Articles published in March 2012

Nerdy Marriage Proposal Math: What Percent of People Are Right For You?


This Valentine’s Day, Drake Martinet proposed to Stacy Green, Mashable’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, via an infographic on Mashable.

Here’s the part of it that reminded me of a GRE problem:
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My score dropped! Figuring out what went wrong


confused about gre score dropIt’s always disheartening when we have a score drop, whether it happens on a practice test or (worst case scenario) on the real test. If this happens to you, the most important thing to do next is figure out why this happened. If you can figure out why, then you may be able to do something to prevent a score drop from happening again.

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Easily Confused Words: “Affect” vs. “Effect”


Many students have been quite confused by questions like this one:

An outspoken advocate of reform, Olympia has long worked to ________ change in what others see as an irreparably corrupt system.

Select two choices:
censure forego prompt effect impede hinder

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Flashcard Sneak Peek: A HodgePodge of Words for an Olio


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

Our cards have a LOT of synonyms. If you learned everything on our 1,000 flashcards, you’d certainly be learning more than 2,000 words. Check out all the words for a mixture or mishmash of things!

Try this GRE question that hinges on hodgepodge:

While the author’s first collection of short stories presented a ________ hodgepodge of voices, the second collection presents a remarkably _________ set of tales presented by a ________ narrator.










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The Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – March 19th, 2012


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.

The sequence of numbers a1a2a3, …, an, … is defined by  for each integer n â‰¥ 1.

Quantity A
The sum of the first 20 terms of this sequence

Quantity B
The sum of the first 19 terms of this sequence

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How to Analyze a Practice Problem


analyze practice problem

When we study practice problems, our overall goal is to master the problem we’re working on right now. What does mastery mean? It means that, when we see a future different practice problem that tests the same thing as this current practice problem, we will realize that the future problem has certain things in common with this current problem, and we will know what steps to take as a result—we will, literally, recognize what to do on the future different practice problem, a problem we’ve never actually seen before.

It’s necessary to get to this level of mastery because the problems we study will never be the actual problems we’re expected to do on the test. But we will see similar problems—problems that have something in common with problems that we’ve already studied. If we can recognize what to do, then we will be faster (which is always important on this test), and we will be more effective—we’ll be more likely to get it right because we’ll know that the method we’re using actually worked the last time we saw a similar practice problem.

This mastery we’re talking about—the ability to recognize what to do on a new, different-but-similar problem—comes from the analysis we do after we’ve already finished trying a new practice problem for the first time. So how do we do that?

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Idioms for Reading Comp: Colored By, Informed By


What do you think is the best answer to this Text Completion question?

Just as reminiscences of a childhood spent in rural Mexico color the poet’s work, so too does the experience of war __________ her poetry.


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The Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – March 12th, 2012


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.

In a school of x students, 36 are in the honors program, and x% of the 35 female students are in the honors program. If 15 male students are in the honors program, what fraction of all the non-honors students are female?

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GRE Pacing and Strategy: The Review Screen



One of the highly touted features of the Revised GRE is the ability of students to navigate freely within a test section. While the old GRE was (and the GMAT is) a Computer Adaptive Test, which required students to complete the test without skipping a question, the Revised GRE is a Section Adaptive Test, which allows students to skip questions and analyze the overall section on a review screen. But, as great as this feature sounds, you shouldn’t skip around. On the GRE, time is extremely valuable. Time spent hunting for an easy question is time wasted.

That is not to say the review screen isn’t a boon; it can be. Pacing is an extremely important part of GRE strategy, and the review screen can help you with that.

By test day, you should have an idea of how much time you will spend on each question. Here are some good guidelines for how much time you can afford on each problem type: Read more

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Study


girl with books

A few months ago, the New York Times published an interesting article: Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits. (Click on the title to read the original article.) We’ve been discussing it here at Manhattan GRE and I wanted to share this discussion with you.

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