I have not had time to post much of interest here lately, as I've been using any spare time to study like a madman for the GRE. But I thought I'd take a very short break to share one of the preparation strategies I have been using, in case others find it helpful. Even though modern test prep has nothing to do with the ancient world and might be an odd fit for this blog, it is relevant for those of us who want to study the ancient world in graduate programs!
For some of us in the humanities the quantitative reasoning portion of the GRE can pose a challenge, unless you are that rare person who majored in philosophy and minored in mathematics. Here is a strategy that I have been finding helpful:
(1) Manhattan Prep offers a number of GRE resources, including 6 full online practice tests. You can take one for free and buying one of their test prep books gives you access to the other 5. ETS, the company behind the GRE, has two practice tests of their own. Taking these tests is a great way to get a feel for the kinds of problems that show up on the GRE and the amount of time you have to work through them. It is also a great way to identify your weaknesses. After taking these tests I go back through and look at which problems I got wrong, read the explanations, and do them again the right way.
(2) Sometimes I get a quantitative question wrong because of a silly mistake. But sometimes it is because I am a bit fuzzy on the mathematical concepts needed to answer it. In these cases I have been making use of Khan Academy. Several friends recommended I check this site out, and it has proved very helpful. There are video tutorials on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and just about anything else you will encounter on the GRE. If I don't understand a concept that comes up on the practice test I go to Khan, search for the video that addresses it, and then perform the practice problems they provide on the website.
This two phase approach of reviewing missed questions on the practice test followed by some time watching the relevant resources at Khan Academy has helped me bump my quantitative score up a few points in the practice tests. Consider giving it a try!