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The Revised GRE Test Introduction and Overview The GRE – Frequently asked questions* Q: What is on the GRE? A: The GRE consists of two subtests - one involving math skills and the other involving verbal skills - and an analytical writing assessment. Q: How is the GRE scored? A: The math and verbal subtests each receive a score ranging from 130-170, in onepoint increments. The analytical writing assessment is given a separate score, on a scale of 0 to 6. *For answers to other important questions about the GRE, or to register for the general test, visit www.GRE.org.. The GRE – Frequently asked questions Q: How is the GRE structured? A: The analytical writing assessment comes first. It consists of two 30-minute sections, each requiring one to respond to a given prompt. Next comes the GRE proper - 2 verbal sections and 2 math sections. The verbal sections each consist of 20 items, with 30 minutes to complete them. The math sections also consist of 20 items, but with 35 minutes to complete each of these sections. The GRE is computer-based, but otherwise much like a paper-and-pencil exam – you may skip questions, leave questions blank etc. The best way to familiarise one with the interface of the computer-based GRE is to practice with PowerPrep software, which gives one the closest thing to the actual experience of taking the GRE. The GRE – Frequently asked questions Q: What are the math skills tested on the GRE? A: Virtually all the math tested on the GRE is covered by most students by the end of the 9th grade. A few specialized topics, such as standard deviation, are more advanced, but their mastery is not necessary to obtain a high score. The GRE emphasizes problem solving, not math knowledge. GRE math items are hard not because the math skills themselves are difficult, but because the items that involve these skills require the test taker to analyze complex problems and implement multi-step solutions. The GRE – Frequently asked questions Q: How important is learning new vocabulary to improving one’s GRE score? A: Not very. Clearly, the more English words one knows, the better. But the revised GRE is designed to test vocabulary in context only, and so the emphasis is not on vocabulary per se, but on critical reading skills such as recognizing the roles of key words like “although” and “since”, and understanding the importance of surrounding words towards determining the meaning of a missing word. Most test takers who plan to take the GRE within two or three months are better served by developing these critical reading skills than by trying to learn new vocabulary. GRE Math: Item Formats Quantitative comparison: • Four answer choices, select exactly one: 2 2 O is the center of the circle, and the perimeter of Triangle AOB is 6. Quantity A The circumference of the circle Quantity B A B C D 12 These Items require you to compare two expressions and determine the relation between their values, if a determinate relation exists. GRE Math: Item Formats Multiple choice items • Five options, select exactly one 14. If a is the smallest prime number greater than 21 and b is the largest prime number less than 16, then ab = a = 23 b = 13 ab = 299 A 299 B 323 C 330 D 345 E 351 These are the standard multiple choice items with which most test takers are familiar. GRE Math: Item Formats Multiple choice items • Three or more options, select more than one 11. In triangle ABC, the measure of angle A is 25° and The measure of angle B is greater than 90°. Which of the following could be the measure of angle C ? Indicate all such measures. A 12° B 15° C 45° D 50° E 70° C <65° A 25° >90° B Some of these items require one to select exactly 2 answer choices; other instruct one to select all that apply, from one answer choice up. The number of answer choices available with these items ranges from three to more than five. Answer choices appear in squares to distinguish these items from “select only one” items. GRE Math: Item Formats Numeric entry: • Answer is keyed into provided space, or spaces (for fractions) 23. The average (arithmetic mean) of the 11 numbers in a list is 14. If the average of 9 of the numbers in the list is 9, what is the average of the other 2 numbers? 36.5 x x 1 2 ... x11 11 14 x x 1 2 ... x9 9 81 x10 x11 14 11 x1 x2 ... x9 81 81 x10 x11 154 x10 x11 73 x x 10 11 2 x 10 x11 2 9 36.5 Each space will accommodate a single numeral or decimal expression (only numerals for fractions); negations are keyed as hyphens. Fractions need not be in reduced form. GRE Verbal: Item Formats Reading comprehension: • Five answer choices, select exactly one 25. In the context in which it appears, “accorded” (line 9) most nearly means A reconciled B revealed C granted D verified E maintained GRE Verbal: Item Formats Reading comprehension: • three answer choices, select all that apply For the following question, consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply. A tall tree can transport a hundred gallons of water a day from its roots deep underground to the treetop. 21.Which of the following statements is supported by Is this movement propelled by pulling the water from the passage? above or pushing it from below? The pull mechanism has long been favored by most scientists. First A The pull theory is not universally proposed in the late 1800s, the theory relies on a accepted by scientists. property of water not commonly associated with fluids: its tensile strength. Instead of making a clean B The pull theory depends on one of break, water evaporating from treetops tugs on the water’s physical properties. remaining water molecules, with that tug extending from molecule to molecule all the way down to the C The pull theory originated earlier than roots. The tree itself does not actually push or pull; did the push theory. all the energy for lifting water comes from the sun’s evaporative power. GRE Verbal: Item Formats Reading comprehension: • Select-in-passage: highlight the sentence from the passage that best meets the given description 10. In Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry does not reject integration or the economic and moral promise of the American dream; rather, she remains loyal to this dream while looking, realistically, at its In which sentence of the passage does the author incomplete realization. Once we recognize this dual provide examples that reinforce an argument vision, we can accept the play’s ironic nuances as against a critical response cited earlier in the deliberate social commentaries by Hansberry rather passage? than as the “unintentional” irony that Bigsby attributes to the work. Indeed, a curiously persistent refusal to credit Hansberry with a capacity for intentional irony has led some critics to interpret the play’s thematic conflicts as mere confusion, contradiction, or eclecticism. Isaacs, for example, cannot easily reconcile Hansberry’s intense concern for her race with her ideal of human reconciliation. But the play’s complex view of Black self-esteem and human solidarity as compatible is no more “contradictory” than Du Bois’ famous, well-considered ideal of ethnic self-awareness coexisting with human unity, or Fanon’s emphasis on an ideal internationalism that also accommodates national identities and roles. GRE Verbal: Item Formats Text completion: • One-to-three blanks per item, three answer choices per blank. Select exactly one answer choice per blank. similarity 6. To the untutored eye the tightly forested Ardennes hills around Sedan look quite (i)_____, (ii)_____ place through which to advance a modern army; even with today’s more numerous and better roads and bridges, the woods and river Meuse form a significant (iii)_____.contrast contrast A impenetrable D a makeshift G resource B inconsiderable E an unpropitious H impediment C uncultivated F an unremarkable I passage GRE Verbal: Item Formats Sentence equivalence: • One blank per item, six answer choices per blank. Select exactly two answer choices per blank. similarity 17. The macromolecule RNA is common to all living beings, and DNA, which is found in all organisms except some bacteria, is almost as _____ . A comprehensive B fundamental C inclusive D universal E significant F ubiquitous Quantitative comparison items nicely illustrate the importance of critical reasoning to the math section of the GRE. Generally, the challenge is to recognize what makes comparing the values of the two expressions difficult, and then to remove this obstacle by implementing the relevant steps to simplify the problem. The item itself will offer strong clues as to which steps should be taken to accomplish this goal. The following are examples of common tactics for simplifying quantitative comparison problems. Simplify one side or another: Quantity A Quantity B 64% of (50)(40) 1200 (.64)(2000) A B C D 1280 A B C D Add/subtract, multiply/divide* same thing on both sides: Subtract 39x: x + 39y 40y Subtract 39y: x y (930)(420) + 930 930 A B C D (930)(420) + 420 420 A B C D * Multiplying or dividing by positive numbers preserves relationship between expressions Collect together occurrences of a variable found on one or both sides: 2x - 2 2 2x 4 A B C D A B C D Use any given information to solve for one side or the other: (x - 5)(x + 1) = 0 x = 5; x = -1 A B C D x + y+ z= 3y x + z = 2y A B C D Quantitative Comparison Items The Basic Approach to Quantitative Comparison Items: First step - check to see if one, the other, or both expressions are indeterminate. • indeterminate – answer choice could be D. (Simplify as above, pick numbers) • not indeterminate – answer choice could not be D. (Simplify as above) Q: What do we mean by indeterminate? A: An expression is indeterminate if it can have more than one value. Examples: “x,” “a prime factor of 15,” and “the base of a triangle with area 10 square meters” are all indeterminate expressions. By contrast, “4,” “The average of 12 and 13,” and “the greatest prime factor of 15” are all determinate expressions. Only if at least one of the two expressions is indeterminate, can the relation between the two expressions change, and thus can the correct answer be D. Items with indeterminacy: A B C D A B C D Example: A B C D x 0: 0 -1 -1 0 y 1 : y 0: x 1 : Example: x 2: y 1: x 3: y 2: A B C D 2 Tips for picking numbers, Quantitative Comparison Items: • Try simple numbers first; 0 and 1 often work best. • Try the same number for more than one variable at a time, if possible. • After plugging in one set of numbers, think about which new numbers will make the relation between expressions change. • Don’t forget negative numbers, and numbers between 0 and 1 (especially if exponents are involved). • Usually if the answer is not D, after plugging in a few sets of numbers you will understand why the relation does not change. • If you’ve tried several numbers from all the important categories and the relation still hasn’t changed, it is probably safe to guess. Case study: x 1: A B C D 2 1 y 1: x 2: y 2: 8 16 Case study: A B C D x 3: y 2: z 1: x 3: y 2: z 1 : 6 -6 Case study: Alice’s salary is greater than Bill’s salary. At the end of the year they each receive a bonus of $4000 dollars. Quantity A Alice’s bonus, as a percentage of her salary Quantity B Bill’s bonus, as a percentage of his salary A B C D THANK YOU