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What Your Favorite Class in High School Says about You as a GRE Student

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - What Your Favorite Class in High School Says about You as a GRE Student by Cat Powell

The good and bad news about taking the GRE is that it’s not a skill that’s taught directly in school, though it does draw on skills that are. This is bad news, because it means that most of us have to do some work to adapt to the test. It’s also good news, because it means that anyone can master this skill, no matter how long they’ve been out of school. Read more

S is for Summer AND GRE Studying!

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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. Read more

GRE Sentence Equivalence Questions: What Makes a Pair?

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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. Read more

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