Tutor profile: Haesoo K.
What is the best way to study for the GRE?
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to studying, but I can say for sure that the GRE is not a test you cram for. It is a test of speed (and nerves), so it all comes down to practice. The more you practice in a similar setting, and for longer, the better you will do come test day. The essay portion is often the hardest to prepare for because the short timeframe means you need to memorize several detailed examples that you can write about quickly. Try reading through the list of prompts that may come up (these questions are pre-released on their website) and writing full essays for some but not all of them. For the rest of the prompts, just make a quick outline. The trickiest part of the verbal reasoning sections is the sometimes obscure vocabulary, as well as figuring what type of logic the GRE test makers use on the reading comprehension questions. I recommend using Magoosh flashcards (or you can make your own, but this may be needlessly time-consuming). Again, the quantitative reasoning section is fast-paced and will try to trip you up. The best way to prepare for this is to try solving a couple diagnostic tests, reviewing each of the concepts, and keep practicing with the timer on. As for a timeline, I would probably allow at least 4-6 weeks minimum.
How do I write concisely?
1. Delete adverbs and adjectives. Most adverbs and adjectives contribute little to your point while costing you precious writing space and readability. Modifiers like “very,” “incredibly,” “many,” “really,” “all,” and “extremely” are all common adverbs you can easily remove. 2. Make vague statements or fluff more specific. For example, instead of writing, “After analyzing almond milk and soy milk, I concluded that these two entities differ in several aspects. These aspects involve their color, taste, and nutritional value," write: “Almond milk is brighter in color, tastes lighter and sweeter, and contains far fewer calories and fat content than soy milk. However, soy milk is a better source of protein, calcium, and potassium.” 3. Identify and eliminate cliches/stock phrases, nominalizations, and redundancies. 4. Use active voice as much as possible. Examples: “The tests were given to the students by the proctors.” → “The proctors gave the students the tests.” “It is believed by Mrs. Smith that all birds have feathers.” → “Mrs. Smith believes that all birds have feathers.” “I am trying.” → “I try.” 5. Choose the most accurate and powerful words “make evident” → “demonstrate” “small and cute” → “petite” “give rise to” → “generate” 6. Combine short declarative sentences using fewer words. “The days are getting shorter and the nights longer. It is also getting colder. Taking these two facts into consideration, it means that winter is fast approaching.” → “Shorter days, longer nights, and colder weather signify the approach of winter.” 7. Avoid using contractions in formal writing. While contractions help shorten writing, writers must spell out contractions in format writing. You may be tempted to use contractions, especially because they sound more natural in colloquial language, but contractions ruin professionalism in writing.
What are some types of antidepressants? Briefly explain how each works.
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) work by decreasing the rate at which serotonin (or 5HT) is reabsorbed. This leaves more serotonin in the synaptic cleft, which bind to receptors in the postsynaptic cell and depolarize the cell, ultimately leading to an increased level of cell activity. SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) work in a similar fashion. Tricyclics also block the reuptake of serotonin and epinephrine but have more side effects. MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) block the breakdown of serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine by enzymes called MAO, but these medications also have a lot of serious side effects. A newer generation of atypical antidepressants include buproprion and ketamine, which don't fit neatly into any category. The mechanisms of action of these antidepressants are poorly understood.
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