Everything you need to know about numerical reasoning tests

Published on: 30 Mar 2016

If you're applying for positions in finance and accounting, then at some point you're going to be faced with psychometric tests.

Numerical Reasoning Tests
Numerical reasoning tests examine your ability to work with numbers and to analyse data.

The term “numerical reasoning” is broad, but generally refers to tests which look to assess more than just basic arithmetic. Numerical reasoning tests tend to consist of word problems and graph/table questions:

Word Problems
In word problems the question is presented as a text, without the use of graphs or charts. For example, “Helen buys four cartons of milk at £2.50 each. David buys a loaf of bread for twice as much as one of Sally’s cartons. How much did they spend together?”

When tackling word problems you need to: understand what information you are being asked to provide; decide how you will arrive at the answer (for example, will you set up an equation?); and then find the numbers that you'll need to use. Word problems require careful reading and understanding of, often deliberately, convoluted texts before doing any maths.

Numerical Reasoning Charts: Graph and Table Questions
The standard format in this type of question is to present test-takers with information in the form of tables or graphs, and ask questions based on this information. You might, for example, be shown a sales chart and asked to calculate some common financial information - profit margins, predictions of growth, gross profits, percentage increases/decreases etc. You might be shown the nutritional information for a chocolate bar and asked to work out how many grams a person would need to eat to arrive at his recommended daily calcium intake. The actual information that is displayed in the graph isn't really relevant; what's important is your ability to work comfortably with different types of graphs and tables, and to have a firm grip on how to extract and analyse information from them. Try JobTestPrep's numerical reasoning practice packs, which include comprehensive tips and test strategy guides.


What were the sea delivery costs for large family cars in 2002?


How to Pass Numerical Tests
Our advice? Practice, practice, practice. Becoming familiar with the different types of questions and different test formats will allow you to remain relaxed and confident when taking the real thing. JobTestPrep is the only test-preparation company that has practice packs tailored per company/position, and can provide applicants information with exactly which tests they need to practice in order to prepare for specific job applications.