GRE Snacks 10 – GRE problem solving strategies

Tyler York
GRE Snacks

People taking the GRE are often very smart, and get sucked into learning how to complete the GRE’s quant and verbal problems. This is a trap. The right way to solve GRE problems is to get the answer quickly, regardless of how you got there. Orion explains how his GRE problem solving strategies save you time on test day and help you skip the heavy lifting.

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 10 – GRE problem solving strategies transcript:

 Welcome to GRE snacks snack full episodes about the GRE exam in graduate school admission. I'm Tyler founder with you.
 Great, let's get started. Today was something that I think you have mostly talked about in the context of Quant problems, but it's probably applicable to everything which is really kind of problem solving strategies and why you don't necessarily need to know how you got there to get there. So good intro for you.
 Okay, so when it comes to being affected in anything, you have to really pinpoint what you're there to do and understanding sometimes is just a completely unnecessary and expensive cognitive that expensive because understanding takes a great deal of time and mental energy. Like for example, I need to go get groceries. That's what I'm here. That's my objective. Do I really need to understand how the internal combustion engine in my car propels the the cylinders for and how it connects the axles and Spins the wheels and how the injection converts the liquid fuel into the looks like no. I just need to know how to put it in reverse pull out of my driveway and you do not kill myself on the way the Whole Foods. So it's like there's a difference between understanding and functionality in so what are we really here to do with respect to GRE? Hopefully, hopefully guys, it's not to understand the mysteries of the English language or the the
 Wisdom in Harrington Mass. But it's to get a certain score so that we can fill in this blank and replication and move on with our lives don't I mean
 Yeah, actually that your semantic clusters for vocab is really good example of this because it's you don't need to know what the definition of gregarious is, but you need to know it mean funny. That's all you need. You need to know. It's kind of in the same vein. Yeah. Yeah.
 The point is is that the question the GRE will never be like what does gregarious mean? That's your point. Yeah, that's not a verbal question is Define gregarious and sometimes people think all well won't understanding the definition of gregarious help me to achieve my goal of scoring more highly on the verbal section will not necessarily it may or it may not like understanding internal combustion engine may help me drive to Whole Foods but not necessarily and it could be a very expensive process for me cuz I don't have a lot of mechanical know how so it really take some time for me to understand that if you have the time energy luxury Define, all of these words fine probably is going to reach your experience of the English language in the and the verbal section the GRE, but it really necessary to getting a filling a higher score.
 What did you say Tyler in theater?
 Find words like gregarious instructions to sometimes the GRE language creeps into my everyday talk people just roll their eyes. Like no one likes to be told that something is perspicacious. Even though it's a compliment men. I've been an English speaker my whole life obviously and never even heard that word. I mean that's part of what makes us so challenging for people who are not English speakers, like either you can't tell what's important and what's not in a lot of ways. I have a lot of sympathy and compassion for students who are non-native speakers of English or taking this test and I got a lot of them from the most recent year that they have on record approximately one out of three students who sat for the GRE did so hot by the United States of America most of whom were inundated.
 And I know one thing that I do tell them when these students almost invariably or inevitably complain about these words and how complicated and difficult they are. I told him they're basically for into native speakers of English as well.
 Tell me the vocabulary. You're probably on equal footing. It's a little bit right? So then how do we use problem-solving strategies to tackle that issue?
 Let's take the reading comprehension. We talked a lot about so.
 basically, the biggest trap of the reading comprehension section of the verbal section of the GRE is attempting to comprehend the reading
 and you might think Ryan. That's ridiculous. Like it's in the name of the question. You're supposed to be able to comprehend the passage because if you don't understand the past, how come you answer the questions correctly on some level? That's true. You understand nothing about the past is very very difficult to answer all of the questions correctly. But you have to understand that most of what's written reading comprehension passage is completely irrelevant to any of the questions or subsequently asked about it. If you study strategies that I talked about in the app, you'll see that the vast majority of the time there's only one sentence in the text that supports one of the answer choices of the question. There's like a one-to-one correspondence one sentence one, correct answer.
 And how many questions do you get for a mini text 224 which means there's generally two to four sentences that really matter just doing two to four sentences that contain information for 100% of the points associate with that passage in one of those two to four sentences comprise like 25% of the text.
 In fact, the longer the passage the less likely anyone Center season 1 any one paragraph has anything to do with any of the questions or subsequently.
 At least you is you don't know which 25% of the text is actually related to 100% of the questions. Like that's fair enough to be sure. I have to understand everything about this, but that's a trap like if we were in Vegas
 And we were betting men like any one sentence we would bet against the fact that it was related to one of the questions subsequently asked about that passage the author of three to one that has nothing to do with one of the questions. So we wouldn't like to a balanced wedding where we would like half the time that that it's that it matters and half the time but that will probably get that. It doesn't matter if the vast majority of the time because the bathroom in the time we would be right. So are you the are you a proponent of the strategy that I've seen the number of places where you read the questions first, so you know what you're looking for.
 I'm not actually performed at that and here's why I've heard that to some people like it. I have my own way of doing it. The reason why is because I don't think I can actually keep three or four questions in my working memory at any one time. So if I read four questions, I'll probably only really remember the last one and if I then go to the text, I'm actually could be more likely to find an answer to that one question. I'm thinking about but I'm also much more likely to not remember things that don't have to do directly with that one question, which means that I'm going to retain less of the information, which means I'll probably spend more time overall reading passage. Yeah. It's all about efficiency, right? So maybe it's just easier to screw a to z
 I think so. I generally recommended students read the passage casually first. And again, we don't want we have to block the impulse to reread that's a trap people can spend 5 10 minutes reading for to understand a given text and then rushed through the question comprehending the quest that passes does not get you points in the GRE. Don't get a gold star. You only get points. If you answer questions correctly the more time you're spending reading the last time you're spending answering questions correctly doesn't make sense for playing Moneyball here. We have to give time and attention to the things that put runs on the board comprehending the passage does not put runs on the board if you understand that metaphor. Yeah, I do and also Baseball fans. It's almost baseball season game this year.
 How I mean, is there anything else you wanted to kind of go dig into with reading comprehension? You want to maybe give it to a different like a different example from another section test. The fact is that sometimes people spend a lot of unnecessary energy trying to create a new on original piece of writing that reflects the topic under discussion in a very interesting way and also embodies our own personal matter in all of that is just Pearls Before Swine because none of those things actually contribute to your ultimate score on the writing section.
 That's why I think it's really really important to reveal to students. The actual grading rubric used to grade the essays on the reading section. Like just give the greater what they want and if you practice running towards that rubric a few times, even if you don't think it's good writing, even if it goes against in your heart of hearts what you believe you should do as a writer. We probably will share a decent writer good GRE writing is not the same as good writing or are we think about it one second after words.
 Know as soon as you get what you need from the GRE you're going to be done with it. Yeah, you're not going to publish this essay. So rather than right here what you thinking essay should look like we are going to reveal will how is an essay actually graded because those things put runs on the board.
 And it's not actually writing a coherence persuasive essay with accurate examples and it's like none of those things matter. I'd really like to get into the house. If you have time to talk about the writing section right now, but I'm sure you're there to produce content that matches up with a specific writing rubric and if you can do that, you're going to get a good score. If you don't do that, you're not going to believe out the middleman. I'm trying to write a good essay people spend years trying to become a good SAS.
 Forget that let's just learn how to become a more highly score GRE author that something you can do in a couple of weeks to go back to Cloud which seems like it always happens. It's it's why I like your approach for average problems is just like a simple way to break them down and you get to the answer then you're done and it's not like I like you you're getting to the point. Basically a lot of I really like teaching the quantity of section because for a lot of the question types, the only thing that changes are the numbers and they have very standardized template sizable techniques for all you got to do is plug these numbers into these places and follow the same set of instructions. And the number that comes out will be your solution. You don't have to understand why it works. You don't have to understand the deeper Matthew just need to know that you put this number here you put this number there you do this and whatever comes out. That's your answer.
 Yeah, well, that's just like you said in the last episode about just like managing your time. You want to just lie get your answer and move on right? You don't need to contemplate why you got it course he can't do it really just a button pressing test.
 If you know how to answer the question, but you hit the wrong button you push b instead of C. You don't get the point you get the point for knowing how to solve the problem 0 points for that you get 100% points for hitting the right button in the questions are just Clues to help. You know, what button to push. It's such a funny and they can be fun. If it wasn't too cynical way of looking at it mean if you had people have tried to cheat on Tara dies testing you just had like an old Scantron. It was a b c c a b b a b b b you get a perfect score in 2 minutes in the test wouldn't know it wouldn't say show your work or you finish way too fast. Be like congratulations perfect score in top marks, right?
 We're here to push the right button. I can understand math not here to write a good essay. We're not here to understand. We are here to push buttons in a correct order so that we can get the score. We need to rest of our lives.
 This has been GRE snacks hosted by Orion from Stellar GRE and Tyler from Achievable in Orion a part of the build a great GRE course, you can try it for free at you can use the code podcast at checkout to get 10% off.
Achievable GRE - $199
Achievable's GRE course includes endless quantitative quizzes, 10 verbal reasoning practice exams, 1,500 vocabulary flashcards, and our easy-to-read online textbook with proven strategies to hit your target score.
View course
Desktop and mobile screenshots of
All rights reserved ©2016 - 2022 Achievable, Inc.