Articles published in January 2012

Test Day Tip: Mental Math Warm-Up

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Come GRE test day, there isn’t much left to do in the way of studying. Cramming new material on the day of your exam is stressful and won’t give you much of a positive return on time invested. However, there are some things that you can do on test day to further your GRE success. One thing that I found very useful when I took my GRE was performing a math warm-up. Read more

A Memory Technique for Vocab: “How Does This Relate to a Pencil?”

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I taught the first session of a new GRE class last week, and vociferously told my students that “You can’t just look at vocab words and definitions — you have to do something with them!”

In other words, you want the information to go into your head in one format and out of your head in another format. Read more

Testing Center Dos and Don’ts

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As we’ve mentioned before, the GRE testing center can be a stressful place. Showing up for the GRE is much like arriving at the airport. You will have to empty your pockets, present a photo ID, and maybe even go through a metal detector. Sometimes, students make the mistake of preparing for the test content without ever considering the test experience. To help you prepare for the full experience, we’ve put together this list of testing center dos and don’ts.

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The Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – January 16th, 2012

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Math BeastEach week, we post a new Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for two free Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides.

Quantity A Quantity B
x + 5 (x “ 2)2

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PopVocab: Madonna Said “Reductive,” Nation Looks Up “Reductive”

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Last week, the media was atwitter with a possible Madonna-vs.-Lady Gaga rivalry.

In this video, Madonna refers to Gaga’s “Born This Way” — which sounds a lot like Madonna’s “Express Yourself” — as “reductive.”

When asked whether “reductive” was good or bad, Madonna replied, “Look it up.” Oh, snap!

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Flashcard Sneak Peek: Martinet, Hawk, Chauvinist (Words You Probably Shouldn’t Use in Your OKCupid Profile Name)

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Take a sneak peek into Manhattan Prep’s 500 Essential Words and 500 Advanced Words GRE flashcard sets!

When writing these cards, we wanted to make sure that everyone could get something out of every card — even if you already know the word on the front. So, you may know martinet, but do you know doctrinaire, hawk and the real meaning of chauvinist? Read more

Friday Links

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Here is what happened in the world of the GRE this week…

Have a great weekend, everybody!

The Myth of “Not Smart Enough”

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Yesterday, Study Hacks pointed us to a Reddit thread titled I’m not as smart as I thought I was. In the initial post, a Redditor was concerned that poor standardized test scores had revealed he was really not that intelligent, and would keep him out of MIT. The responses came in vast numbers, and many of them crystallized around a unifying theme: academic success doesn’t depend solely on smarts but rather requires hard work and dedication.

We sometimes encounter student with similar concerns. Some students become dejected after struggling with an initial practice GRE, and start to feel that they just aren’t smart enough to succeed on the exam. And we’re here to say STOP! Don’t get discouraged. The GRE is not The Sorting Hat; it does not magically divine your intelligence and then dictate your academic future.

“130 Quant and 130 Verbal? Hufflepuff.”

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Portmanteau, Neologism, Solecism, Malapropism

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It’s hard to understand this comic from XKCD (“a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language”) without a bit of vocabulary.

A neologism is simply a new word, meaning, usage, or phrase. In the ’90s, “email” was a neologism, but now is just a regular word.
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Vocab in the Classics: To the Immortal Memory of the Halibut

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I came across 18th century poet William Cowper in the Slate article “Why are William Cowper’s poems so witty?

For instance, this one (source):
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