What is the UBS Numerical Reasoning Test?

The UBS numerical reasoning test is a psychometric test taken during the application process for a role at UBS. All applicants must pass the test before progressing to the next stage and eventually being offered a job.

The test contains 18 questions and must be completed within a strict time limit. It assesses numerical reasoning focusing on basic math, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, ratio, fractions and percentages pitched at the GCSE math level. Questions are presented in a chart, graph or table and offer a range of multiple choice answers.

The questions require a high level of mental mathematical ability. Each question has a time limit which varies per question. Within this time limit, the applicant will have to read and analyze the question as well as perform any calculations and choose the correct answer.

Why does UBS use the Numerical Reasoning Test?

ubs numerical reasoning test

UBS uses the numerical reasoning test as part of its requirement process to ensure fair and objective hires.

It is often difficult to understand an individual’s skill level during an interview or from their qualifications. However, a numerical reasoning test gives applicants the opportunity to demonstrate what they can do. It also removes biases, meaning gender, sex and race are not considered.

High numerical ability and interpreting statistics are essential skills when working at UBS. All employees must be able to analyze data and come to logical conclusions. A psychometric test determines who is capable of completing these tasks. UBS can then ensure that they hire the best candidate for each role.

Test Format

The UBS numerical reasoning test consists of 18 questions. Each question is presented as data in a graph, chart or table. The questions will require mathematical ability focused on either an arithmetic operation, ratio, percentages or fractions.

The test takers need to analyze the data presented in the questions, and then choose the correct answer from the multiple choice options. Each question has a set time limit, often between 45-90 seconds. Overall, the test usually lasts around 20 minutes.

Unlike verbal reasoning tests, there is only one correct answer. The questions are adaptive and do not increase in difficulty. The average pass rate is 50%.

Example Question

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Company One £32 £36 £41 £48 £61
Company Two £94 £109 £130 £152 £154

In which year did the two companies’ sales increase by the closest percentage?

a) Year Two

b) Year Three

c) Year Four

d) Year Five


To figure this out you need to find out the percentage increase for each year. Due to time conditions, this could be done on a calculator.

To find a percentage increase on a calculator, you first need to identify the difference between your two values.

  • For Company one in year two the change has been £4 million (£36 - £32).

  • Next, you have to divide the difference (£4) by the original number (£32) which gives you 0.125.

  • Finally, you multiply your answer by 100 to get the percentage increase. In this case, it is 12.5%.

When you have found all of the percentage increases from company one you can do the same for company two and compare.

  Company one’s increases Company two’s increase
Year two 12.5% 16%
Year three 13.89% 19.27%
Year four 17.07% 16.92%
Year five 27.08% 1.32%

By looking at the data it is clear year four had the closest percentage increase.

Tips to prepare for the UBS Numerical Reasoning Test

ubs numerical reasoning test

Tip 1 - Practice numerical reasoning tests

Take as many online practice numerical reasoning tests as you can before sitting the actual test. There is a wide range online which offers the questions in the same format, using the same skills. By doing this, you become familiar with the type of questions and understand how to analyze the data efficiently.

Tip 2 - Use a calculator

Each question will contain numerous multiple choice answers. There will only be one answer that is correct so you must do mathematical calculations instead of just estimations. There is a strict time limit, but you can use a calculator to make faster calculations. Just make sure you know how to perform basic operations on it.

Tip 3 - Make the most of the time

Do not obsess over a question if you can’t answer it - it’s OK to move on. UBS is usually looking for a pass rate of around 50%. Don’t waste your time on a question that you may not be able to answer within the time limit. Move on to one that you understand.

Tip 4 - Understand percentages

Percentage changes are the most common questions in the tests. Make sure you are capable of doing them in a limited amount of time.

Tip 5 - Stay Calm

Before starting the test, think of some strategies you can apply to effectively manage your stress. The time limitation can make this test very intense, even if you are a competent mathematician. Take deep breaths if anxiety starts to overwhelm you.