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Numerical Reasoning Test designs
Many medium-sized and large companies now use Numerical Reasoning Tests as part of their standard recruitment processes. A standardised Numerical Reasoning Test gives everyone the same numerical reasoning questions.
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Ask ROB (expert test developer) your questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
An Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Rob Williams is a Chartered Psychologist with over 25 years of experience working and designing tests.
Rob has worked for the school entrance test publishers ISEB and GL – as well as the leading global psychometric test publishers including SHL, Kenexa IBM, MBTI, CAPP and SOVA Assessment.
Our numerical reasoning test book
Why test numerical reasoning?
Numerical Reasoning Tests need to accommodate the very wide difference in mathematical ability from school leavers to senior managers. Correspondingly there is a range of increasingly difficult Numerical Reasoning Tests from the basic Numeracy Tests (which only require mathematical knowledge of the 4 basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) to the most complex and numerical reasoning involved in the interpretation of complex statitistical data.
Introduction to Numerical Reasoning
Numerical Reasoning Test Practice
Numerical reasoning ability links to job performance, which is why numerical reasoning tests are now used as part of the selection criteria for certain professions and postgraduate degree courses in which it is essential to work effectively with numerical reasoning information.
Many medium-sized and large employers also make extensive use of ability tests – such as numerical reasoning tests – as part of their standard recruitment and promotion processes. A well-designed numerical reasoning test is a reliable and consistent means of assessing the skills required for effective performance in that working environment.
Ability tests allow employers and university admissions offices to assess a large number of applicants for competitive positions in a standardised way. This standardisation makes the process much fairer than relying upon old-fashioned, unstructured interviews where every applicant would be asked different questions. Even if you don’t like the idea of being tested on your numerical reasoning skills, at least you know that it is fair since everyone has to do the same test!
Numerical reasoning test tips
Everyone uses numerical reasoning skills in daily life – from checking their change in a shop to calculating how long a journey will take. Many different jobs require an ability to work confidently with numbers in order to carry out a range of responsibilities effectively. This could involve anything from interpreting production quotas to carrying out technical work that relies upon detailed calculations.
Whereas an accountant will have demonstrated his or her numerical reasoning abilities in the process of acquiring a professional qualification, other career paths depend on numerical reasoning tests to measure applicants’ skill in this area.
Numerical reasoning test intro – A numerical reasoning test is a type of ability test, sometimes referred to as a psychometric or aptitude test. It is designed to measure specific numerical reasoning abilities relevant for success in a particular course, profession or job. Numerical reasoning tests are an objective and accurate means of assessing a candidate’s potential effectiveness whenever there is a numerical reasoning component to a particular job role or course.
At the more advanced numerical reasoning level, these more advanced numerical reasoning abilities are measured:
- Interpreting stats.
- Analysing complex maths in graphs, pie-charts and tables.
- Using financial data correctly.
Numerical reasoning test for employees
The employers who use these numerical reasoning assessments mainly evaluates how much snug you’re with numbers, basic mathematical functions and analyzing information underneath a substantial time pressure. It is no surprise, that corporation and organizations who take a look at their candidates with numerical reasoning tests typically place confidence in giant numbers and information.
Numerical Reasoning Test Tips
Levels of numerical reasoning skills
These tests are challenging for college students who have a mathematical background, therefore it is no surprise this could be a real problem for students who spent much of their time at the university reading or writing, instead of really tackling with huge numbers and solving various formulas.
Answering the tests
Numerical reasoning tests also come in the form of multiple choice questions. The answers, in contrast to with verbal reasoning tests, are going to be definite. That doesn’t mean it will be easier and this becomes the point of pressure and it is also the reason why the candidates find them so challenging.
Usually, candidates are provided with a variety of questions in accordance with the rule of one question = one minute.
Certain numerical reasoning tests have a repeated pattern and this gives you an idea on how to prepare for it. The common topics that you can prepare for include fractions, ratio and proportion, profit and loss, estimations, percentages, data analysis and graphical interpretation. So, ensure that you practice these portions thoroughly and make yourself comfortable with the different types of questions in these areas.
Numerical reasoning practice test tips
There are always some tips that you can utilize while preparing for your numerical reasoning assessment which are as follows. These tips will easily help you to get through the numerical reasoning assessment easily.
- Whether you would like to sharpen your number skills or learn everything from the beginning, taking some of the mock tests can help you to improve more. It would not turn you into an excellent mathematician in just one day; however, it will certainly improve your performance to a great extent. It will also prevent you from having too many sleepless nights before the assessment day by rising your accuracy, speed and confidence as well. And you may honestly want a good night’s sleep.
- Don’t spend too much time on one question. Get a rough calculation of what proportion of time you have got per question before you begin every check and try maintaining those timings. If it feels that it is getting tough, keep going anyway, keeping in mind the fact that the best and easiest questions are yet to come.
More Test Tips
- While you are practising for the test, try doing it in the same way in which you’ll be sitting your real numerical reasoning assessment. Take your seat in a quiet surrounding with as less distraction as possible at a table. This will increase your focus and also make silence less intimidating and let you practice more thoroughly.
- The numerical reasoning assessment will definitely not kill you but try to figure out the areas that you are getting wrong most of the time and practice those areas thoroughly. Focusing on those problems will help you to improve your overall test.
- Thus, following these tips can be really helpful during the day of your numerical reasoning assessment. Do not stress. So, the type of job position you are applying for doesn’t matter, as it can be an investment bank, consultancy firm or the position of a manager, it is compulsory for you to take the numerical reasoning test.
Manager roles use
Many managerial roles require an overall confidence in working with numbers. Line managers need to quickly and effectively digest statistics for their functional area or team. Many will need to understand profit and loss figures, as well as needing to manage their own budgets effectively.
Let’s look at a few other jobs that involve more numerical reasoning than you might expect.
Retail sales roles use
Selling isn’t just about slick presentation skills and a flair for customer relations. At the entry level, retail sales jobs require the ability to handle money correctly and to deal with customers’ transactions competently. Mistakes here could be very costly.
To teach maths it makes sense that you would need to be proficient yourself. But many other academic subjects also require dexterity with numbers. For example, all the sciences use mathematical calculations. Music, design, ITC: all of these fields involve an element of numerical reasoning. Even home economics involves working with measurements. Teachers also need numerical reasoning abilities to calculate students’ grades, to understand performance targets, and to comply with school and departmental budgets.
Firstly, try test publisher websites. Visit the test publisher Website once you know the type of psychometric tests you will be taking. Since most test publisher Websites offer practice questions.
For example, practise sample questions from Kenexa-IBM TalentQ and SHL sites. Reputable test publishers will send you some sample questions for you to practice in advance.
Secondly, familiarise yourself with the test format. Read the instruction and introduction sections carefully for each psychometric test you will take. This should ensure you are familiar with the test format.
– – – Numerical Reasoning Test Practice – – –
Third, try to work efficiently without rushing
Each question is worth the same so don’t spend too long on a single question. You may find subsequent questions easier to answer. With the end of the test you can return to any unfinished questions. Although you may not finish the test, the best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.
Fourth, stay positive
If you find yourself struggling with a question, remember that every question is worth exactly the same point. You won’t be expected to get every question right, or even to complete every question. To pass the test – just do your best and try to answer as many correctly as possible.
Fifth, learn from your mistakes
You will probably get some of the practice questions wrong. Review the correct answers so that you fully understand where you went wrong. You should learn how to approach such questions next time around.
Quantitative Reasoning Assessment Practice
Although you may not finish the test, the best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.
- Firstly, before deciding upon your final answer. You may be able to rule out one or two of the multiple choice questions as incorrect.
- Secondly, read each question and also review each chart very carefully. Take one chart and its associated questions at a time. Only start looking at the answer options once you have done this.
- Ensure that you are also aware of the units of measurement that each question is referring to.
- Each question is worth the same so don’t spend too long on a single question. So, remember that you may find subsequent questions easier to answer. If there is time at the end of the test you can return to any unfinished questions.
- Work efficiently, but do not rush. You may not finish the test. However, the best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.
- Remember to only use the information that is provided in the charts. Do not use any of your own background knowledge.
- Lastly, round up any decimal points and any pence.
Passing numerical reasoning tests
There aren’t any quick wins for being good at maths but some focussed practice will improve your score, as will following a few test-taking strategies.
As a timed assessment, you need to average around one minute per question. Work briskly but accurately. Each question counts the same so pick off the easy ones first and don’t waste your test time on the most difficult questions.
Numerical reasoning test practice is an excellent means of brushing-up on any maths functions you haven’t used in a while. Ensure that you are comfortable using data tables, interpreting graphs and manipulating large financial figures.
You can practise the most common numerical test types at the main test publisher websites. Practise sample questions from Kenexa-IBM, TalentQ and SHL as these sites cover most of the tests you are likely to find.
Our other psychometric test design specialities
- Firstly, some examples of our top situational judgment test designs.
- Secondly, our values situational and competency values-based assessment designs.g
- Thirdly, top aptitude test design projects.
- Also, our customised leadership assessment projects and pre-employment sift designs.
- Plus, our emotional intelligence assessment designs.
- And then next, our top bespoke personality assessment design projects.
- Finally, standardised school Assessment designs.
Ask ROB (expert test developer) your questions by emailing email@example.com
An Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Rob Williams is a Chartered Psychologist with over 25 years of experience working and designing tests. He is also the author of five psychometric test design books and has worked for the leading global psychometric test publishers including SHL, Kenexa IBM, MBTI, CAPP and SOVA Assessment.
There is only a strict time limit for ability tests.
The major generic ability test types are as follows: Verbal, Numerical, Abstract, Spatial and Non-Verbal.
Different types of ability tests are appropriate for different types of jobs and also for different job levels.
Psychometric assessment by job level
A threefold differential of job level, together with the most commonly used ability tests, is:
- School-leaver level (Verbal/Literacy, Numerical Estimation);
- Graduate/junior managerial level (Verbal, Numerical, Abstract, Spatial, Non-Verbal);
- Senior managerial level (Verbal/Numerical/Abstract).
Three common job levels used are: ‘Operatives’, Junior Managerial/Graduate and Middle/Senior Managers.
Psychometric tests for managers
For managers, you might expect up to 80 minutes of testing on ability (30 to 40 minutes for a verbal, 30 to 40 minutes for numerical). With lower levels, the time required drops dramatically with testing time of 10 to 15 minutes (simple checking, simple spelling, simple numeracy).
At the ‘Middle/Senior’ level, you have verbal and numerical plus specific applied aptitudes and competency assessments (assessment centre/development centre stuff). Personality is vital at this level.
Psychometric tests for operatives
At the ‘Operative’ level, you have basic literacy and numeracy plus checking and maybe some specific aptitudes (spatial reasoning, mechanical reasoning, fault finding, pattern recognition etc.). Personality assessment at this level is ‘sanity checking’ I.e. this person is not totally unsuitable. People have less autonomy/control over what they do so they are limited in the way their personalities can really impact positively on the job.
Psychometric tests for graduates
At the ‘Graduate’ level, you have verbal and numerical reasoning with the possibility of a reasoning test which does not require verbal or numerical knowledge or prior learnt skills – these are usually termed ‘Abstract reasoning’ tests. Personality assessment is more important as graduates’ personalities have a greater impact on how they do the job