Articles tagged "GRE Problem"

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

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

Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence: A Little Grammar Does a World of Good (Part 3)

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2-19-Grammar-PtIII-2In a way, the environmental movement can still be said to be _________ movement, for while it has been around for decades, only recently has it become a serious organization associated with political parties and platforms.

The above sentence is a SE example from the 5Lb Book of GRE Practice Problems, #89.  Today’s discussion explores a third element of sentence structure that is easily overlooked – pronouns!  They can greatly help you clarify the meaning of a sentence.  (And if you didn’t notice already, do you see what I did in the previous sentence?  They – did this pronoun catch your eye?)

The challenge with pronouns isn’t that they are difficult to address, it’s that they are nearly invisible to us, because we have spent our entire adult lives ignoring them when we read and speak.  As a test, how many pronouns have I used just in this short paragraph?

Here’s one way I want you to ‘see’ the earlier SE example:

In a way, the environmental movement can still be said to be ________ movement, for while it has been around for decades, only recently has it become a serious organization associated with political parties and platforms.

Stop mid-sentence, and address those ‘it’s.  This mental exercise is not about finding the target, clues, and pivots, although you should be aware a pronoun could certainly be the target.  This is about making sure you understand the sentence.  Mentally, you should read the sentence as
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GRE Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence: A Little Grammar Does a World of Good (Part 2)

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2-17-GrammarPtIISo, in my last post, I discussed finding the core sentence, using punctuation to help us break a sentence into manageable chunks.  We looked at two sentences; I’ve re-copied one of them below.

The director’s commercially-motivated attempts to (i)_______ the imperatives of the mass marketplace were (ii)_______, as evidenced by the critical acclaim but low attendance garnered by his film.

We focused on how the comma breaks the sentence in half: one half is the actual core sentence, and the other half describes how the director’s attempts were critically, but not commercially, successful.

This time, let’s dive into what’s happening with that first blank, and now I’ll give you the answer options:

sequester

obey

secure.

Many, many students in my classes choose ‘secure’, and that really puzzled me.  If a class doesn’t know the answer, there’s usually a fairly even division among the choices.  What I saw wasn’t students guessing; they thought they had the correct choice in ‘secure’.  Somehow, the third option was a trap.  How?

I have a theory: ‘secure’ is a trap because students link the first blank to the wrong element, the wrong target.  I think many students link that first blank to the word ‘marketplace’, and then think about how someone would want to ‘secure’ a ‘market’ for a product (in this case, a film).
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GRE Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence: A Little Grammar Does a World of Good (Part 1)

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2-9-LittleGrammarWhile studying for the GRE Text Completion (TC) and Sentence Equivalence (SE) questions, you naturally want to study vocabulary.  After all, that’s what the test is testing, right?

Yes and no.  The GRE does test vocabulary, but it also tests your ability to analyze a sentence and divine the author’s intended meaning.  (And for those of you keeping score at home, did I use the word ‘divine’ correctly?  Are you familiar with this less common usage?)

And so, we preach (sorry, with the word ‘divine’ earlier, I had to!) a method for TC and SE that involves identifying the Target, Clues, and Pivots in the sentence.  All well and good, but how do you to this?  Here’s where the following limited grammar discussion should help, because although the GRE does not directly test grammar, a little grammar knowledge can be immensely helpful!

We begin with the core elements that every sentence contains: the subject and the verb.  Separating the subjecting and the verb from other elements (which I will generically call descriptors) is part 1 of my TC and SE analysis.  Part 2 is matching each descriptor to what it describes.

So let’s see two examples.  One is a TC example from Lesson 1, the other is a SE example from the 5 lb. Book.
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The Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – December 2, 2013

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Math Beast
Each week, we post a new GRE Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for two free Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides.

What is the greatest prime factor of 399?

To see this week’s answer choices and to submit your pick, visit our Challenge Problem page.

The Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – November 25, 2013

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Math Beast
Each week, we post a new GRE Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for two free Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides.

If n is a positive integer greater than 1, then the function p(n) represents the product of all the prime numbers less than or equal to n. Which of the following is the second smallest prime factor of p(11) + 12?

 

To see this week’s answer choices and to submit your pick, visit our Challenge Problem page.

The Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – October 21, 2013

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Math BeastEach week, we post a new GRE Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for two free Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides.

The outer figure above is a rectangle with four rounded corners of radius equal to 2.  The inner figure is a circle.

gre challenge

 

Submit your pick over on our Challenge Problem page.

The Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – October 7, 2013

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Math BeastEach week, we post a new GRE Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for two free Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides.
Screen shot 2013-10-08 at 12.20.46 PM

 

See the answer choices and submit your pick over on our Challenge Problem page.

The Math Beast Challenge Problem of the Week – August 26, 2013

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Math BeastEach week, we post a new GRE Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for two free Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides.

Screen shot 2013-08-26 at 10.55.41 AM

Screen shot 2013-08-26 at 10.55.46 AM

 

See the answer choices and submit your pick over on our Challenge Problem page.