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Causality on the GRE

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Causality on the GRE by Neil Thornton

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Ready to take the plunge? Check out our upcoming courses here.


You may have heard the maxim “correlation does not imply causation” before. It’s a common expression, but what does it mean for your GRE score? Lots. Read more

GRE Interest Problems

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Interest Problems by Neil Thornton

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Ready to take the plunge? Check out our upcoming courses here.


Interesting Interest

Deposit money into a savings account and you will earn interest. Rack up a bunch of charges on your credit card, and you’re going to be charged interest. In the real world, the bank takes care of calculating interest for you, but if the word “interest” shows up on the GRE, you’re going to need to know how to calculate it yourself. Read more

GRE Percent Change Questions

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Percent Change Problems by Neil Thornton

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.


One of the most common mistakes many students make on the Quant section of the GRE is to misread percent questions, especially ones that ask you to calculate percent change (i.e. increase, decrease, more, less, greater, discount, or profit). You can fix this issue with a bit of practice, but it requires some careful reading on your part. Read more

Tackling GRE Word Problems: One Thing at a Time

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Tackling GRE Word Problems: One Thing at a Time by Neil Thornton

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.


“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” -Confucius

Recently, one of my students emailed me the following question. I imagine at some point in your GRE practice you’ve run into the same issue: Read more

Your Attention, Please!

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Your Attention, Please! 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.


The GRE is a loooong test. Sure, it’s broken up into 20 and 30 minute chunks, but you’re going to be sitting in front of that computer for more than 4 hours. Honestly, that’s too much time for any of us to focus effectively.

When was the last time you focused on one thing for 4 hours? I mean, besides Netflix or your Xbox? Has your ability to pay attention gotten better or worse lately? If email is a part of your life, if you have Facebook or Twitter, if you watch cable news (if you’re a human being who lives in the modern world) then chances are, your ability to concentrate on one task is nowhere near what it could be. Recent studies show that our attention span has dwindled to about 8 seconds before our minds start to wander. Read more

10 Podcasts to Make You Smarter and More Productive

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - 10 Podcasts to Make You Smarter and More Productive 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.


When in doubt, if you’re not studying for the GRE, you should be reading a book (any book, seriously). However, while you’re walking around the city or doing dishes or commuting or shopping, reading isn’t an option if you don’t want to have an embarrassing accident. But you can put on some headphones and learn tons of great things for free. 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

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

I Took a Practice Test and My GRE Score Went Down! What’s Happening?

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - I Took a Practice Test and My Score Went Down! What's Happening? 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.


Sorry to hear your score isn’t improving yet. That’s the ugly nature of standardized testing; it’s designed to give you the same score over and over again. You’ve spent a lot of time and effort learning a bunch of new things, but on practice tests, the results aren’t showing up yet. Or even worse, after six weeks of hard work, your score took a major nosedive. That’s okay. You’re not alone. Many, if not most, of our students experience a drop in scores on their second test, and may not see an improvement until test 4 or 5. It happens to lots of people. Don’t be discouraged. You can make your score better. Read on. 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

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Manhattan Prep GRE Instructor Neil Thornton - Book Reviews to Ace the Test

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. Is important to me to stay up-to-date with anything that will help my students use their study time effectively. In this blog series, I’ll be bringing you book reviews and recommendations, as well as excerpts and summaries you can put into practice right away on your GRE journey. Read more