Articles published in GRE Strategies

The GRE Verbal Golden Rule: No Stories

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - The GRE Verbal Golden Rule: No Stories by Ryan HopsonDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


There is a very simple rule that I try hard to instill in all of my students. It will serve you well on all parts of the verbal section. It will help you in that most dire of text completion conundrums — the two words that both seem to make the sentence make sense. It will help you in sentence equivalence, when there are two oh-so-tempting pairs of answers, and you just can’t seem to judge between them. And most importantly, it will help you in reading comprehension, particularly in identifying the traps the test makers have so diabolically hidden for you. My verbal golden rule:

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GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Which of the Following is a Factor of x?

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math:  Which of the Following is a Factor of x? by Chelsey CooleyDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Did you know that you can solve ‘which of the following is a factor’ problems with hardly any math at all? It just takes a little basic arithmetic, logical reasoning, and creative thinking — skills that you already have.

Take a quick look at this problem: Read more

GRE Geometry: Three ways to spot similar triangles

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Geometry: 3 Ways to Spot Similar Triangles by Chelsey CooleyDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Certain diagrams appear in tough GRE Geometry problems over and over again. Here are three of our favorites:

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Geometry: 3 Ways to Spot Similar Triangles: Diagram 1

What these three diagrams have in common is that they’re all composed of similar triangles. If you learn to  spot them at a glance, you won’t waste time trying to prove that the triangles are similar.  You’ll simply recognize that fact, and move on to the next step of the problem. Read more

GRE Smart Books with Neil: Brain Rules by John Medina

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog: GRE Smart Books with Neil - Brain Rules by John Medina - by Neil Thornton

Can’t get enough of Neil’s GRE wisdom? Few can. Fortunately, you can join him twice monthly for a free hour and a half study session in Mondays with Neil.


As a long-time instructor of all things standardized testing (GRE, GMAT, LSAT, SAT), I love reading books about math, logic, learning, skill acquisition, neurology, and psychology. In this blog series, I bring you book reviews and recommendations, as well as excerpts and summaries you can put into practice right away on your GRE journey.


Dr. John Medina is a developmental Molecular Biologist with “a lifelong fascination with how the mind reacts to and organizes information.” In his book Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Home, Work, and School, Medina lays out 12 “rules”—one per chapter—that science has learned about the way the brain works, and gives (mostly) clear recommendations for what you can do with that information. Read more

Here’s how to make a great guess on a GRE Quant problem

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Here's How to Make a Great Guess on a GRE Quant Problem by Chelsey CooleyDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Imagine this: you’re at the end of a GRE Quant section, and you have three minutes left. You’ve marked a couple of problems, using the “Good, Bad, and Ugly” technique. Unfortunately, when you look through those problems, there aren’t any that you know you could solve within three minutes. So, what do you do? You’re going to have to guess. Read more

How I got a 340 on the GRE

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - How I scored a 340 on the GRE by Chelsey CooleyDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


The last time I took the GRE was about a year ago, and I scored a perfect 170 on both sections. Obviously, it helped to have taught GRE classes for years! But that wasn’t the whole story. Here are a few notes on how I studied, and how I took the test. Read more

7 Ways to Avoid Careless GRE Math Errors

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - 7 Ways to Avoid Careless GRE Math Errors by Chelsey CooleyDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


There’s nothing wrong with missing a GRE Quant problem because it’s too hard. That’s just the way that the test is designed — there are Quant questions on the GRE that will challenge even the mathematical geniuses among us. However, it’s much more frustrating to miss a problem that you could’ve gotten right, just because you made a silly mistake. Try out the following tips to cut down on careless math errors on the GRE. Read more

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: A Gentle Introduction to GRE Divisibility Problems

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GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: A Gentle Introduction to GRE Divisibility Problems by Chelsey CooleyDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


12 is divisible by 3. 24,700 is a multiple of 100. x/15 is an integer. 6 is a factor of 17k. All of this language — divisible, multiple, integer, factor — signals that you’re about to begin a divisibility problem. Do you find these problems intimidating? Do you sometimes have no idea where to start? If so, this article offers a simple, painless way of thinking about divisibility that you can use on a wide range of GRE problems. Read more

GRE Smart Books with Neil: A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even if you Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley – Part 2

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GRE Smart Books with Neil: A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley - Part 2 by Neil ThorntonCan’t get enough of Neil’s GRE wisdom? Few can. Fortunately, you can join him twice monthly for a free hour and a half study session in Mondays with Neil.


Hi, my name is Neil, and I’m a chronic procrastinator. And if you’re reading this, chances are, so are you.  Read more

How to Create Fantastic GRE Quant Flashcards

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - How to Create Fantastic GRE Quant Flashcards by Chelsey Cooley

Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


A great flashcard is more than just a memory tool. It can also help you overcome that “not sure what to do next” feeling on test day. Here’s how to get the most out of every flashcard you create.

You don’t need to memorize that many facts to conquer GRE Quant. You should know the basic geometry facts and formulas, the definitions of math terms such as integer and quartile, and the first few primes and perfect squares. Flashcards are a great way to drill yourself on those facts! But you can also use them for much more than just facts. Read more