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6 min read

Numerical reasoning test advice

Jul 5, 2022 2:09:00 PM

No one likes taking tests, especially ones involving any form of maths. We've put together a few of our top tips to help you succeed.

Numerical reasoning test advice

Numerical reasoning tests are the most widely used form of numerical ability test. Numerical tests can help to reflect the level of demands for the majority of jobs.

The numerical information within these types of test is more complex and harder to interpret than the content of a standard numeracy test. This is because it will test not only your mathematical ability but how you work and reason with numerical information.

A typical question will require you identify the correct pieces of information in the numerical data you have been presented with (interpretation) and then correctly work out these figures to arrive at the correct answer (calculation).

Here are our top 10 tips to help you with your next numerical reasoning test.  


Start from the beginning  

It sounds obvious but it is often a step that's skipped. Try not to jump straight to the main test. Completing the easier low level numerical tests and a few practice tests first will greatly benefit your test-taking strategies and level of practice.  


Fail to prepare, prepare to fail  

Make a study schedule, this will help you stay organised. Start to break down what you need to do for the assessment and how much time to allocate for it. Set a fixed amount of time in your daily routine this will make sure you get it done! 


Treat a practice like the real thing  

When completing practice tests try and recreate a similar environment to the real test. This will motivate you to try as hard as you can, which in turn will help you improve. Make sure you give yourself a time restriction, a space alone without interruption and no notes near you! 


Get comfortable with your time limit 

You can simulate this in any practice tests you do by giving yourself a strict time limit to answer each question. It can be helpful here to ask the recruiter how long you have to complete the test (along with how many questions there are), then you can work out some rough time limits to practice with. 


Read the numerical information carefully 

You won’t need to memorise it, but you will perform better if you are familiar with that type of information when attempting the questions.  


ALWAYS double check your answers  

Even if you have definitely calculated the correct answer, take a moment to check the other choices to make sure you have not mistakenly selected an incorrect answer. As always, any time you have remaining at the end of your test go back and check through your answers. 


Do not simply guess your answers  

You may think you have a 1 in 5 chance of getting a question correct by guessing, but there is often a scoring mechanism designed to detect or penalise attempts to guess. For multiple choice questions first cancel out the ones you definitely know to be wrong. Then focus on the shortlist of possible correct answers to help identify the one you feel is the right answer.  Then you can make your best educated guess. 


Up-to-date browser  

Make sure your web browser is up to date so you can access your assessment platform correctly.  


Complete your test in a single sitting 

If your test is online and you fail to do this, you will more than likely have to contact the recruiter and ask them to reset your test. This means you will have to start all over again! 


Look after yourself! 

It is normal to feel some anxiety before the test however, a few things may help you reduce this feeling. Make sure you have prepared thoroughly, get plenty of sleep the night before and don't leave everything until the last minute.  


Practice numerical reasoning test 

Dr. Alan Redman

Written by Dr. Alan Redman

Head of Science and Technology