likely encounter come test day will be simple interest. The lesson? Compound interest always pays more! Let’s look at another similar type of problem that involves interest. what will be its approximate worth in 28 years? A. Riley is then paid 5% on the $525 balance that was in his account at the end of the first six months. Riley has $525 because the bank paid $25 in interest ($500*5%) into his account. If $2500 is invested at a rate of 8%. Mr. which is equal to his balance of $500. 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). compounded annually.500 (or $2. so the final balance at the end of the next 14 year period will be $22. They will pay 5% interest (10%/2) at the end of six months.600 C.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).25 paid at the end of the year. we know that the money will triple exactly twice in 28 years.500 At first glance. triples in value in approximately every 112/x years. meaning that after one period. $8. Now. Mr. Mr. it might be a bit easier to think about this without the use of compound interest. Overall. Money invested at x%. This interest is equal to $525*5% = $26. hence the phrase “compounding”. Riley earns $1.100 D. Riley deposited $500 into his account at a rate of 10% compounded semiannually and the bank will divide his interest into two equal parts. compound interest. 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.500*3). plus $26. to get $7. For the second half of the year. once in 14 years and one more time at the 28th year. Mr. Therefore.500 (or $7. which might unnecessarily confuse you.In the above question. Mr. so all we need to do is take 112/8 = 14.25. at the end of the year.500 will triple again. plus the $25 interest paid at the end of 6 months.
taciturn E. the two blanks are likely opposite in meaning. despite. It turns out that there is only one choice. 2010
Unlike Structural Agreement. The key to deciphering between compound interest and simple interest is to see how many periods the interest is paid…. choice D. Tags: compound interest. Her flamboyant acting during the school play was a distinct contrast to her usual ——– demeanor.interest paid in one period is simple interest and interest “paid on interest” in multiple periods is compound interest. In a two-blank SC. This tells you that her —– demeanor is opposite to her flamboyant acting. communicative D. in spite of If you see any of these words upon scanning the sentence. polite The structural clue here is a distinct contrast to. I would guess “reserved” and see which option is most like that word. yet. September 14th. but. he did not ——– this recent campaign to raise teachers’ salaries. nor. Let’s try another one-blank SC. structural contrasts indicate that there’s a shift in the sentence. interest Posted in GRE. This means you’re looking for a word that’s the opposite of flamboyant. breed
. remember that some questions can be solved intuitively. uninhibited B. nevertheless. Winthrop has always been a leading advocate for educational reform. As always. however. These are usually indicated by contrast words such as although. but that can be solved without the application of interest or compound interest methods. A. theatrical C. A. Although Mr. rather. Finally. instead. scan the sentence for any structural clues and then guess what word could fit in the blank before looking at your options.interest. Let’s try a one-blank SC example first. you should realize that the word you are looking for in a one-blank sentence completion (SC) is probably opposite in meaning to the rest of the sentence. Quantitative | No Comments »
Tuesday. in contrast. Have a compound interest problem or question you can’t figure out? Go to Grockit forums and ask Grockit’s expert tutors for help. on the other hand.
repentently…arrogantly Posted in GRE. My guess for the blank would be “he did not lead the campaign”. gracefully…awkwardly C. miserable… insults B. hopeful… support D.B. A. rather than ——–. 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. Sentence Completion. irritated… encouragement C. September 12th. The songwriter was —— about the prospects for success in Nashville. The contrast in the following example is even easier to spot. spearhead E. His usually churlish brotherin-law behaved — (opposite of churlish) —. Notice that in both instances. legislate The keyword here is although: this tells you that even though he is a leading advocate. he was NOT involved in this campaign. lewdly…respectfully E. 2010
. at the party. I would narrow my choices down to choice D and E. repent C. Moving on to two-blank SC. rather than —(same as churlish)—. Recognizing this narrows it down to the options that are a positive word…negative word: choices A and B. optimistic… rejection E. A. Verbal | No Comments »
How to Study for GRE Vocabulary
Sunday. Fred was pleased to find that his usually churlish brother-in-law behaved ——–. Looking at the options. Ultimately. diminish D. courteously…impolitely B. the blanks are opposite. humble… derogation Did you find the structural keyword in the above example? I found “even though”. I would settle for pessimistic … rejection because one does not usually “face encouragement” or “face support”. jocularly…timidly D. even though she had already faced —— from several talent agencies.
add a little phrase or sentence to help you remember the word’s proper use. cramming is not very effective.Learning vocabulary words the GRE is a pretty daunting task. or even text it on your cell phone.” which means offensively loud. spread out your vocabulary studying over a long time. write it down somewhere–scrawl it on a napkin. or in test prep books. here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your time. you can switch it up: say the definition and ask for the word. you can figure out that soliloquy means a speech you make alone or to yourself. creative. Find a Study Buddy: Studying vocabulary in a group or with a friend makes the often tedious task a bit more fun. If you have trouble with the word. and build to it and study from it every day.” I think of my friend “Tyler. If you’re serious about studying vocabulary.g. especially when it comes to learning new words. read it in a magazine or in a textbook. which can be learned online. write the word you need to learn on the blank side of the card. This may sound unnecessary for a written test. Whether or not you heard it on the street or in a conversation. 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. On the lined side of the card. All you have to do is take turns saying the word aloud and having the other person define the word. copy the unfamiliar words you encounter–found in both the questions and answer choices–in a separate document. for example. First. write down the roots and their meanings on the flash cards. For example. Go for Long Term: If you have the opportunity. write a short. i.” meaning alone.
. Write down Unfamiliar Words: I consider this step one of the most important and most overlooked. or add a note that helps you remember that particular word (e.” meaning speech. when I hear the word “vociferous. but they are still one of the most effective ways to learn new words. Or.g. Make this document your official personal word list. Once you learn these roots. competitive games may help you forget that you are studying in the first place. propitiate = pruh-PIH-shee-eyt). If you have a hard time pronouncing it. If your buddy is up for a challenge. or. When you practice on Grockit. 4. write the word phonetically under the word (e. 3. when I hear the word “tyro. 2. a monologue. through Grockit forum posts. easily understandable definition. 1. Just looking at the immense vocabulary lists offered in prep books can discourage you from starting a study plan.” who just started learning to skateboard. Without looking in the dictionary. and “loquy. I think “vociferous=voice ferocious”). type it on the computer. 3. In general. the word “soliloquy” contains the roots “sol / solo. write it down. Whenever you come across an unfamiliar word that might be included in a GRE vocabulary list. encourage some friendly competition.e.” meaning “an inexperienced person / beginner / newbie. Use flash cards: Flash cards may sound a little old fashioned.
if I am trying to create a custom striped tie and I need to pick two colors for it out of 7. it doesn’t matter what order you choose them in. When you choose something. don’t just set it aside. though. For example. For any integer n. 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. n! = n*(n–1 )*(n–2)*…*3*2*1. You may think they are locked in your brain. it’ll get a laugh. you need to remember the formula for combination and permutation which involves the ! sign. then how many color combinations can I have. In general. but chances are you may forget their meanings if you don’t keep reviewing. n = 7. Repeat: Once you’ve “finished” learning a group of new words. add them to an existing list. Studying vocabulary should always be a cumulative process. Verbal | No Comments »
GRE Combinations and Permutations
Friday. It may be easier to implement them into an essay or a volunteered comment in class. Don’t neglect the words you’ve learned. So in this case. try to implement them into casual speech. When you are ready for a new list. 6! = 6*5*4*3*2*1 Combinations Combinations are used when the order of the objects doesn’t matter. Posted in GRE. trying out some of these big words will be welcomed. The answer is to choose 2 colors out of 7.5. 6. Around the right crowd. r = 2 and the answer is 7! / (5! * 2!) = 21 Combinations of combinations
. September 10th. If you really want to know these words. 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”. at the very least. The keyword that lets you know to use the combination formula is the word choose. 2010
Let’s go over a few definitions before we go over the different types of combination and permutation questions. The first thing to know is what ! means. Use the words: This may be the most challenging task in the list.
order matters. For example. when arranging n people in a circle. So the answer is 5! If I have 7 people and five seats. because for every seat color combination. So if you are seating 5 people in 5 seats around a circular table. you have to divide 7! by 2!. how many different words can you form from the letters of word. For example. Then for the second seat. In general. Choosing 2 out of 5 and applying the formula. 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. the word will have repeated letters in it. how many combinations can you have of the two things? For example. I have 5 people to choose from to fill the seat.What if the question tells you that you have a number of choices for one thing. So in total. we thus have 40 accessory combinations to match with it. But P is repeated twice. I have 4 people to choose from (because one person has already sat down). 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. If all the seats are empty and I want to fill the first seat. we get 4 combinations. With 10 seat-color combinations.
. there are 120 ways of seating these 5 people. And for the third seat. Permutations with repeated terms This type of question usually asks. 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. Then choosing 3 accessories out of 4. instead of having 120 seating arrangements like before. I have 3 people and so on. A and E are also repeated twice so you have to divide by 2! twice more. the first person you seat is just a point of reference. we have 10*4 seat color-accessories combinations. and another number of choices for another. there are (n-1)! Number of ways. you have 24 arrangements. How many different combinations of colors and dashboard options are available to this buyer? We look at seat colors first. Permutations With permutations. we get 10. there are 4 accessory combinations that we could match with it. And more often than not. the same concept applies – 7 * 6 * 5 * 4 * 3 where each number represents the number of people I can choose from to put in each seat starting from the left. and since one P looks the same as the other P. how many 7-letter words can you form from the word APPEASE.
Common special right triangles include 3-4-5. We draw a perpendicular line from the center to the side of the triangle. These are formulas/concepts you must know: 1. 2010
Geometry Series Part 2: Inscribed Triangles
Wednesday. Pythagorean theorem does not apply! 2. 8-15-17. 2010
To start off. Let’s continue with a standard diagram in which we have an equilateral triangle inscribed in a circle. if given ANY piece of information about the circle. Angles and opposite sides are in the same relative size order. but are NOT proportional. square or triangle. square) are all the same.The final answer is
Archive for October. 45-45-90 triangles are ALWAYS in the ratio 1:1:√2 4. If you don’t know it’s a right triangle. 7-24-25 (and their multiples. October 27th. 30-60-90 triangle are ALWAYS in the ratio 1:√3:2 5. we can derive the rest. 5-12-13.) 3. but only when a right triangle. Therefore.
The center point of all three figures (triangle. circle. let’s quickly review the essentials. but this is ONLY true if the triangle is equilateral.
. a² + b² = c². which is inscribed in a square.
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. solving for the base.
Area of an Equilateral Triangle
The area of an equilateral triangle equals (s²√3)/4. multiplying and dividing by 2. Memorize this. It will save you the time of drawing a 30-60-90 triangle. That was long to write. finding the height. where s is the side of the square. imagine how long it takes to do! If the area of the square = 64 and we needed to find the area of the triangle.Note that the hypotenuses of the smaller triangles are equal to the radius of the circle. 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
. 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. Here are your basic conversions: r = ½d = ½s. we should be able to derive essentially any other information.
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. you probably have never taken a standardized test on a computer before.” and “How to Scroll. Quantitative.” “How to Select an Answer. 2010
In the United States. Be flexible in your reasoning. Though test format may not seem like a big deal at first. This information is never explicitly stated on tests. but right before you take the test. you’ll have to work through four computer tutorials created by the GRE test software. You may be computer savvy. the GRE can be taken as a computer-based or paper-based test. we must realize that a computer test necessitates its own set of preparations. If you’re like most test-takers. October 26th. There are infinite variations of these concepts. The Tutorials: This might sound silly. Circles inscribed in squares Tags: triangles Posted in GRE. and practice makes perfect! Good luck! Read other articles in this series: Geometry Series pt 1. series | No Comments »
Preparing for a Computer Based Test
Tuesday. 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. In the image above. 2b = a.” “How to Use the Testing Tools. they do have an important purpose. The four tutorials are “How to Use a Mouse. Here are some facts and tips to help demystify the GRE Computer Based Test: 1.
.” While these lessons seem better suited for octogenarians at the Learning Annex. but will come up on quant questions over and over.
3. though. Sentence completions. That’s right. 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. On the computer test. no saving the hardest for last. Question Type Order: Unfortunately. you will not be able to mark up your test. you won’t be comforted by the predictability of sections. And. what’s the solution? Just learn to deal with the handicap? No! You simply cannot afford to lose the luxury of crossing out answers on a standardized multiple choice test. and then the questions will become harder if you are answering correctly or easier if you are answering incorrectly. Grockit makes great practice since it’s computer-based also. you may find a “difficult” question easy. Test Day. a burden is lifted. you cannot return to any one question after you’ve answered it. Remember the “tutorials” you have to go through? You can take as long as you like during them. and vice versa. No second chances. I mean reading comprehension of course). 2. Process of Elimination: You’ve probably already figured this one out. for an added bonus. You do not have sections of question types like you would on the SAT. GRE Prep. no stalling. You cannot mentally prepare yourself for one question type.but the GRE software is not exactly Windows or Apple–familiarize yourself with its quirks. On a computer-based test. There you have it. strategy | No Comments »
Issue Writing Task: Use What You Know
. This may make things a bit more difficult. The Computer Based Test isn’t something to be feared. and analogies. can come up in any order. If you want to make your answer sheet as precise as possible. simply create two multiple choice columns. so this is a great time to make your answer sheet. Before the test begins. that you won’t get fatigued by one question typed either (and by one question type. you cannot see the next question until you answer the current question. After all. after all. use the scratch paper they give you to create a makeshift answer sheet. 4. antonyms. No Skipping: On a computer-based test. That means no underlining words in passages and no crossing out answer choices. you will only see one question at a time. The test begins with average difficulty questions. it’s customized to your individual performance. there is a way to circumvent this obstacle–use scratch paper. This may be the greatest disadvantage presented by the computer test. Do not try to predict your performance based on the difficulty of questions. The good news is. So. It just takes some getting used to. It’s also not worth your energy to worry about that. and number each from 1 to 30. Luckily. What’s the Adaptive Mean?: The word “adaptive” in Computer Adaptive Test means that the test adapts to your skill level. for example. Go practice! Tags: computer based test Posted in GRE. While this may initially cause some anxiety.. 5.
If you come across a topic that allows you to exploit your studies. with the 200+ topics available. 1. and an English student isn’t expected to understand hydrogen bonding. Though it seems certain issue prompts necessitate a thorough knowledge in some particular area. Each point will be labeled “agree” or “disagree” to indicate whether the example is for or against the speaker. The Parthenon. if you come across a prompt that could benefit from your expertise. you’ll have to read an encyclopedia. keep in mind that your readers may not be conversant with your academic discipline. i. The above prompt is a somewhat confusing question. thereby reflecting the pervasive religious fervor in their respective societies. literature. and exhume those halfread classics from high school English. as hard as that may be. in fact. some appropriate for the expert and others for the layman: “The arts (painting.Thursday. I’m sure none of you wants to do that (though I bet it’s been done before). you may. be searching your brain for any example of art you know something about. The examples do not have to be in-depth analyses of the Renaissance masters–just use what you know. In other words. such is not the case. 1. 2010
Admittedly. This is probably a fruitless strategy.
. is the aim of art to reflect and comment on society? Let’s look at some ideas from different perspectives: 1. In fact. music. etc. a chemistry student isn’t expected to know Shakespeare. Agree: Skyscrapers built in urban metropolises in the 20th century reflect the zeitgeist of technological progress. so as to reflect the core societal values of the age. and. you may be worried by such a prompt. the great European cathedrals 2. Let’s look at a relatively esoteric issue prompt and explore varying avenues of analysis. don’t reproduce your senior thesis in 45 minutes. Why not take a step back and think about the kinds of art you could talk about. dust off an old history book. The Layman’s Approach: If you’re not an art lover or humanities major. more importantly. the pyramids. the ETS doesn’t expect this from you. but it’s a kiss of death for anybody without a predilection for the arts. 3. the toughest part of the Issue Task is coming up with ideas that you’re confident in. so try to temper your genius.” What we have here is a veritable breath of fresh air for any humanities or arts major. scour the newspaper.) reveal the otherwise hidden ideas and impulses of a society. I want to offer an often unheeded caveat for those art lovers: don’t get too excited. Still. by all means go for it. Agree: Ancient and Renaissance architectures were often constructed to honor gods and provide an appropriate place of worship. so let’s simplify it: do the arts always reflect social ideas? That is. Agree: Medieval and Renaissance painting was heavily religious. You might think that. October 21st. Students from all kinds of backgrounds take the GRE.
but its method in doing so recapitulates a history of the medium to draw attention to its status as an artwork. 2. Art becomes less mimetic and more cerebral.g. Agree: Dystopian Fiction: 1. for example. iii. Indeed. visceral. in some instances. While the “expert” essay has more complex and esoteric examples. Pollock’s technique–violently splattering paint on the canvas– can be viewed as a purely visceral impulse. ii. illustrating a detailed history of the development of English. Austen’s Pride and Prejudice often elucidates the societal emphasis on marrying for status and financial security rather than marrying for love. we see a retreat from societal representation to more idiosyncratic aesthetics. often considered the quintessential modernist novel. is a complex and ostensibly chaotic mishmash of historical literary styles and references. 1. i. 3. all the while corresponding to a specific episode from Homer’s great epic poem The Odyssey. one particular chapter changes its style paragraph by paragraph. The Expert’s Approach: If you have some knowledge of art history or literature. i. Dystopian novels like 1984 make explicit the fears of totalitarian governments that were in power at the time. 3. i. the poem comments on the current zeitgeist. i.S. courtship and the social practices of marriage. James Joyce’s Ulysses.4. 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. 1. T. however. In Victorian fiction. 2. Each chapter of the novel exhibits a markedly different style and theme. Certain artistic movements are known for social commentary while others are famous for eschewing it. or at least aspiring to something greater than it. follows a similar ambition. in order to comment on and often critique social mores. In fact. to draw attention to the process and materials of artistic composition. Modernists aspire to more than social commentary.
. Eliot’s The Wasteland. or. you can certainly use that here. Disagree: Modernism 1. authors like Jane Austen and George Eliot strive to replicate realistic social scenarios. that is. Agree: Victorian Literature 1. e. the mess of paint evokes the image of the action of painting. The Issue topic is always about using what you know and making sense of it. thereby reflecting the psychosocial consciousness of the time. 2. both essays include logical arguments with sufficient evidence. Disagree: In twentieth century painting. thereby referring to itself as art rather than commenting on or exhibiting any societal impulse. for example.
In your essay practice. All you are allowed are your locker key and photo identification because the administrator will check it before you enter the testing room. Get comfortable with the procedures so that. Posted in Essay. However. you will choose a locker in which to place all of your belongings. You will then be asked to sign the GRE Examination Testing Rules & Agreement. Then the administrator will escort you into the
. First. The administrator will demonstrate the procedure of ensuring that certain knobs on the machine fit your fingers to get a proper pattern. Here are some tips about what to expect from the testing environment from arrival to departure. brush up on some new info. The palm sensor will soon replace the fingerprints as the only digital identification system. While there may be slight differences from test center to test center. ACT or any other standardized exam you took in high school. October 18th. Once all of these administrative procedures are completed. After weeks and months of preparation. Don’t be surprised that others in the center may be taking different graduate exams.
The Testing Room:
Before you enter the test room. Issue Writing | No Comments »
It’s Test Day!
Monday. Wear layers in case the room is cold. you’ll need to show proper photo identification and tell the administrator which exam you’re there to take. if there is a specific area in which you are particularly lacking. 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 last thing you should worry about on the day of your GRE is the testing environment. the basic sequence of events will be the same. the administrator will ask you to provide a digital fingerprint or palmvein pattern. Once this is completed. on test day. For the palm system. you will place each of your hands over a sensor. and then try some prompts where you can use what you learned. you can avoid distractions and concentrate solely on your performance. try to use the knowledge that you already have rather than cram for new material.
Try to arrive at the test center 15-30 minutes early because of the sign-in process. you will need to provide your photo identification as well as your fingerprint or palm-vein pattern. you will be on your own. 2010
The GRE is unlike the SAT.
Test Day | No Comments »
. meaning you will have to verify either your digital fingerprint or palm-vein pattern. Posted in GRE.
There is an optional 10-minute breaks after the Analytical Writing section. in case mouse clicks or keyboard keys bother you. you will need to raise your hand once again so that the administrator will know to escort you from the room. Again. an administrator will print out your unofficial score report. you will not be able to cancel it. the ten minute break is a great opportunitie to leave the room and reorient yourself if you are a bit rattled. You cannot leave without signaling the test administrator. return the key and leave with your report. Almost four hours after entering the center. Don’t feel obligated to take them if you’re in the zone and want to stay focused. However. There probably will be people already in the room. When you leave the room. you will need to provide either your fingerprint or palm pattern to sign out of the room. Again. The test administrator will provide you with scratch paper to use during the test. you’ve completed the test. once the procedures of signing out and signing back in are included. you can raise your hand to receive more scratch paper. the administrator will enter the room and escort you out. Whatever you decide. Be sure to keep this because there will be an authorization number that you will need to view your official score. the time you have for yourself is probably more like 8 ½ to 9 minutes.testing room. you will have to provide your fingerprint or palm-vein pattern yet again before being escorted back to your station. When you re-enter the room. or if you want a restroom or snack break. You will be given the option of viewing your scores or canceling them. Don’t forget that exceeding the 10 minutes allotted for the break takes time out of your next test section. You will be seated at a station with a computer and likely some soundproof headphones. don’t forget that the breaks are optional. Good luck! Post your test day experience below and check out Grockit forums for test day advice from other test-takers. You can then access your locker and drink some water or snack on something small. If you chose to view your score. you will have to digitally sign-out. so be careful. Once you signal. and when all of your pages are filled. and one minute breaks between the remaining sections of the test. Once you view your score. Then all you need to do is take your belongings out of your locker. Even though the break is technically 10 minutes long. in the middle of their respective exams.
Score and Departure:
such a task would take a long time (don’t you have more important things to do?). has more members than ever. which emphasizes the benefits of regular exercise at an early age. three facts account for this description: 1. and you probably shouldn’t take it upon yourself to write practice essays for each and every prompt. False correlation between exercise and health food: The speaker fallaciously correlates exercise with healthy eating habits. though these argument prompts are all ostensibly different. The Problems with the Argument: I will enumerate potential problems I see with the speaker’s argument and reasoning. That statistic should not deter you. which nearly closed five years ago due to lack of business. 2. the two are not mutually inclusive. What’s the Argument?: The speaker claims that Nature’s Way. We should therefore build our next new store in Plainsville. When I say “real. Plainsville’s schools are now mandating a fitness program. 1. 2010
After learning all the possible fallacies and how to spot them. We can even anticipate a new generation of customers: Plainsville’s schoolchildren are required to participate in a ‘fitness for life’ program. Nature’s Way is neither a health club nor a sporting goods store. where “residents are highly concerned with leading healthy lives. though the chances are very slim–approximately 1 out of 245. which has many such residents. a chain of stores selling health food and other health-related products. it’s time to look at a real possible argument task. just check out a hearty sample of prompts (perhaps twenty or thirty. 2. With the convenience of fast
. or whatever you realistically have time for) and think about how your arguments against the prompts might overlap. 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. a health food store. October 14th.Argument Writing Task: Part 4
Thursday. so to mimic your thought process and note-taking when you first come across an argument prompt: 1. and the weight training and aerobics classes are always full. To confirm this. “Previous experience has shown that our stores are most profitable in areas where residents are highly concerned with leading healthy lives. should open in Plainsville. and 3. While. For one thing. Increase in sales of exercise shoes and clothing. The local health club is experiencing its highest rates of attendance. but a health food store. ideally. 2. a healthy lifestyle entails both exercise and healthy eating habits.” How did we gather this profile of Plainsville’s inhabitants? According to our speaker.” 1. Secondly. in no particular order.” I mean this could possibly be on your actual GRE. they repeat many of the same fallacies. Plainsville merchants report that sales of running shoes and exercise clothing are at all-time highs. The similarities will pleasantly surprise you. The local health club.
Also. this guilt about eating habits encourages fast-food patrons to exercise.” may cause unintended opposition to exercise. 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. 1. Often. 1. but not necessarily change their eating habits. then high rates of attendance do not suggest an overwhelming increase in the citizens’ exercise. more simply. Suggestions for Improvement: To improve the argument. how do we know the interest will continue in the future? After all. exercise clothes may be an inexpensive alternative to other clothing styles. How can we be sure that Nature’s Way will thrive despite its potential new competition? 2. are at their worst in history. Many children often willfully oppose orders given by parents and school teachers. 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. these changes in lifestyle habits are relatively recent. Future interest in exercise?: Even if Plainsville residents are interested in health foods. our national eating habits. much like making beloved classics of literature “required texts. The speaker refers to the club as “the local health club. Don’t be afraid to integrate smaller fallacies into paragraphs: an abundance of information is not a
. the speaker must show a correlation between exercise habits and healthy eating habits. 1. not out of any sound reasoning.food. What we have here is an abundance of information.” but there are other possible sources of these increases. To write the essay. on average. mandating exercise in school. the speaker should investigate the popularity of Plainsville’s health club and explain how Nature’s Way will plan to beat the competition.” suggesting it’s the only one of its kind in Plainsville. 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. 1. perhaps through a survey or study. we cannot assume that the program will have any lasting effect on the children’s lifestyles. In fact. but because of sheer childhood obstinacy. 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. or. not quite an essay. If this is true. why shouldn’t we assume that they can easily revert back to unhealthy lifestyles? 1. choose the best examples and develop them into coherent paragraphs. Competition?: The speaker fails to mention the possibility or lack of competing health food stores. Though we may applaud the efforts of schools to introduce such a program.
USE YOUR PENCIL AND BLUE BOOK (but do not waste valuable time writing needless things down). you should get in the habit of immediately writing down ABCDE on your scratch paper for every question. series | No Comments »
Helpful GRE CAT Tips
Monday. read the entire question carefully and write down the useful information (this is more geared for the Quantitative part). Instead. With easy questions. make equations or draw pictures. If you can eliminate three incorrect answers. Without the luxury of being able to write notes. 2010
One of the biggest frustrations of taking a CAT test is that you don’t have the questions and answers right there in front of you. your test scores will be drastically improved if you can eliminate even one or two incorrect answers. October 11th. and time consuming. Don’t waste your valuable brainpower trying to remember answers that might be right or wrong. but with your ABCDE and key pieces of information. longer essays tend to receive higher scores. as you will be able to make equations. draw pictures. I am certain that you will find this extremely annoying in a CAT environment. This should be a habit as you study for the GRE. Next. 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. but not everyone employs these useful strategies that will save you valuable time come test day The CAT test format can be frustrating. I can’t tell you how to
. you will become more proficient at identifying the key pieces of information. your own arguments. they don’t give you material to write things down for nothing. 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. Even if you don’t know the exact answer. if you have them. do whatever you need to do to eliminate answers. The worst thing you can do is to write down wrong numbers or facts. using your own words and. eliminate answers.bad thing. For practice. Some of the following might sound like common sense. One of the worst things you can do is to waste time staring at the screen. but as you practice. etc. a key here is to make sure you transfer information correctly. you won’t have to write down much. you will have essentially transferred the problem from the computer screen to your paper. in fact. which will make your life much easier. Posted in GRE. you can immediately eliminate answers that you know are incorrect. and. you will find that you are spending a lot of time looking between the screen in front of you and your blue book. but there are some tricks that I found useful when taking the test that seemed to help me out. Don’t worry about writing everything down at first. Do not make this mistake. BUT. for many reasons. you may want to give yourself 30 minutes and write this essay. USE IT! This way. First.
But as you become comfortable with the material itself. They will contain tough vocabulary and will require a solid strategy to answer them correctly.become a pro at accuracy. Test Day | No Comments »
GRE: Sentence Completions Overview
Thursday. USE YOUR SCRATCH PAPER. Don’t become too comfortable with studying out of books. WRITE DOWN ABCDE. it will be invaluable come test day. but make sure to practice them just as diligently as Antonyms or Analogies. What do the words tell you about the blank? Here are some common transition keywords you’ll see on Test Day:
. Employing the above methods will help you become a master of the CAT environment and will definitely pay dividends come test day. or check out Grockit’s GRE forums for more advice. Supplement your computer testing with your paper (book) testing and vice-versa. but the act of writing them down will slow down your impulses and force your brain to think critically. Once you are certain you have it down in front of you. it is essential that you are able to transfer your mastery of the material to a CAT environment. GRE Prep. Become comfortable with using the computer to answer questions. please post below. but use that practice to become a master at translating the key pieces of information to your scrap paper. Write them down! It may seem redundant. October 7th. but in general. go to town on cracking the problem. 1. or about 1/5th of the total Verbal section. That is where prep services like Grockit come in. words that describe the blank or relate to the overall flow of the sentence (transition words). 2010
Currently the GRE Verbal section tests approximately 6 sentence completions. Many GRE students find SC’s the easiest Verbal question-type. Eliminate answers as you go. and good luck! If you have any other strategies that you have found helpful. Write down the keywords. Another issue with CAT test prep is that it is difficult to simulate the test day environment. you will be on the lookout for keywords. Posted in GRE. work slow to work fast. 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.
” we want to keep it since it is at least a partial match. eliminating the answer choices that could not possible match your prediction. It may seem like this method of writing down keywords and predictions will slow you down. and knowing what to do ahead of time
. Verbal | No Comments »
Guess and Eliminate – GRE Problem Solving
Tuesday. if our prediction was “messy” and one of the answer choices was “distraught. even a simple prediction like. October 5th. Surprise slows you down. 3. we hope to be familiar with every type of question before walking into the test. If you have more than one answer choice left after eliminating.2. Eliminate answer choices. then plug them into the sentence to see which one is correct. If you don’t write it down. This method will increase your accuracy by forcing your brain to do the necessary critical thinking – after all. “a positive word” or “something like angry” is perfectly acceptable. Sentence Completion. Once you’ve analyzed the keywords and punctuation of a sentence. but your speed will increase as you practice and your brain becomes more disciplined. you will probably forget it as you read the answer choices. Write down a prediction. For example. isn’t that what the GRE is really testing? Get started with some sentence completions now on Grockit! Posted in GRE Prep. but you DO have to write something down. Instead of scanning the answers quickly looking for the correct one. Don’t be too narrow-minded in your elimination. Don’t let yourself read the answer choices without a written-down prediction. 2010
While studying for the GRE. carefully move through the choices from A to E. you can come up with a prediction for the blank. It doesn’t have to be brilliant. If you are at a loss for words.
E. Plugging in numbers may
. you can reasonably eliminate that option. B. it helps to know which questions are absolutely incorrect without much thought. which will addressed in a future post. y/x 4(y/x) 4x + y 2(x + y) 5(x – y)
Before we even start attacking the specifics of this question. 1/4 and 4 are one simple mistake away from each other. of course. Conversely. The last step: Take a peek at the last step of the question (if applicable). Look for pairs of answers: wrong answers are chosen for a reason. there will inevitably be questions for which you will not know how to find the exact answer. However. which of the following CANNOT be an even integer? A. In this post. then look for a pair where one option is the square root of another. if we have some hesitation on a question. This is particularly helpful for geometry questions. If it asks you for the √x. more importantly. For example.will save you time and help you earn more points. If you see a √3 in the answer choices. correct answers tend to be “close” to incorrect ones. you may look for √3s. (Note: This post does not address quantitative comparison questions. Know the question: If the question involves a 45-45-90 triangle. (You’d pick the square root option. D. 3.) Guessing on the Quantitative Section 1.) Eliminating Definitively Wrong Answers On the quantitative section. we will quickly address guessing tactics and. 2. for 30-60-90 triangles. you might look for √2. if the question involves fractions or inverses. Because these mistakes are common. we know any answer that satisfies the description “even integer” is NOT the correct. C. Take a look at this example: If x is an odd integer and y is an even integer. and answer choices that are “way far off” from the others are typically wrong. strategies to efficiently and accurately eliminate incorrect answer choices to reduce your options and point you in the right direction.
Do a very quick estimate of what the answer should look like. C. which is an indication that you are incorrectly converting hours to minutes. 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. 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. and (C). We know that sometimes we might want to convert hours to minutes. (D) and
. x/m m/x xm 60m/x x/60m
The two units provided in the question are miles and miles/hour. (B). B.4%
After reading this question. You can then worry only about (A). If you have no clue how to answer this question. The town of Sandwich has a total of 5. so those are out. approximately what percent of Sandwich’s total population would be over the age of 60? A. D.8% 25% 28. we can quickly recognize that any product including a factor of 2 must be even. E. We start at ¼ (25%) 60+ citizens and add more 60+ citizens to the population without any other additions. and (E) through a variety of strategies. Keep track of units. 23. Then you can pick between (A).help. (C). D. E. chances are we will not have to do that this time. but to save time.400 citizens.6% 30% 33. Answer choices (D) and (E) include “60”. B. we should think quickly about in which direction the percentage should be moving. 1/4 are over the age of 60. Of these. you are still guessing between (C). but because there is no mention of units. C. and the answer is to be in miles/hour. This will move the percent UP. Size Matters.
. we can eliminate 9. often eliminate the answer choice ‘not enough information. c is the answer (this question is pretty simple if we draw it out). Answer choices are gifts that we test-takers must take advantage of. if asked for the greatest. they may lead you to the correct answer even when you’re not too confident about the material. they rarely allow that expected choice to be the answer. there is more to strategy than simply trying to answer the question. it is often the case on difficult multiple choice problems. As always.
Archive for November. GRE practice makes perfect. November 8th. that should come out soon. it certainly works most of the time. These will help you save time. On a hard problem. When test-takers guess on these problems. 5 c. Every effective test-taker must understand the strategies used to effectively eliminate wrong answer choices. 1. and more importantly. 9 According to the strategy. (Note: Answer choices are ALWAYS in ascending order. and test makers will rarely let you get away with no calculation for a difficult problem. Most students tend to go for the ‘not enough information’ choice when they are out of time. and as a result. eliminate the least (or greatest) number from the answer choices. they tend to guess the extreme answer choice (i. 2. 4 b. when you are asked to find the least (or greatest) number. Test makers catch on to this. Keep an eye out for a similar article focusing on Quantitative Comparison questions. and it follows the test-maker’s logic.’ While this is certainly not the case on quantitative comparisons. 2010
As with all multiple choice tests. 6 d. 8 e. they’ll pick the greatest). In fact. 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.) This was a quick overview of general concepts for math questions. 2010
Quantitative Elimination Strategies: Part 1
Monday.(E) since (A) and (B) are clearly too low. While we could never say that this rule works 100 percent of the time. On hard problems.
28 e. eliminate answer choices that merely repeat numbers from the problem. there is no substitute for knowing the math. This is basically a problem that needs to be converted into mathematical notation: x+20 = 8 + (10. but you also want to increase your chances on the toughest problems. but you will increase your chances by avoiding these answers if you must guess. 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. 9 d. GRE Prep. Again. Posted in GRE.3. E. you’ll see more challenging examples for which you should use these elimination strategies. 8 c. what is the value of x + y? A. Let’s see if we can answer it. November 4th. -2 b. On hard problems. working with decimals can be a daunting experience when somebody takes away your calculator. is a ‘not enough information. Quantitative.y) x + 12= 10-y x+y= 10 – 12 x+y= -2 A is our answer. For example:
. and you have no choice but to guess. If you remember nothing else. strategy | No Comments »
GRE Quantitative: Decimals
Thursday. not enough info If this type of problem is giving you trouble.’ and b gets the number ‘8′ from the question. Remember. these are not hard and fast rules. 2010
If you haven’t done decimal arithmetic since grade school. you should be skeptical of answer choices b and e. Example 2: If the sum of x and 20 is 8 more than the difference of 10 and y. In the next installment. as we saw earlier.
Counting from right to left.345 and 2. 4. Add zeros as necessary.
.01356.003 Step 1: 452 x 3 ———1356 Step 2: In 4.4 = 4/10.232 and 1. If I am multiplying 4. not 40 or 400.52 and . if it makes things easier.52 and ..17 Set it up like this: 382. 3. add zeros to fill up the empty space. HINT: When multiplying simpler decimal numbers. Step 3: So. My sum of digits equals the number of digits that should be to the right of the decimal in my product.5689 = 5689 / 10000 You’ll want one zero in the denominator for every digit in the decimal. . and.003.6. I need 5 digits after the decimal. in 1356.170 ————384.345 + 2. and add these up (ex. Manipulate the placement of the decimal in the product to fulfill step 3.84 = 84/100 . Addition and Subtraction When adding and subtracting decimals. always use common sense to avoid calculation errors. Count the number of digits after the decimal in each number. I add 2 + 3=5). line up the decimal points. I know that my answer will have one digit before the decimal because 4 * 1 = 4.356.515 Multiplication 1. Example: Multiply 4. we have a total of 5 numbers after the decimals.45 and . my product is . Multiply the decimals as if the decimals are not present. 2. Example: Add 382. If multiplying 6.
so I’ll convert 502.
. 205 can go into 1783 about 8 times. Move the decimal point in the divisor to the right so that the divisor is a whole number (If my computation is 502.25. 5. Divide normally and bring the decimal straight up into the quotient. Move the decimal in the dividend the same number of places to the right (I moved the decimal two places to the right to convert . 205 goes into 1435 seven times. I change . exactly. the second step.25 to 25) 2.835 by 2.Division 1.5 to 50250) 3. The first step is to stop using the calculator every time you make an arithmetic calculation. Since there is no remainder left over. Do the same for the dividend. here is the process verbalized: 1. as always. Bring down the 5 from the dividend.05 two times to the right to make 205. Move decimal point in 2. we are left with 8. is to practice on Grockit. 6.5 _ 8.7_____ 205 ) 1783.7
Working with decimals without a calculator is all about practice. 3.5 / . 1783 minus 1640 is 143. 8 times 205 is 1640. Bring up the decimal and place 7 after it. 7. 2. yielding 1783. Now we have 1435.25 to 25.5 1640 ——– 1435 1435 —— 0 For a little refresher in long division. Example: Divide 17. 4.05 1.