Articles published in Math Basics

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 Math for People Who Hate Math: Which of the Following is a Factor of x?

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math:  Which of the Following is a Factor of x? by Chelsey CooleyDid 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.


Did you know that you can solve ‘which of the following is a factor’ problems with hardly any math at all? It just takes a little basic arithmetic, logical reasoning, and creative thinking — skills that you already have.

Take a quick look at this problem: Read more

7 Ways to Avoid Careless GRE Math Errors

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - 7 Ways to Avoid Careless GRE Math Errors by Chelsey CooleyDid 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.


There’s nothing wrong with missing a GRE Quant problem because it’s too hard. That’s just the way that the test is designed — there are Quant questions on the GRE that will challenge even the mathematical geniuses among us. However, it’s much more frustrating to miss a problem that you could’ve gotten right, just because you made a silly mistake. Try out the following tips to cut down on careless math errors on the GRE. Read more

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: A Gentle Introduction to GRE Divisibility Problems

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GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: A Gentle Introduction to GRE Divisibility Problems by Chelsey CooleyDid 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.


12 is divisible by 3. 24,700 is a multiple of 100. x/15 is an integer. 6 is a factor of 17k. All of this language — divisible, multiple, integer, factor — signals that you’re about to begin a divisibility problem. Do you find these problems intimidating? Do you sometimes have no idea where to start? If so, this article offers a simple, painless way of thinking about divisibility that you can use on a wide range of GRE problems. Read more

Let’s Have Fun with GRE Exponents

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blog-exponentsYou may already know the basic rules of exponents for the GRE. These rules tell you what to do if you want to multiply or divide two exponential numbers, or raise an exponent to another power. Once you’ve memorized them, exponent problems become exponentially easier (I’m so sorry). But there are two types of exponent problems that many students find intimidating, because the basic rules just don’t seem useful. In this article, we’ll go over those two problem types, how to recognize them, and what to do if you see one. Read more

Here’s How to Create Your Own GRE Quant Cheat Sheet

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Blog-cheatsheetDo you remember, when you took exams in high school or college, being allowed to bring a one-page ‘cheat sheet’? I always spent days putting those cheat sheets together in my tiniest handwriting, summarizing an entire semester’s notes on a single page. The funny thing is, by the time I took the exam, I almost never needed to look at the cheat sheet I’d created. After spending all of that time creating it, I had practically memorized my notes. So, even if you can’t bring a cheat sheet with you to the GRE, you can still benefit from creating one. Synthesizing your notes and thoughts on a single page will give you the ‘big picture’ view of a topic, and will teach you what you do and don’t know. Read more

Here’s how to always know what to do on any GRE problem

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Blog-GREAnyQuestion“When I see this, I will do this”: a GRE study tool

“I know all of the rules, but I’m nowhere close to my goal score.”

“When I study, I understand everything right away. But when I took the actual GRE, I couldn’t make it happen.”

“I never know what to do when I see a Quant problem for the first time. If somebody tells me how to set the problem up, I can do it perfectly, but I can’t get started on my own.”

“I get overwhelmed by Verbal questions. I’ll think that my answer makes sense, but then I’ll review the problem and realize that there were a dozen different things I didn’t notice.”

If any of those statements ring true for you, you’re not alone. You’ve probably been studying for a while, or you at least have a good grasp on the basic math, logic, and vocabulary. But getting a great GRE score isn’t just about knowing the content. It’s also about always knowing what to do next. That’s what the “When I see this, I will do this” technique is for.See_this_do_this_empty_table_-_12_8_2015 Read more

Here’s the safest way to handle GRE percentage problems

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Blog-PercentageWhen you take the GRE, you need a strategy for percentage problems that works every time. Here’s that strategy, in four easy steps.
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This simple approach will help you avoid mistakes on GRE algebra

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Blog-SimpleApproachGRE high-scorers might not be smarter than everyone else, but they do think about the test differently. One key difference is in how high-scorers do algebra. They make far fewer algebraic mistakes, because, either consciously or subconsciously, they use mathematical rules to check their work as they simplify. Here’s how to develop that habit yourself. Read more

The GRE’s not a math test – it’s a foreign language test!

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Blog-GRE-LanguageImagine that you asked a friend of yours what she got on the Quant section of the GRE. Instead of answering you directly, she said “let’s just say that 4 times my score is a multiple of 44, and 3 times my score is a multiple of 45.”

Could you tell what score she got? If not… you may need to work on your GRE translation skills!  Read more