**The GMAT is a reasoning test.**

It’s not a math test. It’s not an English grammar test. It’s not a writing test. Sure, there are elements of all of that in the questions you have to answer. But ultimately, the GMAT is a *reasoning* test.

For proof, look no further than the names of the four major sections on the GMAT:

- Analytical Writing Assessment
- Integrated
**Reasoning** - Verbal
**Reasoning** - Quantitative
**Reasoning**

So what does this mean and why is it important?

Sometimes on the GMAT, a question will pop up on your computer screen that you don’t immediately know how to do. There isn’t a simple, straightforward formula to solve it. It doesn’t fit into a nice, neat “math box” where the process for solving it is identifiable and straightforward.

So, what are you to do in those cases?

You need to *reason* your way to a right answer.

The famous computer scientist and cryptographer Alan Turing defined reasoning this way:

**“Mathematical reasoning may be regarded rather schematically as the exercise of a combination of two facilities, which we may call intuition and ingenuity.”**

In other words, on hard GMAT questions where the mathematical solution isn’t cookie-cutter, you need to call upon your *intuition* and *ingenuity* to work through the problem and arrive at an answer.

Sound intimidating? It doesn’t have to be. Reasoning is a skill that can be learned, especially as you’re exposed to different question types that fall in this category. Many of them are what we call **GMAT number theory** questions, as with this example:

**Question: What is the units digit of the solution to 177²⁸ – 133²³ ?**

**(A) 1**

**(B) 3**

**(C) 4**

**(D) 6**

**(E) 9**

Give it a try and post your answer/questions below.

If you’re feeling stuck or just want some more tips about how to implement reasoning on the GMAT, watch this detailed explanation to the question above:

Enjoy, and may it empower you to dominate the GMAT!