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Can You Ace GRE Quant if You’re Bad at Math? (Part 2)

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Can You Ace GRE Quant if You're Bad at Math? (Part 2) by Chelsey Cooley

You’re here because you’re bad at math, and you want to ace GRE Quant but aren’t sure how. But if you read the previous article, you know that you weren’t born without a “math organ,” and your brain is just as suitable for learning GRE Quant as anybody else’s. That doesn’t mean you don’t have challenges to overcome. But you should really be asking, How can I ace the GRE with limited math experience? Or How can I ace the GRE when I don’t know how to study math? Or even How can I get over my math anxiety and get excited about the GRE?

Don’t Panic

There’s a lot of common sense involved in solving GRE Quant problems. If the price of a couch is marked up by 15%, it shouldn’t end up costing $180,000. If you want to know how many eighth-graders are in a classroom, you shouldn’t end up with 2/3 of a student. But when you let math anxiety get the better of you, it’s easy to lose that common sense.

When you start a GRE Quant problem, take a deep breath. This reduces anxiety—and gives your brain some oxygen. Read the problem slowly and calmly. Don’t immediately start asking yourself which equations to use. When you start trying to do the math immediately, you stop trying to understand the story the problem is telling you.

It’s okay to slow down at the beginning of a GRE Quant problem. On the GRE, you don’t run out of time because you read math problems too carefully! You run out of time because you don’t understand the problem, but you try to solve it anyway.

If you struggle with math anxiety—and a lot of people do!—you probably won’t fix it by studying more. Actually, things tend to work the opposite way: studying and practice will be far more effective if you reduce your math anxiety first. Staying calm makes you better at GRE Quant, not the other way around. Here’s another article with some great tips for reducing test anxiety.

Don’t Go from Zero to a Hundred

One huge study mistake I see from “bad at math” students is this: you choose one topic, say, solving linear equations. You drill away at that topic during a killer multi-hour study session, or even over a period of days. You watch videos, read articles, and do practice problems. When you’re finished, you’re exhausted, but confident that you totally understand how to solve an equation. So, you move on to the next topic.

Then you see a linear equation on your practice GRE a week later, and you get it wrong.

The study style described above is called “blocking.” I’ll be the first to admit that there’s something satisfying about it. It’s nice to feel like you’re finally done with a topic that’s challenged you for a long time. But your brain hates it.

This analogy might be a little crude, but just work with me: teaching yourself GRE Quant is a little bit like training a dog. If you want your dog to learn to sit, you start when it’s calm and relaxed, and you don’t try to get it to master the trick in a single marathon session. Instead, you interleave, which is what you should do when you study basic math.

Here’s a great rundown on interleaving. (The article is from our GMAT blog, but everything there applies to the GRE as well!)

In short, give yourself permission to walk away without 100% mastering something. In the long run, that’s actually better for your brain.

Where Should You Start on GRE Quant?

Some math-phobes get along just fine in our 8-week GRE course. If you have a lot of time to devote to the GRE, and you’re confident that you’ll pick up the basics quickly—for instance, if you always did well in math in school, but you’ve gotten rusty—go ahead and dive in!

However, if you’re weak on the math foundations, you might struggle to get as much as possible out of the course and the homework. Consider starting with something like Khan Academy, which has great videos and problem sets on all of the topics covered on the GRE. Good math topics to start with:

  • Working with fractions, decimals, percents, and ratios
  • Writing, simplifying, and solving basic equations
  • Working with equations that have exponents or quadratics
  • Knowing some basic statistics definitions: average, median, range, quartile, and standard deviation
  • Basic geometry formulas, dealing with circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles

You could even begin with the Foundations of GMAT Math Strategy Guide: it’s written for GMAT students, but the content heavily overlaps with what’s on GRE Quant, and the book is a fantastic guide to math basics for adults.

Also, start developing your “math instincts” as soon as you can. You get a calculator on the GRE, but the more confident you are with numbers, the better. Take every opportunity to do simple math or estimation: guess the number of people in a large auditorium, or calculate your tip at dinner in your head, or estimate how much it’ll cost to fill your car up with gas at a certain price. Try out some arithmetic games, like this one. Download the Manhattan Prep GRE app, and start getting in the habit of thinking about math every day.

Next time, we’ll take a deeper look at how to study GRE Quant. You may have been studying inefficiently for your whole life! That could have a lot to do with why you aren’t a math expert—and with a few simple changes, you can start becoming one. 📝


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 Can You Ace GRE Quant if You’re Bad at Math? (Part 2) appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

S is for Summer AND GRE Studying!

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - S is for Summer AND GRE Studying! by Cat Powell

I am, without question, a summer person. As soon as the weather gets warm, I emerge from my perpetual crust of low-grade gloom and become the person I know I’m really meant to be: cheerful, energetic, relaxed (sort of), and ready to spend as much time as I can in the sun, near the ocean, and with friends. Ironically, the season in which I have the most energy is the one in which I’m least inclined to get anything done.

Now, not everyone is a summer person (I have friends who swear their Seasonal Affective Disorder hits hardest in July). But whether or not you thrive in the warmest months, you can harness the general good cheer, longer days, and relaxed atmosphere of the season to make the most of your GRE studying. Here are some thoughts on how to do that.

1. Allocate travel time productively.

Weddings, beach trips, camping, family vacations: for a lot of us, the summer is packed with travel. Whether you’re taking a train, bus, or plane, commit to always using travel time for GRE studying. You can get many resources online or as e-books, so you don’t have to lug around anything besides a laptop. You’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish using travel or commute time alone. When I was in grad school and working nearly full time, I used all of my subway commutes for reading, and I was able to get a big chunk of my schoolwork done that way. It’s a pretty painless way to put serious hours toward your GRE studying. If you’re going to be driving, this becomes a bit more challenging, but not impossible. Listening to audiobooks or podcasts that use GRE-level vocabulary is a great way to build both vocab and verbal comprehension skills.

2. Create a reasonable GRE studying schedule and stick to it.

For many, work schedules can be a bit lighter in the summer, making this a great season to tackle the additional challenge of preparing for a standardized test. If this applies to you, commit now to a summer study schedule.

Decide on how many hours a week you can realistically put toward GRE studying. A realistic schedule is one that you can stick to without it being unduly painful. Then portion these hours out into a regular weekly pattern (I often recommend at least 5 hours per week and ideally 10-15, depending on how much time you have and how quickly you work).

Don’t let all your hours pile up on weekends. Half an hour a day each weekday will add up and save you from unproductive marathon sessions on Sundays. Give yourself at least one day a week entirely off. If you find that you are consistently not sticking to your schedule, decide: is the schedule unreasonable, or do you need to be more committed?

3. Use outdoor exercise to manage stress.

Preparing for the GRE can be exhausting and stressful, and many of the students I work with grapple with test anxiety. For this reason, regular stress-reducing routines are just as important as regular GRE studying habits. Being in the sun, exercising and playing, spending time near trees and water: these are all great ways to relieve stress, and summer is the perfect time to enjoy outside activities. So don’t get so invested in your GRE studying that you forget to take care of yourself, and remember that taking some time to enjoy the season will actually improve your memory and overall test performance.

4. Stick to an end-of-summer deadline.

Many test centers start to get busy in the late summer and early fall, so sign up for an official test now. Pick a late August or early September date, so that you have a hard deadline for your studying (for my part, if I didn’t have deadlines, I’d never get anything done). An end-of-summer date is a good choice for a few reasons.

First, if you begin your GRE studying in June, this will give you about two-and-a-half to three months to prepare, which, if you’re committed and consistent, is a good timeline for many students. Second, you’ll still leave plenty of time to take the test again before most application deadlines. In an ideal world, you’d only need to take the test once. Bad days do happen, though, and I see many students take the test twice (and most do better on their second sitting). Third, you’ll get the test out of the way with plenty of time left to work on the other, equally important aspects of your application.

5. Remember that a change of scene is a great antidote to burnout.

It turns out that GRE studying in different places and at different times actually helps you to better retain material. Changing up habits and routines can also help re-energize you if your enthusiasm starts to wane. So, take some time this summer to visit a new place, whether close to home or far-flung. And when you do, bring a few GRE resources along for the ride.

Good luck in your studies, enjoy the sun, and remember: there’s no time like now, because winter is coming! 📝


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 S is for Summer AND GRE Studying! appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Consider a Part-Time MBA — Or a European MBA Program!

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Consider a Part-Time MBA — Or a European MBA Program! 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.


We at mbaMission often receive questions about part-time MBA programs, so we thought we should offer a look at some of the pros and cons of this option.

As for the pros, the one that business school candidates cite most frequently is that the part-time MBA involves a limited opportunity cost. Unlike a full-time MBA student, a part-time MBA student does not miss out on two years of salary (and, in some cases, retirement savings) and can still earn raises and promotions while completing his/her studies. Furthermore, firm sponsorship seems to be more prevalent for part-time MBA students, so candidates who have this option can truly come out ahead, with a free education and continued earning throughout.

Beyond the financial rationale, many part-time MBA students see an academic advantage; they can learn both in the classroom and at work and can then turn theory into practice (and vice versa) in real time, on an ongoing basis. Of course, a cynic might add that another pro is that part-time MBA programs are generally less selective. So a candidate who may have had difficulty getting accepted to a traditional two-year program may have a better chance of gaining admission to a well-regarded school in its part-time program instead.

As for the cons, many part-time MBA candidates feel that the comparative lack of structure means that networking opportunities within the class are limited. While one part-time MBA student could complete a school’s MBA program in two years, another might complete it in five. As a result, with candidates progressing through the program at such different paces, students will not likely see each other regularly in the same classes or at social events. In addition, in a traditional MBA environment, academics always come first; in a part-time MBA environment, work typically comes first, and academics must come second or even third, after family. In other words, the full-time program generally involves greater intensity with regard to the classroom experience, given that it is the focal point of students’ lives. Another thing to consider is that some programs do not offer their “star” faculty to part-time MBA students—something that candidates should definitely ask about before enrolling—and offer limited access to on-grounds recruiting.

Of course, we are not trying to offer a definitive “answer” or present a bias for a particular kind of program; we are simply sharing some objective facts for candidates to consider as they make informed choices for themselves.

MBA candidates looking to broaden their business school choices could also consider European MBA programs.

Although many applicants who are competing for places at the top U.S. business schools are well aware of the strengths of the MBA programs at INSEAD and London Business School, even more options are available beyond these two, including IESE, ESADE, Oxford (Said), and Cambridge (Judge). These four schools in particular have been aggressively playing “catch-up” with their better-known brethren by raising funds and dedicating them to scholarships and to enhancing their global brands. Those who know their business schools are also aware that IMD offers a boutique MBA program with remarkable international diversity, very highly-regarded academics, and a stellar reputation with international employers.

So, numerous options are available, and each can be explored on its own academic merit. But is earning your MBA in Europe, in itself, a good choice for you? For many, the key issue in determining this is where they would like to be after completing their education. If you are seeking to work in Europe, then clearly, these schools offer an advantage over all but the top five or six schools in the United States—Harvard Business School, for example, can probably open as many doors in Europe as INSEAD can. However, if you are seeking to work in the States, then the European schools will not provide the pipeline of opportunities that a top-ranked American school could provide, particularly for those who hope to work in a niche industry or with a company that is not a well-known international brand.

Still, beyond the employment picture, studying abroad offers intrinsic value. Spending two years in London, Fontainebleau, or Lausanne could certainly be its own reward. 📝


For more information on various international business schools, including INSEAD, Cambridge Judge, and IMD, check out the free mbaMission Program Primers.


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 Consider a Part-Time MBA — Or a European MBA Program! appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your Application Essays

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your Application Essays by mbaMission

One way to conserve words in your application essays and short-answer responses is by pluralizing nouns whenever possible. Singular words often require an article such as “a,” “an,” or “the.” These words can add unnecessarily to your word count, thereby cluttering your page without contributing to your argument or style. Consider the following example:

“A manager with an MBA can ascend the corporate ladder faster than a manager who lacks an MBA.” (18 words)

Now consider this version, in which many of the singular nouns have been pluralized:

“Managers with MBAs can ascend the corporate ladder faster than managers without MBAs.” (13 words)

As you can see, both sentences present the same idea, but one sentence is five words shorter than the other. Given that application essays can include dozens or even hundreds of sentences, pluralizing wherever possible is helpful in meeting word count requirements and decluttering the text.

Although decluttering your application essays is important, ensure that all of your sentences are not the same length. Many business school applicants use medium-length sentences (like this one) in their essays. Few use short sentences (like this one). Likewise, few use long sentences in their application essays, even though long sentences (like this one) can often play a useful role in an essay’s structure and story.

Confused? Consider the following example:

“At XYZ Inc., I was the manager in charge of leading a team of 12 staff members. Included in my team were four engineers, four marketing professionals, and four market analysts. Our goal was to develop a new thingamajig within six months. We worked really hard over the six months and succeeded. The new thingamajig is now on the market and is selling well. As a result of my efforts, I was promoted to vice president.”

All these sentences have approximately the same number of words and the same rhythm/cadence, making the paragraph fairly boring to read. Nothing changes—the structure just repeats itself over and over again, with one medium-length sentence following another medium-length sentence.

Now consider this example:*

“At XYZ Inc., I was the manager in charge of leading a thingamajig development team of 12 staff members, four of whom were engineers, four were marketing professionals, and four were market analysts. We had just six months to launch our new product. The team worked really hard and succeeded, and the new thingamajig is now on the market, where it is selling well. As a result of my efforts, I was promoted to vice president.”

The sentences in this paragraph are varied—the first is quite long, the second is very short, the third is medium-long, and the fourth is medium-short. Sentence variety makes for a much more interesting read, and one very short sentence in the middle of some longer ones can provide precisely the kind of contrast and drama that application essays so often need.

*Please note that this is a simplified example for illustration purposes. If this were an actual essay, we would encourage the applicant to offer greater insight into his/her experience launching the product. 📝


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 Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your Application Essays appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Can You Ace GRE Quant if You’re Bad at Math? (Part 1)

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Can You Ace GRE Quant if You're Bad at Math? (Part 1) by Chelsey Cooley

First, let’s get on the same page about what being “bad at math” really means. In my experience, GRE students who say that they’re bad at math tend to fall into these categories:

  1. People who don’t think math is interesting or fun.
  2. People who got bad grades in math as kids—or people who got good grades, but had to work harder than everybody else.
  3. People to whom math doesn’t feel natural or intuitive.
  4. People who feel anxious about math.

Instead of saying that you aren’t a math person, get specific. Which one of those groups describes you? Or, like many of my GRE students, do you fall into more than one of those categories? The more clearly you can describe the challenge you’re facing, the more power you have over it.

People Who Don’t Think Math is Interesting or Fun

It’s fine to think that math is boring—I think Reading Comprehension is soul-crushingly boring, and I’ve managed to make a career out of teaching the GRE. Learning to enjoy the GRE will make studying more fun, but I’ve also had a lot of successful students who thought of studying for the GRE as a boring but worthwhile job—or even as an annoying obstacle.

People Who Got Bad Grades in Math as Kids

As an adult learning middle-school and high-school math for the GRE, you’re in a strange position. You’re studying things that you once learned in grade-school math class. But you’re learning them from a totally different perspective: you’re smarter, more introspective, and have access to better resources. Getting bad grades in math as a kid says a lot about your middle-school math teacher, a little about your childhood level of patience and study skills, and not much at all about your “math aptitude.”

People to Whom Math Doesn’t Feel Natural or Intuitive

The idea that math should come naturally (or not at all!) is one of the nastiest myths in modern education. Math isn’t natural, and it isn’t intuitive. There’s actually a lot of evidence—which we’ll look at later in this article—that there’s no such thing as a “math person,” at least when it comes to GRE-level math.

Most people are more or less equally equipped to learn GRE math. But some people start the GRE process with more math experience, some people start out with more math confidence, and some people start out with both. Those people who seem to “get it” right away? It’s more likely that they’re just a little more familiar with the material than you are. Maybe they use math every day in their work; maybe they had a fantastic middle-school algebra teacher.

Think about it: when teachers and parents decide that a student is “good at math,” what do they do? They give them more and harder math to work on, creating a self-perpetuating cycle. Some people end up getting a lot of positive and varied experiences with math, which strengthens their abilities even further. The rest of us fall behind and focus on other topics.

People Who Feel Anxious about Math

A lot of us have had negative experiences with bad math teachers, bad grades, or seemingly impossible math problems. More of my students seem to have math anxiety than, say, “vocabulary anxiety”—probably because of the pervasive myth that some people are doomed to suck at math. Hopefully, by examining and rejecting that myth, you’ll find your anxiety being replaced by determination. Keep reading!

Bad at Math: The Evidence

This is the point where you stop saying that you’re “bad at math.” The language you use to describe yourself, even in your own head, makes a difference. It’s fine to say that you’re scared of math, or that you dislike math, or that you haven’t taken a math class in fifteen years, or that you absolutely hated your eighth-grade Algebra teacher. Those are facts! “Bad at math,” though, is a myth—here’s some evidence to prove that.

Here’s a chart summarizing the math performance of 15-year-olds around the world in 2012. If high-school math was always intuitive for some of us, and counterintuitive for others, we’d expect to see similar rates of high- and low-performers regardless of location. But the chart makes it clear that some ways of teaching and learning make almost everybody “good at math,” while other ways work for almost nobody. (So, why not sign up for GRE Math in a Day?)

There’s a common misconception, although fortunately it’s becoming less common as time goes on, that girls are naturally more likely to be bad at math than boys. But there are strong arguments to be made that this gap is completely explained by other factors, and when some of those factors are mitigated—as in single-sex schools—the gap begins to disappear.  

Twin studies have tried to determine whether mathematical ability is genetic. Here’s a study that leans more towards the “bad at math” side than what we’ve looked at so far. On the one hand, it suggests that genetics makes a “moderate” contribution to math ability at age 10. On the other hand, differences in mathematical ability due to social factors tend to be smaller for elementary school students than for older students—it’s possible that with older students, the pattern would change.

Finally, here’s one of my favorite articles addressing the “bad at math” issue. It contains a great description of where the “bad at math” myth comes from, and it’s worth a read just for that. It also introduces the idea that your beliefs about math influence how well you perform. People who believe that math ability can be improved, will improve! People who believe that they’re stuck where they are, won’t.

So, as you start or continue your GRE Quant studies, strive to convince yourself that you can get better at math. That belief alone may be enough to improve your performance. And remember that while you may feel anxious towards math or may dislike math, that won’t stop you from improving your Quant score. Want to know how to get better at Quant when you’re math-phobic? That’s coming up in the next article. 📝


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 Can You Ace GRE Quant if You’re Bad at Math? (Part 1) appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

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.

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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.

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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! 📝


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 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! 📝


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 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. 📝


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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 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