Numerical Reasoning Tests are a type of Aptitude Test measuring a person’s ability to work with numbers.
Using questions with basic mathematical principles like number sequences, ratios, percentages and more complex ones like financial analysis or data interpretation.
These tests evaluate how quick and accurate you can be under time constraints and mental pressures.
Numerical Reasoning Tests are more often seen as a pre-employment assessment method for early career programs like internships, placements or graduate schemes at global companies.
It allows candidates an opportunity to show their potential, despite not having had years of experience. So as a student and graduate taking the first step in your career, what are the right ways to do Numerical Reasoning Tests?
Research and prepare
Numerical Reasoning Tests are used most commonly in, but not limited to, applications for finance and accounting or consultancy roles.
It’s important that you, as a keen candidate, do your research on the employer’s website, career sites like Glassdoor or LinkedIn, as well as using other resources.
To understand their requirements, the types of assessments used and the skills you need to demonstrate during the test-taking process. Then, start preparing yourself by having a look at some example questions and answers to get an idea of the challenges ahead.
The next step is to start getting hands-on and practice with the various free tests available.
A good idea would be to try out a few questions from Basic Numeracy Tests, an easier version of Numerical Reasoning Tests, simply to refresh your mathematical knowledge.
Set up a schedule and work diligently, as most Aptitude Tests are more about how confident and familiar you are with their style and format, which are absolutely achievable with regular practice.
However, practicing alone is not enough, you need to do it right, by putting yourself into real exam condition, with distraction-free surroundings and of course, a timer.
Make the most of your tools
Depending on the test publisher, whose name and website will be revealed in the email invitation to take the test, you might or might not be allowed to use a calculator.
However, most Numerical Reasoning Tests permit this, as they assess your analytical skills and not your mental arithmetic. Besides, it is also necessary to have some rough papers and a pen within reach to help work out more complicated problems or bigger numbers.
One question per minute
This is as straightforward as it is, stick to the rule of one question a minute and you should ace Numerical Reasoning Tests in no time.
Perhaps, once you are more familiar with the questions and the skills being tested, you can be even more ambitious and aim to speed up with every response.
A big rule of thumb is not to delve into one question for too long, if something tricky comes along, it is best to move on and nail the next ones.
Answer the questions
Finally, this seems like obvious advice, but when doing data interpretation or financial analysis in a certain industry, it is easy to make assumptions using your general knowledge.
These can hugely affect your answer and cause unnecessary mistakes. Therefore, being thorough, reading the question carefully and taking things as they are, would be your best bet at passing Numerical Reasoning Tests and proceeding to the next stage.
Nikki Pham is currently studying an MA in Creative Enterprise in Cardiff. She works as a copywriter, particularly in the space of higher education, early career, and business. She is also developing her own creative startup using her skills in social media, communication, illustration, and design.