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Grammar and Style Brush-Up for the GRE: Word Roots

November 20, 2013 by

In my pre-Kaplan life I was a copy editor, and one of my tasks was creating style guides for the various publications I worked for. I’m going to use this blog space to share some editorial nuggets. Knowing the correct words and constructions is key to writing successful GRE essays, as well as statements of purpose, cover letters, and any academic and professional communications you will put forth in the future. So let’s brush up on grammar and style.

Understanding where words come from can help you determine their meaning. This can help you with GRE Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence, and it comes in handy when reading and writing while you’re in graduate school, too. Many of our common word roots come from Latin, which means a knowledge of Latin or its descendents, the Romance languages, will give you a leg up. Some of our most commonly used words … Read full post

A Wake-Up Call for Vocabulary Strategy on the New GRE

September 28, 2011 by

If a stranger stops you in the street and asks, “Is the new GRE harder than the old one?”, say yes. On the whole, the new GRE is more difficult, but it’s not more difficult in every individual respect. The most notable way in which its content has been simplified is that vocabulary is no longer a nightmare.

Vocabulary has always been a blessing and a bane to standardized test takers. There’s something irresistibly romantic about the notion that a higher score may be as close as one or two memorized definitions away, but the words you memorize never seem to come up on the test, do they? Back in high school, I memorized what felt like a billion words in preparation for the SAT; only one of them appeared. (Though I still remember it to this day: soporific. Sleep-inducing.)

Since the old GRE could just as easily spring up … Read full post

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