Articles published in Challenge Problems

Guessing on the GRE and Moving On

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Guessing on the GRE and Moving On by Cat Powell

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.


Persistence is, in most endeavors, an admirable quality—just not when taking the GRE. For this test, knowing when to give up on a problem, guess, and move on, is a crucial skill. It’s important to remember that this is more than just a test of math knowledge or reading skills; it’s also a test of how one makes decisions under pressure. Read more

GRE Vocabulary Words that Change the Whole Sentence

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Vocabulary Words that Change the Whole Sentence by Chelsey Cooley

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


Let’s take a look at some of the most useful GRE vocabulary words. These words don’t look that important on their own, but they can reverse the meaning of an entire phrase or sentence! Get started by trying out this GRE Text Completion question: Read more

Mental Math Magic (Part 2)

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Mental Math Magic (Part 2) 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.


In my last article, I gave you some time-saving basic arithmetic to memorize and a few tools to calculate more efficiently, using a combination of your brain and your scratch paper.

Today I’m going to throw few fun mental math “tricks” your way. Again, you could always pop out your calculator or do long division and multiplication on your scratch paper, but learning to multiply numbers in your head can be a massive time saver, as well as a good way to double-check what you do put into the calculator. Read more

How to Solve Any GRE Word Problem (Really)

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - How to Solve Any GRE Word Problem (Really) by Chelsey Cooley

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


Word problems get a lot of hate from students. When you read the explanation for a tough GRE word problem, it’s easy to feel like the solution came out of nowhere. Maybe it makes sense now, but how were you supposed to figure it out on your own?

Fortunately, word problems really aren’t so bad—they’re just misunderstood. There’s a strategy for solving GRE word problems, just as there is for any other type of GRE Quant problem. Here’s a way to confidently solve any GRE word problem. Read more

Making the Most of Your Mnemonic: Multi-Meaning Sentences

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Making the Most of Your Mnemonic: Multi-Meaning Sentences by Tom Anderson

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


Why am I thinking about an old spiritual guru, sitting on top of a mountain, eating steaks? It’s because I’m trying to remember the word rarefied. Sure, there are more mundane ways to remember this word, but I have my reasons. Namely, I’m trying to tie several meanings of “rarefied” into a single mnemonic sentence. Read more

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Average Speed

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Average Speed by Chelsey Cooley

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


On the GRE, you will never, ever, ever, ever have to average two speeds together. If a GRE Quant problem gives you two speeds (say, 40 mph and 60 mph), and you average them (ending up with 50 mph), you’ve just gotten that problem wrong. Read more

Mental Math Magic

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Mental Math Magic 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.


Quick!
What is 12 x 9?
What is 9³?
What is the square root of 196?
What is 95 – 37? Read more

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Ratios

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math by Chelsey Cooley

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


I recently had a great conversation about ratios with one of our MPrep GRE classes. It’s a tiny class, and only two students were there that day (hey guys!). When I shared a tricky ratio problem with them, both students had totally different, but equally reasonable, reactions to it. Here’s the problem: Read more

GRE Quant Best Practices: Improving Problem Recognition

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Quant Best Practices: Improving Problem Recognition by Cat Powell

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.


A number of students have recently told me that they struggle with “problem recognition,” particularly in the Quant section of the GRE. What many mean by this is that when they look at a problem, they don’t immediately see how to get to the solution. They might recognize some of the concepts involved, but the problem as a whole has aspects that make it look unfamiliar and difficult. When this happens on the test, in a high-pressure, time-sensitive environment, the resulting feeling can be paralyzing. Read more

GRE Quantitative Comparisons: The Equal-Different Method

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Quantitative Comparisons: The Equal-Different Method by Daniel Yudkin

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.


There are many different approaches to tackling GRE Quantitative Comparisons problems. One of my favorites is something that, in my opinion, generally doesn’t get talked about enough. This method is for people who feel very comfortable with the basics of quantitative comparisons, and have a decent handle on mental math. When executed properly, it can save you a great amount of time on the test, thus giving you the opportunity to solve other problems. It also can help avoid making silly errors by reducing the number of paper-and-pencil calculations you have to do. This method is called the Equal-Different, or E-D, method. Read more