Top 5 tips to pass the Numerical Reasoning tests

Numerical Reasoning is a type of ability assessment that evaluates how well you can interpret and manipulate mathematical data; they also give employers an insight into your overall intelligence, judgement and business acumen. It is important to know that more often than not, you are being measured on how well you manage your time as well. Thus, not only how many questions you get right is important, but also how long you take to answer the questions. Alex Toma tells us more.

In this series, you can expect to learn more about: Psychometric testing, situational testing, verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and what to do if you fail?

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The reality is that there are few, if any, tests that do not include a sub-test of your numerical skills and it is crazy to be judged as a great candidate except for the maths!

This might come across as intimidating but don’t worry:  numerical reasoning tests are nobody’s favourites. The good news is that everyone can master these questions- it is just that some of us have to practice more than others.

  1. Get test wise

Not all numerical reasoning tests are the same. They’re produced by a number of different test providers – the main ones being SHL, Kenexa, Saville, Cubiks and Talent Q. Knowing which provider is responsible for the test you’ll be doing means you can practise on the right type of test. That will be a big advantage when it comes to the real thing.

  1. Get used to your calculator

Many students don’t realise this but being comfortable with your calculator during the test really makes a difference. Familiarity with the buttons and the functions will save you vital seconds. It’s also a good idea to have a calculator with large buttons and a clear screen – there’ll be a much lower chance of basic entry mistakes.

  1. Be focused

When it comes to actually taking the test, make sure you are in the right state of mind. You should not be stressed or uncomfortable or feeling like you hate that you have to do this. The winning candidate has committed everything to passing. Keep your thoughts on the positive side – i.e.: you have the opportunity to show that you are the right person with the right skillset.

  1. Give your best to read the questions carefully.

Focus on the question first, before you started looking at the data underneath it. Then constantly see-saw back and forth between the question and the data that relates to it. Often there is distracting information in the graphs and charts – information that’s irrelevant to the answer. Of course, by practicing you will get better at scanning through the data and getting to identify the essential information only.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

If you have to pass such test to realize your career or educational dream and you hate maths, then it is time to get down to some serious work and rise to the challenge. I have personally known many of my peers who have done just this (myself included) and you can too. It is boring, painful even, but sharpening your skills will pay off.

Be sure that you attempt a test confident, fast and accurate in these essential operations:

  • Some level of mental arithmetic (ie. you should be able to calculate 12 x 12 and 6 x 7 without panicking). We are all supposed to know it, but after being so used to using a calculator, does it still come as natural as when you were younger?
  • Percentages (changing factors to decimals, changing between decimal and percentages, expressing values as percentage, percentage increase etc)
  • Sequencing
  • Number problems and exchange rate conversions
  • Ratios and estimations

So get down to some score-improving practice now:


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