What is a Saville numerical reasoning test?

The multi-award-winning company Saville Assessment has 15 years of experience creating tests that predict performance and potential. As a result, Saville tests have been used in the hiring process for a huge and diverse range of industries across the globe.

The Saville numerical reasoning test is usually set by businesses looking to hire individuals with strong mathematical skills for roles where this is a requirement.

In the numerical reasoning test, you’ll be assessed on your ability to draw conclusions from limited statistical information. You’ll need to read through an assortment of graphs and charts and use your numerical skills to select the correct multiple choice answer.

As with all Saville assessments, the test is taken under strict time conditions designed to make it more challenging.

Although usually set as part of the recruitment process for roles in finance and other similar industries, the Saville numerical reasoning test can also be used to identify employees who are ready to take the next step in their career, as evidenced by good results in the test.

Here are our top 10 tips for preparing for the Saville numerical reasoning test:

1. There’s no substitute for practice

saville numerical reasoning test

It sounds obvious, but that’s because it really is true — practice is the best way to prepare for taking the Saville numerical reasoning test.

No matter how strong you are at math, you need to ensure you’ve sharpened your skills, you’re familiar with the type of questions you’ll be asked, and that you’re comfortable working against the clock.

As soon as you know you’ll be taking the test, it helps to put together a revision plan. Setting aside time and making sure you prioritize practicing will give you the best possible chance of succeeding on the day.

2. Familiarize yourself with the basics

Before you start working through old tests, it can help to reacquaint yourself with the type of math you’ll need to use on the test.

The Saville numerical reasoning test primarily focuses on data analysis — which means lots of graphs, tables and charts.

Whether it’s digging out old math textbooks, looking at exercises online or asking someone to set you a short test, it can really help to boost your confidence if you work on the basics and strengthen your knowledge before you start taking practice tests.

3. Take numerical reasoning tests

The best way to ensure you’re ready for the real test, is to take as many numerical reasoning tests as you can. Not only will this improve your accuracy and speed, it’ll also boost your confidence as you’ll be more aware of what to expect on the day.

The best way to use practice tests is to treat them as if they are the real thing. That means putting away your phone and any other distracting devices, setting the timer, and ensuring you’re working somewhere quiet.

At the end of the test, it’s really important to go through your results, making a note of any questions you didn’t get right, or particular areas of weakness. This is really valuable information as it’ll help you to hone your revision so you can spend time on the areas where you need a little more work.

4. Create the right environment

Where, when and how you work can be crucial to instilling focus and helping you achieve strong and consistent results.

Try to set up a workstation somewhere quiet and free from distraction. If that isn’t possible in your home, see if you can use a desk in the local library or at a nearby office.

It can help to make sure where you’re working is well lit and that you have everything you need to practice, as well as water and something to eat. Ensure you’ve also got a clock at hand if you’re taking untimed tests.

5. Mix up your revision

It’s tempting to just endlessly work through practice tests to improve your skills, but too much of this can actually have a detrimental effect as your brain won’t be stimulated and you run the risk of getting bored and losing focus.

While taking practice tests is really important, you can also boost your preparation for the test by bringing math into the everyday.

Whether it’s playing number-based computer games in your free time, turning bills into graphs and charts, or relaxing with sudoku — bringing your revision into your daily life and trying to make it fun can make a big difference.

6. Get friends and family involved

Preparing for a test can get lonely, but it doesn’t have to. By sharing your preparation plans with friends and family, and roping them in, you can increase your enjoyment of the process while also allowing them to help you get ready for something really important.

You could ask them to test you, challenge them to take a practice Saville exam with you and compare results, or even see if they’ll set you a numerical quiz of their own (all designed to examine your knowledge, of course).

7. Make sure you’re prepared for the big day

how to pass a saville numerical reasoning test

Preparing for the big day isn’t just about ensuring your math knowledge is up to scratch and you’re confident you know what to expect on the Saville numerical reasoning test.

It’s also really beneficial to ensure you know where you’re going, how long it’ll take to get there, what you need to bring and if there’s any additional information you need to be aware of.

If you’re heading into a test center, setting out what you’ll wear and everything you’ll take the night before will stop any last-minute panicking and ensure the getting ready process is as calm as it can be.

It’s also important to try and make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before.

8. Set a time limit per question

The Saville test takes place against a strict time limit to ensure it’s a proper challenge.

Before starting the test, make a rough calculation of how long you can spend on each question by dividing the time allocation by the number of questions.

No matter how tough you’re finding a question, try to stick to the time limit. This ensures you don’t spend too long on one problem at the expense of questions further into the test.

If there’s time at the end and you’re able to, you can always revisit any answers you weren’t sure of and have another go.

9. Take an educated guess if you need to

Unless an exam is negatively marked (which the Saville assessment isn’t), it doesn’t make sense to leave an answer blank when you could make an educated guess.

The best way to do this is to start by looking at the question and seeing if you can roughly determine what the answer might be. Then, look at the answers and discount any you know to be incorrect.

Finally, assess the remaining possible answers. Is there one that’s the same or not too far from your initial guess? Is there one that stands out or gives you a gut feeling?

If you’re still totally unsure, just mark down an answer. It’s much better than leaving the space blank and not getting a mark at all, because at least this way you have a chance.

10. Ask for feedback

And finally, no matter whether you ace the test or need to take another go at it, it’s really important to ask for feedback so you get a more detailed breakdown of how you did (maybe even in comparison with your peers), and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

You never know when you’ll be asked to take a Saville numerical reasoning test again, and this information will be really valuable if there is another test in the future.