Keep Your Admissions Organized with the Grad Tracker

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

Make Grad School Admissions Less Complicated

When you're applying to grad school, one school just isn't enough. Somewhere between five and ten is a more sensible number to apply to. It's also a more difficult number to keep track of. Grad school applications tend to have several parts, and different grad schools can have different requirements.  But there's an easy way to stay on top of it all.

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Topics: Grad School Admissions

Question of the Week: Supplying Numbers

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

Algebra or Arithmetic?

Math on GRE Quant can be broken down into four categories:

  • Arithmetic and Number Properties
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Data Interpretation and Statistics

While algebra may be a distinct topic on the GRE, there is considerable overlap between algebra and the other areas tested, and incorporating algebra into geometry or data interpretation questions is a common way to make these questions more difficult. 

In a previous post we discussed how to try out the answers to find one that satisfied the conditions in the problem. In this post, we'll discuss how to turn even complicated algebra into more straightforward arithmetic: Supplying Numbers™. There are two benefits to this strategy:

  1. Eliminate common algebraic errors and increase accuracy
  2. Work through complicated problems quickly

While it is possible to supply numbers in different ways depending on the problem, the basic process is as follows:

  1. Evaluate the problem to identify whether it involves algebra, either explicit (as formulas, etc.) or implicit (as a word problem that needs to be converted to an expression).
  2. Determine whether you may supply any missing values. Pick appropriate, easy numbers. Look at the rest of the problem to see what numbers might work best.
  3. Work through the problem with your numbers to determine the answer.
  4. Test out the answer choices to see which one works.

Read below to see an example of this process at work.

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Topics: GRE prep, GRE Challenge, question of the week

Question of the Week: Backplugging

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

Try Out the Answers!

Check out the Question of the Week:

Attempt the question; then read the explanation below.

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Topics: GRE prep, GRE Challenge

How to Prep for the GRE on a Tight Schedule

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

Plan Ahead to Succeed

GRE students are a diverse group. "Non-traditional" students are the tradition in GRE preparation. Whether you're a working parent, a recent college graduate, a professional seeking an advanced degree, someone seeking a career change, an academic, or any combination of the above, you will fit right in with other GRE students. 

One of the greatest challenges for people with existing responsibilities is to find the time to prepare successfully for the GRE while staying on top of your job, family, application process, and all the complexities of life. 

In this post, we'll discuss a step-by-step approach to success with the GRE using readily available resources.

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Topics: GRE prep, GRE

Penn Law First to Accept GMAT for Law School Admissions

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

Pilot Program May Have Implications for Other Law Programs

Since early this year, the ABA has continued to move forward with eliminating the accreditation standard mandating that schools use a standardized test in admissions, a proposal adopted in committee that now awaits adoption by the ABA House of Delegates. In a nutshell, this means that law schools would no longer need to require any standardized test for admissions. While some law schools might dispense with not only the LSAT but also standardized testing altogether, these schools will be the exception; instead, many law schools may follow the example of the University of Pennsylvania and the eighteen other law schools that accept the GRE for admissions

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Topics: Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, lsat, GMAT, Business School Admissions, GRE

GRE Quant in Focus: Sequences and Series

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

Repeated Question Patterns

Whether straightforward or difficult, almost every problem on GRE Quantitative Reasoning follows established templates, variations on time-tested scenarios. In this post, we will define sequences and series, explain how they work, and then attempt an example problem.

Key to success on the GRE is the ability to deal with problems in multiple ways, both conventional and unconventional. This way you will get stuck less frequently and always have additional approaches to fall back on in the event one approach doesn't work out the way you want it to. Watch these multiple approaches in action with our example problem below. 

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Topics: GRE prep, GRE Challenge

In Focus: GRE Short Passage Questions and LSAT Logical Reasoning

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

Question Task Patterns

Last week, in response to the news that the ABA approved a proposal that formally removes the requirement that the LSAT be used for admissions purposes we discussed overall structural similarities between GRE and LSAT Reading Comprehension. This week we will compare in more detail similar question tasks on the GRE and the LSAT, specifically on GRE short and medium passage reading comp questions and LSAT Logical Reasoning question tasks. 

While we still strongly advise you to consider the LSAT first for law school admissions, you may find that there is some overlap between preparation you do for the LSAT and the GRE. Equipped with this knowledge, you will be able to make an informed choice between preparing for the LSAT or the GRE, especially if you are considering dual degree, MBA, or other graduate programs.

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Topics: Verbal, GRE prep, LSAT Logical Reasoning

GRE versus LSAT: Reading Comprehension

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

Multiple Options to Consider

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. The latest news is that the American Bar Association council approved a proposal that formally removes the requirement that the LSAT be used for admissions purposes at every ABA-approved law school. I strongly encourage you to read PowerScore CEO Dave Killoran's post about the implications of this decision for the LSAT and the GRE's use in law school admissions.

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 skills-based tests—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 in reading comprehension questions on the GRE and LSAT.

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Topics: GRE prep, Law School Admissions, LSAT Logical Reasoning, LSAT Reading Comprehension, LSAT Prep

PowerScore GRE Forum Featured Post: Your Essays Graded

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

We Help You Prepare for the Analytical Writing Measure

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 student's Analytical Writing Issue Task essay that he submitted to our forum. We read his essay, graded it according to the ETS rubric, and offered suggestions for improvement.

A Free Service for All Students 

Whether you are preparing for the GRE with PowerScore or not, we are eager to help you with all your GRE and grad school admissions questions. On our GRE Forum, you can register and post any question that pertains to official ETS material, such as the GRE PowerPrep practice tests or The Official Guide to the GRE, or to any PowerScore material, such as our Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning Bibles or coursework. 

One service we provide that many students find particularly valuable is the feedback we provide for your Analytical Writing Measure essays. Even if you take an official PowerPrep practice test, ETS does not offer a score for your work on the AWM. Even with its paid essay grading service, there is no human, expert feedback available to help you improve. That's where PowerScore comes in. 

  1. Start by registering for our forums here: GRE Discussion Forum Register
  2. Start a topic under the appropriate heading in our Analytical Writing subforum
  3. Copy and paste your essay along with the topic you respoded to. The complete pool of official Issue Topics and Argument Topics may be found here and here

That's it! You'll have a response within 24 business hours. 

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Topics: GRE prep, Analytical Writing, GRE

Study Smart for GRE Vocab

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

The Lowdown on Vocabulary

The two most frequent questions students have about the GRE are:

  1. What math do I need to study for Quant?
  2. What vocab do I need to know for Verbal?

Last week we discussed how to begin preparing for GRE Quant. This week we'll discuss how to get off to a good start with vocab.

How is vocab tested on the GRE?

Strong vocabulary is an asset for the Verbal Reasoning and the Analytical Writing sections of the GRE. Strong vocab doesn't just mean "fancy" words; instead, strong vocab means building fluency with words that may be somewhat ordinary but just unfamiliar to you. 

The GRE tests college-level academic English, the kind of language you find in higher level periodicals and journals such as:

An ability to grasp the main ideas, structure, and details from texts like these is essential for success on all of Verbal Reasoning. Your ability to demonstrate a command of this kind of style and language is beneficial to your Analytical Writing essays. 

However, the GRE does go beyond testing your general vocabulary knowledge; on Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence problems, the GRE directly tests your familiarity with and command of difficult vocab words. 

Two Approaches to Vocab Improvement

To succeed on the GRE, you have to study vocab in two formats:

  1. Actively and habitually read material such as the publications cited above.

  2. Study vocabulary lists to identify and learn unfamiliar words. 

At PowerScore, we offer our "Repeat Offenders" vocabulary list.

Whether you're reading a journal or studying a list, you must keep track of the vocabulary you need to learn. There are several different and complementary ways to do this:

  • Use an app on a smartphone like Cram, Quizlet, or AnkiApp.
  • Make 3 x 5 flashcards for yourself.
  • Keep a vocab journal.

 In this post, we'll discuss how to keep a vocab journal.

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Topics: Verbal, GRE prep, Reading Comprehension