# GRE and Grad School Admissions Blog

Demystifying Percentage Problems

From time to time, we like to feature questions and answers on our GRE forum because many of these discussions can be helpful to other students as well. This particular post deals with challenging Quant problems involving prices and percentages. We discuss both direct algebraic solutions and possible problem-solving techniques to speed up the process.

Read below for a quick preview. For the full post, please follow the link to the GRE forum post here.

Topics: GRE prep, GRE Challenge

The GRE for Law School Applicants, Myth or Reality?

If you're planning to apply to law school, the LSAT has been the only game in town for decades. The LSAC along with its law school members have created a walled garden for admissions that ensures that law school applicants buy into the process from the outset by taking the LSAT and using the Credential Assembly Service (formerly the LSDAS). Now certain member schools, such as the University of Arizona and, most prominently, Harvard Law, have upended some of those norms by partnering with ETS to accept GRE scores for the purpose of law school admissions. PowerScore Vice President Jon Denning has a good discussion of the reasoning and implications of this decision here

In a recent blog post, we discussed the structure and overall similarities and differences between LSAT and GRE Reading Comprehension questions. As noted, if you're planning exclusively to apply to law school and to do so soon, the LSAT is still the test on which to focus your attention and preparation, but if you're thinking about law school in a year or two or are considering other graduate programs, the GRE might be worth your consideration.

In this week's post, we will consider in depth some of the overlap and important distinctions between Logical Reasoning tasks on the LSAT and short passage reading comprehension questions on the GRE.

Topics: Verbal, GRE prep, LSAT Logical Reasoning

Tonight marks the continuation of our GRE webinar series with a newly updated Math Essentials webinar. We will discuss the structure and content of GRE Quantitative Reasoning and cover many of the fundamentals you must master to succeed.

One of the secrets to success on the GRE is to get a head start on preparation for the knowledge-based portions of the test. Like many standardized tests, the GRE combines measures of fluid and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence measures "pattern recognition, abstract reasoning, and problem-solving" while crystallized intelligence measures "specific, acquired knowledge." Most GRE prep courses focus a great deal of attention on problem-solving skills but cannot devote as much time to reinforcing and cementing some of the fundamental knowledge necessary to succeed on the test. For example, it would be difficult if not impossible adequately to teach all the vocabulary needed for GRE Verbal.

With this difficulty in mind, we have designed the Math Essentials Webinar to supplement and enhance your GRE preparation and to give you a head start on mastering the math concepts you will need to know to get the most out of the rest of your GRE preparation.

Topics covered will include:

1. Concepts Tested
1.  Arithmetic
2. Algebra
3. Geometry
4. Data Analysis
2. Textbook Math vs. GRE Math
3. Problem Solving Skills
4. More in depth explanations of:
1. Number Properties
3. Standard Deviation

In addition to this free instruction, all who attend will receive a recording of tonight's session and a code valid for a discount on our GRE courses. The seminar also features the same interface as our Live Online courses, so it is an excellent opportunity to get a preview of our class format.

We hope you will join us tonight!

Topics: GRE prep

New Frontiers

Among those working in test preparation or law school admissions, news of law schools' expanding adoption of the GRE has been a seismic shift in the last two years. While initially an experimental pilot program, once the University of Arizona Law School began accepting the GRE, it was a safe bet that others would follow. When Harvard Law joined Arizona, the writing was on the wall. The latest law school to make overtures to the GRE is another top-tier program, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

The LSAC has (perhaps belatedly) decided to compete with the GRE on the latter's turf, expanding test dates (up to six in 2019) and exploring a computerized version of the LSAT, a prospect which as an instructor I personally do not savor but of which I understand the logic, as it were.

Leaving aside questions about the rate of adoption and whether the GRE will achieve a status for law school admissions similar to that which it enjoys in business school admissions, many students may wish to inquire about similarities and differences between the LSAT and the GRE.

While the tests are conceptually not as different as one might imagine—both are principally aptitude tests with the LSAT emphasizing fluid intelligence and the GRE crystallized intelligence—there are significant differences between the tests, even in sections that may appear analogous at first.

In this post, we will explore some of these similarities and differences as in reading comprehension questions on the GRE and LSAT.

Geometry Problem Puzzle Pieces

From time to time, we like to feature questions and answers on our GRE forum because many of these discussions can be helpful to other students as well. This post concerns a geometry problem that requires a little experimentation to determine precisely what the question is asking. We discuss how to proceed step-by-step to construct a plan of attack and use our strong grasp of geometry fundamentals to break a challenging puzzle into manageable pieces.

Read below for a quick preview. For the full post, please follow the link to the GRE forum post here.

Topics: GRE prep, GRE Challenge

Calculator Malfunction!

The GRE lets you use a calculator. Hooray! But wait, there's a catch. You can't bring your own calculator. No, you're stuck with the equivalent of a 1987 Windows 2.0 on-screen calculator. Worse still, ETS sometimes seems to go out of its way to make sure that you can't solve the problems using the provided calculator.

That's the trick. It's a classic bait-and-switch: you want to plug and chug some numbers through the calculator, but you can't. So what is the calculator good for? It's an excellent tool to make sure you don't make arithemetic errors after you have set up a problem correctly. In fact, most GRE problems are constructed such that all calculations could be done without a calculator without too much difficulty, although there are some exceptions.

In today's post, we will examine a seemingly insuperable arithmetic problem and how to use problem-solving skills to obviate difficult and time-consuming calculations.

Topics: GRE prep, GRE Challenge

Two Approaches to a Challenging Question

From time to time, we like to feature questions and answers on our GRE forum because many of these discussions can be helpful to other students as well. This particular post deals with a challenging question from our GRE course homework. We discuss two possible approaches to solving this problem and pitfalls for students to avoid.

Read below for a quick preview. For the full post, please follow the link to the GRE forum post here.

Topics: GRE prep, GRE Challenge

Slow Train Coming

The GRE has never been the belle of the standardized test ball. While Educational Testing Service has conducted substantial revisions to the GRE both in content and format, its role as a "default" graduate school admissions exam has rendered it ubiquitous but somewhat bland. As opposed to the GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT, which for their respective programs command both prestige and a degree of awe among business, law, and med school applicants, the GRE has persisted as a necessary but less-glamorous hurdle to cross for admission to a plenitude of different graduate programs.

When the GRE made the switch to a computer adaptive format (worldwide in 2001), ETS developed a practice test software program, PowerPrep, to assist GRE students. At the time ETS also administered the GMAT and introduced a similar computer-based format for both tests. Both used software algorithms that adapted question difficulty following correct or incorrect responses.

While the GMAT switched vendors to ACT, inc., in 2006 and made subsequent changes both to its test content and interface, the GRE has remained with ETS. Even though ETS also overhauled GRE content in 2011, the PowerPrep and test-center interface remained remarkably similar to the preceding version. The PowerPrep II software is available as a free download from ETS. It requires users to download the software and then to use a browser to launch a java applet to administer the tests. Needless to say, this somewhat byzantine system is not cutting-edge.

The PowerPrep software has undergone few changes (aside from the addition of a calculator), but the GRE itself has experienced dramatic growth and developments in its uses and significance. Since 2011, the GRE has become a key player in MBA program admissions, reaching in 2016 universal acceptance as an alternative to the GMAT at all major business schools. Likewise, Harvard Law has now joined the University of Arizona in accepting the GRE in lieu of the LSAT, and other law schools will likely follow.

Subsequent to these substantial developments, ETS is unveiling a somewhat updated interface for the GRE. Recently, the PowerPrep download page has indicated that a new PowerPrep Online tool is available for students registered to take the GRE on or after July 30, 2017. Read below to get the basic facts you need to know about this new software program and what it means for GRE preparation.

Topics: GRE prep

The Perfect Time to Start

If you're thinking about graduate school, business school, or even law school, you probably know that crunch time for assembling and submitting applications is right around the corner. With summer coming up, now is an excellent time to lay the foundation for success on entrance exams and with the rest of your application.

This spring, PowerScore was pleased to introduce a newly updated GRE Webinar series, which included two brand new seminars. In total, the series covered much of what students need to know to prepare effectively for the GRE as well as core Quant and Verbal content that requires additional preparation outside a standard GRE course curriculum.

For a recap of what we covered, we encourage you to read more here: GRE Seminars Summary and Recap

PowerScore is pleased to announce the continuation of the Free GRE Webinar series, restarting this Wednesday with the GRE 101 Seminar. Sign up today to attend; in addition to learning crucial information about the GRE, all those who attend will receive a discount offer for a PowerScore GRE course

Read below for the complete schedule of upcoming seminars along with a brief description of each.