Articles tagged "GRE Math for People Who Hate Math"

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Remainder Problems

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Remainder Problems 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.


The secret to understanding GRE remainder problems is in the word remainder itself. Suppose you bake a dozen brownies, and while you’re at work, your roommate eats ten of them. The two brownies left over are the remainder of the batch. The mathematical term remainder refers to the same thing: what’s left over after something is taken away. 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 Math for People Who Hate Math: Ratios

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math 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.


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 Math for People Who Hate Math: Absolute Value

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Absolute Value by Chelsey Cooley

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.


Think of an absolute value as a simple machine that looks like this: ||. You put a value into it, and the machine answers a single question for you: how far away from zero was the value that you put in?

The basic operation of the machine is simple. Take any number, put it into the machine, and find out how far from zero that number is. The absolute value of 12, |12|, is equal to 12. The absolute value of -10, |-10|, is equal to 10. That’s because -10 is 10 units away from zero.

It starts to get complicated when the GRE asks you to put things into the machine that are more complex than simple numbers. Imagine that somebody else is operating the machine. She puts values in, but she doesn’t tell you what those values are. All you can see is the answer that the machine gives when it receives those values. Read more

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: What Is a Variable, Really?

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: What is a Variable, 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.


Imagine a world where every conversation went like this:

Student: When is our final project due?

Professor: Three days after the first Wednesday after your rough draft is due.

Student: What?

Professor: The rough draft is due 15 days after the date 6 days before May 14.

Solving a GRE math word problem is a little bit like having this kind of conversation. That’s why word problems can be so infuriating. The problem isn’t lying to you. It’s just telling you the truth in a really annoying, backwards way. (Reading Comprehension problems do that too—it’s not just a Quant thing.)

In the conversation above, how would you work out the due date of the final project? Personally, I’d start by getting out my calendar. I’d start at May 14, then count 6 days backwards. Then, I’d count 15 days forwards, put a star on the calendar, and mark it ‘rough draft.’ Then I’d find the first Wednesday after that date, and finally, I’d count three days forward from there. That would give me my answer. Read more

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Which of the Following is a Factor of x?

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math:  Which of the Following is a Factor of x? by Chelsey CooleyDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Did you know that you can solve ‘which of the following is a factor’ problems with hardly any math at all? It just takes a little basic arithmetic, logical reasoning, and creative thinking — skills that you already have.

Take a quick look at this problem: Read more

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: A Gentle Introduction to GRE Divisibility Problems

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GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: A Gentle Introduction to GRE Divisibility Problems by Chelsey CooleyDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


12 is divisible by 3. 24,700 is a multiple of 100. x/15 is an integer. 6 is a factor of 17k. All of this language — divisible, multiple, integer, factor — signals that you’re about to begin a divisibility problem. Do you find these problems intimidating? Do you sometimes have no idea where to start? If so, this article offers a simple, painless way of thinking about divisibility that you can use on a wide range of GRE problems. Read more

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Right Triangles

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Right Triangles by Chelsey Cooley Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Geometry is one of the most polarizing topics on the GRE. If you think it’s great, this article isn’t for you! This set of tips and tricks is for those of us who would rather have a root canal than calculate the length of a hypotenuse.

Check out this Quantitative Comparison problem: Read more

GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Data Interpretation

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Math for People Who Hate Math: Data Interpretation by Chelsey CooleyDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Math is unavoidable on the Quantitative sections of the GRE. But it isn’t all about math. By leveraging your strengths — and learning just a couple of ultra-simple math rules — you can gain the advantage over certain Quant problem types, even if you’re more of a Verbal person. Here’s how to apply that idea to Data Interpretation. Read more