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Using (and Misusing) GRE Practice Tests

Among the many myths that abound regarding optimal preparation for the GRE, one of the more common and, unfortunately, more harmful ones is that there exists a direct relationship between quantity of practice tests taken and score improvements. And, unfortunately, this myth is perpetuated by large GRE classes that will advertise 6 or 8 or 15 practice tests in conjunction with their course offerings. All too often, I’ll get a phone call or e-mail from a panicked student ...


Don’t Pigeonhole GRE Questions

If you've spent some time reviewing the various GRE resources out there, you'll inevitably run into advice espousing the best approach for certain situations. This is particularly true for word problems. You'll read that, for rates, you should always set up the R*T = D table. For Average questions, you should always use the A*N = S table. For Quantitative Comparisons questions, you should always plug in numbers, etc.  Generally, the advice takes the form of: set up a table, fill in the table, solve, ...


As the GRE has gained more acceptance among business schools, the myth that the GRE is an inferior exam or one that would somehow sabotage an applicant's business school chances has been pretty much dispelled. The GRE was changed over five years ago, largely with the goal of making the exam more competitive with the GMAT for business school admissions, and, with each passing year, I've seen more and more clients take the GRE and gain admission to top business ...


One of the pitfalls for students studying for the GRE is balancing content learning with the cultivation of appropriate test-taking strategies. If you work under the misconception that the GRE is simply testing your ability to memorize rules and formulas, then you'll inevitably find yourself in situations where you'll waste precious seconds (or even minutes!) solving a question that could have been answered in a much more intuitive way. Nowhere is this issue more apparent than in Quantitative Comparison (QC) ...


The majority of the people who contact me for GRE tutoring are vehement in their need for help in the Quantitative section. In many ways, this makes sense. If you haven't taken a math course since high school or freshmen year of college, your math skills will undoubtedly be rusty, and you'll need to spend at least a good month brushing up on your skills before you're ready to dive into test-like questions. But another reason people tend to focus ...


With the start of summer, I've been receiving a lot of panicked calls and e-mails from test-takers in their early stages of preparation. Much of the panic is some variation of the following: "I haven't done math in years, but I need to get a [insert score here] for the schools I'm applying to! What should I do?" If the above is at all representative of your situation, the following advice is ...


The GRE is a Thinking Test

Many students prepare for the GRE with the same mindset that they’ve adopted toward tests throughout their academic lives. In college and high school, much of the preparation for an exam was often focused on memorizing rules and content and answering questions directly relevant to this content. Many test-takers assume that this same approach will apply to the GRE: do questions from certain topics, memorize the approach, and keep applying it ...


GRE Quantitative Comparison: Compare, Don’t Calculate!

Many students studying for the GRE make the critical mistake of viewing Quantitative Comparison questions in the same way they view Discrete Quantitative questions (these are the traditional multiple-choice questions that appear on the SAT and most other standardized tests). Both question-types obviously address your Quantitative Reasoning skills, but they do so in vastly different ways. Whereas the traditional Discrete Quantitative questions are concerned with your ability to set up what ...

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