21-Day GRE Prep: Days 1-3

These first few days I felt a bit of panic about taking the exam despite the fact that my summer preparation went well.  Notwithstanding my active anxiety, I stayed focused on making progress. I’ve listed below the videos and problems that I completed during the first three days. I will write additional posts on the individual question types, such as Text Completion, including more details on the experience of pairing Magoosh with the Manhattan 5 lb. Book of Practice Problems.


Text Completion — Overview (all 6 videos)
Sentence Equivalence (all 6 videos)
Reading Comprehension (all 11 videos)
Paragraph Argument (all 10 videos)
Completed the 5-question quizzes at the end of each of these video sections.

Manhattan 5 lb. Book

Text Completions (Chapter 3) Problems 1-40
Sentence Equivalence (Chapter 4) Problems 1-20




Integer Properties (all 15 videos)
Arithmetic and Fractions (all 16 videos)
Percents and Ratios (all 9 videos)
Data Interpretation (all 4 videos)
Completed the 5-question quizzes at the end of each of these video sections.

Manhattan 5 lb. Book

Arithmetic (Chapter 7) All Problems 1-38 (Completed prior to 21-Day Prep.)
Divisibility and Primes (Chapter 13) Problems 1-15


Interesting Articles

How White Flight Ravaged the Mississippi Delta by Alan Huffman
As I am from the Mississippi Delta, many of the places and events mentioned in this article are familiar to me. The riparian hamlet where I grew up was a “sundown town” still in the 1980s. The railroad tracks demarcated the black and white parts of town.  If you were black, it was inadvisable to be on the “wrong” side of the tracks after sundown.  In a manner similar to that mentioned in this article, the line of demarcation in my hometown has been smudged.

“You remember that big white house?” I was asked. My memory failed actually. But specific memory was not necessary because there were numerous big white houses speckled throughout the Delta all playing that the same character in that same story.  “Was that the house where ‘Baby Doll‘ was filmed?” I wondered. (No, different town.) I was told that a black family lived in that house now.  This article speaks to the history as well as the present-day implications, positive and negative, that accompany this change.

These articles discuss themes that appear in GRE essay topics:

Heavyweight Response to Local Fracking Bans by Jack Healy

The Economics (and Nostalgia) of Dead Malls by Nelson D. Schwartz




Sonjiala Jackson-Hotchkiss

Sonjiala (SON-ja-la) is currently pursuing an MS degree in chemistry at UC San Diego. As a member of the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program at San Diego Mesa College, her research in organic chemistry includes the synthesis of fatty acid esters of vitamin C that will be tested for their ability to inhibit glycolytic enzymes. In an additional research project she uses analytical chemistry techniques to determine the composition of World War II era California pottery.

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