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Read an Article a Day to Boost Your GRE Verbal Score

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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. Read more

Fun with Etymologies on the GRE

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Fun with Etymologies on the GRE 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.


Learning new words can be one of the most daunting parts of the GRE, particularly because the English language has such a large and varied vocabulary. This linguistic richness is the result, in part, of the language’s early history, which was shaped by German, Norman, and Scandinavian invasions, with each wave of arrivals bringing new contributions to the language. Read more

5 Things the Winter Olympics Can Teach You about Prepping for the GRE

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - 5 Things the Winter Olympics Can Teach You about Prepping for the GRE 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.


Awkward confession: I cry when I watch the Olympics. A lot. I cry when people win, and I cry when people lose. Either way, watching someone focus a lifetime’s worth of hard work and dedication into a few minutes’ worth of performance is emotionally overwhelming, nerve-wracking, tragic, joyful, and, most of all, inspirational. And so, in honor of 2018’s Winter Olympics, here are five lessons from this year’s Olympians that you can apply to prepping for the GRE. Read more

Take a GRE Break!

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Take a GRE Break! 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.


Around this time of year, as people recover from the holidays and contemplate winter vacations, I tend to get a lot of questions from students anxious about taking a GRE break. Will a week- or month-long vacation hurt their scores? Will they forget all the new math content they’ve learned? Should they bring their 5lb Book of GRE Problems on the plane with them?

The short answers: no, no, and you don’t need to, it’s available as an e-book. Read more

Data Interpretation: Start by Understanding the Graph

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Data Interpretation: Start by Understanding the Graph 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.


In each Quant section on the GRE, you’ll see three questions that ask about a graph or pair of graphs; these are the Data Interpretation (DI) questions. All three questions usually refer to the same graph(s) and show up about two-thirds of the way through the section. Read more

First-Time GRE Mistakes

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - First-Time GRE Mistakes 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.


Taking a practice test is one of the most important first steps that you can take as you embark on studying for the GRE—even (especially) if you feel totally unprepared or anxious about doing so. Confronting this anxiety can be an important hurdle to overcome. You’ll also likely find some surprises in your results, both positive and negative, that will shape your study plan. Read more

Play to Your Strengths on the GRE

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Play to Your Strengths on the GRE 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.


In the first class of our GRE curriculum, we begin by talking about growth mindset vs. fixed mindset. If we approach a new task with a fixed mindset—i.e. I am or am not good at this—we’re a lot less likely to improve at it. When we believe instead that we can and will improve if we work hard, we get better faster. The stories we tell ourselves about our abilities shape what we’re actually able to accomplish. Read more

Guessing on the GRE and Moving On

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Guessing on the GRE and Moving On 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.


Persistence is, in most endeavors, an admirable quality—just not when taking the GRE. For this test, knowing when to give up on a problem, guess, and move on, is a crucial skill. It’s important to remember that this is more than just a test of math knowledge or reading skills; it’s also a test of how one makes decisions under pressure. Read more

Preparing for the GRE: What the Test is Really About

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Preparing for the GRE: What the Test is Really About 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.


In the first session of each GRE class that I teach, I ask students which sections they see as strengths and which they see as weaknesses. Almost all students have a strong preference for either Quant or Verbal. Often, these preferences aren’t based in actual test experience—rather, they reflect the student’s sense of him- or herself as a “math person” or a “language person.” Read more

GRE Quant Best Practices: Improving Problem Recognition

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Quant Best Practices: Improving Problem Recognition 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.


A number of students have recently told me that they struggle with “problem recognition,” particularly in the Quant section of the GRE. What many mean by this is that when they look at a problem, they don’t immediately see how to get to the solution. They might recognize some of the concepts involved, but the problem as a whole has aspects that make it look unfamiliar and difficult. When this happens on the test, in a high-pressure, time-sensitive environment, the resulting feeling can be paralyzing. Read more