GRE Snacks 13 – Why you need to keep an error log when studying for the GRE

Tyler York
GRE Snacks

If you’re studying for the GRE, you probably got some questions wrong in your practice quizzing. Thing is, you’re almost certainly exhibiting patterns of behavior that are leading to your errors. Do you know what those patterns are? This is why it’s so important to keep an error log when you’re practicing for the GRE – Orion explains how to do it.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive course to maximize your score on the GRE exam, check out Achievable’s GRE course that was authored by Orion.

GRE Snacks 13 – Why you need to keep an error log when studying for the GRE transcript:

 Welcome to GRE snacks snackin full episodes about the GRE exam and graduate school admission. I'm Tyler founder of Achievable GRE course.
 Let's get started. So today's episode about why it's important to track your mistakes. And then the way that you like to track your mistakes and organize it for the maximum benefit. I mean start things off with why is it important to track your mistakes? I feel like this might be kind of obvious. But just to kind of lay it out really playing me in the context of the G. Sure. I think that this is not in any way you need to the GRE. I'm sure you've had some personal experience with this yourself Tyler's just the fastest way to improve is stop doing the things that are missing you stop doing the things that are getting in your way actually as a therapist. I say this all the time it's like rather than try to do the one or two things that are developing new habits. Okay, so you want to lose weight. I'm going to get a gym membership and I'm going to run a marathon and I'm going to lift weights 3 times a week. Just stop doing the one or two things that are really getting in your getting in your way and obstructing your growth.
 Like stop binging on an ice cream every other night because no matter if you do all those other good things that that one habit might just be taken away all of your progress, which is going to make you feel frustrated and demoralized.
 Do the key with tracking your errors is is not to make make you feel bad. It's it's to accelerate your growth and the idea what those are is my ID so that you can actually change your objective Behavior as a result that not necessarily to just beat yourself up or to say I just won't do that next time as a psychologist. I can tell you but that doesn't happen if people could just say that won't do that next time. I wouldn't have a job. So I actually want to be strategic and changing our objective behavior in response to ARA manifested errors that make sense. Yeah. Yeah, and I imagine jump jump a little bit into the next part of it, which is the air log with an error log. You can probably identify patterns, right? I think that's the main thing of the air.
 Is that we're going to make mistakes because we're human but we're also not going to make mistakes randomly because we're human you might already know this Tyler but it's actually extremely difficult for humans to be random to replicate Mandan this if I were to ask you to just name a random string of numbers that might start out more or less random, but after maybe 10 or 15 digits, you would start to events patterns and preferences for certain numbers without even realizing it so we don't we don't rely on humans to beer and it's not something that would do. Well we're ordered and structured and Rascal Flatts. So what the error log does is it helps people to become not aware of their random errors your errors can fuel random until you're aware of your unconscious Behavior patterns in overtime. Your errors should more less begin to Cluster in a few different.
 Different groupings and then you can create like ad hoc interventions to address those groupings as they materialized in Europe practice. It's very individualized and solution-focused. Yeah it also I think you know, if you're having a systematized flaw or problem, then you need to change the way that the process is working great. Like if you're consistently making the same mistake on clock problems, then you need to figure out what that mistake is and then dig into it then and then recognized ahead of time and fix it.
 If there's a problem something has got to change. We know this in our personal lies. We do this in our relationship. We do this at work. If there's a problem something has got to change and that generally has to be enough reactive change. Not just how I'll be more mindful moving forward or I'll be more careful or try not to do that. That's not something that inspires a lot of confidence.
 In you know our partners, you know when our everyday lives someone.
 Just a doll try not to do that so I can okay. Well, what are you actually going to do different moving forward that would Inspire more confidence than just saying I'll just be more careful.
 If you don't mind talk a little bit about how I coach students to create their hair locks. That sound. Okay. Yeah, perfect. So what I like to say is that there's really only three ways to get a question wrong on the GRE. So the first element of an error log does it take every question you miss and categorize it into one of these three groupings.
 Group one for lack of a better word is ignorance. You just didn't know you didn't know the core concept. He didn't know the definition of that word. You didn't know the equation. You didn't know that definition of that vocabulary word of what semantic cluster it was associated with you just didn't know.
 it might seem weird to say but these are the easiest problems to fix like the area of a trapezoid equation is a quick Google search away the definition of
 Impressionist not knowing something weiner so little that any of us know at the end of the day, so if there is any shame and it's real fully abiding in ignorance, so the knowing that there is a deficit in knowledge is really easy to fix you can either Google that or you know, you can go to the achievable manual everything that you need for a top percentile score on all three sections. The test is
 So if you need a piece information, it's going to be in the middle.
 So throw some knowledge at that and it should solve the problem deviation.
 So what's that? You know how to do a problem, you know how to answer a question, but you it takes you for five minutes to do it.
 Where you know at the very least, you know to solve the problem. I guess that's good. But on a time to test like the GRE if you can't solve the question 90 seconds or less you kind of can't do it. And so this is really were strategy and technique come in in. This is what makes the GRE a little bit different from other standardized test where it's like if you know this fact you should get the question right knowing the information not being ignorant. It's just is necessary but insufficient for the GRE, we also need to be able to get to the solution quickly and these generally require sexy test prep hacks. And this is the cool part of the achievable system use the sexy test like how to hack the test how to get to the correct answer as quickly as possible. This isn't as Google able to say the definition of a word or a geometric equation.
 So there is a strategy or technique that exists for every single type of question on the GRE. And in fact, that's how the manual I wrote breaks down inside of the achievable app. Like for example, there are 50 different types of quantitative questions. I have ate at least a strategy and sometimes several strategies for every single one of those 50 question and there is a clever sexy hack for every single type of question. So deviation means that either didn't you. Sexy strategy like you went rogue or you did it kind of imperfectly
 So this has to do with like practice and repetition the way to solve deviation errors is to reinforce the strategy or technique associated with that question type and this can be easily done with the achievable app because we have this really cool mechanism where we can create infinite unlimited quantitative questions that are basically Dynamic templates of problems that I wrote, you know for that for the app and you can just grind use on those specific question types using the strategy until you can kind of get that question type correct in 90 seconds or less. Do you want to reinforce the process deviation is really about changing what about knowledge about knowing how to solve its being able to actually do it in real time over and over again?
 And there are ways to to really do that with the achievable app that I think are very cool and don't exist in other places.
 So obviously Shameless plunder.
 So that's that the third type is actually the most Insidious type of error. It's careless errors. So let's say you knew exactly how to solve the problem use the correct and indicated strategy or technique you did it perfectly but you got the question wrong for something that really has nothing to do with the question. It's like you forgot the negative sign or you switch the direction of the inequality. Will you misread a word in the question where you wrote be on your paper, but your Clip Tray on the screen like really silly were sometimes people say stupid errors. I like to say we all we are prone to making these kills there's overtime. If you do your Test Prep properly, the only reason you should be getting a question.
 In the beginning there might be a lot that you don't know but if you read the manual you stick to the system eventually you'll know how to do all the problems you're going to do all the problems in 90 seconds or less in the only reason that these highest-scoring high-performing students get questions wrong as to their own carelessness. So this is something that becomes more and more important as test prep goes on and it makes the difference between say a 167 and a 163 you'd like one or two points that are usually due to carelessness as opposed to knowledge. So for this question type, I take one more pass and I say name the example of carelessness as specifically as possible. This could be misread the problem or forgot to carry the one or get my mental math wrong, whatever it is no matter how silly or insignificant it seems name it and you should begin to see these
 Worcester overtime 80% of careless errors tend to Cluster in just like three to five different groupings.
 That's really really important formation to a student becomes aware of that that within their own subjective experience. They just think that their errors are kind of random and they can happen at any given moment. But now with these date of having passed through hundreds of problems, they say actually if I just changed like three things I can eliminate 80% of my careless errors, which is kind of the difference between a good score and actually Incredibles. Korra comes to this very competitive exam objective behaviors, which I call Fail-Safe that should prevent the recurrence of those careless errors, even in the absence of the word, which means that if you just do these behaviors, it should solve the carelessness whether you're paying attention or not. You just have to do the behaviors every single time and it should take care of the problem or less. So the only way I found to reduce carelessness is to be really systematic and data-driven.
 Because just telling people to be more careful to be more mindful to remember to not to do that in the future. It just doesn't work. So if you're really serious about success and achievement it it's it takes this level of detail and commitment to arrive at that at that level. That makes sense. I mean you probably won't think of Aries is particularly consequential when they happen in a vacuum, but when you stack them up over the course of the log over a week so you can see how many there are right especially if it's in a given cluster powerful practice hundred the problems to be able to see these data the state of materialize and it's so frustrating this section Tyler still unforgiving like you missed one question you drop, 172 167. You don't even have to like this could be one step of one question on the entire for our testing already. Boom. You're down to the 92nd percentile. It's very unforgiving.
 So that top percentile score is really about the mindful diligent application of training more than anything else.
 All right.
 Yeah, are you lie? It can be done by a lot more people than do it.
 Absolutely, like this isn't rocket surgery. So if you're just careful and diligent you can solve the problem.
 Great. Alright. Thanks Orion. This has been GRE snacks hosted by Orion for StellarGRE and Tyler from Achievable in Orion have partnered to build a great GRE course try for free at and you can use the code podcast to get 10% off at checkout.
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