What’s more useful? GRE Quant vs. GRE Verbal (silly)

Tyler York
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You’ve got to take the GRE anyway, but which one is actually more useful after the exam is over? In this fun and lighthearted episode, Testcrackers founders Yuri Gottesman and Seth Capron share stories about how the GRE has helped stop them from getting beaten up, and debate about the merits of what you need to learn when mastering each section.

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Full What’s more useful? GRE Quant vs. GRE Verbal (silly) video transcript:

What are the GRE snacks snackin episodes about GRE exam and graduate school admissions. I'm Tyler, founder of achievable and our affordable hundred ninety-nine dollars GRE course, includes everything you need to ace your GRE: a full textbook. Questions backed by our memory-enhancing algorithm, and full length practice exams. You can try it out for free at achievable.me and if you like it the podcast will get you $20 off. A check it out. And also if you have a question a topic you'd like to discuss in the future. Episode, please contact. Tyler at Tyler at achievable.me with the subject line podcast, topic. Now let's get started today. I'm really excited to have on the founders of testcrackers Yuri and Seth if you guys want to introduce yourself and say hello. It's me. And I'm safe little bout testcrackers for about a decade. Now, we've been running small group courses, mostly for the GMAT and GRE there live online and a person in the year, in the Bay Area.

And I really feel like that interactive approach with the expert instructor gets you the most support. You need to get the score you want, you're interested. Give us a call 415-323-5728 or visit our website at test crackers. Oh, RG. I'm really excited to have you guys on. And so now I'm the first time you guys wanted to cover. I think it's really fun, which is which is better. The GRE Quant the GRE verbal and it's kind of like there's layers are nuances to better, right there. Just like what's more fun maybe with easier what's more useful in real life or just straight-up, like what taking it all together? What do you think is the best one? So, yeah, take it away, guys. Which of you wants to go first on your argument, sounds like me, I'm going to go ahead and put my cards on the table, the verbal sections. Better got a lot behind this, and I think you'll probably come away agreeing with me on it. I'm in part because

I know you're a better better, you'll see that he's wrong about most everything and so I his his belief in the Quant section alone is enough to know. Alright, so do you have it? You want to like, start out with your opening Arguments for this. The best case for the verbal is really just that. This is a real life skill. This is something that involves reading and understanding information and using logic to think about the validity of arguments and kind of poke holes in things, that's the kind of thing that basically all of us need to do at some point in life and you know where is math? Maybe not so much. Depends on your life. I guess. If you want to teach GRE Quant courses than the GRE Quant section is much better prep for that.

Siri what year was your first rebuttal then that makes a great point about real-life applicability of these sections and I will I say this every single GRE Quant question saved my life.

And I so I don't know of any better arguments than the GRE Quant actually saved my life. Then, you know, maybe you could use some vocab words to impress the boss or something, but would you like to know how it saved my life in Boston? Massachusetts, I was waiting for the T Train and some a bunch of teenagers. It seems like it was about seven or eight, but it might have been three or four approached me and started beating me up and I

I was able to get away really briefly and they had taken my backpack and I was unsure of what they wanted. For me. I think I I I didn't understand that they probably wanted my wallet but I just couldn't think of it in the, in the moment. So I was able to run away and I ran out of the T Station and they were following me and I started running down the street and I know I was 27 at the time and not in great shape and these were teenagers and they were, I knew they were really, really fast and so it was a matter of time before they were going to catch up to me. So I was down the street and there's like, a bunch of old warehouses and I started trying to open the doors to the warehouse to try to escape and each one I tried to open was locked until I found one Warehouse door.

No content and I opened it and then I shut the door and I look for a lock, no luck no way for me to close the store and I looked around to be speaking at this point there's probably about 30 seconds of time before these teenagers would enter this warehouse and I looked around and there was a bunch of broken old musical instruments and I think that maybe it had been like a guitar shop or something before it went out of business and I was looking for something to kind of put against the door so that these teenagers wouldn't come in. And I saw two musical instruments. One was a zipper that was rectangular-shaped and another was a triangle like a percussion instruments that you know, click with it with a hammer.

And that moment I thought of a GRE Quant official question that asks you it's a quantitative comparison problem that asks you to compare the area of a parallelogram. We don't know the angles to a known quantity, I believe it was the number 50.

And the key to this question, I was thinking at the time was that if you don't know the angles of a parallelogram, can't figure out the height because you can kind of fresh the sides down even with fixed-length. So that it is a parallelogram is very fungible. If you don't know the angles, in fact you can crush the top of a parallelogram down so that it's almost at the ground.

Therefore, the minimum area of a parallelogram is just a hair above zero because the height can be just a hair above 0.

My other option was this triangle. And the one thing I knew from about triangles from studying the GRE, of course. Now I know a few more things about triangles but at the time I only knew one thing about triangles and that is that triangles are only polygons that are rigid. And what that means is that if you have fixed-length in a triangle, you can only make one triangle of that with very specific with specific angles. So you can't find your triangle in any other way and ways where you could find a parallelogram.

So I thought well that must make the triangle much more difficult to break. And I later found out that that's why architecture uses so many triangles because they are very difficult to break. So now I was down, 23 seconds left, and I chose the triangle rather than the zither and I put the triangle underneath the door, the door, stayed closed that. Teenagers came started banging on the door, trying to get into the old Warehouse.

They couldn't get in they tried for about 45 seconds at, triangle didn't break and then they left. My life is sick.

GRE Quant question.


That's really crazy cigarettes. I mean that you know, I've known you for a while and I had not heard this before but I do have a lot of corroborating facts that convinced me even though you're a general is not a trustworthy source of information. I think this story sounds pretty legitimate and a probably did happen to him that and I'm sorry to hear that. It sounds like a rough situation, you know. I don't know if people really need me to point this out, but there are several opportunities were strong verbal, reasoning skills could have avoided this problem, much earlier in the process. But, you know, I still I'm glad that in the moment. He was able to save himself in the Triangle. I'd also like to point out, you know, what's great about the story for the rest of us is that if you're ever in that situation, you now know, just use a triangle end and you don't need the GRE Quant of action to get you. There are different shapes available to you.

Well, you know that you're on a gameshow. Almost the thing about hypothetical Siri is that they multiply probabilities multiply and that's something I admit I know from these tests as well what are the chances of being in that situation times the chances of having a set of instruments of different shapes times of chances of none of them being triangles. Wow! That's getting out there.

I want to make another point about this though because in general the fact that you're a had a somewhat far-fetched example, to try and describe the utility of the GRE Quant section off. The GRE Quant section is not coincidental and it's something I've noticed about this exam, I don't know about the rest of you but I have been waiting my whole life for an opportunity where I need to figure out how long, it'll take Matthew and Susan working together to build 500 widgets. This is just not something that seems to come up for me and maybe not for the rest of you. Just not the case I have to read things and understand them every day of my life, much more useful section. Speaking of usefulness,

GRE Quant section has saved me. 1.5 million dollars.

20 years ago, this is true. 20 years ago, I started studying the GRE at the same time. I turned old enough to play the Powerball lottery.

And so I started studying the GRE I got into probability and I determined that as many people know, the chances of winning the Powerball are about 1 in 290 million, or Powerball ticket cost $2. So, in order for the Powerball ticket to be worth $2, the winnings have to be

580 million dollars.

Only happened a handful of time in the last 20 years. Every time it has happened. I've play $200 worth of lottery tickets. Every time that hasn't happened because of the GRE. I have not played the Powerball and therefore saved $200 every single day. So for the past 20 years, I save $200 a day 365 days a year by 20 years.

Only four times have, I spent $200 because that's when it's been worth it to play the Powerball. And so I have saved 1.46 million dollars over the last 20 years. Thank you. Jerry Quant section zero. But I also am, I have had zero chance of winning, I guess if you're playing Devil's Advocate that your chances of winning Powerball, don't change. When you buy a ticket as long as you cut yourself off at like three or four decimal points for statistical significance fit. Like basically it's zero either way but again why I'm slipping into trying to give credibility to math without any real math. I've also like Tyler similarly saved

About to Yuri. So he's not really ahead of us, despite all this math. I mean, I thought he was about to say that he won the Powerball. Like, she doesn't seem that recent movie. I'm trying to remember the name, but there's some movie that just came out about these people that like accidentally rigged, want a state lottery, and he was the Massachusetts State Lottery. And I don't remember the name of it, but it's your right is definitely a movie about that. And you know I mean it's like that it's it's a bit of the exception to demonstrate. The rule math is not a real life pop culture subject that it tends to build a lot of hits. And and I mean, just in general, I was thinking about this, you know, I have a daughter and just yesterday, I took her to the library to get some books. There are these institutions in virtually every city in this country where you can go and get books out.

Are people there getting books because people find reading a pleasurable activity that they choose to do in their free time? Similarly say some people find math, they do but you know statistically not there really get into Matthew I think it's a smaller number, the existence of bookstores in you know, malls and shopping classes around the country. Once again, there are a lot of people spending money on books for a Leisure activity for fun in a way that I don't really see happening with, with math on the market for a sort of leisure math is is pretty limited. Also I would I would actually debate that a little bit. By the way, the movie about the lotto is called Jerry and Margie. Go Large. I unofficially liked it or give it a B+, listening and curious want to feel good movie. I think that maybe just expanding the definition of what is a mathur logic-based? Entertainment experience would probably

You're so different results, right? Cuz if you think about it, I don't know. I would argue at least like a third. If not we hire a video games are like mathur logic or reasoning based. You can't steal logic and reasoning and put those in the math side of the equation here. It's called the verbal reasoning section of the damn. It is very much Tesla's are. So it's only when we're limited to numbers that you're in a territory that solely belongs on the Quan side. Yeah, I would, I would say then maybe it's smaller, but they're definitely video games that are very numbers based my, my friends and I have been playing a game called factorio. That is basically just a number

Yeah, we're going to say something to you. I think in terms of enjoyment and pleasure at, I concede that Seth has a point. There are a lot of libraries with books, not a lot of libraries with purely math. However, libraries do have math books, and I would say that if you are comparing the amount of fun that people have reading versus the amount of fun people have doing mathematics,

There's two ways of computing that one is number of people that enjoy those things, which you probably have that. One said that another is the amount of enjoyment to the day per individual and that I think that the GRE math

NASA people like myself, sometimes people call them nerds, I have an incredible Joy. When dealing with numbers, if I think supersedes the joy that someone gets by reading some old history book. And and so if you think about the level of Joy than Jerry math, once again, you know, I'd forgotten about the fact that math people are so well known for their deep joy and exuberant lifestyle. But I do want to bring up the fact that the verbal section has another component besides reading. I'm there's also the vocab component and admittedly, not everybody's favorite thing to study vocab, but follow my chain here. Basically vocab is memory. A memorization is something that many people can, and do enjoy, and do for fun. A lot of the best ways to study the verbal section to study the vocab is through using games.

And kind of demonic things that can become a very social interaction and, you know, can they can bring in others. I've had countless students to upset, you know, what's crazy? I got my indigeno, neighbor boyfriend, Boss Ass, sister parent, someone to start studying the stuff with me, even though they're not actually taking the test, you know, they just, they got into the phone of studying this vocab with me and it's become something that we do together again, a smaller proportion of students. In my experience are able to do that with Matt. I've not had a lot of students be like, yeah, my boss got really into helping study math with me while I studied that may be true.

However, here's the part of the podcast where I try to think of a rebuttal Zen, the memorizing vocab words, the level of connection that is formed between people who are studying together, is so much deeper because they are through struggle, Comes to Love. And and so often in my class, people have met and forms of lifelong Partnerships because they have struggled through math together. And in that struggle, they have found real kinship, I don't think anyone's done that by memorizing, meaning of weird. Approximately three-quarters of my previous students are now in committed relationships with one another. It's basically,

I said approximately I said approximately 3/4. Well, you know, math, math, math, perhaps, you've got something there, you know I will send the verbal section let that be a warning to see you studying with him. But you know I would definitely make the case. That math is considerably easier than the verbal section, and it is sincere point. My reasoning is that there are right answers to math problems. There's definitive things that are solvable right at the end of the day. There are some number of widgets that these people can build together in 6 hours. And if you just do the right, Matthew can get to that verbal, is always this weird gray area where you have to be saying, I don't know.

There's is this the best answer? Is this the worst dancer? Where does it fall in relation to the others and that comparative skill? I think his is much more real life for one but is also much more challenging much more new on 9/11. New one soon, just when you get a math question, right? And, you know, a hundred percent sure that you are correct where it's a verbal answer as far as I know if you get it right. Someone else could come up with an answer and have an argument. Why that answer might be better. That's true. I'll do it again. I think there's false confidence possible and I'm not really familiar with getting math questions, right? So I don't really know what that looks like. You're always worried about my potential to teach people math for my character here. I'm playing somebody doesn't like math

Wrap up on on the phone because I wouldn't exist. If it weren't for the GRE Quant today, currently in my life for him because it's so much more fun I won millions of dollars counting cards in Vegas using only mathematics that they probably learned from the GRE but I can't believe how much fun they had winning. Millions of dollars from Vegas casinos on Section, but always complain about the purple section.

I'm actually out of mouth and his students by extension do as well, but I think that any sort of objective truth is is sort of Lost in in that kind of unique perspective. He brings to this, you know, here's my case for the purple section, basically.

Reading comprehension and verbal. Reasoning is about munication in. Communication is one of the most important fundamental human skills in and out of the workplace, reading. Comprehension understanding the information you are presented with and credit critiquing, it makes you a much better employee makes you much better in an academic setting and makes you better in relationships. That makes you a better partner for anyone. You're involved with it away when your partner comes to talk about a bunch of math. I don't think that's good for your relationship in the way that good clear, communication is, I can read up with you correct about that. Reading comprehension has saved me. An incredible amount of money through and I could tell a long story about how I got out of a contract with a gym. But it was closing down because I read the fine print carefully in that contract reading comprehension in the recent, Leonardo DiCaprio film, don't look up could have saved the planet from

An impending doom from a comment. People didn't take seriously these reports of catastrophe because they just didn't understand well enough. In a way that the GRE verbal section could have prepared them to and obviously, that's a fictional film. But it's like an allegory for climate change and that's real and people could understand that better and take action more seriously if they understood reading comprehension better. So, you know, basically I think the fate of humanity rests in the hands of reading comprehension and we should all take it with the seriousness that that implies we should. All right, thanks guys. And so whether you are on the Russian from muggers or trying to save the planet. Hopefully, the GRE is useful to you. This is Ben GRE snacks hosted by Tyler. From achievable. You can try archery course for free. As she will. Me and use the code podcast to get 10% off at checkout.
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