GRE Snacks 9 – Stop the bleeding

Tyler York
GRE Snacks

You’re stuck on a problem, but almost have it. Just 30 more seconds. OK, another 30. Suddenly you’ve spent 4 minutes on a problem that you budgeted 1.5 for, and have less time for other problems on the test. What happened?

In this episode of GRE Snacks, Orion shares how to stop the bleeding – knowing when you should move on and other tips.

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 9 – Stop the bleeding transcript:

 Welcome to GRE snacks snackable episodes about the GRE exam and graduate school admission. I'm Tyler founder of achievable. All right, and that's how you know that this is not pre-recorded. Let's get started.
 So today we are going to talk about how to stop the bleeding when you are taking this test often is I think I mean having taken the GMAT myself. It's pretty easy to get sucked into a hole where you waste 3 minutes of valuable time on the problem that you don't even get right Etc. I'm so Ryan today is going to share about you. No stopping the bleeding and how he has some techniques to kind of even preemptively make sure that you don't make similar mistakes. It's kind of fuel by the something cost fallacy. Like I spent 3 minutes 4 minutes 5 minutes on this problem if I bail now and all that time I spent done on this question is wasted so I have to get this question, right? But that's generally that's generally not a good idea. It's like no one question is worth going down with the ship for the other 19 questions, right and most likely you're going
 Happy with your score. So that is one example of how a student can stop his or her bleeding is to make a really firm commitment with oneself to prevent to not fall down radicals. Usually what I say is 3 minutes is the Line in the Sand if after three minutes, you don't have a solution to a problem make an educated guess based on work you've done thus far and then you move on with your life. You don't save time. You don't have to come back to that question. You don't think about this later. It's like that question is gone answer it and you move on with rest of your life.
 Okay. So what is this mean to start the breeding? So you need to work in the GRE? I think it also works in life is a lot over the last three life in the GRE the hat that I where is my mom a licensed psychologist in clinical practice and sometimes people come in with all kinds of probably want to get better. So usually these guys are fired up when they're coming and then like I want to do this already working with people is rather than do like 10 new good things are things that are really getting in your way.
 And if we're honest with ourselves, we generally know what there's one or two. Things might be and we're probably going to make much greater progress and accelerate our growth by removing those obstacles to the growth rather than learning and developing it several new positive habits. Just make sense getting only I didn't have Oreos last week.
 Orion Street for me. It was a donut and I would go I would go running. I hate running Tyler, but I know it's crazy. I go for a run at Crissy Field restaurants in San Francisco right back in my body in 5 minutes of pleasure. So it's like after my benefits with this pre-existing negative habit that was undermining my gross.
 What is this mean? So it wasn't me in the context of the GRE? Right? Like I think it's very specific example be really good course. I'm right. I'm only getting 15 questions or get busy solving the problems without hesitation don't have to hurry that you also can't hesitate. So there's a number of things that generally
 Really trip up people's efficiency and timing on the quantitative section. These are things like rereading the problem over and over again. This is a very common Behavior people. I don't understand the problem the first time since they want to read it over and over again. They want to understand how it works. They want to be able to hit upon a holistic solution as number to they want to know how to get the Finish Line before they even start the journey. They want to know that this step is useful because getting them closer to their goals. They have to go all the way to go before they get started not a good idea.
 Sometimes it's about double checking or triple checking their work. So they end up solving the question two or three times and then complain the only get to 12 question. Triple triple checking your work. Sometimes they try to solve questions abstractly. So for example, I was so strategy about plugging in by which kind of eliminates all kinds of algebra on the GRE by replacing abstract algebra with concrete concrete level, but I guess I'm not metaphysical radio level, but this is always true and often times people Linger on questions. They'll solve the problem to put in see in the sea Robert for like 5 10 20 seconds think I feel good my ready to move on anything else. I think I got it all.
 Cuz I miss something think I think I'm good. I'm ready to move on. Okay. Now let's move on is 400 seconds. That's 6 minutes. That's step. That's like a quarter of your time.
 The fit of your time on the verbal section. So these behaviors are really detrimental to students efficiency. And if we're honest if we look at all these behaviors, what do they have in common but I believe what they have in common is they allow a student to feel better about what he or she is doing. They're technically emotional coping strategy. They're not actually helping the student get to the solution. They're helping students feel better about getting the solution. I want to I'm not sure so I'm going to reread until I feel confident about my understanding. I want to be sure that I miss something I'm uncertain that I might have made a mistake song to double-check or triple check my work. I'm when I'm coming to linger because I'm not ready to detach emotionally move on to the next problem.
 These are all understandable like as a psychologist. We definitely want to use emotional coping strategies from time to time, but I'm standardized test prioritizing is not in your best interest. And sometimes we do have to make a choice between do I want to do the behavior that's going to increase my score or I want to do the behavior that's going to make me feel better. And I usually tell people like if your score went up wouldn't you feel better and they're like, oh, yeah, I would feel like a million bucks. It's like, okay. Well, you might have to abide in some degree of uncertainty or kind of insecurity but cleave to the right technique and then you might actually get the result that you that you're looking for. Right? I mean, it's if you didn't eat the donut then you might lose weight long-term and then feel better about that and why do people eat donuts because they're not feeling so great about how they look so when you start
 Stop the bleeding in your test prep. It's a virtuous cycle because your score will start to go up and you will naturally begin to feel more confident confident use the consistent felt experience the success. So as your answering more questions correctly within the time limit you're going to begin to take that in emotional and trust yourself and you will the kinds of behaviors are helping to accelerate your growth and helping to raise your score. This reminds me of a book that I read in totally different context called the slight Edge and I can save you the whole book because it's pretty simple.
 If you need the people who are exceptional are not monumentally better or doing different things than you and I are what they are doing is they are making small decisions the right way over and over and over again kind of like the opposite of death by a thousand paper cuts. It's like the building of a thousand paper clips. I don't know but the point being that you are you making a decision II answer the question. I'm done. I'm moving on you say 5 Seconds doesn't feel like that's that important. But if you do that consistently you're going to have an extra 4 minutes on the test. Right and if you do that excetera
 It's actually a really great way to sum this up. It's like after a certain point special in the quantitative section the difference between a person gets a what's a 163 + 167 is not the 167 knows more advanced math or understand that the right equation or knows how to answer more the questions in his or her system so that every single step of every single problem is slightly more accurate slightly more efficient the difference between a 162 problems on the entire test.
 And when you need to get every single step of every single problem correct to score at that level, it's about consistency. It's like kind of in baseball. I'm a big baseball fan. So what's the difference between a guy who's in the majors in the guys in the minors for the guys in the majors batting 250 vinyl Meijer bedding to 48th. And so it's like they're still way better than you were I am assuming but it's like over a hundred and seventy some games in the season year after year that slight increase in the batting average is going to make it an appreciable difference in a team success. But what is she ever so slightly more consistently positive and so therefore focusing on the details was really important.
 Absolutely. Our success is the sum of it is just nothing but details if you get if you simply focus on correctly, if you just focus exclusively on solving the one next step as directly in front of you and you do that over and over and over and over and over again, the test will eventually take care of itself in terms of its outcome. Yeah, and that that actually leads me to the other thing that I certainly got sucked into a lot when I was doing GMAT was the at the holistic notes that you made where it's like, I mean really truly with a lot of techniques to teaching our core. So for the GRE, you might not really know the way that the problem was solved as much as you know the answer and for someone like me who really enjoys solving the problems, you know, if it bugs me because I like to know how I saw that but that's not the point.
 Play is not to write an essay about how you solve every problem and it didn't want us to get it right and move on as quickly as possible and knowing how to drive a car which is functionality. We're not here to understand the math. We're here to get the answer. Correct so we can move on with our lives. There are plenty of problems that I don't know how to solve when I first encountered them with a solution only reveals itself in the process of solving them. I claim a lot of mountains in my spare time. And one thing that's I think useful to remember if you ever done this yourself is that you really can't see the summit until you're right on top of it.
 You might be coming around psycho. That's the summit you climb up a little bit. Now. It's a false another even further higher Summits. So if you can actually see the true Summit, you're usually very very close to the top. Right and there's a lot of work if you're going upwards you'll eventually get to the top. I don't care what mountain you're on. There's no mountain in the world that if you're not putting one foot in front of the other and you're climbing up you're eventually going to get to the top.
 Great. All right. I think that's a that's a good spot for us to end on there.
 this event GRE snacks hosted by Orion from Stellar GRE and Tyler from Achievable GRE and Orion have partnered to build a great GRE course. Try it for free at and use the code podcast to get 10% off.
 You next week.
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