Articles published in Life Hacks

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

Study Like an Athlete: What Competitive Running Taught Me about the GRE

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Study Like an Athlete: What Competitive Running Taught Me about the GRE by Tom Anderson

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


Study Like an Athlete

The GRE is not just any other exam. The Quant section contains questions you ostensibly learned how to do in fourth grade—some of them on topics like even numbers and factor trees. Underneath that elementary veneer, though, there are often some challenging inferences you have to make. The GRE Verbal section also tests you on reading and processing an incredible swath of information: passages cover every topic from pre-industrial leisure practices to radiation patterns in the Crab Nebula. Because of this breadth of content and the quirky questions asked about that content, the GRE is an exam you should practice for rather than just study for. Think of it more like a performance and less like a test. Read more

Mental Math Magic (Part 2)

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Mental Math Magic (Part 2) by Neil Thornton

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 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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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - How to Solve Any GRE Word Problem (Really) by Chelsey Cooley

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


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

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 Math for People Who Hate Math: Average Speed

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Average Speed by Chelsey Cooley

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


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

GRE Quantitative Comparisons: The Equal-Different Method

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Quantitative Comparisons: The Equal-Different Method by Daniel Yudkin

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.


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

Careless Mistakes on the GRE: Go Slow to Go Fast

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Careless Mistakes on the GRE: Go Slow to Go Fast by Chelsey Cooley

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


It’s okay to make mistakes on the GRE. You can miss plenty of problems and still get a great score. However, it matters why you make those mistakes. Miss a problem because you don’t know how to solve it? That’s totally okay (as long as you don’t waste too much time). Miss a problem because you added two and three and got six? That’s a problem, and here’s how to fix it: stop trying to go fast. Read more

Causality on the GRE

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Causality on the GRE by Neil Thornton

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.


You may have heard the maxim “correlation does not imply causation” before. It’s a common expression, but what does it mean for your GRE score? Lots. Read more

The Last Week before Your GRE: What to Do

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - The Last Week before Your GRE: What to Do by Chelsey Cooley

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


It’s the last week before your GRE! What should you do this week to maximize your odds of a great score? Read more