Core competencies

Our role specific competency frameworks focus on the crucial soft skills that drive job performance.


Focus on what drives job and organisational performance from candidate sifting to employee development. Do it yourself through our platform or let us help you.

For Jobseekers

Find your Joy at Work with help of soft skills and our free career tools.

Numerical Reasoning Test

How to pass a Numerical Reasoning Test

Nobody likes taking tests. This is especially true of numerical ones, even for many people working in finance and accounting.

Unfortunately, many jobs today will require some form of basic numerical ability to be used, often on a daily basis, whether it’s performing mental arithmetic while working in a bar or reconciling profit and loss reports as an accountant.     


What is a numerical reasoning test?

Numerical reasoning tests are the most widely used form of numerical ability test because they reflect the level of demands in the majority of jobs in which they are being used. The numerical information in these types of psychometric test is likely to be more complex than the content of a standard numeracy test, which tend to be more focused on basic mathematics.  


Numerical reasoning tests measure a more advanced type of numerical ability. You will need to both interpret and understand the information as well as reason with it. This means you must make decisions based on what you understand the information to mean. To arrive at the correct answer you will often need to perform complex calculations (such as percentages or averages) that require a number of different steps.    


Why do employers use numerical reasoning tests?

Numerical reasoning tests are often used during the first stage of a recruitment process as a pre-selection tool (along with CVs, application forms and covering letters) to make decisions about who will be shortlisted for interview.   


For the majority of organisations, the main purpose for using numerical reasoning tests is to aid in recruitment and selection decisions as well as highlighting training and development needs of current employees.


Using numerical reasoning tests at the start of a recruitment process means employers can make more accurate predictions about whether a candidate has the necessary numerical skills to succeed in a role. This information can be difficult to assess using interviews alone and is often seen as critical to the success of a large number of roles. 


Predicting job performance 

Cognitive ability tests have been found to be a strong predictor of job performance at work when compared to other assessment methods. We know this because business psychologists have investigated the power of different selection techniques by conducting ‘validity studies’ that compare scores gathered during a recruitment process with actual performance on the job. 


The results of these studies show that there is a much higher correlation between an individual’s numerical test score and their subsequent job performance than is the case with other assessment techniques. In general, numerical reasoning tests can help predict job performance better than the use of CVs, interviews or just personality questionnaires alone.    



Numerical reasoning test advice

  • Try to complete a few practice tests before you begin as this will help you know what to expect in terms of format etc. You can try a few numerical reasoning test questions here

  • It’s likely your numerical reasoning test will have a 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. 

  • If the test is done online then try to find a suitably quiet and distraction free environment in which to sit your test.

  • Make sure you're using an up to date web browser before beginning an online test. 

  • Read the test instructions carefully before you begin.

  • Read the numerical information twice before answering any questions.

  • ALWAYS double check your before submitting your answers.

  • Do not simply guess your answers - if you need to do this try to at least make your best educated guess.

  • Complete the test in a single sitting. If it’s online and you fail to do this, you will likely have to contact the recruiter and ask them to reset your test, meaning you will have to start all over again.

  • If the test allows you to go back and review your answers then you should use any spare time at the end to do this (many online tests won’t allow you to do this, so check your answer before answering the question).

  • Don’t panic! If you can’t answer one question then don’t allow yourself to be sucked into a spiral of negative thinking. Answer it as best you can and then move on. 

Practice Verbal Reasoning Test


Practice numerical reasoning test



Further information:

Developing verbal ability

Numerical critical reasoning