Psychometric Test Preparation

Using a Calculator for Numerical Tests

Most numerical tests require the use of a calculator. The following article provides you with JobTestPrep's advice on how to use the calculator efficiently to maximize your response times in numerical tests.
Practice with JobTestPrep's Numerical Tests

The same tests employers use! Data analysis, tables, charts, advanced level, number series, and more! 

From £29
Knowing your calculator and using its functions efficiently will be a key factor in your test performance. In many instances, employers allow candidates to bring their personal calculators.

Click here to go to the Slideshare version of this tutorial.

Calculating Techniques

1. Using the memory in simple calculators:

Although a pocket calculator allows for only the most basic of functions, it can save at least one number in its memory which can be of use for the next calculation. This can be done in several easy steps:

a) View the number you wish to save

b) Click on M+. The number is now saved to the calculator’s memory.

c) Pressing the MRC button (memory recall) will place the saved number into the screen, and will use it immediately in the calculation if one has been made.

For example: Let us assume that we saved the number 12 to memory. We then begin a new calculation by pressing the number 36, and then pressing the division sign. Finally we press the MRC button, which will place the number 12 after the divisor giving us the equivalent calculation of 36/12. Pressing the equals sign will give us the correct result of 3. Alternatively, we could have stored the number 36, and recalled it from memory at the beginning of the calculation.

A double click on the MRC button will clear the memory of any saved numbers.

In addition, we can add or subtract from the value stored in the memory directly by clicking on the M+ or M- buttons.

For example: Assuming we store 10 into the memory, should we select the number 15 and then press M-, the calculator will subtract 15 from the value saved in the memory, giving us -5 and storing that number in its place in the memory.
Similarly, pressing the M+ button when a number is displayed will add that number to the one stored in the memory.

More than 50% of the questions in our free test required using your calculator. 

Take it now >>

2. Getting it organized

When a question requires more than one calculation step, it is extremely important to think ahead and organize the operations. This way, there would be minimum use of paper and maximum use of the calculator, since you would perform all the calculations in a row. Test writers are aware of this, and thus they create questions that provide the shortcut, and those who won't use it would waste precious time.

3. Look for repetitive operations

Always ask yourself - is there a specific operation that will be used more than once? If so, treat it like a common multiple, and leave it to the last step. Consider this example:
 example for numerical test calculator

Q: If a driver covered 500 miles with Navut's vehicle and 325 miles with Muto's, how many gallons did he end up using in total?

This question involves converting units, so it's a classic example for applying our technique:

Main calculation we're asked to perform: Find the amount of fuel used in two trips combined, by dividing each trip by the fuel consumption.

Secondary calculation: Convert miles to km and litres to gallons. 

 Main calculation:
Navut's fuel usage: (500 miles) / (16.4 km/litre) = 30.48.  We save this to our memory by pressing M+.
Moving on to Muto's : (325 miles)/ (14.7 km/litre) = 22.10.
Now we add this number to the stored result in our memory by pressing + and then MRC to get: 30.48 + 22.1 = 52.596=52.6

 Secondary calculation:
Divide the above sum by 0.62 to get km instead of miles and then divide by 4.546 to get gallons instead of litres:
52.6/0.62/4.546=18.66 gallons.

If have you problems with the unit conversion procedure, check out our numerical practice tests in which an entire section is dedicated to this topic!

4. Always leave the last calculation on screen

And don't restart the calculator. There are great chances you will be using the last calculation in the next step. 

Further reading on numerical reasoning tests:

Our customers' comments on this product:

Calculator for Numerical Tests“ I would highly recommend these tests - they cover a range of test difficulties, some which are basic some which are more complex. These really enabled me to develop my numerical skills - especially as doing the complex questions made it easier for me to answer the more basic questions. Very satisfied with the service! „

Deloitte's Graduate scheme, December 2012

Return to the top

Learn more about Numerical Reasoning tests:
Numerical critical reasoning
Numeracy test
Free Psychometric Test

Free Resources
Free Verbal ReasoningFree PDF GuidesFree Numerical ReasoningFree Psychometric TestsFree Aptitude Tests
Top Products
Numerical&Verbal ReasoningSHL-style Practice TestsOperational Numerical TestsNumerical Reasoning TestNumerical Video TutorialsGraduate/MGMT NumericalGo Premium: access ANY test!Senior MGMT NumericalNumerical TutorsBARB Test Practice

Secured Payment 

"Excellent tutor!"
Numerical Reasoning Test, Tuition Service, March 2014
"Having not achieved the result I hoped the first time taking the test, I chose to use job test prep and it has significantly improved my scores. The price is fair and affordable and it is usable. No other website looked to offer the same great service. I passed the selection!" 
Raffaele, Graduate, October 2013
Try our daily quizzes on our Facebook page!

As seen on - Graduate jobs, Postgrad study, Work Experience, Graduate Career - Quacquarelli SymondsACCA Careers - Accountancy and Finance JobsWikiJob - Interview questions for jobs and internships in investment banking, finance, law, consultingLawyer 2B - Law Training Contracts and Careers in LawAlumnEye - Réussir ses entretiens Finance et Conseil
Created by red-id