# GRE Snacks 2 – Three uncommon GRE tips

Tyler York

In this episode, we share three uncommon tips for efficient and effective GRE preparation:

1. Study according to the base rates of the problems (What are base rates? We explain)
2. The trick to solving GRE quant questions without math
3. Why semantic clusters are the best way to learn vocab

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 2 – Three uncommon GRE tips transcript below:

```0.0s
Welcome to GRE snacks short approachable and insightful episodes about the GRE exam and graduate school admissions. I'm Tyler founder of Achievable, Stellar GRE and author of Achievable GRE course.
15.7s
Great, let's get started. So for this episode Orion you wanted to share three tips for the GRE that you are confident that you don't hear anywhere else. Absolutely. I've been doing this for a long time. And you know, if you're listening to this you might be thinking well, why should I you know, how is your product different from what else is available on the market? So let me let me tease you with big important differences achievable approach to GRE prep that
52.3s
So how do you know a base rate is?
55.5s
Kind of but I'd like you to explain it here and one of the biggest mistakes that most test prep companies make is that they present all the material that can be tested on the GRE as if it were all equally likely to occur, which is nuts because that is not what happens in reality.
84.4s
Some question types are are far more likely to occur on the tested others and by taking advantage of that knowledge. You can dramatically accelerate your improvement on this test by focusing on high-frequency. I went through from dozens and dozens of practice tests. And I sorted all of the questions that I encountered into just a few different categories and I collected the base rates based on this extensive sampling actual practice test material in for example, what I discovered is that the most common type of let's say quantitative question, which is a plug-in question is literally 100 times more likely to occur then let's say the least common
139.7s
Quantitative question type which is a polygon question hundred times more likely. So if you take a test prep programs other companies John's right alongside of plugging in and those are not at all the same value to the student based on incorporating knowledge of these base rate into the materials that students can learn the most important Concepts first and were quickly.
172.6s
Yeah, that's I think that's so important. Also when so many of the questions that you see like online or just in general or like I have a month. How do I improve my verbal score as much as possible or how do I improve my Quant score as much as it's possible in this timeframe? The answer is always to be as effective as possible with your studying right? Well, so make sure it's almost like a map to that like you want to study. What is the largest thing that you don't know like the largest bass red thing that you don't know that case like time is a limited resource for most of us money is limited resource. And so we have to make decisions. How can I make my money go as far as possible and clearly that causes you to prioritize certain things are brothers. That's what base rate does. The lab has like make better decisions about your time to still get function of the same return on your investment.
232.3s
Great. Yes, I think I mean that's a good coverage of Base rates. Your next one is about GRE Quant questions.
240.0s
Yeah, I mean if you read some of these manuals that are released by their test prep companies.
246.8s
They're almost like math textbooks. They teach student the underlying mathematics associated with these questions. Like there's a lot of algebra for instance a big part of the achievable system is that we get rid of 99% of the algebra. We transform it into arithmetic, which is great news for me. I mean, it's funny you say that cuz you used to be a math professor mathematical knowledge, but maybe I was a good teacher because I wasn't all that brilliant at math and so I was able to teach it to students that also historically struggled to work really hard for my D's in school. Let me let me say that it's not about doing the math, right?
306.8s
About solving the problem that sounds straightforward. But yeah teach how to translate the math in to effective problem-solving on the GRE. I just cut out the first step we go straight to the questions and teach you how to answer these Jerry questions using as little as possible. So it takes like half the time and is generally much more intuitive and understandable to the vast majority of seats. Yeah. I just think that it's so like I've gotten what I taken just like this. I've gotten like locked into the nap and just part of it but I would get so locked in to trying to solve the problem that's been like 3 minutes on some single question that I could have saw them 30 seconds, and that's just you do that enough and you are in deep trouble.
367.0s
Stuff as they say it because if you spend 3 minutes the time with that means you don't get another question. So it's basically a zero sum game at that point. So a lot of how we approach problems is how do we get to a correct answer in 90 seconds or less not how do we do the underlined?
392.4s
bright
394.2s
a super interesting will great. I think actually that might be fun to do a deep dive on at some point. Let some of the third one this is on the book ever. I guess the verbal section right? I'm but a lot of people kind of the two are synonymous for a lot of people which I have never heard of this before you introduced me to it again, as far as I know. This is a stellar original so
425.3s
The verbal section can be very very frustrating especially for non speakers of English because the fact of the matter is the GRE can literally test you on any of tens of thousands of obscure English words, and there is no master list of vocab. That's testable on the GRE is a document that is published on the ETS website that contains all the material in which you can legally be tested on the quantitative sections. There is kind of like a master-list was preferable actually like you needed more for verbal. I feel like like the specially people that are out of the country because we have done a good job of like stealing new words and cons of some other languages. I think it's actually the largest languages ever existed in history of the world in terms of its vocabulary.
485.5s
Can you do a lot of vocabulary words?
489.9s
Now here's the thing the vocab base question this year. We are actually not asking you about the definitions of specific words. And so this is what's wrong you download their free apps to learn this dictionary definition for this one word. It's a very very slow and time-consuming process and at best what he going to learn a few hundred maybe a thousand like memorize all of them. I mean that's it sounds like tough right really hate your life for the time it would take to get all of those words into your memory through wrote.
538.6s
Like what a man, right like without the worry and you can still perform very very strongly on the verbal section of GRE now, why is that? That's because although cab based questions on the GRE are really just synonym and antonym problems in Disguise, and I joined you this in detail in the manual.
569.7s
Achievable self-study program
572.1s
And basically you don't even know what a word actually means like it's nuanced denotation and connotation. What is the actual definition you basically just need to know that these words kind of go together and these words kind of dope.
587.9s
And when I realized that I was like okay rather than try to recall the definition associate with the word. We can accelerate memorization by just doing recognition. Like I've seen these words together. So semantic clusters is where I take usually 5G relevel words that are all revolving around a single concept. Like for example talks too much like we could say if somebody talks too much that he is products that he's garrulous that he's loquacious that he's logorrheic that he's verbose. All of those words have subtle nuances meaning but they all basically means this guy can't keep his mouth shut. You know what I'm saying?
628.4s
So you don't need to know the the subtle variations and meeting you just need to know that those are his words off a swinging that and that will help you to answer the question. That uses a vocabulary. I've been in the u.s. My whole life born and raised and went to you no prep school and I'll tell her stuff and I'd only heard the word for both out of that you just mentioned and I like to think of myself as having a decent vocabulary. So that's I mean that just shows you right all you need to know this one out of the five and then you can kind of study or 5 in the morning go to tell me something that I used to encourage.
668.6s
Non-native speakers of English too often despair over the prospect of learning all these new words. I tell him he needs speakers of English don't know these words. I would get such strange looks from the person. I was talking to the fasting movie documentary about the National Spelling Bee and the end of the middle school kids who compete at the national level in their personalities. It's really fun and the winning word that year was logorrheic. That's how I know that word l o g excetera.
723.0s
So that's what I got for you base rates going straight to the questions and semantic clusters. I mean, there are many other things that Achievable does differently from other test prep companies, but I think these are three big interesting ones.```
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