Numerical reasoning tests are just maths tests right? Wrong, there are some key differences and it’s useful to know what they are. Here we’ve outlined just how different they are.

There is a common misconception amongst candidates that Numerical Reasoning Tests are the same as Maths Tests. Below we outline the key differences and between the two and offer some advice on how to prepare for a Numerical Reasoning Test.

Are Numerical Reasoning Tests the same as Maths Tests?

No, Numerical Reasoning Tests are not the same as Maths Tests. The key difference being that Numerical Reasoning Tests are designed to help organisations to predict the future workplace performance of a candidate whereas Maths Tests are designed to assess a candidate’s ability to study, absorb, and then apply mathematical concepts and methodologies.

Numerical Reasoning Tests are popular with hiring managers because they offer the hiring manager an objective sifting tool which can be used to compare candidates apply for a particular role.

Are Any Maths Skills Required to Pass a Numerical Reasoning Test?

Yes, Numerical Reasoning Tests require a basic knowledge of mathematics (similar to GCSE level). Candidates will need to be able to be comfortable calculating the following:

  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Percentage increase and decrease
  • Ratios
  • Currency conversion calculations

Is it possible to prepare for Numerical Reasoning Tests?

Yes, it is possible to prepare for Numerical Reasoning Tests. The best way to prepare is through doing question practice. You must get used to interpreting graphs, tables and charts and using the data contained within them to perform the simple calculations described above. The main challenge with Numerical Reasoning Tests is working quickly and accurately while under significant time pressure. Doing question practice is the best way to improve your performance.

What performance metrics are measured by Numerical Reasoning Tests?

Test publishers have the ability to measure a number of metrics from online Numerical Reasoning Tests. As well as being able to assess a candidate’s score they can also measure accuracy i.e. how many correct and incorrect answers were selected, speed i.e. how many questions were attempted in the time allowed and often a candidate’s performance will be benchmarked against ‘norm groups’. Benchmarking against ‘norm groups’ is where your performance is compared versus others from a particular group of test takers e.g. science graduates or manager level employees.

Do candidates who have done mathematics degrees still need to prepare for Numerical Reasoning Tests?

Yes, even if a candidate has completed a mathematics degree if they want to differentiate themself from the competition they should prepare for their Numerical Reasoning Test. The reason for this is that Numerical Reasoning Tests are not the same as Maths tests and all candidates would benefit from questions practice and getting used to answering data interpretations questions quickly and accurately while under significant time pressure.

Who produces Numerical Reasoning Tests?

Test publishers produce psychometric tests. They typically hire Chartered Occupational Psychologists to develop the Numerical Reasoning Test questions. There are lots of websites offering Numerical Reasoning Test questions practice but make sure you use a website who’s learning material has been developed with Chartered Occupational Psychologists.

How do I get started with preparing for my Numerical Reasoning Test?

A good place to start is with our Numerical Reasoning Test video tutorials. These video tutorials will remind you how to calculate the basic mathematics skills you will need to answer Numerical Reasoning Test questions. After you’ve watched these, start doing question practice; this is by far the most effective way to improve.