GMAT Test: Crazy Math Problem – Solved!

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So I got this crazy math problem from a GMATPill student who was using ManhattanGMAT material and didn’t quite understand their explanations. (It’s OK ManhattanGMAT–nobody’s perfect).

Well, here’s the video that I sent back to my student.

Step 1) Notice that the numbers are EVEN and are SQUARES.

Step 2) Notice that the question is not asking for x. Rather, it is asking for some weird expression—SQUARED.

Step 3) Identify that it might make sense to re-write the equation with squares so they better match up with what we’re trying to solve for.

Step 4) Recognize that the squares now cancel out, leaving us with 4^(2x) = 40

Step 5) Recognize that the question is asking us something that looks different–but we can rewrite it so that it includes the term that we already found in step #4.

Step 6) Do the division and arrive at 2.5 –TADA!!

Other GMAT Prep Questions:

GMAT Math Word Problem
GMAT Math Mixture Problem

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