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BKSB maths & english tests

BKSB Maths & English Tests

  • 30 tests
  • 480 questions
BKSB maths & english tests

SHL’s Maths and English Tests are tests most often used by employers and recruiters in the UK and Australia. This set of tests is used to assess how strong candidates are in the key areas of maths, English, and information and communication technology.

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Types of questions on the BKSB tests

Initial Assessment

The initial assessment determines each candidate’s strengths in English and maths.

The test is taken online and assesses your core skills as you work through the questions at your own pace.

20 minutes is the average completion time for the test, but there’s no set time limit.

The test marks each candidate as they progress through the questions, and at the end, you’ll be given a score based on how well you’ve done. This will then be used to place you at the correct level for the upcoming diagnostic assessment.

It’s important to prepare as best you can before the test to give yourself the best possible chance of success and to be placed at a level that’s reflective of your skills and strengths.

Diagnostic Assessment

Just as with the initial assessment, the diagnostic assessment is taken online.

It’s not time, which gives you the chance to work through the material at your own pace.

The difficulty level is set by how well you did on the initial assessment. The better your first mark, the more challenging the questions will be. This ensures that candidates are working at the right level for them as they take the BKSB tests.

Once you’ve completed the test, you’ll be given an individual learning plan that shows you how you did on the test, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie. The report is designed to help you improve, and will suggest ways to strengthen certain areas of understanding.

You’ll also be presented with your overall mark.

BKSB Maths Test Format

Maths is considered an essential subject, with most jobs requiring individuals to have reached a certain standard before they’ll be eligible to be hired.

The BKSB maths test is designed to help candidates achieve the marks they need in the subject through an alternative test to the ones offered on the national curriculum.

The basic mathematical principles covered are addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. As well as more complex topics such as percentages, ratios, fractions, and decimals.

Candidates will also be given questions asking them to showcase their knowledge of numerals and numbers written as words.

The test can be taken online, or on paper, and calculators are not allowed.

As with both the initial assessments, the test isn’t timed. This means you can take your time on each question to feel confident with each answer you give, before moving onto the next one.

There are two possible BKSB maths level tests. One which is below GCSE standard, and one which is the equivalent of GCSE level 1-4.

Unlike with the initial assessments, you won’t get your mark instantly as it’ll either be graded by an examiner at the test center, or an external organization.

BKSB Maths Example Questions

Here is an example of the type of question you may see on the BKSB maths test:

Adam owns a selection of golf balls. 3/8 out of the balls are green, and the rest are white.

What is the ratio of green to white balls?

a) 3:5

b) 3:8

c) 5:8

d) 8:5

The correct answer is: a) 3:5. There are three green balls and five white balls.

BKSB English Test Format

The BKSB English test is designed to assess an individual’s grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and comprehension.

Comprehension is assessed by supplying passages of text and asking candidates to read through them, before answering multiple-choice questions on the passage. As well as your overall reading skills, this section looks at how well you can separate fact from inference.

You’ll also be asked to select misspelled words from a list and given an exercise that examines your overall writing skills.

Just like the other BKSB tests, it’s not timed, which allows you to work through the questions at your own pace and ensure you’re comfortable with the answers you’ve given before you move onto the next question.

At the end of the test, whether you’ve done the test online or on paper, it’ll be taken and marked. You won’t receive your score instantly, but you won’t have too long to wait.

BKSB English Example Questions

Here is an example of the type of question you might see on the BKSB English test.

Which is the correct word to complete the sentence?

The ____________ workers were dirty and tired and expressed their displeasure to the boss.

a) Happy

b) Excited

c) Disgruntled

d) Optimistic

The correct answer is c) Disgruntled. Disgruntled means angry or dissatisfied.

Sample BKSB Maths & English Tests question Test your knowledge!

A dataset shows that the average salary for employees in a small company is $60,000. If the chief executive's salary of $150,000 is excluded, the average salary drops to $55,000. How many employees, including the chief executive, does the company have?

  • 11 employees
  • 10 employees
  • 9 employees
  • 12 employees

If the sales of a company increased by 25% from February to March, and then decreased by 20% from March to April, what was the net percentage change in the sales from February to April?

  • A net increase of 10%
  • No net change
  • A net decrease of 10%
  • A net decrease of 5%

A project manager estimates that a project will take 270 hours to complete and costs $13500. If the project instead takes 300 hours, what is the new total cost at the same rate per hour?

  • $15000
  • $14500
  • $13800
  • $15500

An employee is considering two job offers. One company offers a starting salary of $50,000 with an annual raise of 4%. The other company offers $52,000 with an annual raise of 3%. After two years, what will be the difference in cumulative salary?

  • $560
  • $860
  • $1060
  • $1040

Given the exchange rate of 1 USD = 0.82 EUR, how many Euros will you receive for 1200 USD?

  • 960 EUR
  • 984 EUR
  • 1000 EUR
  • 850 EUR

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BKSB Maths & English Tests Tips

1Practice past tests

There is no substitute for practicing when it comes to taking a test like the BKSB.

Taking past tests is a really good way to familiarize yourself with the type of questions you might be asked and the way the test runs, and it also helps to build up your confidence and accuracy.

When you take a practice test, always make sure you do so in exam conditions, and that you review your score at the end to see if you have any areas you need to improve on.

2Strengthen your weaker areas

It’s easy to get better at the things you’re already good at. The real challenge is making improvements in your weaker areas.

The best way to assess where any areas of concern are is to take a few practice tests and review your results, and any answers you didn’t get right. You might be able to identify a pattern here, such as not quite understanding ratios, or failing to select the correct spelling more than once.

Once you know the areas you need to work on you can focus more time and energy here. As well as reviewing your understanding and taking more practice tests, you can also ask for support from someone else, devise a study plan, and go back to square one to ensure you understand the basics.

3Make it fun

If you’re struggling to take in some of the subjects you’re revising, or you want a break from working on a screen, think about how you can make learning a bit more interesting.

Certain computer games, sudokus or crosswords, everyday mental maths, and reading challenges set by a friend or family member can help you to learn without even realizing you’re doing it.

4Ask for help

If you’re struggling with any of the subjects covered on the test, or just want advice about the tests in general, make sure you ask for help.

Whether it’s a teacher, friend, or family member, or even someone that’s taken the test before, it can help to get a different perspective and share any worries you may have.

5Take regular breaks

Revising is hard work and the best way to learn is to ensure you have regular breaks and time away from what you’re working on.

Make sure you’re getting plenty of exercise and fresh air, drinking lots of water, and getting the sleep you need to ensure you’re attacking the practice and preparation as best you can. Try scheduling rewards or fun activities too as an incentive to get your work done.

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BKSB Maths & English Tests FAQs

What are BKSB tests used for?

BKSB tests are used to help people get the required marks to be accepted onto a course, apprenticeship, programme, or job.

In the UK, the BKSB can be taken if your GCSE marks aren’t up to the required standards and you need to obtain a different qualification to progress your education or career aspirations.

What happens if I fail a BKSB test?

You technically can’t fail as there isn’t a definitive pass mark. However, you may fail to achieve the results needed to get you onto your desired course or programme. If this happens you can retake the test.

What mark do I need to pass a BKSB test?

There is no set pass mark for the BKSB tests. However, you may be required to achieve certain marks to get on to your preferred course, apprenticeship, or job role.

In this way, it’s up to each candidate to determine the minimum mark they’ll need to achieve.

How difficult are the BKSB tests?

The BKSB tests are designed to be challenging but achievable.

Those who have prepared for the test should be able to achieve marks that they’re proud of, and that help them progress to the next stage of their education or career.

Reviews of our Numerical Reasoning tests

What our customers say about our Numerical Reasoning tests

  • May 27, 2024

    Its important for one to go through this mental test in mathematics

    Honestly, it wasn't what I was expecting. The good thing about this test is that its preparing me for a more realistic test ahead. It took me down the memory lane. After writing the test, I feel there's a strong reason to take up mathematics lessons, especially in specific areas.

  • Australia

    January 30, 2024

    It involves a lot of calculations

    The ratios and percentages questions were reasonable, but involved a lot of calculations on the calculator.

  • Nigeria

    January 05, 2024

    A real test of Speed and accuracy

    The test is really a good brain exercise and good for my preparation. Also, the questions are easy to understand and brief. It would save any candidate time if the graphic/charts, questions and options are designed to fit on a single page view for mobile phone users.

  • United Kingdom

    December 14, 2023

    How to do percentages

    The layout of the test was clear and simple. I also liked that the exact values were present when hovering over each question.

  • Indonesia

    November 14, 2023

    Read the question carefully

    I like this practical test, becase its provide a solution that help me to understand the calculation

  • United Kingdom

    November 13, 2023

    Good quiz under timed conditions

    It was easy enough but the time limit added extra pressure so you have be quick with you mental maths

  • Singapore

    November 04, 2023

    amazing test format with timing

    The Test content is very close to real test with the clock to help to keep track of time. Very useful

  • United Kingdom

    October 20, 2023


    First numerical test I’ve completed and had fun with it. Not sure if it is representative of actual exams!

  • United States of America

    October 18, 2023

    Great practice

    The option of being timed, adds the real life pressure which is appreciated to learn the pace that you need to work at.

  • Japan

    October 16, 2023

    Difficult to figure out a question asked in a mini panic

    Combined with various figures given to you, it is difficult to understand the question asked. Although the questions that is asked is not difficult, with your panic kicking in, it makes it difficult to figure out.