Articles published in GRE Strategies

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

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Right Triangles

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Right Triangles 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.


Geometry is one of the most polarizing topics on the GRE. If you think it’s great, this article isn’t for you! This set of tips and tricks is for those of us who would rather have a root canal than calculate the length of a hypotenuse.

Check out this Quantitative Comparison problem: Read more

Hack the GRE Vocab: Use Spaced Repetition to Get Maximum Results with Minimum Time Investment

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Hack the GRE Vocab - Used Spaced Repetition to Get Maximum Results with Minimum Time Investment by Ceilidh EricksonDid 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.


Your time is a limited commodity. Studying vocabulary for the GRE can be tedious and time-consuming, and worst of all…inefficient.

If you’re like most students, you flip through flashcards (either premade or hand-made) and quickly try to remember what was on the back. After a few dozen repetitions over a few weeks you probably remember many of them. But…you don’t retain that information for long, and you might not recognize the words when used in a slightly different context.

Vocabulary is a significant component of GRE verbal, but it’s not actually something that you should invest a significant portion of your time studying! That’s because there’s no way to determine which words you’ll see on test day – you might see a dozen of the words you studied, or you might not see any at all.

So, you want to learn as many words as you reasonably can between now and test day with the minimum time spent studying! Read more

GRE Percentage Problems – Part 2: Percent Increase and Percent Decrease

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Percentage Problems - Part 2: Percent Increase and Percent Decrease 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.


If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve probably read our article on how to handle GRE percentage problems. That article teaches you an ultra-simple approach for “percent of” Quant problems — that is, problems like the following:

xy is 20% of z. In terms of y, what percent of x is z? Read more