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Categoría: Book Reviews & Resources

How to Contextualize Goals in Your MBA Application Essay

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - How to Contextualize Goals in Your MBA Application Essay by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your business school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we’re featuring a series of admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


When business school candidates read an MBA application essay prompt, they often interpret it quite literally. For example, when a school asks applicants a multi-part question such as “What will you contribute to our school’s community, and how will being part of it help you extend your professional vision?,” many applicants assume they must answer the sub-questions in the exact order in which they are asked. However, this is not true. Such questions are actually quite flexible, and sometimes, you can better engage your reader by pursuing your own structure.

We have found that for overrepresented candidates with unique professional goals, one strategy that can be quite helpful is leading with goals instead of professional history. After all, “typical” experience is not as captivating as unusual (but realistic!) ambitions. So, the technologist who plans to open a boutique hotel or the investment banker who aspires to start a competitive windsurfing circuit can use these bold goals to stand out from the start.

We must emphasize, however, that such candidates need to have and portray a compelling connection to their goals, and we do not suggest that overrepresented candidates strive to imagine or create “wild” goals just to catch an admissions committee’s attention. However, if you have a profound connection to an uncommon aspiration, then responding to a school’s questions in a different order and ensuring that your goals are front and center could make a difference.

Another trend we have noticed is that when tailoring their MBA application essay to specific schools, many candidates do not go far enough to demonstrate a clear and understandable connection between themselves and their target programs. Offering school-specific information is good, but you must go beyond merely mentioning the particular resource(s) that appeal to you—you must add context for your claims.

What is the difference between a mere mention and providing context?

Mention:

“With a focus on entrepreneurship, I will participate in Columbia’s Entrepreneurial Sounding Board process. Further, I am attracted to classes such as ‘Small Business Finance,’ ‘Real Estate Marketing,’ and ‘Introduction to Mergers.’ I also plan to join the…”

Context:

“With clear plans to launch my startup immediately after graduating from Columbia Business School, I look forward to testing my ideas through the Entrepreneurial Sounding Board; I find this opportunity to meet with faculty and gain critical feedback and mentoring invaluable as I strive to refine my business plan and learn more about how to source investments…”

In the first example, the candidate shows an awareness of the Entrepreneurial Sounding Board but does not provide the context necessary for the reader to fully understand how he/she will use this resource; therefore, the mention is entirely superficial. As a result, it is unconvincing, impersonal, and easily forgettable. The applicant has seemingly not taken the time to reflect on this resource and how he/she would use it to progress toward his/her stated goals. The candidate then goes on to list the classes he/she plans to take and essentially succeeds in little more than cataloging resources rather than offering a reasoned consideration of how the school’s offerings are necessary.

The second example better explains exactly how the candidate will use the resource mentioned; the applicant has clearly done the necessary research on the school and truly grasps how Columbia Business School will satisfy his/her academic and professional needs. Because the latter example is more informed and serious minded, the admissions reader can be certain that the candidate has a set path and a clear plan to achieve specific goals. 📝


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - mbaMission LogombaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.

The post How to Contextualize Goals in Your MBA Application Essay appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

This Simple Visualization Exercise Will Help You Beat the GRE

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - This Simple Visualization Exercise Will Help You Beat the GRE by Chelsey Cooley

When I’m not teaching the GRE or writing this blog, I like riding my bicycle absurdly long distances. For the last five months, I’ve been training for one of the hardest bike races of my life: the 206-mile, 14-plus-hour Dirty Kanza. And now I want to share the best piece of advice I was given while training, because it applies to GRE test day just as much as it applies to bike racing.

A couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to get to chat with a woman who’s won Dirty Kanza a couple of times—including a win on her very first attempt. The conversation turned to the strategies she uses to succeed on race day. When she brought up visualization, I immediately assumed that I was supposed to visualize myself winning. If you want to overcome an obstacle, whether it’s a 200-mile bike race or the GRE, you should picture yourself overcoming it, right?

Maybe not. Instead of picturing myself succeeding, she invited me to picture myself failing. I was supposed to imagine rolling across the finish line hours late, having had a terrible race. “Now,” she said, “try to think of all of the excuses you might be making if you don’t do well.”

I imagined trying to explain that my back was bothering me, that my bike had gotten a flat tire, or that I had forgotten to bring enough water. Any number of things could send my race completely off the rails.

Each of those imaginary excuses, she explained, was actually something that I could fix right now, before race day. If I thought I might run out of water, I should start measuring how much water I needed during my training rides. If I was worried about back pain, I should start stretching and work on my posture on the bike. Almost anything that could put an end to my race could be prevented, if I started working on it before race day.

So, let me extend the same invitation to you. Imagine finishing the GRE, and getting a score that you’re really unhappy with. What excuses can you imagine making? Make a list on paper. For each excuse, there’s probably something you could do to help right now, before test day.  

For instance, here’s one I often hear: “I didn’t have enough time to finish a section.” That doesn’t mean the GRE should have given you more time on test day. Running out of time isn’t something that happens to you—it’s a consequence of actions you take on and before test day. It means you didn’t guess enough, or you should have practiced your pencil-and-paper arithmetic, or you didn’t identify the problem types that take you the longest. There’s so much you can do prior to test day to avoid having to make this excuse!

Or, you might picture yourself saying, “I got really anxious during the test, and it threw me off.” A little anxiety might be unavoidable, but you can take steps now to ensure that it doesn’t derail your GRE. Read this article about anxious reappraisal and give it a try. Check out these tricks for staying calm during the GRE, and plan to use one or more of them on test day.

Something could happen during your GRE that you can’t predict. For all you know, a meteor might fall through the roof of the testing center! But it’s more likely that if you start thinking of the excuses you might make if you fail, you’ll come up with the situations that are most likely to cause you problems on test day. If those situations are unexpected, they could hurt your score. But if you anticipate them ahead of time, you can make sure they won’t cause you any problems.

What are you most worried about on test day? Feel free to share or offer your own advice in the comments. 📝


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Chelsey CooleyChelsey Cooley Manhattan Prep GRE Instructor is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170Q/170V on the GRE. Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GRE prep offerings here.

The post This Simple Visualization Exercise Will Help You Beat the GRE appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

GRE Sentence Equivalence Questions: What Makes a Pair?

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Sentence Equivalence Questions: What Makes a Pair? by Cat Powell

There are two types of fill-in-the-blank vocabulary questions on the GRE: Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence. Text Completion questions ask you to fill in one, two, or three blanks with a single word; Sentence Equivalence questions ask you to fill in one blank with two words. Often, students think of these as the “synonym” questions, but that’s not entirely accurate; being too focused on looking for exact synonyms trips up some test takers. Others aren’t rigorous enough when looking for a pair. In this article, I’m going to discuss exactly what we’re looking for when we “pair” answers for Sentence Equivalence and what common traps we should avoid.

The official instructions for Sentence Equivalence questions are:

Select the two answer choices that, when used to complete the sentence, fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole and produce completed sentences that are alike in meaning.

We’re looking for two words that, when we plug them into the sentence, give us the same general idea of what that sentence is saying. This means that our correct answers don’t have to be exact synonyms, but they do need to be close enough that they don’t alter the core meaning of the sentence.

I sometimes use this test: if I were told that someone or something were X, could I reasonably assume it was also Y? Let’s try out this test with a potential pair of words that came up in a class I taught recently: demanding and critical.

Let’s say, for example, that I was told someone is demanding, meaning that they expect a lot or have high standards. Could I reasonably assume that this person is also critical, meaning that they are discerning or tend to pass judgments (which are often, but not always, negative)? In everyday life, maybe. People who are demanding seem like they’d be inclined to be critical. But for GRE purposes, no. Critical adds layers of meaning that demanding lacks. Consider each of these in a sentence:

(A) She was a very demanding teacher.
(B) She was a very critical teacher.

These are clearly different teachers. The teacher in sentence A sounds like a teacher you might like to have; she’d push you, but in a way that felt fair. The teacher in sentence B? Well, she might offer more negative or more judgmental feedback.

Try out this idea with a set of actual answer choices. See what pairs you can spot here.

  • Exciting
  • Dangerous
  • Opulent
  • Reportorial
  • Costly
  • Expensive

Here, I’d pair “costly” and “expensive.” These are the only words that really match one another. Notice that “opulent”—rich, luxurious—seems close in meaning (it has to do with money). It’s like “critical” when compared to “demanding,” though; one adds layers of meaning that the other lacks. “Exciting” and “dangerous” might be tempting, too, since dangerous things are often exciting—but this is even more of a stretch than “critical” and “demanding.”

Let’s double-check our thinking on this by consulting the sentence these answers go with:

The frequent and wide-ranging travels of a photo-journalist are often _______, racking up huge bills for freelancers working without a guarantee of payment.

Nice! I have the clue “racking up huge bills,” which further confirms that “costly” and “expensive” are the right pair. Notice that “exciting” and “dangerous” are both, on their own, tempting choices; they seem like good words to describe “frequent and wide-ranging travels.” However, by being rigorous about how I pair my answers, I can avoid this trap.

Pairing answers is a good step to add to your Sentence Equivalence process, if you don’t do this already. When the sentence is confusing, looking for pairs in the answer choices can help focus your reading. In this case, you might skip ahead to the answer choices and then return to the sentence to look for clues. Even when you do have a good understanding of the sentence, pairing answer choices can still help you to avoid falling into GRE traps. 📝


Want more guidance from our GRE gurus? 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.


cat-powell-1Cat Powell is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in New York, NY. She spent her undergraduate years at Harvard studying music and English and is now pursuing an MFA in fiction writing at Columbia University. Her affinity for standardized tests led her to a 169Q/170V score on the GRE. Check out Cat’s upcoming GRE courses here.

The post GRE Sentence Equivalence Questions: What Makes a Pair? appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Math and the Growth Mindset

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Math and the Growth Mindset by Tom Anderson

Do you consider yourself a “math person?”

Actually—hold on a second. Whether you answer yes or no, you’re expressing a potentially harmful thought. Such thoughts reflect a fixed mindset about oneself—a belief that you’re born good at some things and bad at others. Carry that line of thinking a little further:

“Math people” grew up solving quadratic equations in their heads as toddlers. They always just “got it.” Everyone else had to work hard to get there. “Non-math people” could more easily run 10 miles backwards than calculate a tip at a restaurant. If you’re a “math person,” congrats on the easy grades and high GRE scores for the rest of your life. If you’re not, then too bad. It’s hopeless.

I believe that such thoughts are not just untrue, but downright harmful. There’s a growing body of research on this issue. Many readers of this blog entry will no doubt have heard of Carol Dweck, her book Mindset, and her TED talk, which currently has over 7 million views. Dweck argues that the way you view yourself has a huge impact on your success. It’s not just those who think they’re “naturally bad at something” who are at risk, by the way. One of the most negatively-impacted groups seems to be very high-performing students who think it’s all about being “naturally good at something.” I would encourage you to leave behind those fixed ideas of being a “math person” and instead adopt a mindset of growth.

In this entry, I’ll share with you a few ideas from research in educational psychology about growth mindsets and what you can do to develop one. In particular, I’ve been reading a book called Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler. I’ll share with you some ideas from this book.

You Can Rewire Your Brain (to Become a “Math Person”)

First of all, know that your brain can be changed. In one intriguing study, researchers looked at the brains of cab drivers in London who had to memorize over 25,000 streets and 20,000 landmarks in order to qualify for their jobs. During the intensive training process, cab drivers showed dramatic growth in the hippocampus—the area of the brain that is used to acquire spatial information. Their brains were so affected by their practice that they showed measurable growth in the very brain matter inside their heads.

This concept that the brain can change and adapt in dramatic ways is called neuroplasticity. There are abundant examples of it. Stroke victims can sometimes regain their speech by rewiring a new region of their brain. People paralyzed in accidents can sometimes regain their movement; in one extreme case, an individual even lost the entire left hemisphere of her brain and was then able to regrow its functions in the remaining right hemisphere.

Aside from these extreme examples, we all experience neuroplasticity when we learn. Your brain is more like a muscle that can grow with exercise than like a computer that’s stuck with the processor it was built with.

Mistakes Matter

Take a few minutes and watch this video of a Swiss watchmaker who has been making watches by hand for 50 years. He tells us, “It’s not easy because you learn all your life. Even at my age, I learn every day and very often by making mistakes.” An expert in nearly any field will tell you the same thing: they’ve made their most significant learning through mistakes rather than successes.

The research backs them up. Not only do experts learn from making an incredible number of mistakes, they seem to learn more when making mistakes than when doing something correctly. Jo Boaler summarizes some research on the issue:

“Students’ brains reacted with greater […] electrical activity when they made mistakes than when their answers were correct. Second […] brain activity was greater following mistakes for individuals with a growth mindset than for individuals with a fixed mindset. The study also found that individuals with a growth mindset had a greater awareness of errors than individuals with a fixed mindset, so they were more likely to go back and correct errors.” Mathematical Mindsets (p.12)

It may not always feel this way, but mistakes are not something that should make you cringe. They’re probably the most worthwhile tidbits from any study session. And they’re even better for you if you open yourself up to growth, log them, and go back to correct them.

Think of it this way: your brain grows a synapse every time you make a mistake. A good practice session shouldn’t be easy. Get out there and start making some mistakes!

Process > Product

A good teacher will make it clear: the route to a right answer is much more important than the right answer itself. Of course, on an exam like the GRE, you want to get as many points as possible. But you get those points by carefully thinking about the problem in front of you and the solution paths it beckons you to use.

In the same way that you don’t improve your free throws by focusing on the “whoosh” a basketball makes when it goes through the net, you shouldn’t try to improve your problem-solving process by going straight to an answer key. Instead, focus on the steps to get there.

When you practice on your own, try thinking of your answer keys and explanations less like the finish line and more like consultants to whom you can turn for feedback along the way. Rather than just checking the right answer, peek at the explanation to see if the work you’ve done is on the right track. If so, continue onward. If not, go back and revise. Try to lead yourself to the correct answer rather than just reading what it is.

Believing You Can Grow is Part of the Recipe for Growth

On the first day of my GRE class, I often ask my students a similar question to the one I asked at the beginning of this blog entry—I ask them to raise their hand if they’ve come into my classroom with an idea floating around in their subconscious that they are “bad at math.” Every time I ask this question, a few reluctant hands pop into the air, followed by an avalanche of others, until a huge majority of hands silently confess this belief.

It’s easy for me to believe that there is no such thing as being “bad at math”—for years, I’ve seen my students bring up their GRE Math scores, sometimes to levels they never thought possible. That said, I’m well aware many folks have been traumatized by math in their prior education. Even many well-meaning teachers may have conveyed the notion that math is a gift, and either you have it or you don’t. Take heart and do what you can to throw out these “fixed” notions that may be rummaging around in your brain. Just like your math ability can be changed, so can your mindset.

Believing that you can get smarter is part of the process in doing so. 📝


Want more guidance from our GRE gurus? 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.


tom-andersonTom Anderson is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in New York, NY. He has a B.A. in English and a master’s degree in education. Tom has long possessed an understanding of the power of standardized tests in propelling one’s education and career, and he hopes he can help his students see through the intimidating veneer of the GRE. Check out Tom’s upcoming GRE courses here.

The post Math and the Growth Mindset appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

mbaMission & Manhattan Prep Host Exclusive Q&A with Admissions Officers from Top-Ranked B-Schools

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - mbaMission & Manhattan Prep Host Exclusive Q&A with Admissions Officers from Top-Ranked B-Schools by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your business school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we are featuring a series of admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


As the 2018–2019 admissions season quickly approaches, many MBA hopefuls have burning questions that they wish they could ask the admissions officers of top-ranked business schools. mbaMission is here to help!

Our founder and president, Jeremy Shinewald, recently hosted an online Q&A session with admissions officers from Columbia Business School, the Yale School of Management (SOM), the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the MIT Sloan School of Management. Check out some of the highlights and most pressing questions below before delving into the video:

  • One question on many applicants’ minds is whether the percentage of international applications declined in the most recent admissions season, and by how much. According to the admissions officers, international applications are indeed on the decline, but perhaps not as dramatically as some might think.
  • Many exciting things are happening at each of the schools represented in the chat. For example, Chicago Booth welcomed a new dean recently, while Yale SOM has welcomed a plethora of new faculty members.
  • Stay tuned for Yale SOM essays and deadlines for the 2018–2019 admissions season. Those will be out within just a few weeks!
  • Applicants who choose to take the GRE in lieu of the GMAT can ease their minds—all admissions officers agreed that there is absolutely no preference for one over the other!
  • Other popular questions included the following: Should applicants shy away from applying in Round 3, and does applying in Round 3 put one at a disadvantage? How about at Columbia Business School, which accepts applications on a rolling basis?
  • Deferred admission programs are attracting more and more interest. Are the schools taking advantage of this? Columbia Business School and MIT Sloan say yes but stay mum on the details for now.

For the entire in-depth discussion on these topics and much more, check out the Youtube video! 📝


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - mbaMission LogombaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.

The post mbaMission & Manhattan Prep Host Exclusive Q&A with Admissions Officers from Top-Ranked B-Schools appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Cracking the GRE Code

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Cracking the GRE Code by Chelsey Cooley

The GRE will never lie to you—but it doesn’t always tell you what you really want to know. The GRE is a little bit like my friend in this exchange:

Me: “What do you think of this outfit?”

My friend: “Well, it’s very… creative.”

Sure, it’s not like she lied (zebra-striped leggings are pretty creative). But she also didn’t come right out and call me a fashion victim. In order to work that out, I had to crack the code.

You already know how to “crack the code” in English. Codebreaking is how we figure out what people really mean, even though we exaggerate, simplify, avoid touchy topics, and change the subject. And on the test, codebreaking is how you start to understand a GRE Math problem.

Here’s an example of a GRE Math problem that’s full of code:

What is the largest integer n such that 5n is a factor of 10!?

1. …

2. …

This problem looks fairly intimidating, but if it just said what it meant in plain English, it’d be a lot easier. The people who write GRE Math problems want to intimidate you a little, if they can—that way, they can reward people who calm down, take a deep breath, and focus on what the problem really means. Let’s do exactly that right now.

10! is pronounced as “10 factorial,” and it’s code for a very large number: the number you’d get by multiplying 10, times 9, times 8, times 7, and all the way down to 1.

If something is a factor of 10!, you can divide 10! evenly by that number. For instance, 2 is a factor of 10!. So is 20.

We really want to know whether 5n divides evenly into this large number. 5n is code too. An exponent just refers to a number such as 5, 5×5, 5x5x5, 5x5x5x5, or any number of 5s multiplied together. Since the problem asks about the largest integer n, you’re looking for the largest number of 5s that you can possibly divide evenly into 10!.

So, here’s what the problem says now:

10x9x8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1 can be evenly divided by 5x5x…x5. What is the largest number of 5s that can be evenly divided into the larger number?

“Divisible” or “evenly divided” is code as well. If you want to know if one number is divisible by another number, here’s a great way to do it. Write a fraction, with the bigger number on the top and the smaller number on the bottom. Start simplifying that fraction, a little bit at a time. If you can cross off the entire bottom of the fraction, you know the number is divisible. If you can’t, it isn’t divisible.

If we were solving this problem, we’d write our fraction like this:

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Cracking the GRE Code by Chelsey Cooley

How many 5s can be crossed off on the bottom? As many 5s as there are on the top. Notice that 10 can be rewritten as 5 times 2.

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Cracking the GRE Code by Chelsey Cooley

So, there are exactly two 5s on the top of the fraction. The answer to the problem is 2: 10! is divisible by 5².

Here’s what the GRE Math problem really said, ignoring all of the code:

In total, how many 5s can be divided out of the numbers 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1?

You aren’t supposed to go through all of that codebreaking on GRE test day. There just isn’t time. If you see a GRE Math problem that has code you don’t know how to translate, consider guessing and moving on. But, here’s why codebreaking is still important: if you do it ahead of time, you’ll recognize the code quickly when you see it on the test.

If anything about the problem we just did was surprising or challenging for you, take a moment to make some flashcards. On the front of the flashcard, write a piece of code you could see in a problem. On the back, write out what it really means. Here are the flashcards that I’d make for this GRE Math problem:

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Cracking the GRE Code by Chelsey Cooley

Let’s practice some codebreaking and get a few more flashcards made. Here are some snippets of “GRE code.” Take your time and work out what they’re really saying, in plain English. Then, make a flashcard or two for each one.

  1. xy ≠ 0
  2. x is divisible by 6, but not by 12
  3.  + 1 is odd
  4. p has exactly two factors
  5. p has an odd number of factors
  6. /b < 0

Try it out, and let us know what you think in the comments! 📝


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Chelsey CooleyChelsey Cooley Manhattan Prep GRE Instructor is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170Q/170V on the GRE. Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GRE prep offerings here.

The post GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Cracking the GRE Code appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Interact for GRE, Our New Adaptive & Interactive GRE Prep, is Here!

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Interact for GRE, Our New Adaptive & Interactive GRE Prep, is Here! by Manhattan Prep

We’re extremely excited to announce that Interact for GRE—our on-demand, interactive GRE self-study experience that’s been in the works for years—has officially launched. 🎉

Starting at just $249, Interact for GRE is a revolutionary learning experience made just for you, the busy grad school applicant who needs flexible and comprehensive GRE prep. Using branching video technology, Interact for GRE adapts to your performance by providing you with prompts and delivering customized feedback based on your responses.

With Interact for GRE, you will:

  • learn from top 1% GRE scorers with years of teaching experience
  • be an active participant in the study experience—you won’t just watch instructors lecture you from slides.
  • work with videos that adapt to your strengths and weaknesses so that you spend the right amount of time on each topic.
  • get all the practice problems you could ask for (100,000+) to ensure that the lessons did their job.

Check out Interact for GRE here—you can learn what it’s all about, see what’s included, and even try it out for free. 📝

The post Interact for GRE, Our New Adaptive & Interactive GRE Prep, is Here! appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

GRE Sentence Equivalence: Charge Traps

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Sentence Equivalence: Charge Traps by Chelsey Cooley

In this article, GRE instructor Tom Anderson asks a smart question: is it better to sort of know a lot of GRE words, or to really know a few GRE words? It turns out that you’re better off if you learn fewer words, but really learn them well. If you don’t, here’s one way the GRE could trick you.

Most of the toughest GRE words are adjectives: descriptions of people, situations, or things. Adjectives are a bit like cupcakes. A sweet cupcake is good, but a cupcake that’s too sweet can make your teeth ache. They’re both sweet, but one is tasty, and the other is, well, gross.

Likewise, lots of GRE adjectives have “evil twins.” One word is sweet, but the other is too sweet. Here are some examples.

thrifty – miserly

sentimental – mawkish

respectful – obsequious

devout – priggish

ornate – ostentatious

All of these pairs share the same relationship. Someone who’s miserly is too thrifty. If a poem is mawkish, it’s too sentimental. If an employee is obsequious, she’s not just respectful, she’s so respectful that it’s kind of weird. And so on. The second word is a “too sweet” version of the first word.

If you only sort of know these words, you can see how you might assume they mean the same thing. After all, thrifty and miserly both mean “cheap,” and ornate and ostentatious both mean “fancy.” But do they mean the same thing on the GRE? Nope.

So, what if you see both of them in the answer choices? It depends.

Suppose you’re doing a GRE Sentence Equivalence problem—the type of problem where the two right answers will be synonyms. Here’s one possible set of answer choices:

crafty

gawky

hardy

miserly

stingy

thrifty

The first three answer choices are right out, since none of them has a twin. That leaves us with miserly, stingy, and thrifty. Let’s call this ‘situation number 1’—where you have three answer choices that sort of mean the same thing.

This is what we call a charge trap. The three words have similar meanings, but one of them has a different “charge”—thrifty is a neutral word, while miserly and stingy are much more extreme, and therefore bad. Since only two of the words really match each other, you should choose miserly and stingy, regardless of what your fill-in was.

When you learn a new word, take note of whether it has a strong charge, either good or bad. This is especially true if it’s a more extreme version of some other word you already know. If you’re not sure what the charge of a word is, search for it online and check out how people are using it!

Okay, here’s situation number 2, with a different set of answer choices:

elaborate

gaudy

ornate

ostentatious

pragmatic

rustic

Two answer choices—pragmatic and rustic—are definitely out, since they have no twins. That leaves four possibilities, of which you need to choose two. Take a moment and divide those four words into two pairs, based on their charge.

Ready? Here we go. Elaborate and ornate have the same (neutral) charge, while gaudy and ostentatious share a negative charge. Other than that, they basically mean the same thing: fancy.

To choose a pair, let’s go back to the golden rule of GRE Verbal: Find the Proof. Every GRE Verbal problem has one and only one right answer, and you can always prove that the right answer is right.

If you can’t prove that a strong word is right, you should choose a neutral one. However, if the sentence contains proof for the stronger word, the stronger word is the right answer. Here’s a sentence that might go with those answer choices from above:

“Gilding the lily” is a 19th-century expression that was first coined to describe the ________ décor adopted by those who were too eager to display their recently acquired wealth; some owners of Beaux Arts homes, for instance, would cover up the beautiful but subtle carvings of flowers around their entranceways with a layer of flashy gold gilt.

There’s a lot of proof here for ostentatious and gaudy. The homeowners were too eager to display their wealth; they covered up beautiful but subtle features of their homes in favor of something more flashy.

This next sentence doesn’t have proof for a strong word, so you should pick the neutral pair:

In the late 19th century, architecture and decoration took a turn for the ________, with many owners of Beaux Arts homes embellishing their entryways with intricate carvings of flowers inscribed with gold gilt.

There’s no proof here that the decoration was too ornate—and if you can’t prove the stronger answer, you can’t pick it. If this is the sentence you’re dealing with, choose ornate and elaborate.

In short, here’s how to avoid charge traps:

  • Pay attention to charge when you learn new GRE words;
  • If you see three similar words in the answers, ask yourself whether they have different charges;
  • If you see two pairs with different charges, only pick what you can prove using the sentence.

If you follow those guidelines, you’ll deepen your vocabulary knowledge and protect yourself against trap answers on GRE Sentence Equivalence! 📝


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Chelsey CooleyChelsey Cooley Manhattan Prep GRE Instructor is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170Q/170V on the GRE. Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GRE prep offerings here.

The post GRE Sentence Equivalence: Charge Traps appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

What Should I Look for in a GRE Trial Class?

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - What Should I Look for in a GRE Trial Class? by Tom Anderson

As you may know, we open up the first session of our 8-session Manhattan Prep GRE Complete Course as a free GRE trial class for anyone to attend. What happens in a GRE trial class? Why bother attending one? I’m sure every class is a little bit different, but there are some things you can expect to see, as well as a few things you should make sure to look for.

1. Why take a standardized test class in the first place?

When I was a high school student preparing for the SAT, I never really considered taking a test prep class. In retrospect, I really should have—I just never considered it at the time. I have a hunch that it had something to do with my own deep misunderstanding of how standardized tests work. I thought that the SAT tested how smart you were. It was called the “Scholastic Aptitude Test,” after all. Surely, smart people just did well on it and that was that. Actually, in the 1970s, the SAT was renamed the “Standardized Achievement Test.” Why the name switch? I think they realized such a silly test could not and should not pretend to test someone’s innate ability. Rather, it tests a set of discrete, learnable skills. In many ways, the SAT just tests how well you prepared for the SAT.

Likewise, the GRE—at its core—is just testing you on how well you prepared for the GRE. And you will almost definitely do better on it if you put in some deliberate practice. When I approached the GRE as an adult, I did so in a much different way than I’d studied for such tests in the past. I dug deep into the problems I missed, ironed out weaknesses in the 5 lb. Book, and noticed that the problems were usually much easier when I pushed past the content to look for time-saving and efficiency strategies.

After years of considering myself “a bad standardized test taker,” I surprised myself with how well I did on my GRE. I also recently went back and took the SAT again. (That might seem peculiar—30-year-old me sitting there with a bunch of teenagers getting ready to go to college—but sometimes you’ve got to do such things if you’re a test prep instructor.) After years of teaching the GRE, I was surprised at how much easier this test felt compared to when I was in high school.

When I was younger, I really struggled on it; I took it twice and got the same mediocre scores on both attempts. When I went back and took it as an adult with lots of relevant practice, I scored about 200 points higher. What was the difference? There may have been some maturity and a college education at play. But I think the most significant factor was that somewhere along the way, I learned how to prepare for standardized tests. They’re not intelligence tests, and they really do keep testing the same few themes over and over again.

However you prepared for tests when you were younger, consider approaching the GRE with a mindset that embraces your potential to grow. Even if you never considered yourself a “good test taker,” you can learn to become one. A good test prep class will show you how to begin that transformation.

2. What’s covered in a GRE trial class?

In a Manhattan Prep GRE trial class, you can expect to look at the structure of the test, analyze the way it’s scored, and then spend the brunt of the three-hour class actually solving and talking about problems. Along the way, you’ll learn (or re-learn) some things about how exponents and triangles work.

In a good class, though, your teacher won’t just stop at the content and rules. A good class will also introduce you the personality of the test. In my class, we refer to this GRE persona as “Ethel”—a peculiar and exacting spirit who knows some common errors in thinking and tries to induce those mistake patterns in similar ways, over and over again.

Take, for example, a simple comparison:

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - What Should I Look for in a GRE Trial Class? by Tom Anderson

Ethel knows that your first instinct is probably to simplify quantity A and B, rewriting each as “x.” She knows that you’ll probably want to pick answer choice C. And she’s messing with you.  

This is a pretty common move. If the two sides seem equal and it seems really easy to prove that… then C is probably a trap answer. Pause for 10 seconds and ask yourself whether they’re still equal when you plug in a negative number. The correct answer to this question should be D.

A good test prep class will introduce you to such situations, and will make you aware of the “personality of the test” and themes that come up in such tricky questions. Many of us Manhattan Prep teachers have actually grown to enjoy these little puzzles. (I sometimes write about them in blog entries like this one.) Once you’ve had these patterns highlighted for you, you’ll find that your awareness makes you sidestep all sorts of common pitfalls you weren’t really noticing before. Who knows, you may even find yourself having a little fun doing so.

3. What kind of teacher do I want?

I’m sure you know that an ideal teacher is somewhat a matter of personal taste. And while I do think my colleagues are all fantastic teachers in their own ways, I’d encourage you to attend a GRE trial class before you commit to 8 full weeks with any of them in particular. Any teacher can tell you how the content works; a good teacher will also leave you feeling inspired and will give you a fundamentally different way of thinking about something than you had before.

For some of you, you’ll find that you gravitate toward a benevolent, kind teacher who knows how to encourage you. Others will find that you need a tough personality—a teacher who holds you accountable, challenges you, and gets you out of your comfort zone. If you attend my GRE trial class, you’ll probably find that I’m far from that “drill sergeant.” I certainly hope you’ll enjoy the class, but I’m sure many folks will find they need a teacher who’s a little tougher on them. If that’s you, I know a few other teachers I’d highly recommend. One way or another, you should try a GRE trial class to determine whether your teacher is a good fit for you.

4. Not just the what, but the why.

Finally, a GRE trial class should leave you not just knowing what to work on, but how and why. If you really understand how your memory works, for example, you’ll spend about 1/3 as much time memorizing vocabulary as someone who just makes simple flashcards and churns through them repetitively. In your first class, you may learn the definitions of the words “arcane” and “archaic.” Ideally, you’ll also learn how to tell them apart and how to generate some good flashcards for them:

Archaic = old (like this old arch)

Arcane = mysterious (like the magic spells of a cane-wielding wizard)

I’ve written a little bit about such memory moves in blog entries like this one. A good class will consistently make you aware of how your brain works and how to use it best.       

In your GRE trial class, your teacher will also introduce you to your course books, videos, flashcards, and apps, as well as give you some guidance on how to best approach studying them (hint: it’s definitely not just plowing through page by page, trying to do everything). Ideally, you’ll leave that first class with a crystal-clear game plan for what you should be doing before the next class starts.

5. Let us know what you think.

Hopefully I’ve got you thinking about whether or not you want to attend a GRE trial class and about what you should look for if you do. If you’ve been to a GRE class (whether with Manhattan Prep or some other test prep company), be sure to let us know what you thought about it. Shoot us an email or post about it in the comments below. 📝


Want more guidance from our GRE gurus? 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.


tom-andersonTom Anderson is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in New York, NY. He has a B.A. in English and a master’s degree in education. Tom has long possessed an understanding of the power of standardized tests in propelling one’s education and career, and he hopes he can help his students see through the intimidating veneer of the GRE. Check out Tom’s upcoming GRE courses here.

The post What Should I Look for in a GRE Trial Class? appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Mission Admission: I Must Have Done Something Wrong

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Mission Admission: I Must Have Done Something Wrong by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your graduate school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we are featuring a series of admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


You have a high GRE score and a 3.75 GPA. You have made solid career progress and procured glowing recommendations. You have been actively volunteering in your community for years. You worked hard on your application and landed an interview at your target school, where you felt you did well. But you still did not get in. You must have done something terribly wrong in your interview or unwittingly made a mess of your essays, right? Not necessarily.

We recently spoke with the admissions director at a top program who explained that his school does not give feedback to rejected candidates because it is simply a waste of the candidate’s and admissions staff’s time. The admissions director told us that the school would need to nitpick in order to give candidates something to work on and to ensure that they filled the time during these hypothetical feedback sessions. He explained that nine times out of ten, the feedback that they offered to weaker candidates would be patently obvious and that countless strong applicants had done nothing wrong at all. In fact, most candidates create their best applications, but space is simply limited in the class.

Although this may not be comforting if you were rejected, you may just have been the victim of a competitive process during a competitive year. We suggest that you honestly assess your own candidacy and consider staying the course as you continue applying. Spending significant time revamping your applications may be a waste of time and a losing strategy. Patience may prove beneficial in the long term.


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - mbaMission LogombaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.

The post Mission Admission: I Must Have Done Something Wrong appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Why Bother Predicting a GRE Verbal Answer?

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Why Bother Predicting a GRE Verbal Answer? by Chelsey Cooley

One habit of Verbal high-scorers is predicting the GRE Verbal answer before checking the answer choices. Here’s why this works, and how you can do it yourself.

1. Predicting the GRE Verbal answer makes sure you really read the sentence (or the passage).

Think about how you read in the real world.

When you read a book or an article, you usually don’t do a deep read of every single sentence. Unless you’re a lawyer, small misunderstandings don’t matter that much.

You have to read more closely to succeed on the GRE. You’re not only trying to get the basic idea, you’re also trying to answer questions, some of which can be downright nitpicky. But close reading doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us.

One way to force yourself to read closely, especially on Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence problems, is to predict the right GRE Verbal answer after you read. On these two problem types, we call this prediction a “fill-in”—you fill in the blank(s) in the sentence with your own word(s), before you look at the actual answer choices.

If you finish reading the sentence and you can’t come up with a fill-in, your brain is letting you know that you didn’t really “get” the sentence!

If you can’t predict the GRE Verbal answer at all, reread the sentence more closely. You may have missed an important clue. Sure, looking at the answer choices can give you a nudge in the right direction—but you shouldn’t rely on them as a crutch. Instead, practice reading closely. After all, looking at the answer choices can be dangerous…

2. Predicting the GRE Verbal answer protects you from “confirmation bias.”

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, certain answer choices just “look right”?

Sometimes, these great-looking answer choices are actually right. However, a great-looking answer could also be a really smart wrong answer.

Confirmation bias is the cognitive bias that makes us look for support for what we already think is correct. If you look at the answer choices too soon, and one of them looks great, your brain will start looking for evidence to prove that answer and ignoring evidence that supports other answers.

If the GRE Verbal answer you noticed is the right one, this is a good thing! But if you got tricked by a nice-looking wrong answer, it’s easy to talk yourself into picking it, even if it’s not really correct. Once you decide which answer is right, it’s hard to change your mind.

When you predict a GRE Verbal answer ahead of time, you’re protecting yourself against confirmation bias. By the time you look at the answer choices, you already know what the right answer should look like. Since you’ve already done the thinking, you (hopefully) won’t talk yourself into a wrong answer. You’ll go straight to the right answer that best matches your prediction.

Of course, sometimes our predictions are wrong or don’t match any of the answer choices. Prediction is a skill that you can practice. Every time you do a GRE Verbal problem in practice, predict an answer before you check the choices—if it helps, you can even write down your prediction. Once you check the answer choices, evaluate your prediction. Gradually, you’ll get better at anticipating right GRE Verbal answers.

3. Predicting the GRE Verbal answer protects you from some of the most common traps.

What makes a wrong GRE Verbal answer a “trap”? A trap is any wrong answer that you’d arrive at by making a common, simple mistake.

For instance, on Verbal, you might get overwhelmed and focus too much on the jargon in a sentence, ignoring the underlying structure. There’s a trap for that: it’s called a “theme trap.” Here’s an example:

Contrary to the assumptions that many Westerners hold about mindfulness practices, meditation is often anything but ____________; while using various methods to calm the mind, meditators frequently experience intense periods of restlessness and doubt.

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Why Bother Predicting a GRE Verbal Answer? by Chelsey Cooley

The theme trap here is mystical. The sentence talks about mindfulness and meditation, which can be somewhat mystical practices. If you focus too much on what the sentence is about, and not enough on what it says, you could fall for this trap. (By the way, the right answer is idyllic, which means peaceful and joyous.)

If you predict the GRE Verbal answer first, though, you hopefully won’t even notice mystical. After all, there isn’t much evidence in the sentence that would lead you to mystical before you look at the answer choices. You should fill in the blank with something like restful or relaxing, which are great matches for the right answer.

Hopefully this has convinced you to try predicting the right GRE Verbal answer, if you weren’t already! It might feel a bit unnatural or time-consuming at first, but there are a lot of good reasons to keep working on it. If you can master this skill, you’ll be on your way to improving your GRE Verbal score. 📝


See that “SUBSCRIBE” button in the top right corner? Click on it to receive all our GRE blog updates straight to your inbox!


Chelsey CooleyChelsey Cooley Manhattan Prep GRE Instructor is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170Q/170V on the GRE. Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GRE prep offerings here.

The post Why Bother Predicting a GRE Verbal Answer? appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

SAT Tutoring is Here!

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - SAT Tutoring is Here! by Manhattan Prep

You heard it here first: the exceptional prep we’re known for is now available for the SAT.

We’re determined to provide as many people as possible with the best teachers they’ve ever had, so we decided to expand our offerings.

We’ll still be applying the same standards to our SAT instructors as we do to our GRE instructors—not only do our SAT tutors hail from some of the top universities in the world, they’re experienced teachers, exceptional people, and life-changing role models.

Why use Manhattan Prep’s SAT tutoring? Every tutor:

  • scored in the top 1% on the SAT
  • works with students individually to fit their learning style and needs
  • teaches critical thinking skills that work on the test and beyond

Schedule a consultation now! 📝


 

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Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The “Right” MBA Path

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.


Each year, we hear from a few people who think their professional position is a liability when applying to business school: “I am a school teacher. Maybe if I transitioned to consulting, I would get into the school of my dreams.” Although bankers and consultants are certainly much more represented at top business schools than teachers, this is not evidence of a bias among admissions officers, but of the nature of those workplaces. Most bankers and consultants need an MBA to progress past a certain point on the corporate ladder, whereas no teacher truly needs that MBA to progress.

What is more important than focusing on an industry or on a particular community endeavor is your performance in your endeavors. Classes at top-ranked MBA programs have space for high-performing consultants, bankers, and teachers—something that cannot be said for low-performing individuals in any field. Top programs want a diversity of experience in their classrooms and the promise of achievement going forward, not a job title. 📝


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - mbaMission LogombaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.

The post MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The “Right” MBA Path appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

GRE Math Misconceptions

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math Misconceptions 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.


Math can be counterintuitive. There are a few GRE Math misconceptions that really seem like they should be true—but actually aren’t. Being prepared for them will keep you aware on test day.

Mistake: 1 is prime.

Fact: 1 isn’t prime. In fact, the smallest prime number is 2.

Why?: It seems like 1 should be prime, because you can’t divide it by any other integers. However, mathematicians have agreed to say that 1 isn’t a prime. This makes certain mathematical theorems much simpler and more intuitive. Even though you won’t use those theorems on the GRE (phew!), you have to deal with their consequences by remembering that 1 isn’t prime.

Mistake: 3-4-5 and 30-60-90 triangles are the same thing.

Fact: A right triangle can be 3-4-5 or 30-60-90, but not both.

Why?: Here’s a couple of 3-4-5 triangles next to a couple of 30-60-90 triangles. Even if the triangles get bigger or smaller, the triangles on the left all have different proportions from the triangles on the right. So, if the sides of a right triangle have the ratio 3-4-5, you know the angles aren’t 30-60-90, and vice versa.

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math Conceptions by Chelsey Cooley

Mistake: If the ratio of teachers to students at a school is 1 to 4, then 1/4 of the people at the school are teachers.

Fact: In this scenario, only 1/5 of the people at the school are teachers!

Why?: A fraction always represents a part of a particular whole. In this case, the part is the number of teachers, and the whole is all of the people at the school. So, the denominator of the fraction has to be the sum of the teachers and the students, not just the students alone.

Try it out with numbers to confirm. If there are 10 teachers and  40 students, then 10 out of the 50 people at the school, or 1/5, are teachers.

Mistake: The average of the numbers from 1 to 10 is 5.

Fact: The average of the numbers from 1 to 10 is 5.5.

Why?: Intuition tells you that 5 is halfway from 1 to 10. However, to find the average of a bunch of consecutive numbers, you need to average the smallest and largest numbers together. The right answer will be the average of 1 and 10, which is (1+10)/2 = 11/2 = 5.5.

Confirm this by actually averaging the numbers from 1 to 10. Here’s the sum:

1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10 = 55

There are 10 terms, so the average is 55/10, which equals  5.5.

Mistake: If x is 25% greater than y, then y is 25% less than x.

Fact: If x is 25% greater than y, then y is only 20% less than x.

Why?: This is one of the most counterintuitive math facts out there, but the numbers back it up. Suppose that a coat costs 25% more than a sweater. If the sweater costs $100, the coat would cost 1.25($100), or $125.

However, if a sweater costs 25% less than a coat, and the coat costs $125, the sweater only costs 0.75($125) = $93.75.

‘Percent more than’ and ‘percent less than’ aren’t interchangeable. Pay close attention to which term the problem actually uses. If it says ‘percent more’ or ‘percent greater,’ then use a decimal greater than 1, such as the 1.25 figure from the example above. If it says ‘percent less’ or ‘percent smaller,’ then use a decimal lower than 1, such as 0.75.

You can also prove this specific example using fractions. If x is 25% greater than y, then x is 5/4 of y. Use algebra rules to get y by itself:

x = 5/4 y

4x = 5y

4/5 x = y

y is fourth-fifths as large as x. Since the missing 1/5 is equivalent to 20%, y is only 20% smaller than x. 📝


See that “SUBSCRIBE” button in the top right corner? Click on it to receive all our GRE blog updates straight to your inbox!


Chelsey CooleyChelsey Cooley Manhattan Prep GRE Instructor is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170Q/170V on the GRE. Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GRE prep offerings here.

The post GRE Math Misconceptions appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Read an Article a Day to Boost Your GRE Verbal Score

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Read an Article a Day to Boost Your GRE Verbal Score by Cat Powell

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.


I have a very vivid memory of taking the GRE and realizing that, in the middle of “reading” a Reading Comp passage, I was actually staring at the wall. I often share this anecdote in my first GRE class and ask how many students have had a similar experience; most hands go up.

Boredom and distraction are two of the biggest enemies many of us face when doing Reading Comprehension on standardized tests. We’re being asked to read a number of different passages on topics that may not interest us and that often use language that’s difficult to decipher. Plus, the test is long, and the more fatigued we get, the harder it is to sustain attention.

The good news, though, is that attention can be trained through practice, much as one would build endurance by running regularly. One simple way to build attention (and boost your GRE Verbal score) is to read one article a day that deals with a topic you’re not already familiar with.

Here are a few guidelines for structuring this outside reading so you can work towards improving your GRE Verbal score.

  1. Read articles from disciplines that are outside your comfort zone. For example, if you’re a humanities person, read science articles.
  2. Pick articles that are GRE-like. This means they should be fairly sophisticated in style, vocabulary, and content. I’ll include a few examples below.
  3. Read with a purpose. You should never just read for the sake of reading on the GRE. As you read each article, focus on finding the answers to these questions: What is the author’s main point? Why did the author write this article? You may even take this exercise a step further by jotting down brief answers to these questions after you’ve finished reading.

If you work full-time, outside reading is a great way to get in some study time on weeknights, when you might be too tired for more intense work, like solving difficult math problems. Added bonus: you’ll learn some cool new things.

To jumpstart your reading, here are a few articles from GRE-level sources. Since science and technology passages are often the trickiest for many students, all of these articles are on scientific topics. Enjoy!

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

Say hi to ’Oumuamua, our first interstellar visitor! Astronomers on Maui spotted this weird-looking object last October. Learn more about its origins here.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Rewilding” sounds pretty cool. This article discusses the ecological impact of reintroducing predators like wolves in places where they’d previously been eradicated. There are some adorable pictures included, too.

PHYSICS TODAY

For a more challenging read, check out this article on why life on Earth looks the way it does. Why do most organisms have legs and not wheels? And what might this tell us about what we could expect from alien life forms?

THE ATLANTIC

The ability to pay close attention to complex tasks is a core GRE skill—and one that’s hardly encouraged by our high-tech lifestyle. Check out this article to learn more about how to improve your attention span, while also practicing Reading Comp to boost your GRE Verbal score. 📝


Want more guidance from our GRE gurus? 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.


cat-powell-1Cat Powell is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in New York, NY. She spent her undergraduate years at Harvard studying music and English and is now pursuing an MFA in fiction writing at Columbia University. Her affinity for standardized tests led her to a 169Q/170V score on the GRE. Check out Cat’s upcoming GRE courses here.

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Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Study Like an Athlete: What Rock Climbing Taught Me about the GRE

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Study Like an Athlete: What Rock Climbing Taught Me about the GRE by Tom Anderson

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.


I’ve written before about how it’s healthy to think of GRE study more like an athletic event you’re preparing for and less like run-of-the-mill studying. If you study for the GRE by memorizing formulas and glancing at written explanations, you’ll likely get very little out of your study.

As a student with some pretty terrible study habits, I first attempted the GRE in the same way I’d always studied. I didn’t do that well. When I prepared to take it a second time, I tapped into my experiences an an athlete and used them as a model for my study. To my happy surprise, I did much better.

I would encourage you to think about GRE prep more like an exercise routine than a typical study session. In this entry, I’ll share a few insights about GRE study from the world of rock climbing. I am by no means an expert rock climber, but I’ve gone from embarrassingly bad to relatively competent in the couple of years I’ve been climbing. Surprisingly enough, I’ve found that climbing has taught me a lot about prepping for the GRE.

You’re Going to Fall

When you decide you’re going to learn how to climb, you have to accept something: you’re going to fall. A lot. In a sport that is fun because it’s challenging, failure is a normal part of the game. Some failures are elegant, and others are really awkward. One way or another, embracing wrongness is an important step toward becoming an expert.

I’ve made mistakes on more GRE problems than I can count. And whenever I do make a mistake, I’ll admit, my first impulse is to sweep it someplace dark and dusty where no one will see it again.

Over the course of my GRE study, that impulse has gradually changed. I started getting more comfortable with being wrong. Unlike in one’s personal life or career where mistakes can be embarrassing and harmful, mistakes on standardized tests are totally benign. Nothing bad happens to you when you forget a vocabulary word or fail to carry a negative sign. In your GRE study, embrace your wrongness and listen for whatever it has to teach you. Start by making an error log.

Repeat the Hard Stuff, Over and Over

When a climber completes a hard route for the first time, it’s often pretty sloppy. Fingers slip around awkwardly on a little hold. Toes go flying off the wall. But somehow, miraculously, the climber reaches the top. At that point, they might be tempted to check it off the list and then move on to another climb. Not so fast. Good climbers do repeats. They might do this 3 or 4 or even 10 times before they move on to something else.

I frequently see my GRE students make a similar study mistake. Rather than go back and re-solve problems that gave them trouble, they just try finish each chapter in their books. Even worse, they spend their time reading explanations of how to solve the problems rather than actually going back and doing them again.

Even if you theoretically understand how to do a problem, you really have to go through the motions—and do it a few times—before you master a problem. A good rule of thumb: do every missed problem a second time, 4 days after your first try. Do this problem a minimum of four times before you check it off your list.

Consider keeping a folder full of problem screenshots. You can pull them straight from your CAT exams and from the e-book versions of the Strategy Guides. If you keep your target problems in a special place and come back to them routinely, you’ll improve so much faster than you would if you just moved on.

Make It Look Easy

If you ever watch really good rock climbers in action, you’ll notice something curious: they make it look incredibly easy. I’m often inspired enough by this sight that I’ll take a crack at the same route, only to collapse on the floor, unable to get off the ground.

Sometimes it may feel like “expert test takers” do the same thing. They have such an easy time taking a test like the GRE that it appears as if they put no effort into it at all. While it might be tempting to write it off as “being a good test taker,” what we’re really seeing is the product of lots of deliberate practice. Whether whizzing through standardized tests or looking like Spiderman on a rock wall, experts master their respective fields in remarkably similar ways: they repeatedly come back to their particular weaknesses—anything that feels slow or funky—and work on them until they feel easy.

In the world of the GRE, this means you shouldn’t just be repeating the problems you got incorrect. The most important ones to work on are the ones you almost got wrong. If you can get a problem correct in an ugly way, you can probably learn to get it correct in a faster, smoother, and easier way.

If fraction mechanics like the ones in the back of the Fractions, Decimals, and Percents Strategy Guide usually take you 30 seconds to complete, time yourself until you can get them down to 10 seconds apiece. Not only will this make all sorts of related problems feel easier to you, but you’ll save a lot of time as well. 20 seconds saved here and there throughout the test adds up to a few problems you would have never been able to attempt if you were moving slowly.

And the really cool part about this? Research seems to indicate that stuff really does become easy when you practice it enough. Compared to novices, expert chess players and problem solvers show less activity in their brains while they work.

Don’t Look Down

After climbing for a few years, I somehow convinced my 58-year-old mother—a woman with a healthy fear of heights and a strong desire to stay alive—to come out and do a day of rock climbing with me. To my utter astonishment, she not only tried it, but shot up the rock wall with ease. Then, about 60 feet off of the ground, she turned around to wave at those of us back on the ground. In a flash of terror, she realized where she was, panicked, and demanded to be brought down immediately.

Later, after she was down safely on the ground, she remarked at how carefree she felt while climbing and how suddenly the fear took hold of her when she realized where she was. Most of us have had some kind of experience like this: as long as your attention is on the move in front of you, you’re fine. The second you start thinking about the big picture, panic sets in.

The same thing can definitely occur during a GRE exam. It is a challenging exam that is tied in to your grad school future—a fact that has a way of inducing tunnel vision and sweaty palms. Halfway through your test, you’ll be solving a problem about something random, say, circles. As long as you’re thinking about circles, you’ll be fine. But you may find yourself plagued with less helpful thoughts:

“There are only 10 minutes left in this section.”
“What if I’m only in an easy section right now? I can’t be doing well.”
“What will my friends think when I tell them my score?”

First, know that a little bit of stress can actually be healthy—it fuels you to do better than you would if you didn’t care so much about the test. If the stress becomes too great, though, you can center yourself by taking a deep breath and taking a moment to be mindful of the present. Give yourself a brief internal mantra: “I’m getting this one right.” In other words, you don’t care about the problem you just saw or the problem you’re about to see. You’re focused only on the one right in front of you.

Keep on Climbing Toward Those 170s

There are numerous analogies for study—from running a marathon to preparing for a piano recital. One way or another, think of it more like a performance you’re preparing for and less like a study checklist to move through. And whatever your metaphor of choice, remember these few big ideas from the world of rock climbing:

  1. Do old problems over again. Try any missed problem a second time 4 days later.
  2. Repeat old problems until you can do them without all the missteps along the way.
  3. Work on mechanics until they feel easy. You’ll want all the brain power and time you can get for the hard problems.
  4. Keep focused on the problem at hand. If your mind wanders or anxiety overtakes you, center yourself with the mantra “I’m getting this one right.”

Happy studying! 📝


Want more guidance from our GRE gurus? 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.


tom-andersonTom Anderson is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in New York, NY. He has a B.A. in English and a master’s degree in education. Tom has long possessed an understanding of the power of standardized tests in propelling one’s education and career, and he hopes he can help his students see through the intimidating veneer of the GRE. Check out Tom’s upcoming GRE courses here.

The post Study Like an Athlete: What Rock Climbing Taught Me about the GRE appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

While Waiting for Grad School Interview Invitations, Consider What to Expect

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - While Waiting for Grad School Interview Invitations, Consider What to Expect by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your graduate school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we are featuring a series of admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner,  mbaMission.


As grad school interview invitations roll out, do your best to remain calm and let the admissions committees do their work. Although becoming a little apprehensive is natural if you have not yet received an invitation, you will certainly not increase your chances of receiving one by calling the admissions office and asking if the school does indeed have all your files or if a grad school interview decision has been made. In fact, such calls can actually have a negative effect on your candidacy, inadvertently making you seem pushy or even belligerent.

Admissions offices are increasingly transparent and should be taken at their word. If they say they are still releasing decisions, then they are in fact still doing so. If they say that the timing of your grad school interview decision does not signify an order of preference, then it does not. Unless something has changed materially in your candidacy, all you can really do—as painful as it may be—is wait patiently and try not to think about the decision or second-guess your status.

As the application season reaches its final rounds, we thought it would be appropriate to discuss some challenging grad school interview situations you might encounter. Most grad school interviews are straightforward opportunities for an interviewer to learn more about a candidate’s personal and professional backgrounds, goals, reasons for selecting a specific school, and leadership/team experiences. Yet interviews can vary dramatically from school to school, and sometimes they include a few peculiarities. So, what constitutes a “tough” grad school interview, and how can you best navigate one?

Stoic interviewer: Some interviewers can be unemotional, refusing to give you any indication as to whether you are making a positive impression or not. And amid the intense pressure of a grad school interview, you may perceive this lack of clear positive response as a sign of actual disapproval. The key to managing such a situation is to tune out the interviewer’s lack of emotion. Focus on your answers and do your best to not be distracted by anything about the interviewer, ignoring everything except the questions he/she is posing. “Reading” the interviewer in real time can be challenging, so you should instead concentrate on showcasing your strengths.

Philosophical questions: Most candidates are ready to discuss their experiences and accomplishments, but many are not prepared to discuss their values and philosophy on life. Harvard Business School, in particular, likes to understand applicants’ motivations and will ask questions like “What is your motivation to succeed?,” “What drives you?,” and “What gives you purpose in life?” The key to answering these sorts of questions is pretty simple: expect and prepare for them in advance (after all, you are being warned right now). However, you should not assume that all the questions you will receive during your grad school interview will be experiential.

Persistent questioning: Sometimes a tough interviewer will continuously delve deeper into a subject, such as by repeatedly asking “Can you be more specific about [the topic under discussion]?” after posing an initial question. These kinds of unusual pressure tactics can be disconcerting, but the key is to simply stay on topic. No matter how persistent he/she is, the interviewer is always essentially asking you about a subject that you know quite well—you! So again, by avoiding the distraction of the tactic and sticking to your agenda, you should be fine. 📝


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - mbaMission LogombaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.

The post While Waiting for Grad School Interview Invitations, Consider What to Expect appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

The Vocabulary Builder Workbook is Published!

I’m excited to announce that the Vocabulary Builder Workbook has officially been released on Amazon!

The book doesn’t just give you 1,400 important words (though you do get that, too!). You also get word histories, along with helpful example sentences and exercises at the end of each chapter.

And because you are seeing how the words work in context, they’ll be more likely to stick.

Vocabulary Builder Workbook-magoosh

For the ultimate vocabulary one-two combo, many of the words in the Vocabulary Builder Workbook appear in my popular YouTube vocabulary series, better known as Vocabulary Wednesday. All you have to do is type in the vocabulary word and “Youtube GRE Vocab Wednesday” into Google and the video will come up. For instance, if the word is “reticent,” you’d type reticent Youtube GRE Vocab Wednesday and you’ll get me describing the word in real time.

So whether you need to learn these words for a test, hope to improve your writing, or simply become a sharper thinker, pick up a copy of my Vocabulary Builder Workbook today.

Magoosh students score 12 points better than average on the GRE. Click here to learn more!

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About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 10 million views. You can read Chris’s awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog! You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!