Numerical Reasoning Tests
Numerical reasoning tests demonstrate your ability to deal with numbers quickly and accurately. These tests contain questions that assess your knowledge of ratios, percentages, number sequences, data interpretation, financial analysis and currency conversion.
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Free example numerical reasoning questions
Try out these 4 example numerical reasoning questions. Answers to each are below the questions, with full explanations.
What was the average total percentage decrease in the number of homes sold by Bradfield Homes and Thompson Homes from May to June?
- A) 18.18%
- B) 13.26%
- C) 13.04%
- D) 8.33%
2. Ratios and fractions
If there were 50,000 people employed in Blackpool in 2021 what is the ratio of employed to unemployed people in that year?
- A) 25:1
- B) 12.5:1
- C) 10:1
- D) 8.33:1
3. Tables and graphs
If Heathrow Airport pledged in January to reduce cancelled flights by 80% by March, by how many cancelled flights have they failed to reach this target?
- A) 4
- B) 0
- C) 14
- D) 18
2,000 CHF was used to purchase USD in Q2 and then sold in Q4. How much will the amount be worth in CHF?
- A) 2,117.65
- B) 2,098.03
- C) 2,077.67
- D) 1,981.48
1) May = 110 + 120 = 230 June = 90 + 110 = 200 230 - 200 = 30
30 / 230 x 100 = 13.04%, so the answer is C)
2) 50k : 5k
50 / 5 = 10
10:1, so the answer is C)
3) Step 1: Take the number of flights cancelled in January and calculate an 80% reduction:
30 × (1-0.8) = 6
Step 2: Subtract this figure from the March figure:
10 - 6 = 4, so the answer is A)
4) Step 1: Calculate how many USD you can buy with CHF 2,000 in Q2:
2,000 × 1.08 = USD 2,160
Step 2: Calculate how many CHF you can purchase with USD 2,160 in Q4:
2,160 ÷ 1.02 = CHF 2,117.65, so the answer is A)
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How are numerical reasoning tests scored?
Numerical reasoning tests use various scoring systems, but the two most common are raw and comparative. Raw score is when all your correct answers are summarized and displayed in percentage ratio. Comparative score is when your results are compared to the results of other people who took the test in your group.
Where will I take my numerical reasoning test?
Depending on the employer, you may be asked to take your numerical reasoning test online, or in person at an assessment centre. If online, it may also be the case that you’re required to sit a second test in person as an anti-cheat precaution.
When should I expect my results?
Unfortunately, there’s no answer to this. It will vary between employers. If you’re unsuccessful in progressing to the next stage, you may not even receive your results at all. Where this is the case, you can always try contacting the HR department for feedback on your assessment. This can help you improve in future tests.
What's more important – speed or accuracy?
Ideally you want a fine balance between the two. The more questions you answer, the higher your score, but only if you get them right. Don’t take chances, and don’t let the time pressure get to you. Ultimately, practice is more important than either, since this is the best way to ensure you can work both quickly and correctly.
Can you use a calculator in numerical reasoning tests?
In most cases, yes, you’ll be able to use a calculator, and we recommend using one that you’re familiar with. However, this might not always be possible. There are some numerical assessment tests that don’t allow them at all, and others where, if taking the test in person, you’ll be given a standard issue calculator at the assessment centre. Every test will have different rules, so if you can, check this information beforehand.
Why are numerical reasoning tests so hard?
Numerical reasoning tests are hard to ensure that there’s a nice spread of results for employers to gain a strong understanding of their candidates’ analytical abilities. On top of this, some numerical reasoning tests are purposefully written to be difficult to reveal how candidates perform under pressure.
Where can I practice numerical reasoning tests?
There are many general practice tests available online, as well as publisher specific tests from the providers themselves, including those mentioned above. Some of these are free to use, some are paid for services that offer additional support. You can also use our own resources. We have a range of free aptitude tests to help you prepare for whatever type of assessment you may be facing.
Can I get help if taking my test online?
Having someone to help you with your numerical reasoning test is not a good idea and getting someone to take it for you should be avoided at all costs. You’re taking the test as an indicator of how well suited you are for the role in question. Cheating is not only disrespectful to the employer, it will be of no benefit to you in the long run.
Numerical Reasoning Tests Tips
If taking your test at an assessment centre, make sure you know exactly where you’re going, and arrive early to avoid panic. If taking your test online, make sure you’ll have no interruptions, and double-check your internet connection for stability.
2Digest the practice questions in the real test
Most numerical reasoning tests start with a couple of practice questions to get you warmed up. Study these carefully and make note of structure, content and style. They’ll give you a good indication of what’s to come and get you in the right frame of mind.
3Pay close attention to detail
The easiest way to slip up on your test is to misinterpret the question. You may be working against the clock but don’t let that stop you from taking the time to understand what is being asked. Read each question carefully to avoid silly mistakes.
4Work with what you've been given
Each question will include all the information you need to draw the right conclusion, so don’t make assumptions about the data. Just work with what’s in front of you.
5Don't dwell on difficult questions
Remember, you’re working on a time limit, so if you find yourself stuck, move on. Often, the more you struggle with a complex problem, the more confused you become. You can always come back for another go if you have time to spare at the end.
6Take an educated guess
Where you are unsure of the answer, use a process of elimination to narrow down your options. An unanswered question will score you nothing. An educated guess may well prove correct.
7Beware of red herrings
As mentioned, multiple-choice options in numerical reasoning tests can often include distractors, and questions can include irrelevant information designed to put you off track. Keep your wits about you, double-check your answers for accuracy, and focus only on the information you need.
8Double-check what you're working with
Some questions may require you to work with varying units of measurement, multiple currencies, or different number representations. Make sure you’re using the right information in the right way to draw your conclusions.
Although it’s important not to let it become a distraction, you need to be aware of timing. As a rule of thumb, one question every minute is a steady pace, though some tests will allow more, and some less. Practice is essential here, so be sure to include pacing as part of your test preparation.
10Stay calm and focused
Numerical reasoning tests require fixed concentration, so shut yourself off from whatever surrounds you. Though it’s easier said than done for some, try not to let the pressure get to you, and keep a cool head that’s zoned in on the task at hand.
Numerical Reasoning Video Tutorials
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