### GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Absolute Value

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**Think of an absolute value as a simple machine that looks like this: ||. You put a value into it, and the machine answers a single question for you: how far away from zero was the value that you put in?**

The basic operation of the machine is simple. Take any number, put it into the machine, and find out how far from zero that number is. The absolute value of 12, |12|, is equal to 12. The absolute value of -10, |-10|, is equal to 10. That’s because -10 is 10 units away from zero.

It starts to get complicated when the GRE asks you to put things into the machine that are more complex than simple numbers. Imagine that somebody else is operating the machine. She puts values in, but she doesn’t tell you what those values are. All you can see is the *answer* that the machine gives when it receives those values. Read more

### Here’s How to Know Which Cases to Test on GRE Quantitative Comparison Problems

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Sometimes, the two sides of a Quantitative Comparison problem both simplify to specific values. Here’s what this type of problem looks like. This one is from the 5lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems: Read more

### Manipulating Inequalities and Absolute Value on the GRE

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Most people dislike absolute value, and inequalities can tie us up into knots. Put them together, and we can have some major headaches! Let’s test one out.

Set your timer for 1 minute and 15 seconds for this Quantitative Comparison problem and GO! Read more