### Mental Math Magic (Part 2)

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**In my last article, I gave you some time-saving basic arithmetic to memorize and a few tools to calculate more efficiently, using a combination of your brain and your scratch paper.**

Today I’m going to throw few fun mental math “tricks” your way. Again, you could always pop out your calculator or do long division and multiplication on your scratch paper, but learning to multiply numbers in your head can be a massive time saver, as well as a good way to double-check what you do put into the calculator. Read more

### How to Solve Any GRE Word Problem (Really)

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**Word problems get a lot of hate from students. When you read the explanation for a tough GRE word problem, it’s easy to feel like the solution came out of nowhere. Maybe it makes sense ***now*, but how were you supposed to figure it out on your own?

Fortunately, word problems really aren’t so bad—they’re just misunderstood. There’s a strategy for solving GRE word problems, just as there is for any other type of GRE Quant problem. Here’s a way to confidently solve *any* GRE word problem. Read more

### GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Average Speed

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**On the GRE, you will never, ever, ever, ***ever* have to average two speeds together. If a GRE Quant problem gives you two speeds (say, 40 mph and 60 mph), and you average them (ending up with 50 mph), you’ve just gotten that problem wrong. Read more

### Mental Math Magic

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**Quick!**

What is 12 x 9?

What is 9³?

What is the square root of 196?

What is 95 – 37? Read more

### GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Ratios

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**I recently had a great conversation about ratios with one of our MPrep GRE classes. It’s a tiny class, and only two students were there that day (hey guys!). When I shared a tricky ratio problem with them, both students had totally different, but equally reasonable, reactions to it. Here’s the problem: Read more**

### GRE Quant Best Practices: Improving Problem Recognition

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**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**

### GRE Quantitative Comparisons: The Equal-Different Method

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**There are many different approaches to tackling GRE Quantitative Comparisons problems. One of my favorites is something that, in my opinion, generally doesn’t get talked about enough. This method is for people who feel very comfortable with the basics of quantitative comparisons, and have a decent handle on mental math. When executed properly, it can save you a great amount of time on the test, thus giving you the opportunity to solve other problems. It also can help avoid making silly errors by reducing the number of paper-and-pencil calculations you have to do. This method is called the Equal-Different, or E-D, method. Read more**

### De-Tangling Difficult Word Problems on the GRE

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**Let’s start with a problem that’s been giving my students trouble recently. Read it through, but don’t try to solve it—yet.**

### GRE Interest Problems

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**Interesting Interest**

Deposit money into a savings account and you will earn interest. Rack up a bunch of charges on your credit card, and you’re going to be charged interest. In the real world, the bank takes care of calculating interest for you, but if the word “interest” shows up on the GRE, you’re going to need to know how to calculate it yourself. Read more

### Two GRE Math Terms to Banish from Your Lexicon

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**There are a few math terms that are banned from my GRE classroom. “I’m not a math person” is a big one. So is “You either know it, or you don’t.” Both of those sentences are untrue—they don’t describe how the human brain really works—and they’re also dangerous.**

The words that we choose are important. If we want to succeed on the GRE, we should talk about our learning in a way that reflects that. And if we want to do GRE Quant problems clearly and methodically, we should also talk about them clearly and methodically. That’s why, in addition to the “dangerous” math terms up there, there are a couple of other “dirty words” that I’ve banned from my classroom. If you cut these words and phrases out of your GRE Quant vocabulary, I promise that you’ll make fewer careless errors, understand problems more clearly, and feel more confident about your solutions. Read more