Math equations can be solved by utilizing appropriate formulas, following easy to memorize rules. The verbal section requires concentration and a mastery of English standard grammar. There exists a series of questions on the GRE, however, that require the use of all of your test-taking senses. Probability, combination, and permutation questions require an instinct for flags, flags that give away tell tale signs as to how to solve for the solution. Once you understand exactly what the question is asking for and why, the problem will seem as flipping a coin.

**Mutually Exclusive or Independent**

It is important to remember the difference between factors that are mutually exclusive and factors that are independent of each other. Say you are given ten boxes of chocolates, each box containing a different flavor. Imagine that chocolates containing nuts can only be found in boxes 6 through 10. If you would be asked what is the probability of selecting a chocolate from one of the first 5 boxes AND have the chocolate contain nuts, the resulting answer would have to be zero because boxes 1 through 5 don’ contain nuts. The two factors are mutually exclusive. If you were asked to flip a coin followed by rolling a 6 sides dye. The probability of landing on heads and rolling on a 6 are possible because the outcome of one event does not affect the outcome of the other. The two events are independent of each other.

**The Difference Between AND and OR**

There is a huge difference between the probability of two events occurring, or either of two events occurring. If you are asked to roll a die and asked what is the probability of rolling an even number and a number less than 4, you are still being asked the probability of a single event. This single event just happens to have more than one qualifier. There are 3 even numbers on a die, and 3 numbers less than 4. The number 2 is the only digit on the die that meets both of the given requirements. There is one outcome, out of the six total possible outcomes, that would work for our needs. Now say you were asked what the probability of rolling a number that is either a 4 or an odd digit. We are now asked to find the probability of two separate events. We are asked to find the probability of rolling a 4, and we are also asked what the probability is of rolling an odd digit. There is one outcome resulting in a rolled 4 and 3 possible outcomes for rolling an odd digit. Four outcomes would meet our requirements out of a total six possible outcomes.

**Permutation and Combination**

Always be asking yourself, how important is order? When entering the code into a pad lock the order of the digits is very important. If the right code is 144, 414 would not open the lock. This kind of problem is referred to as a permutation problem. There are 10 possible choices for each digit on the lock (in the case of this three digit lock we would need to multiple 10 by 10 by 10 to see the total number of permutations). You can also have a permutation problem in which repetition is not allowed. Say that once a number is used on that imaginary lock we discussed, it can no longer be used. In that case the options change (the first digit has 10 options, while the second has 9 as a result of one outcome being removed as a possibility, the next digit has 8 possible outcomes). To solve this sort of permutation problem we would multiple 10 by 9 by 8. A combination problem is one in which the order of the factors doesn’ matter. A lottery is a combination problem without repetition. The order of the numbers doesn’ matter and numbers can appear more than once. Say this particular lottery we’re playing contains 6 numbers ranging from 01 up to 49. There are 49 possible outcomes for each number drawn. Because order doesn’ matter we need to reduce the amount of outcomes that would exist in a permutation problem. The formula is 49!/6!(49-6)!

We have 49 options for each number and only six numbers are going to be drawn. Combination problems with repetition are a bit trickier. Imagine you are reaching into a refrigerator filled with 5 different types of sodas. If you would like to select only 4 sodas to take out, how many combinations of different sodas can be selected. The solution is derived from the following formula: (5+4 -1)!/4!(5-1)!

The reasoning is that all four sodas could be the same, or all different, or two the same, or three, and depending on which sodas are selected or excluded altogether.

The probability, permutation, and combination questions pose a lot of stress on test takers because they are very large in scope and design. They are questions about options and too many options can confuse anyone. The key is to visualize the problem, see it as a relatable situation, whether a combination lock, a lottery, or a refrigerator filled with sodas.

]]>College is over and preparation is under full way for continued education. Getting into graduate school is competitive and everyone hopes to be among the top candidates applying. It is true that a graduate level education is a step forward, however, don’t be fooled, everything you need to know in order to master the GRE exam is already in your lexicon. The best way to prepare for such an exam is to understand that a majority of what you should be doing is reviewing what you’ve already learned.

**Remember the SATs?**

One of the best ways to prepare for the GRE is to prepare for an exam you’ve already taken, the SAT exams. The quantitative and verbal sections provide excellent examples of what you might see on the GRE exam. Hopefully you still have your test prep books from several years prior available. Study the problems as well as your notes.

**Back to School**

High school math and English textbooks can be very helpful in preparing for the GRE. Just like studying for the SATs can help in preparing for the GRE, studying High school level math and English can help prepare you for the SATs. If you have any of your old high school notebooks feel free to give them a look over. The information you will be required to know will not be complicated, just probably forgotten. Refresh your memory of what you already spent so many countless nights cramming.

**Read a Challenging Book**

Atlas Shrugged is long and filled with vocabulary that will probably require the use of a dictionary. As you navigate through an interesting story you will also be adding vital information to your memory bank. The GRE uses language that one does not come across on an average day; this is why it is important to read text that will challenge us.

**Be a Mathlete**

Attempt to become competitively good at math. Work at not only solving geometry, algebra, and trigonometry problems, but also solving them at a competitive rate. The GRE is a competitive exam, everyone else taking the exam is competing with you for placement at a top Masters program.

It may seem simple and that’s because it really is. Grad schools aren’t interested in what you don’t know because that’s what they’re there for, to teach you the advanced information. The admissions counselors just want to be able to gauge how well you’ve retained the information during your academic career. If you never spent too much time studying and the quantitative and verbal problems you’re coming across seem like a foreign language then the GRE test preparation journey will be more difficult. Whenever preparing for an exam it is important to remember that the fault, as well as the responsibility, lies solely on your shoulders. The more effort you put in the better the results will be. When it comes to the GRE consider it a second chance to take an exam you feel you could have done better on in high school. The GRE is a second chance everyone should take advantage of.

]]>- It’s about three-hours long and you can take it at any one of many test centers in the United States at any time, or even around the world up to five or six times a year– but you can only take it once a month, and up to five times per twelve-month period.
- If you take it multiple times, all your scores will be evaluated by the admissions officers for your chosen programs.
- Some programs will put greater weight on the higher score and be more impressed by a significant increase in score than two similar scores.
- Other programs will choose to judge applicants by the highest scores in each section.
- Averaging scores is uncommon.

- The test is computer-adaptive, and leaving questions blank is very detrimental to your score.
- You will score anywhere between 400 and 1600.
- The national mean GRE score is about 462 in Verbal, 584 in Quantitative and 4 for the writing assessment.
- GRE registration occurs on a first-come, first-served basis at ETS.org.
- Do expect to register at least a week in advance of your test date.
- The GRE registration fee in the US is $160 as of January 1, 2010, and ETS will reduce this fee in special circumstances.
- The fee is higher in China, Hong Kong, India and other non-US test locations.
- It has typically gone up $10 in price every year.

- On August 1, 2011 drastic changes in scoring, design, and test content were implemented.
- Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning will shift from a 200-800 score scale measured in 10-point increments, to a 130-170 score scale in 1-point increments.
- Why? Scores will be more accurate to the abilities of the test taker and no longer overstate small differences between examinees.

- Recent technology changes which have an affect on the design of the test.
- New response formats such as increased data entry
- A tag for review option which allows you to skip a difficult question and return to it later without affecting your score,
- A preview and review capacity that enables you to scan ahead in the section you are working on, edit features so that you may change an answer after submitting it while working on the same section, and an on-screen calculator for the math portion of the test.

- Here is some information into how the content of the three major sections of the GRE has changed.
- The Verbal section will eliminate all questions on antonyms and analogies
- The Quantitative section will place greater emphasis on computation and analysis of data that is likely to relate to real-life scenarios
- The Analytical Writing will still have two parts, including a question for logical analysis and personal opinion, the questions themselves will be more focused, ultimately allowing the raters to know the answer wasn’t memorized, but was actually written in response to the question.

- You must reschedule or cancel your test no later than three full days before your appointment (not including the day of your test or the day of your request) or your test fee will be forfeited.
- If you cancel your test no later than three full days prior to your test date, you will receive a refund equivalent to half of the original test fee. Otherwise, you will receive no refund.
- If you wish to change your test center, contact the GRE® Program by the registration deadline.
- The fee for changing your test center is $50.
- Center changes cannot be guaranteed but will be made as space permits.
- You cannot reschedule between sites served by different Regional Registration Centers.

- Requested score reports are sent to schools within 10-15 days after the exam
- All non-cancelled GRE testing administrations will be listed (and usable) in your ETS record for 5 years
- You cannot cancel reporting a score to ETS after viewing it. At the end of your GRE administration, you will report your scores to ETS, and you can choose to submit your scores directly to up to four institutions without additional cost
- For any additional score reports, the cost is $23 per report.
- You cannot send your multiple choice scores without the writing scores. You scores are valid for five years.

- VERBAL: The verbal section will eliminate all questions on antonyms and analogies.
- QUANTITATIVE: While there are several minor changes, there is an advantage to the quantitative section: an online calculator!
- ANALYTICAL WRITING: While this section will still have two parts, including a question for logical analysis and personal opinion. The questions themselves will be more focused, ultimately allowing the raters to know the answer itself wasn’t memorized, but was actually written in response to the question.