GRE Math Tips and Tricks: Inscribed Squares

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 8:00:00 AM

If you see a square inscribed in a circle on the GRE, the test makers are assessing your knowledge of 45:45:90 triangles.

What? Huh? The question is about squares and circles, not triangles! Listen closely, my GRE cohorts: Hidden triangles are often the key to solving the most difficult geometry questions.

Let’s look at an example of an inscribed square problem:

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Topics: GRE prep, GRE prep: Math

Five Minutes to a Higher GRE Score: Breaking Down Complex Fractions

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 8:00:00 AM

You’ve probably been leaning on your calculator for so long that you’ve forgotten what a complex fraction even is.

ETS likes to reach way back into your math history to gather concepts you learned in elementary school (remainders, anyone?). The more years that have passed since you mastered an operation, the more likely that operation will appear (and cause panic) on the GRE. Among the most anxiety-inducing concepts are complex fractions—those that have a separate fraction in the numerator and/or denominator:

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Topics: GRE prep, GRE prep: Math

The Top 5 Triangle Tricks on the GRE

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Geometry accounts for a sizable portion of the math questions on the GRE. Since triangles are the most commonly tested geometric figure, it’s important to know the tricks and traps set by ETS when facing a three-sided figure.

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Topics: GRE prep, GRE prep: Math

Five Minutes to a Higher GRE Score: Classic GRE Quadratic Forms

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 9:30:00 AM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: ETS tests the same concepts, over and over and over again. Test experts are able to become test experts for that very reason—there is a finite amount of material one needs to learn in order to master the GRE. If you study a few dozen tests and find these predictable patterns, you could be an expert, too.

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Topics: GRE prep, GRE prep: Math

Gearing up for Grad School, Part 10: Interviews

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 11:00:00 AM

This is our last post in the "Gearing up for Grad School" series, and we hope you've learned a lot over the past 10 weeks! For our final installment, we're talking about grad school application interviews.

Unless you're applying to medical school or business school, it is fairly unlikely that a formal interview will be part of the application process. However, you should be prepared for one in the event that one does come up (as can be the case with highly competitive programs), or if the school allows you to request an interview (an opportunity you should take advantage of, if possible).

Acing an interview can be boiled down to three things:

  1. Being prepared.
  2. Being enthusiastic.
  3. Being yourself.

Let's talk about each of them in a little more detail.

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Topics: Gearing Up For Grad School Series, Grad School Admissions

Gearing up for Grad School, Part 9: Additional Documentation

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 3:20:20 PM

Applying to grad school can sometimes feel like a maze where documents are requested, fees are paid, tests are taken, and essays are written, all without any seeming rhyme or reason. How can you make sense of it all, and be successful in your quest for admission to a graduate program?

We've been breaking it down, step by step, in weekly blog posts. This week, we'll talk about additional documentation you may be required to submit when you apply to a graduate program.

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Topics: Gearing Up For Grad School Series, Grad School Admissions

Gearing up for Grad School, Part 8: Your Transcripts

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 1:47:50 PM


Applying to grad school can sometimes feel like a maze where documents are requested, fees are paid, tests are taken, and essays are written, all without any seeming rhyme or reason. How can you make sense of it all, and be successful in your quest for admission to a graduate program?

We've been breaking down the process, step by step, for the past 2 months. In this final post, we'll talk about your transcripts.

Today's post is pretty straightforward--there's very little you can do about your transcripts other than request them, submit them, and explain any negatives in them. We'll cover each of these in turn.

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Topics: Gearing Up For Grad School Series, Grad School Admissions

Gearing up for Grad School, Part 7: Your Curriculum Vitae

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 1:38:50 PM


We're on week 7 of our "Gearing up for Grad School" series, and this week, we'll talk about your CV. Although not all grad schools will request that you submit a résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) with your application, many will. It is important to know what to include, what not to include, and how long the document should be.

A standard job-seeking résume will not work for a grad school application, nor will a standard one-page academic résumé. Given the focus of graduate school on academic work, it is recommended that you create a multi-page CV with a strong focus on your academic background, achievements, and strengths. You will also include information on your most recent employment history, your activities, and your personal interests, but the focus of the CV should be academic information relevant to the program to which you are applying. 

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Topics: Gearing Up For Grad School Series, Grad School Admissions

Gearing up for Grad School, Part 6: Your Statement of Purpose

Posted by on May 26, 2015 4:21:50 PM


We're up to our 6th article in our "Gearing up for Grad School" series. This week, we'll talk about your statement of purpose: What it is and how you should write it.

The statement of purpose is one of the primary elements of your grad school application. In it, you directly address why you want to go to grad school, why you're interested in your particular academic field, why you're qualified for graduate study, and what you career plan is. This is why it's called the statement of purpose--you're distilling your purpose in pursuing a graduate education, detailing your plans for this particular academic path.

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Topics: Gearing Up For Grad School Series, Grad School Admissions

Gearing up for Grad School, Part 5: Letters of Recommendation

Posted by on May 20, 2015 4:56:05 PM


We've been breaking down the grad school application process, step by step, for the past few weeks. This week, we'll talk about letters of recommendation: What they are, who should write them, and what they should talk about.

Letters of recommendation deserve just as much attention as any other part of your application, for two very important reasons: They come from an outside perspective and speak about you in the third person. This gives them more weight. Letters of recommendation allow admissions officers to corroborate your academic story, be appraised of any personality traits you may not have mentioned throughout the rest of your application, and learn of any other qualifications (positive or negative) that you may bring to the table.

However, because recommendation letters (and recommenders) are also almost completely out of your control, you need to be aware of exactly what you can control, and how you can control it best.

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Topics: Gearing Up For Grad School Series, Grad School Admissions