# GRE for Dummies

, by Woldoff, Ron**Note:**Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

- ISBN: 9781119550785 | 1119550785
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 4/30/2019

**Take the guesswork out of the GRE**

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for most graduate schools in the United States. The GRE aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study.

*GRE For Dummies* *with Online Practice* provides updated resources and preparation strategies to help you score your very best on exam day. So, grab a pen, paper, or your electronic device and get started now!

- Use trusted strategies to score your highest on the exam
- Master verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing sections of the GRE
- Prepare for the big day by answering sample questions and taking practice exams
- Get one-year access to six practice tests online

It’s never been easier or more efficient to prep for the GRE!

**Ron Woldoff** was a corporate consultant before opening his own company, National Test Prep, where he helps students reach their goals on college and graduate school entrance exams. Ron created the curricula for mastering these exams and has taught GRE and GMAT prep at Arizona colleges and universities.

**Introduction**** 1**

About This Book 1

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 4

**Part 1: Getting Started with the GRE**** 5**

**Chapter 1: Knowing What to Expect with the GRE**** 7**

Signing Up for the GRE 7

Breaking the GRE into Bite-Sized Pieces 8

Scoring Max: 340 Then 6 9

Understanding how the scoring breaks down 9

Calculating your score 10

Confirming that your score is actually good 10

Throwing a mental dart 11

Seeing or canceling your scores 11

Taking advantage of the ScoreSelect option 12

Catching Your Mental Breath: The GRE Intermissions 12

**Chapter 2: Owning the GRE: Strategies for Success**** 13**

Making the Best Use of Your Time 14

Budgeting your time for studying 14

Budgeting your time for practice 14

Taking control: Time management tips 15

Plan B: Repeating the Test 15

It Isn’t You: Testing Under Adverse Conditions 16

Using Old Scores 17

**Chapter 3: Gearing Up for Exam Day**** 19**

Gathering Your Stuff the Night Before 19

Knowing What Not to Bring 20

Training Physically and Mentally for Test Day 21

Staying active 21

Eating well 22

Relaxing 22

Mastering the Computer Part 22

Bringing the GRE into Your Comfort Zone 23

Getting familiar with what’s on the exam 23

Understanding that the GRE is only one of many admissions requirements 24

**Part 2: Tackling the Verbal Section One Word at a Time**** 25**

**Chapter 4: What Are They Saying: Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence**** 27**

Clinching Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence Questions 27

Keeping it straight 28

Trying it out 28

Developing Your Skills for Finding the Correct Answers 29

Interpreting the Text 101 29

Getting the gist of the text 30

Taking the Best and Only Approach 30

Interpret the text without looking at the answer choices 31

Complete the text with your own words 31

Eliminate wrong answer choices 32

Interpreting Trickier Sentences 32

Use transition words to get the gist of the phrases 33

Start with the second or third missing word 34

Getting Your Hands Dirty with Some Practice 35

Text Completion questions 35

Sentence Equivalence questions 38

**Chapter 5: Getting the Gist: Reading Comprehension**** 45**

Recognizing the Three Reading Comprehension Question Formats 45

Multiple-choice questions: Choose one answer 46

Multiple-choice questions: Choose one or more answers 46

Sentence-selection questions: Choose a sentence from the passage 47

Developing Strategies for Success 47

Using the context as your road map 47

Grasping the gist of the passage 48

Avoiding common traps 48

Answering the question yourself 49

Acing the Three Commonly Tested Reading Comprehension Passages 49

The biological and physical science passage 49

The social sciences passage 52

The humanities passage 55

The social sciences passage redux 57

**Chapter 6: Critical Thinking: Argument Analysis Questions**** 61**

Covering the Answer Choices 62

Reading the Question and Understanding What it’s Asking 62

Reading the Passage for What the Question is Asking 62

Identifying the “because” and the “therefore” 63

Finding the unstated assumption 64

Exploring common logical fallacies 65

Answering the Question in Your Own Words 66

Eliminating Each Wrong Answer 66

Leveraging the process of elimination 67

Testing your skills 67

**Chapter 7: Expanding Your Vocabulary to Boost Your Score**** 71**

Brushing Up on Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots 71

Prefixes 72

Suffixes 74

Roots 74

Memorizing the GRE’s Most Common Vocabulary Words 76

**Part 3: Math You Thought You’d Never Need Again**** 91**

**Chapter 8: Back to Basic Arithmetic ****93**

Knowing Integers, Factors, and Multiples 93

More Math Terms 94

Prime and Composite Numbers 94

Reading Between the Lines: Absolute Value 95

Remembering the Order of Things with PEMDAS 95

Measuring Up: Units of Measurement 96

Getting to the Point: Decimals 97

Adding and subtracting decimals 97

Multiplying decimals 98

Dividing decimals 98

Fine with Fractions 99

Adding or subtracting fractions 99

Multiplying fractions 100

Dividing fractions 100

Mixed numbers 100

Percentages and Fractions 101

Converting between percentages and decimals or fractions 101

Finding the percent of change 102

Factorials in Fractions 103

Organizing Ratios 104

Considering the total number of items 104

Finding the amounts in the ratio 105

Maintaining the ratio 106

Combining ratios 106

Working the Numbers: Arithmetic Practice Problems 107

**Chapter 9: Algebra: Finding What X Really Means**

**111**

Using Bases and Exponents 111

Working with Math Operators and Functions 114

Substituting for the variable in the math operator 114

Substituting for the variable in the function 115

Revisiting Algebra 115

Solving for *x *116

Multiplying with the FOIL method 117

Factoring back out 119

Dealing with Square Roots and Radicals 119

Simplifying square roots and radicals 120

Estimating the radical 120

Adding and subtracting radicals 121

Multiplying and dividing numbers with radicals 121

Working radicals from the inside out 122

Plotting it Out with Coordinate Geometry 122

Solving common problems 123

Working with linear equations 125

Solving simultaneous equations 127

Circling back: Graphed circles 130

Recognizing Patterns in Sequential Terms 131

Functioning with *f*(*x*) 132

**Chapter 10: Getting into Shapes with Geometry** **135**

Exploring Lines and Angles 135

Lines 135

Angles 136

Recognizing Polygons 138

Determining total interior angle measure 139

Finding one interior angle 140

Understanding Triangles 140

Recognizing triangle types 140

Noting key characteristics 141

Calculating perimeter and area 142

Understanding the Pythagorean theorem 143

Identifying common right triangles 144

Knowing Quadrilaterals 146

Working with Circles 148

Recognizing a circle’s features 149

Mastering essential formulas 151

Tackling shaded-area problems 156

Turning 3-D Shapes 158

Calculating volume 158

Calculating surface area 161

**Chapter 11: Putting in a Good Word Problem** **163**

Just Saying the Word Problem: Step by Step 163

Going Farther with Time and Distance 164

Finding the Average 165

Taking shortcuts: Finding the average of evenly spaced or consecutive integers 165

Solving missing-term average problems 166

Working with weighted averages 167

Working on Work Problems 168

Teaming Up with Team-Work Problems 169

Mixing it Up with Mixture Problems 170

Sorting Out Sets and Groups 173

Using the Venn diagram 173

Using the sets formula 174

Finding the Probability 174

Step #1: Set up the fraction 175

Step #2: Multiply consecutive probabilities 175

Step #3: Add either/or probabilities on a single event 176

Calculating probability in sets and groups 176

Counting the Ways with Counting Methods 177

Basic counting methods 177

When order matters: Permutations 179

When order doesn’t matter: Combinations 180

**Chapter 12: Interpreting Data and Graphs**** 183**

Brushing Up on Basic Stats 183

Defining the median 183

Understanding mode 185

Establishing the range 185

Finding the mean 186

Using the standard deviation 188

Eyeballing the standard deviation 189

Using the mean deviation191

Interpreting Tables and Graphs 192

Analyzing Data in Tables 193

Analyzing Data in Graphs 194

Reading different graph types 194

Answering questions with two graphs 198

Estimating graph totals quickly 200

**Chapter 13: Comparing Quantities: They Report, You Decide**** 203**

Memorizing Answer Choices that Don’t Change 203

Easy as π: Approaching QC Questions 204

Gotchas and Other Pitfalls: Tips, Traps, and Tricks 205

Remembering that equal appearances can be deceiving but still useful 205

Keeping an eye out for scale 206

Remembering that the rules of math still apply 206

Canceling out identical terms 207

Sorting out identical terms 208

Making the terms identical 209

Estimating the quantities 210

Plugging in the Four Square 210

Throwing down a hundred 211

Mixing up multiple unknowns 212

Deciding On Your Own: Quantitative Comparison Practice Questions 213

**Part 4: Penning Powerful Analytical Essays**** 217**

**Chapter 14: Writing Analytical Essays on Issues and Arguments ****219**

Setting Your Sights on the Target: Scoring a Perfect 6 220

What the essay scores really mean 220

Key methods to scoring well 221

Writing the Issue Essay 222

Step 1: Read and understand the prompt 222

Step 2: Start with your supporting info 223

Step 3: Take a position that’s in line with your examples 223

Step 4: Write your Issue Analysis essay 224

Tying everything together with smooth transitions 227

Writing the Argument Essay 228

Step 1: Read and understand the prompt 228

Step 2: Identify the position stated in the argument 229

Step 3: List the reasons given to support the stated position 229

Step 4: Identify the flawed assumptions behind each reason 230

Step 5: Write your essay 231

**Chapter 15: Practicing Analytical Writing and Sample Essays**** 235**

Setting the Stage for a Realistic Experience 235

Writing an Analyze an Issue Essay: Some Samples 236

Having trouble getting started? Identifying relevant laws: Some examples 236

Sample essay — score 6 (outstanding) 237

Evaluator comments on the score 6 essay 238

Sample essay — score 4 (adequate) 238

Evaluator comments on the score 4 essay 239

Writing an Analyze an Argument Essay: Some Samples 240

Having trouble getting started? Identifying some faulty assumptions 240

Sample essay — score 6 (outstanding) 241

Evaluator comments on the score 6 essay 241

Sample essay — score 4 (adequate) 242

Evaluator comments on the score 4 essay 242

**Part 5: Taking Full-Length Practice Gres: It’s All You ****243**

**Chapter 16: Practice Exam 1**** 245**

Answer Sheet for Practice Exam 1 247

Section 1 251

Section 2 257

Section 3 261

Section 4 267

**Chapter 17: Practice Exam 1: Answers and Explanations** **271**

Analytical Writing Sections 271

Section 1: Verbal Reasoning 271

Section 2: Quantitative Reasoning 274

Section 3: Verbal Reasoning 277

Section 4: Quantitative Reasoning 280

Answer Key for Practice Exam 1 283

**Chapter 18: Practice Exam 2**** 285**

Answer Sheet for Practice Exam 2 287

Section 1 291

Section 2 296

Section 3 300

Section 4 305

**Chapter 19: Practice Exam 2: Answers and Explanations** **309**

Analytical Writing Sections 309

Section 1: Verbal Reasoning 309

Section 2: Quantitative Reasoning 312

Section 3: Verbal Reasoning 314

Section 4: Quantitative Reasoning 316

Answer Key for Practice Exam 2 319

**Chapter 20: Practice Exam 3**** 321**

Answer Sheet for Practice Exam 3 323

Section 1 327

Section 2 333

Section 3 336

Section 4 342

**Chapter 21: Practice Exam 3: Answers and Explanations**** 347**

Analytical Writing Sections 347

Section 1: Verbal Reasoning 347

Section 2: Quantitative Reasoning 349

Section 3: Verbal Reasoning 351

Section 4: Quantitative Reasoning 353

Answer Key for Practice Exam 3 356

**Part 6: The Part of Tens**** 357**

**Chapter 22: Ten Key Facts about the GRE**** 359**

You May Return to Previous Questions in the Same Section 359

The GRE Doesn’t Penalize for Guessing 360

The GRE Uses a Percentile-Based Scoring System 360

Practice Makes All the Difference 360

You Must Study for the GRE 361

The GRE is Different from the SAT and ACT 361

The GRE Measures Your Stamina and Performance under Pressure 361

The General GRE is Not Program-Specific 361

You Can Practice the GRE on Your Own Computer 361

You Can’t Bring Anything into the Testing Center 362

**Chapter 23: Ten Mistakes You Won’t Make (While Others Will)**** 363**

You Won’t Cheat 363

You Won’t Run Out of Steam 363

You Won’t Neglect Your Breaks 364

You Won’t Dwell on Questions From the Previous Sections 364

You Won’t Sweat the Time Limit 364

You Won’t Rush Through the Questions 365

You Definitely Won’t Choke on the Essays 365

You Won’t Fret Over the Hard Questions 365

You Won’t Take the Exam with a Friend 365

You Won’t Change Your Morning Routine 366

**Chapter 24: Ten Ways to Build Your Skills with the Online Exams**** 367**

Take an Exam in One Sitting to Build Stamina 367

Recognize the Mistakes You Make Under Pressure 368

Get Used to Others in the Room 368

Make it a Dress Rehearsal 368

Get a Competitive Edge 368

Practice Your Test-Taking Strategies 369

Know the Exam Software 369

Get Used to Starting with the Essays 369

Find Your Areas of Focus 370

Review the Answers and Explanations 370

Index 371