GRE Article of the Month – May 2014

Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers
By Scott Samuelson for The Atlantic

This month’s article, Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers, really caught my attention, because it was basically a response to an Issue Prompt I was writing about in a blog post:

Educational institutions should actively encourage their students to choose fields of study that will prepare them for lucrative careers.

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Of course the writer here had more than 25 minutes. At three-pages, and probably a few revisions, this article is an eloquent and impassioned rebuttal to why we need the humanities in colleges, and why colleges shouldn’t simply teach classes that will allow students to secure lucrative jobs upon graduating.

So take notes, and look how the author develops his point. Some of what you learn here may be useful if you get one of the prompts dealing with education and the college curriculum.

Below are some common GRE-level words that you should pay attention to:

  • Ubiquitous
  • Subordinated
  • Predominantly
  • Demarcate
  • Exorbitant
  • Compliant
  • Inadvertently
  • Quixotic
  • Wayward


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10 Responses to GRE Article of the Month – May 2014

  1. Farangis September 20, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    Hi Chris, Thank you for your incredible website. How can I read your article about “Educational institutions should actively encourage their students to choose fields of study that will prepare them for lucrative careers.”

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 23, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

      Hi Farangis,

      So, that prompt is the one I used in the actual Magoosh product. In other words, if somebody buys Magoosh, they’ll see a detailed analysis and a small essay of that prompt.

      Let me know if you have any questions about the prompt, how to dissect it, what to do, what not to do, etc.

      • Farangis September 23, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

        Hi Chris,

        I bought Magoosh product ( absolutely love it, it helps me tremendously), I am not able to find the article ” Educational institutions should actively encourage their students to choose fields of study.” Would you please provide me some directions? Thank you 🙂

      • Sydney June 13, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

        Hi Chris! I have a paid subscription to Magoosh…where can I find the the detailed analysis and small essay of this prompt?


        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

          Hi Sydney,

          You can find this essay in the lesson video “Issue Task Example.” 🙂

  2. Md. Nafiul Alam July 14, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

    The article you recommend is eloquently written & rich in vocabulary. However I think it should be “predominately” instead of “predominantly” under common GRE level words you posted in this section.

  3. S June 4, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

    “Peddling” is also a GRE word used in the article!

    As usual, there’s plenty to be worried about: the steady evaporation of full-time teaching positions, the overuse and abuse of adjunct professors, the slashing of public funding, the shrinkage of course offerings and majors in humanities disciplines, the increase of student debt, the peddling of technologies as magic bullets, the ubiquitous description of students as consumers.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

      Yes, it is! Thanks for pointing it out :). In general, this is such a great article from the standpoint of the GRE: if you get an Issue that deals with education.

  4. M May 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting this article. Currently, I’m in the process of applying to grad schools in Philosophy. Yet, at times, applications can be a very draining (especially with the added stress of knowing I need superb GRE scores). At my lowest, sometimes I wonder if an advanced degree in my chosen field of study is even worth it. This article reminded me that it most certainly is worth it, at least it is for me. All this has remained me that studying for GRE verbal can be fun and rewarding, not just for boosting scores, but also for encountering new insights. I’m learning that, although the GRE is just a standardized exam, studying for it is also an opportunity to learn useful things – all depends on what we make out of it. I can’t be certain I would have found this specific article without this post, so thanks again.

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel May 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      Hey M! That’s great to hear. If only everyone could come to this realization! 🙂

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