Why to use 21st Night as your GRE error log

Related: How to use 21st Night to study for the GRE

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The GRE is a tough exam. A lot of students get overwhelmed by studying or see their progress stall.

Why is it so difficult? Here are a few possible troubles that students tend to run into:

  1. You’re required to solve tough math problems under time pressure based on concepts that you haven’t seen since high school.
  2. You have to learn a lot of strange vocabulary words and recall them instantly for fill-in-the-blank questions.
  3. You have to read long, boring passages and answer tricky questions on them.
  4. You have to study for the GRE in a structured manner, even though it’s unpleasant to do so (see above).

21st Night is designed to help with all of these problems.

Learning to solve difficult math problems

In any given question, the GRE might require you to interpret a graph, solve an algebra equation, or graph a line.

Almost nobody has seen these topics since college. People who weren’t STEM majors probably haven’t seen them since high school.

21st Night makes it easy to get back in the swing of doing math problems. In fact, you’ll quickly find that you become better at these problems than you ever were.

Just find a book (I’d recommend the official ETS guide), and put the problems you have trouble with into 21st Night, along with what categories they belong into.

21st Night will help you master these problems by subcategory then category. You’ll build up your abilities, first with the easy questions, then with the hard questions.

Build your knowledge from the ground up: start with basic algebra, then go to the more advanced topics.

As you build and consolidate your knowledge, you’ll learn to “see beyond the question”, and recognize how complex questions are really built out of the same parts as easy ones.

You’ll have no problem tackling either type.

And, because 21st Night is based around a spaced repetition algorithm, questions you tend to have trouble with will resurface for you to do again. You’ll be reminded of how to do them until the knowledge has passed into your long-term memory.

That way, come test day, you’ll remember all the math that you’ve learned, whether you learned it in week 1 or week 12.

Memorizing difficult vocabulary words

The GRE requires you to learn and be able a lot of esoteric vocabulary words.

[NB: esoteric: adjective, “intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.”]

There are two important parts to learning vocabulary. The first is to learn words in context, instead of memorizing a list. The second is to refresh your knowledge of words periodically, so you don’t forget them.

21st Night helps with both.

Anything can be copy-pasted into 21st Night: long text, short text, formatted text.

It took me approximately 10 seconds to get all the vocabulary words from Quizlet into 21st Night. And, like Quizlet, they’re accessible from my phone, too.

That means it’s easy to start learning words in context, using sentences of your own creation or that have been created for you.

Second, as mentioned, 21st Night is based around a spaced repetition algorithm.

Questions that you have trouble with are surfaced for you more often by the algorithm. Questions that you find easy are surfaced less often.

While normally you forget new vocab words, this spaced repetition algorithm means that you’ll remember vocab words 6 months after you learn them just as well as the day after.

Mastering the art of reading comprehension

The GRE will require you to answer questions based on long passages about boring topics. It’s not fun, and quite difficult to do under the time limit.

The best way to get better at this is to practice reading and answering questions on long boring topics.

21st Night makes it easy to do so.

Just copy-paste any passage you have trouble with into 21st Night along with the questions. Then click “study deck” and practice it.

If the passage is in a textbook, just open up the 21st Night app on your phone, and take a picture. It’s pretty much instant.

As you practice these passages, you’ll get better at them, and find that your timing improves as well.

Encouraging you to keep studying for the GRE

Studying for the GRE is unpleasant.

Nobody likes doing math problems or memorizing vocab words, especially after a long day of work.

Unfortunately, you have to put in the hours in order to do well. That’s why 21st Night is designed to encourage you to study hard and study consistently.

You’re encouraged through “streaks”, through showing your proficiency on questions, and by encouraging emails when you study a certain number of days in a row.

21st Night is never going to scold you for doing poorly. That’s not fun.

Instead, it’s designed to celebrate your studying successes, and to keep you accomplishing them.

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