GRE Snacks 6 – Base rates and how to maximize the effectiveness of your study time

Tyler York
GRE Snacks

Base rates are the likelihood that a question appears on the GRE Exam. You should probably study the most common questions more, right? Surprisingly, most GRE test prep materials aren’t built that way.

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 6 – Base rates and how to maximize the effectiveness of your study time transcript:

 Welcome to GRE snacks snackin full episodes about the GRE exam a graduate school admissions. I'm Tyler founder of Achievable it started. So for this episode want to talk about something called base trade. So first I do and how they can maximize the effectiveness of how you study and how your person so first water-based Reds win counter a certain question on the day of the test those kind of the percentage chance that you'll see a question type or more like the allocation of the question types. Like it's 20% this type of question. And that kind of thing. Is it the form of a letter and Dragons It's like the encounter rate. Got it. Okay, really just review
 I'm kind of a nerd but hopefully the nerd out there will appreciate that. They are key to maximizing like you're allocating your study time effectively and then also key to somehow we built our course, I think both of those are kind of tangential from each other. Well face rapes wouldn't be an issue if the different question types had pretty much an even chance of occurring On Any Given task. However, that is very very very far from the truth is more likely to be encountered on a test than others 100 times.
 Talking over here. I know this because I've examined I think 25 different full-length practice test made by UTSA and I diagnosed every single problem in those tests. So I diagnosed hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of questions or system if you purchase achievable and why haven't you purchase achievable yet? You'll see that there are 50 types of quantitative questions. That's pretty good for the fact that there's only 40 grade and quantitative questions on the entire exam. That means that every single question you encounter can be reliably sorted into just one of fifty buckets. There's only 50 types of questions on the GRE every one of those questions and I calculated the relative frequency of that question time relative to all of the tests that I examined and that's how I calculated the base rates for the 50 different question types, like everything else in achievable does it's based on evidence. It's based on.
 Better studying through data. So the fact that some question types are literally hundred 100 times more likely than others means that the way that traditional test goes about preparing a student's is almost irresponsible it presented as if it's equally likely to occur like you're a master in a math class is about circle patterns about mixtures in this is about ratios, but it doesn't give you any information as to which of these is way more heavily weighted than others. And so it does students a disservice. They can spend a lot of time studying complicated but very rare question types. Well kind of not putting in enough time and energy on question types that they will absolutely see on the day of the test. Right? Cuz your let's see, you know, your goal is to maximize your score you're much better off getting 100% on the things that are really likely than being ready for that one off really weird.
 Question that only shows up every 4th test its true perfect or near-perfect scores for the vast majority of us. We don't mean that we can get a very strong competitive score 163-165 without getting into the esoterica in my new Chef GRE question types Yeah Boy And it's just frankly. I think it decreases your Effectiveness on everything that you've already learned cuz you just trying to keep too much in your head that could be like if you only have a certain amount of time to study we all do whether it's because of natural deadlines created by the program's replying to or just because you have better things to do with your life. You want to maximize your Roi the return of your investment of your time energy detention.
 So focus on the concepts that give you the greatest bang for your buck and let go of the ones that you have a very low likelihood of encountering. So the way that this works is base rates Factory into every single presentation of a concept in achievable. The manual is constructed and presented such that high base rate question types. The ones that you're far more likely to encounter are presented earlier in the text this ensures that you get to that stuff right off the bat as quickly as possible and that you get the maximum amount of rehearsal in practice with those question types as your prep unfolds including every page is like this is the base rate. We believe for this question time for the test. So you have that information as well. Absolutely. I believe in demystifying this process which means giving students the information to data.
 All materials that they need to make up their own mind to see that this approach is actually in their best interests and is affected. Do you want to share maybe base rates of problem types that either are like very high and people should take note of just like a few examples or very low but you feel like they're over taught about the top 10 people want to know that so far away. I think I think actually a kind of dads he's got to find 10 spot to the 10th most common question Type R statistics problems problems are problems that have to do with medians modes ranges and standard.
 Deviations this is stuff that you probably learned in eighth or ninth grade can be intimidating to some people about like doing differential equations and logical regressions. That is way too complicated for the Middle School. What's the middle number? What's the most frequently occurring number number 9 are quadrilateral problems. So anything with four sides that again Middle School totally trapezoids, you need to know the two basic equations for those four shapes and some some pretty clever hacks for solving this problem quickly. Next up are percent change problems. Anything that says percent increase percent more percent decrease percent less, you know those equations as well as some clever One Step hacks to calculate percent change very very quickly.
 Can't do it and let's say 90 seconds or less. You really can't do it with respect to the GRE next with the exponent of exponent laws as well. As some of these more advanced ways of gettin basted basis of exponents the same things like that. Next up are circles are those round things what number are we at? 450 the only ones that you're technically guaranteed to see On Any Given test, they'll always be three of them in each 20-question quantitative set there either recognized because they'll have charts pie graph line graphs tables things like that that I've several chapters about did interpretations. Actually. We learn how to go fetch and do math. We learn about the
 Common crabs that ETS setup for us for these graphs and how to avoid them.
 Number for average problems and I have a really fun technique for saw the average problems 3r percent of problems with your even in some respects simpler than percent change problems. There are different language. So we use slightly different approaches number to our triangle problems are three sided friends and number one Far and Away the most common question type are plug-in problems plug-in problems are questions that have Variables answer choices by studying this approach. We can eliminate 99% of the algebra on the GRE and doesn't that sound real nice boys and girls, let's get rid of simple concrete instead. If so explain is a fucking problem like you're plugging variables into equations to get there to basically be the correct answer.
 Concrete values to transform abstract algebra into concrete arithmetic value in the domain of values. So by choosing any concrete number, we know that it's going to work because any concrete number is a subset of every number in a given to me about every number we're just going to focus on any number the one that we choose like two or three and there's a toll system of codified rules around plugging in but if you just follow it kind of like an algorithm you'll get the correct answer 99% of the time. It's awesome enough presented, like right off the bat after are quantitative efficiency strategies in the achievable manual super super important to master that
 Send a briefly answer your other question about question types that are really overhype these include mixture problems. They're tied for the 46th out of 50. Probably never going to see those guys compound interest. Everybody is so freaked out about compound interest to be honest. I never even learned the compound interest equation. And if I don't even know what you sure as heck don't need to know it if you want it. You don't need it work problems. Not something that you really need to concern yourself about sequence problems. Either can be very tricky, but they have such a low encounter rate that it's not worth getting too stressed out. Now. I think Empower students to accelerate their progress under shorter timelines again, basically get the most bang for your buck if your buck is your study time or your
 Even your money right? You're just you're getting the best score return for your investment volumes the pages in it. What do they expect you're going to quit your job and move them like some library and just devote your life to the study of this home. No way man. What is certainly not organized by out of the 50 things? You got to learn me know which ones are most important. They think it's all they did. They tell it to you like it's all important. Yes, they they kind of overwhelm their students with content because they believe that if they only retain like 40% of what their top and maybe they'll see significant Improvement that and I think that there's like a sense almost a pride of like we cover everything and it's kind of like of it. It's like not the results oriented mindset.
 More of the kind of content-oriented by and set steps very efficient. What we do ya with an actual results exactly. It's all about the results in this for fun. Except me. I'm having a blast. Well, that sounds great. Thanks Orion and this has been GRE snacks hosted by Orion from Stellar GRE and Tyler from Achievable. We partner to build a great GRE course, you can check it out for free at
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