### 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

### GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: What Is a Variable, Really?

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**Imagine a world where every conversation went like this:**

**Student**: When is our final project due?

**Professor**: Three days after the first Wednesday after your rough draft is due.

**Student**: What?

**Professor**: The rough draft is due 15 days after the date 6 days before May 14.

Solving a GRE math word problem is a little bit like having this kind of conversation. That’s why word problems can be so infuriating. The problem isn’t *lying *to you. It’s just telling you the truth in a really annoying, backwards way. (Reading Comprehension problems do that too—it’s not just a Quant thing.)

In the conversation above, how would you work out the due date of the final project? Personally, I’d start by getting out my calendar. I’d start at May 14, then count 6 days backwards. Then, I’d count 15 days forwards, put a star on the calendar, and mark it ‘rough draft.’ Then I’d find the first Wednesday after that date, and finally, I’d count three days forward from there. That would give me my answer. Read more

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

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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

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

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*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

### GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Right Triangles

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Geometry is one of the most polarizing topics on the GRE. If you think it’s great, this article isn’t for you! This set of tips and tricks is for those of us who would rather have a root canal than calculate the length of a hypotenuse.

Check out this Quantitative Comparison problem: Read more

### GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Data Interpretation

Math is unavoidable on the Quantitative sections of the GRE. But it isn’t *all *about math. By leveraging your strengths — and learning just a couple of ultra-simple math rules — you can gain the advantage over certain Quant problem types, even if you’re more of a Verbal person. Here’s how to apply that idea to Data Interpretation. Read more