Articles published in Learning Science

Careless Mistakes on the GRE: Go Slow to Go Fast

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Careless Mistakes on the GRE: Go Slow to Go Fast 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.


It’s okay to make mistakes on the GRE. You can miss plenty of problems and still get a great score. However, it matters why you make those mistakes. Miss a problem because you don’t know how to solve it? That’s totally okay (as long as you don’t waste too much time). Miss a problem because you added two and three and got six? That’s a problem, and here’s how to fix it: stop trying to go fast. Read more

The Last Week before Your GRE: What to Do

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - The Last Week before Your GRE: What to Do 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.


It’s the last week before your GRE! What should you do this week to maximize your odds of a great score? Read more

Becoming a GRE Expert

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Becoming a GRE Expert 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.


By virtue of being human, you are, in all likelihood, a Face Wizard.

You are incredibly good at identifying other people’s facial expressions. You can pick up on the curve of someone’s lip, or the furrow of a brow. You can detect the slightest blink, or the flare of someone’s nostrils. You notice the lightest intake of breath, or the dart of someone’s pupil.

From where do you derive this superhuman ability? Read more

Taking Distance from the GRE

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Taking Distance from the GRE 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.


Studying for the GRE can be challenging—both at an intellectual and a personal level. As you study, it’s easy to feel like your whole value as a person is on the line.

But taking the test too personally can be a bad thing—both for emotional and practical reasons.

On an emotional level, taking the results of the test personally can lead you to high levels of stress and anxiety. And it’s just not worth it to beat yourself up about it.

The GRE is only one factor in the whole picture of you as a grad school applicant. Admissions committees know this and keep this in mind as they evaluate candidates. They also look at your background, your interests, your grades, your recommendations, and your personal essay. A strong personal essay—one that reflects your unique personality and tells a convincing story about why you’re interested in graduate school—is often enough to put you at the top of the pile. A good essay counts for more than any GRE score.

But there are practical reasons to keep a good emotional distance from the GRE, too. Read more

How Much Do I Have to Learn to Beat the GRE?

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - How Much Do I Have to Learn to Beat the GRE? by Chelsey Cooley

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.


Not as much as you might think. However, it’ll still take time, hard work, and a change in mindset. A lot of the learning you have to do to beat the GRE won’t look like what you’re used to. Sure, you’ll spend some time reading books and taking notes. But you’ll also need to study and think in ways that go against what you may have learned in school.

The GRE isn’t a perfect test. For instance, the research is split on whether it predicts how well you’ll do in graduate school. However, people who say that the GRE “doesn’t test anything” or “only tests how well you take tests” aren’t quite right, either. There are certain skills that, if developed, will consistently help you do well on the GRE. And these skills are learnable. One of them is the ability to use your content knowledge under pressure. Read more

Lessons from Learning Science: The Testing Effect

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Lessons from Learning Science: The Testing Effect by Chelsey Cooley

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.


Here’s one surprising way to speed up your GRE studies: quiz yourself. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to take a lot of practice tests. Think smaller. To reap the benefits of the “testing effect,” give yourself frequent, small quizzes on whichever topics you’ve studied lately. Here’s how and why it works. 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

Hack the GRE Vocab: Use Spaced Repetition to Get Maximum Results with Minimum Time Investment

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Hack the GRE Vocab - Used Spaced Repetition to Get Maximum Results with Minimum Time Investment by Ceilidh EricksonDid 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.


Your time is a limited commodity. Studying vocabulary for the GRE can be tedious and time-consuming, and worst of all…inefficient.

If you’re like most students, you flip through flashcards (either premade or hand-made) and quickly try to remember what was on the back. After a few dozen repetitions over a few weeks you probably remember many of them. But…you don’t retain that information for long, and you might not recognize the words when used in a slightly different context.

Vocabulary is a significant component of GRE verbal, but it’s not actually something that you should invest a significant portion of your time studying! That’s because there’s no way to determine which words you’ll see on test day – you might see a dozen of the words you studied, or you might not see any at all.

So, you want to learn as many words as you reasonably can between now and test day with the minimum time spent studying! Read more