Articles published in February 2013

The Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – February 25, 2013

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.

n > 0 and n2 is an integer.

Quantity A

The remainder when n is divided by 1.

Quantity B

The remainder when  is divided by 1.

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The 5 lb. Book: How to Study Logic-Based Reading Comprehension


gre reading compWe’ve very excited because our latest book, the 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems, has just hit the shelves! The book contains more than 1,100 pages of practice problems (and solutions), so you can drill on anything and everything that might be giving you trouble.

Let’s try out one of the problems! Give yourself about 2 minutes to answer this Logic-Based Reading Comprehension (Logic RC). Afterwards, we’ll solve the problem and also discuss how to approach Logic RC questions in general. Read more

Friday Links: Grad School Info Sessions, Being Wait-Listed, Résumé Tips and More!


LSAT NewsHappy Friday all! Here’s our weekly roundup of some great grad school news, tips, and advice:

Several Graduate Schools to Host Spring Information Sessions (Graduate Guide)

If you are thinking about attending graduate school but are unsure where to being, attending information sessions at universities may be a helpful start. Here are some details on a few info sessions coming this spring.

How to Make Procrastination a Force for Productivity (Fast Company)

Here’s a useful post that shows how with a little manipulation, your procrastination habits can actually work in your favor to get things done.

Getting More Done in Less Time (Grad Hacker)

Grad Hacker explains how the key to staying focused and being productive is energy. There is also a great list of apps here that are designed to boost your willpower and keep you on track.
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The Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – February 19, 2013

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.

Which of the following equations has exactly one solution?

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Free GRE Events This Week: Feb 18- Feb 24


Here are the free GRE events we’re holding this week (All times local unless otherwise specified):free

2/23/13– Online- Free Trial Class– 1:00- 4:00 PM (EST)

2/24/13– Cambridge, MA- Free Trial Class– 5:30- 8:30 PM

2/24/13– Berkeley, CA- Free Trial Class– 2:00- 5:00PM

2/24/13– New York, NY- Free Trial Class– 2:00- 5:00PM

Looking for more free events? Check out our Free Events Listing Page.

Friday links: Grad School Thesis Writing, Interviewing, Taking a Gap Year and More!


We hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day!

Here’s a roundup of some of the top graduate school articles from the week. Happy reading!

Best Graduate Schools Rankings Coming March 12 (U.S. News Education)

This week U.S. News Education announced that it will be publishing the 2014 edition of the Best Graduate Schools rankings on on March 12, 2013.

What’s the Purpose of an Admissions Interview? ( Graduate School)

Want to make sure that you interview well? The first step is to understand the purpose of the graduate school admissions interview.

7 Reasons to Write from the Start (Grad Hacker)

A current grad student gives seven great reasons for why you should start writing as soon as you begin anything related to your thesis collection.
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Quantitative Comparisons? What’s that mean?


Let’s just put it right out there: the quantitative comparison question type is bizarre. If you’re just starting out, you’re probably thinking, What is this thing? Even if you’ve been studying for a while, unless you really like math, you probably feel a little uncomfortable whenever a QC question pops up on the screen.

Why? Because we all realize that we could completely mess up a QC question and still get to one of the 4 answer choices, clueless that we’ve messed up. It’s not like the questions with the 5 regular answers, where at least I know when I mess up because my answer isn’t in the answer choices!

What is QC?

gre quantitative comparisonsThe GRE isn’t really a math test. These kinds of tests are actually trying to test us on our executive reasoning skills “ that is, how well we make decisions and prioritize when faced with too many things to do in too short a length of time.

Quantitative Comparison questions test our ability to (quickly) analyze some information and figure out how to quantities compare to each other. Imagine your boss dumping a bunch of stuff on you and saying, Hey, our client wants to know whether Product A or Product B is better liked in the marketplace. Can you answer that question from this data? If so, which is it: A is better, B is better, or people think they’re about the same?

We do, of course, have to do some math “ and sometimes that math is quite annoying. We usually don’t, however, have to do as much as is necessary on the more normal quant questions.

How does QC work?

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10 New Ways to Study Vocabulary


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - 10 New Ways to Study Vocabulary by Jane Cassie

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.

Studying vocabulary was probably my least favorite part of preparing for the GRE. Nope, that’s not true. It was definitely my least favorite part. The first time I took the GRE, I thought I could roll in cold and knock it out of the park. That’s another nope. My math score was killer, but my lack of esoteric vocabulary knowledge killed me.

So I had to learn it, and learn I did—all the way to a 1600. We all know some of the good vocabulary learning tricks covered in the Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides, like sorting words into groups, sharing words through social media, and labeling items or rooms in your house. But here are other ways you might learn vocabulary — some weirder than others.

  1. Replace words in songs you know. Music is a great learning tool because it contains sets of words that we already have memorized. When your vocabulary words offer up a synonym, try to think of a song you know that features that word, and just swap in your GRE word. If you aren’t that into songs, you can do the same thing with famous quotes.
  1. YouTube video-search the word. Sometimes, hearing a word in context can really make it stick. Try doing a YouTube search for the word you have in mind. A YouTube search for inchoate makes me aware of the phrase inchoate crimes, which I can hear in context and internalize. A search for laud reveals a number of songs containing the word. The list goes on!
  1. Take your flashcards to the gym. The repetition of many fitness activities, from running on the treadmill to doing push-ups, makes them perfect for studying vocabulary. Plus, with your body moving, your brain is better activated. I like to pick a word at a time and repeat it, with its various definitions, 10 or 20 times along with my movements. After the first read, try doing the rest of the repetitions from memory.
  1. Put a face or motion with each word. Some people learn kinetically, and most of us benefit from learning in more than one way. Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are the four classic ways to learn language, but adding in motion and other sensory learning methods can really help. Associating a word with a grimace, a disgusted face, a sigh, a huge smile, a growl, a sly look, or a jump into the air can help cement its meaning in a way that memorization can’t. Try it!
  1. Use Google Images search to “picture” words. A general Google search is of course a great learning tool, but don’t forget about Google Images. An image may stick in your mind in a way that words don’t. Image-search a word such as lavish or luminous, and it will stick with you. You can even print out an image that really helps you and put it on your flashcard—for this test, that’s often definition enough.
  1. Color-code or sticker your flashcards or notes. Sometimes you come across a word on the GRE that you know you knew. Once upon a time, you read and defined the word, but it’s not cemented in your memory. In those cases, even a glimmer of the word’s meaning can make a difference. Think about putting all the “bad” words in red and all the “good” words in green. Or putting smiley-face stickers on all the words that define something positive or pleasant. At any convenience store, you can buy a pack of round label stickers in red, green, yellow, and blue—why not assign those colors to mean bad, good, happy, and sad?
  1. Match a stack of words to a collection of items. For me, forcing vocabulary words into categories helps me to understand them. It makes me tell a story, which causes me to think about the word in a new way. Sorting words is one great way to do this. But for a different take, try taking a collection of items and assigning each word to one of the items. This might mean you dump out a box of crayons or the contents of your spice rack, and then force yourself to assign each vocabulary word to one of those items for whatever reason you can come up with! The collection doesn’t have to be physical items—it could be your list of Facebook friends or the contacts in your phone. Searching your mind for qualities that each word’s definition shares in common with an item or person in the collection helps form connections that stay with you.
  1. Write the word in a way that shows its definition. Writing is often neglected as a learning tool, especially with more students printing or buying pre-made flashcards than ever before. But if you’re stuck on a word, try writing or doodling it in a way that mixes the word with the meaning. Maybe you turn the “o” in loquacious into an open mouth, talking and talking. Maybe you write the word lethargic long and melting along the bottom the page, or the word inimical covered in spikes.
  1. Label a magazine or newspaper with vocabulary words. Whether you print your trouble words on actual labels or just crack open a magazine with a pen, try putting those words on other words, images, or ads that evoke the correct meaning. When you go through the process of searching for words or images that match the word and meaning you have in mind, you are actively using the words and their definitions—and that’s the best way to long-term memory!
  1. Post your top-ten hit list where you’ll see it. Despite all the unique, multifaceted ways you find to study vocabulary, there will probably be some words that elude them. Pick ten of the worst offenders, and give them each a one-word definition. Then, put those words and their definitions on a Post-it note, and put that note somewhere you can see it. Sticking it on the bathroom mirror and reviewing it while you brush your teeth is a great option, or posting it by your computer at work. Once you feel you’ve mastered those words, make another hit list. Short, manageable chunks and lots of repetition are key.

If you have other ways that have helped you learn vocabulary, please share them with us! ?

Want more guidance from our GRE gurus? 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 Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – February 11, 2013

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.

gre challenge problem
Note: Figure not drawn to scale.

In the figure above, quadrilateral ABCD is inscribed in a circle and AC is the diameter of the circle.

Quantity A

The perimeter of ABCD

Quantity B


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Free GRE Events This Week: Feb 11- Feb 17


Here are the free GRE events we’re holding this week (All times local unless otherwise specified):free

2/11/13– New York, NY- Free Trial Class– 6:30- 9:30 PM

2/12/13– Denver, CO- Free Trial Class– 6:30- 9:30 PM

2/11/13– Online- Mondays with Jen– 7:00- 8:30PM (EST)

Looking for more free events? Check out our Free Events Listing Page.